TISA was moderately attended, but unusually with 33% participation from the
fairer sex. Jitu, Dinesh, Abhinav, Sairam, Anandh, Pramod, Hema, Aruna and
Upasna attended this meeting. The meeting started with the silent national
anthem of Reliance Big(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk02qPlnS2E)
and touched us all. Then it proceeded with
an introduction round, which thanks to the frequent witty asides,
knowledge sharings and discussions, took nearly 2hours. Be it the best areas in
Bangalore for shopping, potential wedding planning careers, Patanjali’s quality
merchandise, popular media or ayurvedic remedies, the conversations flowed
well, helped along by Dinesh steering the group.
the ‘silent national anthem’
reminded me that besides stammering, there are other special conditions. We PWS
should also support them, and then only expect ‘support’ from society. I know
this is a controversial statement, but personal opinion only!
shared that even in cancer treatment,
the first thing doctors advice the patient is to ‘accept’ cancer rather than be
in denial, so that healing is faster. Acceptance is not resignation, it is just
not being negative. We can choose to be better or to be bitter.
member shared that during Vipasana,
he saw himself in 3D on what he was doing right/wrong. He advised Vipasana for
members, because the very act of taking 10days off from work/everyday life is
The flute analogy as explained by Rajesh
during TISA Coorg 2012 national convention, helped understand that like how no
sound can come from flute without air inside, similarly without full
lungs/breathing properly, taking out sound will be difficult. All analogies
have their limitations of course, but this one rung true to me.
A case was
discussed of a TISA SHG member getting a
job in a BPO voice process (as no
vacancies for non voice, they directed for voice process). Though that was not
the first choice, it was advised that till a better opportunity comes along,
the soft skills/accent /other training would be helpful. I feel SHG really
helped that member as otherwise to imagine a PWS in a voice process, does
stretch the credulity of some!
benefits of slow speaking, were also
discussed and debated.
copies of the booklet ‘Apna Hath
Jagannath’ by Dr Satyendra Srivastava(download it http://stammer.in/publications/NewSHManual.pdf), and played a short video of Nick(http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/) which was on from the DVD circulated at the
TISA National Conference 2012 at Coorg. He urged members to identify other PWS
and urge them to attend TISA meetings, for everyone’s benefits. The meeting
closed with members deciding to make a small speech/presentation in the next
meeting(also share how their weekly practice has worked), and Aruna shared a 2min video about how we repeat the same mistakes due to
carrying mental luggage. This is apt to keep in mind for those following TISA
of the hare and the tortoise, where the tortoise wins the race. This idea has
caught on in the ‘Slow movement’(http://www.slowmovement.com/)
and books like Don’t Sprint the Marathon by Dr V Raghunathan(summarized at http://www.slideshare.net/ramadd1951/dont-sprint-the-marathon-summarised). But somehow while speaking, there is an urge
to blurt out the content, and then we stammer more. To break this vicious
cycle, speaking slowly is a standard therapist tool, which is often
article, I mean ‘speaking slowly’ as speaking at a pace where YOU are
comfortable, without losing breath nor being anxious. That would be different
for every person, but the listener(especially another PWS) would recognize that
speech comfort zone. I do not mean speaking
slowly as speaking syllable wise/word wise etc, as some therapists advice. Also
do note, that this is best applied with other TISA principles like
acceptance etc, and not just on standalone basis.
Greater control over speech hence less
anxiety:- When we focus on
what we say rather than how we say it, there is less tension to ‘speed up and
get it over’, and fluency does improve.
Better communication:-When we do not use fillers/word substitutions etc
in an effort to quickly blurt out things, we say what we have in mind. That is
not only more effective, but also portrays a better image of a PWS, who may
otherwise be misunderstood as grammatically challenged(!).
Listener understands better-In a Toastmasters meeting, a message given is
‘Slow down’. Faster speech saves time for the speaker, but the listener may not
take away anything. This applies even here.
Speaking in a monotone:– Some SLP(Stuttering language professionals)
and therapists advocate ‘slow speech’ exercise in a monotonous manner. It is
unnatural to speak without voice modulation, tonal fluctuations and so on, and
such practice is unlikely to be successful in the real world, where it all
matters. Hence, take care to naturally modulate your voice
Social settings:-We Indians speak among
the fastest in the world. This puts PWS at a disadvantage while conversing with
others, especially in group settings where even a minor pause in a PWS speech
serves as a signal for others to interject/interrupt, like in a fish market
GD. Of course, people do listen to
someone with status/unique subject matter expertise(SME), but barring that,
only awareness can solve this issue
Official settings:-Sometimes, the fast
paced environment in workplaces may result in overworked seniors who ask you to
‘say it fast’ or who have less time to devote. In this case, slow speech is
still an option as it is more comfortable for both involved to have 15mins of
‘fluent’ speech rather than 10mins of disjunct speech. Barring that, the PWS
can send the details in the email and crystallize matter under discussion to
the bare bones-this also improves summarizing skills. If all else fails,
schedule an end of day/post lunch meeting!
Feeling weird/self conscious:-For this,
the TISA principle of acceptance, is useful to overcome that feeling.
Aruna from TISA SHG Bangalore, who practice this 24*7, to Dinesh and other TISA
SHG members for helping me refine my ideas. Like any other TISA philosophy,
this article merely suggests what may work, and its for the readers to
adapt/practice. Comments welcome below, to refine and improve the article)