Contact a guest speaker for your next class or event.
The World Stuttering Network knows that bringing the voices of people who stutter to classrooms and events around the world helps to educate others and reduce the stigma that surrounds stuttering.
If you would like to invite a guest speaker from a particular location or with a specific background, you may contact them directly at the email address provided. The majority of these speakers are volunteers. Please discuss topics and fees (if applicable) prior to scheduling an event.
Opinions expressed by guest speakers may differ from views held by WSN.
No speaker may promote any program that requires a fee or payment.
I know stuttering support is vital for people to learn to live with their stutter. We need each other as we navigate life. Community is crucial. As a speaker within that community, I have spoken on various topics including the following:
• Mindset: It is very easy to blame our stutter for our lives and play the victim. I was an expert at doing this. I have discovered that we must take responsibility for our lives and our speech and forge a healthy relationship with our stutter. That to me means understanding that there will be good and bad speech days, but we have power over how we view it. We can learn to be kinder towards ourselves and become more resilient and versatile as we do so. •
Isolation/Depression/Suicide: These are dark topics that we all tend to avoid. I have found it is vital to shine a light on them. As people who stutter, we often feel isolated and depressed and suicide can be the most extreme expression of those feelings. Again, I have experienced these feelings and even written a book about my journey. We may feel alone and broken, BUT we are not. Stutterers are often the bravest people out there who have a lot to offer the world, fluent or not. •
LGBTQ+: As a gay man with a stutter, I have often talked about the overlap between having a stutter and being gay. There is a common feeling of isolation, depression and just not feeling like you ‘fit in’. Coming out as gay and disclosing my stutter has also felt very similar. I have spoken in the past about acceptance and letting go of having to fix ourselves, our speech and our sexuality. We are perfect just the way we are and the power of that is in the acceptance of it. •
Improv and Laughter: As a trained actor, I have been working with amazing people in the acting and SLP community to bring improv skills and laughter to people who stutter. This has shown me that when we learn to laugh at ourselves and our stutter, we have space to really explore our abilities and find our voices in an authentic and powerful way.
Sarasota, FL USA
Stuttering support plays an important role in the lives of people who stutter, people who care for people who stutter, SLPs and graduate students training to be SLPs. This support provides connection, reduces isolation (and the feeling of being "the only one" who stutters). Stuttering support provides a safe space to share experiences, learn from others, a place to be heard and understood, and above all it provides a space just to be yourself. It's a place that is free of judgement and negative listener reactions as well as a place to meet new people and to develop lasting friendships. Stuttering support groups can also provide much needed information (such as lived experiences) to SLPs and graduate student SLPs, information that you cannot find in any textbook or classroom. I have personally and professionally benefitted from stuttering support and hope to pay it forward.
Gareth is from the UK and now lives in Belgium. He is a proud person who stutters beautifully and is the Founder of withVR - a customizable virtual reality tool for speech therapy. Since 2015, he has published, advised, and reviewed research on the topic. Gareth has spoken at 40+ conferences in the past three years and collaborates with 100+ clinics, universities, and hospitals worldwide. Gareth is also an advisory Board Member at Stamily and a mentor for other people who stutter at Transcending Stuttering. He uses his voice to empower others to use theirs.
I believe that stuttering support is vital. Personally, I only really improved my quality of life (concerning stuttering) when I started meeting other people who stutter. Through the unique connection of being with other people who stutter, you gain an understanding that there are people out there just like you, and together, you learn to support each other. From my experience of stuttering support, I've connected it with my passion for technology and have developed a virtual reality platform for individuals like me to use their beautiful voices. Seeing how the technology I develop empowers others also empowers me in my stuttering journey.
I have stuttered since I started talking. I’ve had to deal with an anxiety disorder, depression, and ingrained avoidance behaviours but had a series of revelations in my 40s that changed the way I approach the world, and which set me on a different, more positive path. I give an annual talk for SLPs at Flinders University, have attended two NSA conferences and one Stamma conference, am involved in setting up a new organisation for Australians who stutter, and volunteer for SAY Australia. I also have a PhD in the field of anthropology, with a focus on oral history and sociolinguistics, or the sociology of speaking.
Former chapter leader for the NSA, chapter leader of the year in 2017, host for Stutter Social, Stuttering expert for the nonprofit To Be Like Me. Support groups changed my life, and I can't say enough good things about them... literally. I've made it my mission in life to get help to whoever needs it, wherever they are.
