Stepping Outside Your SLP Comfort Zone - by Jenna Rayburn

Today, Jenna Rayburn from is here to talk about one way she left her "SLP Comfort Zone."  (Check out other posts in the series here.)

Through blogging on Speech Room News, I get the chance to talk and work with other professionals from behind my computer. A few years ago, my state organization asked me to speak at our conference. Stepping out from behind the computer and onto platform in front of people was a big step out of my comfort zone. Stepping out of my comfort zone doesn't take much for me. I get very anxious about change and very nervous being in front of groups to speak. For me, overcoming these things has been a rewarding challenge. I rarely look back on new activity and think, "I wish I hadn't tried that." Speaking in front of groups was one of those times I'm glad I took the leap. Before presenting, I ran through an internal dialogue with myself. "I'm just a regular SLP." "What can I say that is worth the time of my fellow SLPs?" Maybe you've done the same thing. There are two major reasons to take the leap.

  Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

 ONE:: To make myself a better SLP. Presenting at a conference or presenting to your local SLPs can help you grow professionally. It challenges you in a way that doesn't happen in your day-to-day job. If you're presenting information to colleagues you're going to put your best foot forward. If you're preparing for that in a presentation you'll naturally carry that attitude into therapy too. Preparing to present can help you improve your therapy.

 TWO:: To make other SLPs better. Remember that things that come naturally to you may not come naturally to others. Your skill set is unique and your caseload is unique. SLPs go to conferences to learn practical treatment and assessment ideas. They want to hear from SLPs who are working every day. You can add value to their therapy. Even just one idea could make a major impact another clinician. Start small. Try giving a presentation to the other SLPs in your district. Then branch out to your local conferences! Before you know it, you could be speaking at ASHA!

- Jenna


  1. This is all so true! I just presented at my state conference for the first time last week. The idea of it was definitely outside of my comfort zone but I am glad I did it. My district's SLPs were kind enough to let me practice by delivering the same presentation to them ahead of time. Surprisingly, by the time I stood in front of 60 SLPs at my state conference, I wasn't nervous. I figured, all of these people came to this session to hear what I have to say so there's no need to be nervous. (My nerves usually kick in at the idea that I am boring people or that they will think it's a waste of time). At ISHA 2015, I knew that my skills and interests were aligning and that my colleagues would be open and kind, which put me at ease :)

    Here's to more presentations in the future!


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