by Ashlee Walsh

My name is Ashlee Walsh and I did a presentation on stuttering my English class. I really thought that it was a good idea because most people have no clue what stuttering really is. I also thought that, eventually, the class would notice something was different by the way I talked, so I thought that it would be more comfortable if I told them myself and educated them a little as well.

At first, I felt really confident about the idea, but as time went on I started to doubt myself and think that I was crazy. I started to loose confidence, but I had my friends to encourage me because they knew how much it really meant to me. On the day of the presentation I didn’t feel nervous because I had friends and teachers that are very supportive. My Mom and my younger brother Michael, who also stutters, were my biggest supporters during all my research and the presentation.

For my presentation, I did a seven ­slide PowerPoint. The slides were: My Name, Introduction, Myths, Facts, Famous People, Organizations, and a Jeopardy Game Introduction. After the PowerPoint, I made a Jeopardy Game with questions that would make the presentation interactive. The categories were: Myths, Facts, Famous People, Organizations, If You Stuttered, and Miscellaneous.

The “If You Stuttered” category was the most important to have in the presentation because it had questions like, “What would you do if you stuttered and someone made fun of you?” “If you stuttered, would you still participate in class?”

After my presentation, many of my classmates came up to me and said: “Ashlee, that was great, but I never knew that you stuttered. You should do the presentation again sometime.” They also said things like: “Ashlee, you have a lot of courage.” When they came up to me, it made me feel good, and I knew they really enjoyed it.

Now, I feel I have the strength and courage to do anything I want to do. Ever since my presentation, I can participate in class and not be that nervous, and, if I get stuck, the class will wait and no one will finish my sentences or words. The presentation was a great idea and I don’t regret doing it at all. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it!!!

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