I host Proud Stutter podcast.
Topics that are improtant to me include (but are not limited to):
Shifting the narrative around stuttering,
building a community, and
advocating for the stuttering community through campaigns and advocacy
I am a Person Who Stutters and have spoken to over 75 schools about my journey as a PWS.
I'm a firm believer in garnering empathy, perspective, and even inspiration to anyone willing to listen. I've spoken to people who stutter themselves but also future SLPs and professor who have benefitted from my advice and words of wisdom (at the risk of sounding arrogant -- my apologies).
Jurgen de Jong
The Netherlands & Belgium
I am the Founder of Stamily.
I'm experienced with teaching and providing information about stuttering to students.
Stuttering support is VITAL to the Stuttering community whether it's supporting PWS/CWS, or parents of CWS OR connecting with SLPs, other professionals, and the greater disabled/non-disabled communities. It is critical that we DO better b/c we know better! The research is out there. My focus is empowerment, acceptance, education, advocacy, resilience, self compassion, community, decreasing the stigma around stuttering, and that FLUENCY is NOT the answer. It is important to me that the world hears 1st hand from people who stutter and that stuttering is ok. Stuttering is a different way of speaking. It is NOT something to be fixed. Fluency is NOT the ONLY answer. We must consider and value the ABCs of stuttering. The lived experience of people who stutter is EXPERT. Our voices need to be heard. I was "therapized" in the 80s,90s and 00s where I did not have a choice in my therapy and fluency was forced upon me. My feelings were never considered. I silently endured traumatic moments across my life in response to my lived experience as a Covert PWS. That's what my speech therapy forced me to be. I could never do enough to be fluent, therefore, I grew up believing I was flawed, not good enough, something to be ashamed of, needed to be hidden, take up as little space as possible,etc. My parents nor I, were ever informed or invited to join stuttering support groups. I also became a SLP and was ONLY taught fluency shaping therapeutic techniques. My professors reinforced that fluency was key. I went on to perpetuate this notion early in my career. 10 years ago, with the release of the OASES, a light bulb went off, "Wow, our feelings matter?!" "Someone knows we feel this way?!" I would never write fluency based goals again! I began creating safe spaces for my students to share their experience with stuttering and let them know, "stuttering is ok." After saying that to my students all this time, I realized, I was not living that personally. So, last fall, I sought trauma informed stuttering therapy and HERE I AM! At 42 Im realizing that there was nothing wrong with me all along. This repressed stuttering, expertise, lived experience makes me a super duper agent of change, "Beacon of Light" as I prefer to say. :) I went to my first NSA(had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Tom!) and Friends conferences this past summer! I join as many MySpeech, ProudStutter and various other Stuttering community support meet ups as possible! I also became a Spero Ally of Stuttering, went to the advanced ARTS workshop, Stutterfest, and attended the Stuttering Foundation Eastern Workshop in Boston this past June. I am on fire for Stuttering support and community! I started my high school's first Disability Pride club this school year as well! Connecting with fellow PWS/CWS and SLPs who are true allies, has been truly transformative and critical to my healing! I would love to be a courageous voice to lift all those who may feel alone, are suffering or need to be seen/heard.
I’m an SLP and a co founder of a non profit for stuttering. I do NOT stutter.
Identity is important to me. Spreading awareness and advocating for SLPs to use best practice given our current research. I also strongly believe in eliminating toxic positivity and ableism from the therapy room.
Cynthia Dacilla Senaga
UK & Peru
I am a speech therapist passionate about stuttering. I speak English, Spanish and some Portuguese. I do NOT stutter.
I want to help share the message that it is totally okay to stutter. Stuttering is a speech difference that needs to be respected and valued. It is relevant to spread awareness about stuttering because many societal barriers make the lives of people who stutter more challenging and complicated. I want to share with the world that people can be proud of stuttering.
I stutter and I have a son who stutters.
I am a few months away from becoming counselling therapist in body oriented psychotherapy. I want to help people who stutter and parents of the children who stutter, because I know from my own experience as stutterer and parent of the child who stutters what are our issues in terms of psychology, our fears, shame, guilt, insecurities, anxieties etc. I was able to help myself accept stuttering and that helped me to become much more fluent. Also I was able to help my son who is 13 years old today and living normally completely unburdened by his stuttering.