Addressing a crowd, holding their attention, and introducing or explaining an idea is frightening as it is. But, for someone who stutters, their anxiety about their speech can amplify the fear and difficulty. After all, despite numerous public figures acknowledging their disfluency, the sense that stuttering is less than permissible in public persists. Whether speaking on stage at a conference or presenting a project in a classroom, public speaking can be a daunting task.
Own your Stutter
Even when all eyes are on you, you are the one in control of the room. Acknowledging your stutter allows you to relax into the presentation without the fear of losing the audience’s attention. Audiences, small or big, when you have the floor want you to succeed. Capitalize on that respect and reciprocate by letting them know that even when you stutter or take a moment to collect yourself, what you have to say shall be said.
Passion Trumps Fear
A topic or idea that is significant to you and excites you is infinitely easier to talk about and discuss than something prosaic and irrelevant. Being passionate about a subject doesn’t mean that the stutter won’t resurface but the conversation will be more enjoyable. It shall certainly be memorable.
Ashes to Gold
What is the worst-case scenario? Whatever it might be, a bad situation or a hostile audience can be handled with humor and sincerity. Get comfortable in the room that the presentation is to be conducted, practice in it. Your voice and speech are instruments at your disposal to conduct and direct the audiences’ understanding.
Good communication skill is about more than just fluency. It is about eye contact, voice modulation, posture, confident body language. Fluent speakers aren’t necessarily good communicators. When speaking in public, both people with speech defects and those without, should strive to engage their audience.