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Chris S, one of our members, was kind and inspired enough to do a write up on what happened in Brooklyn on Monday. See below 🙂

We had a great meeting last night on a cold Monday, full of vibrant and sometimes challenging discussion.  In all, about ten people who stutter made it out – including a few there for only their second time – along with two SLPs in training.

We started the meeting with an individual asking about speech tools, and whether those in the room have found any tools to be more of less helpful.  Some ideas were discussed, such as easy-onset and other methods of incorporating breathing techniques to help a stutterer smoothly pass through disfluency.  The conversation really took off when the member asked a follow-up question about eye-contact and whether people in the room have had success with practicing eye contact while speaking and stuttering.  One member noted that, as a speech tool, the benefits of eye-contact are multi-layered: on one hand, he said that eye contact seemed to have the effect of smoothing his speech and focusing him on the listener as opposed to his worries about his speech.  On the other hand, maintaining eye contact with a listener is crucial, especially during a block, in order to communicate to the listener that the stutterer is not feeling shame and that stuttering itself is ok.
From that point, the room began more widely discussing the concepts of advertising and voluntary stuttering and ultimately how each of those techniques can help the stutterer learn to accept their stutter.  The room approached these topics from many angles, including the difficulties of voluntary stuttering and the awkwardness surrounding how to advertise effectively, in both business and personal relationships.  Another member asserted that, like with many things, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Yet another member pointed out that, when it comes to advertising, sometimes you just have to dive in and do it the first time to truly understand how it can help you – and how easy it can be to do once you get the hang of it.

The group also discussed the notion of whether we truly can advertise and stutter openly is all situations, including business, in a society that values efficiency and quickness.  One stutterer expressed doubt that he could openly stutter in the business world, presenting the example of stuttering on a large conference call.  Others in the room, assuaged that concern however, contesting that, truly, we the stutterer are the ones often most concerned with our stutter and the way it sounds.  The real key is open communication and spreading information about your stutter.  Many have found that, more often than not, people will be happy to listen!

– Chris S.

A Few Announcements

  • We will be hosting an NSA in NYC One-Day Workshop this Spring!! Exact date is TBD, but it will be on a Sunday in April or May from 9AM-4PM. Please start brainstorming workshop or activity ideas. This will be by people who stutter for people who stutter, and a great opportunity to practice presenting. We will be reviewing applications for workshops or presentation beginning March 1st. More information to come!
  • NSA Midtown Manhattan Chapter is meeting next TUESDAY Feb 16th  (notMonday) from 7:30-9PM at Aspire (248 W 35th st) due to President’s Day. Go check out one of the fastest growing chapters in the country!!!

See you for our next meeting on Monday March 14th!!!

BK Leaders (David, Emma, Roisin)