Boy, finally I did it! Spilled out the beans or open the pandora’s box, call it the way you want. Yesterday I gave my project 2 speech at local ToastMaster’s club, and no prizes for guessing the title of the speech. Yes, it was “stammer”. Please peruse the video attached. Critical comments are welcome and try to spot my stammer all along (I assure it won’t be hard).
Eclectic is what I would like to call the people’s reaction. Even though no body in the audience immediately complimented me, appreciation came in bits and pieces. Not that I was looking for admiration, but here I am trying to highlight the extreme sense of discomfort among the normal speakers as well. The discomfort arises when you deliberately try to avoid talking about such a taboo subject.
Later when we came out of the room, I can vividly recount each person’s reaction when I confronted them. Yes I confronted them for two reasons: first, I wanted to know how they liked my speech (yeah, I was mean ;), secondly I wanted them to talk about stammer and share their experiences. To a large extent I was fairly successful in the latter objective. Barring the usual suspects (compliments) such as “great speech”, “good posture”, “nice voice modulation” and “seems that you have really well rehearsed”, the disclosures worth mentioning here are as follows.
One lady said, “I really liked the way you stammered out there”. One gentleman asked, “who gave you this topic, was it imposed on you or was it your choice?”. Obviously he was surprised and never expected anyone to talk about such a damn thing. Then again another gentleman started narrating about his uncle’s experience as to how he still stammers at the age of 50. He told me how he and his family had to go through hardships, that directly or indirectly boils down to his stammer. He said a very interesting thing, “how can you let that person know that he should do something about it, since it is a personal problem, and at his age, even we don’t know how is he going to take it. It is not as easy as telling that the color choice of your car is poor.” I was left wondering and felt a pang in the heart.
All in all, a breathtaking experience that was. But mind you, this is just the beginning.
PS: guys, read John Harrison’s book, that really helps.