Stuttering at the Conference

The conference is only two days away now, so I’m starting to get pretty excited. The NSA has been e-mailing us as well as posting an inside look via twitter for their preparation.

Since I’ve been covert for so long about my stuttering, I still don’t really know how I’m going to react to all this. I need to make sure that my initial reaction on social situations gets beaten back so I can say what I want.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m thinking I need to do while there. I’ll also post an update on this after the conference is over to let you know how it went.

Things that I’m going to do at the conference in no particular order:

1. Go up to some hotel staff member and ask them where the bathroom/conference room/gym/elevators are, even if I already know. They’ll probably be hearing a lot of stuttering, so hey, might as well get my own practice in.

2. Go up to small groups of people and barge on in. Why not, right?

3. Call down to the front desk, tell them my name, room number and then ask what time checkout is. And maybe if I’m feeling up for it, what the hours are for the gym.

4. Introduce myself to as many strangers as possible.

5. I got invited to a panel discussion on online stuttering communities. So, no prepared talking points. No rehearsing what I want to say.

6. Ask any questions or make any comments during seminars that I might have. Right then and there. Not after the seminar or after a few days when I see the host again. Don’t rely on e-mail.

7. Above all else — listen. To the new people who I meet, and to the speakers at the conference. I’ve lived in a silo regarding my stuttering since I was 7, so it’s time to get some perspective on it.

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