When an otherwise level-headed young woman asked me if I wanted to entertain hundreds – ultimately, thousands – of people by giving a 10-minute TEDx Lansing Talk, I was too stunned to respond at first.
I figured people would likely be more willing to pay me not to talk, given my trademark stutter.
But, no, Robin Miner-Swartz wanted the real me.
So I gave it to her.
It wasn't pretty, but my message resonated: It was my audience that had the disability – faulty listening, which could be adjusted, if they tried – not me, a speaker with a stutter that could not be fixed.
No one was more surprised than I was when I received a standing ovation. Almost 11 years later, 12,000 people have seen the video.
Some say this is painful to watch, others say it's enlightening. I give you: my TEDx Talk. Let me know where you end up.