Marc Elliot to Speak at SMSU

Andrea Gladney, Staff Writer

Public speaker Marc Elliot will bring his presentation “What Makes You Tic?” to SMSU on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. in the lower level conference.

Elliot was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at age nine, which is a neurological disorder that causes him to make involuntary motor and vocal tics. He has struggled to live a normal life ever since.

As he grew older he was involved in many sports, was elected student body president in high school, and went on to pursue a degree in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. It was there that he discovered his passion for speaking.

“While I was in high school and college I spoke intermittently to various audiences in the St. Louis area about a wide range of topics involving my medical conditions,” said Elliot. “After graduating from Washington University, I decided to pursue this passion and created a motivational speech called ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Noises.’ It teaches individuals fundamental lessons about tolerance.”

After graduating in 2008, Elliot embarked on a nationwide speaking tour. Over the past few years he has spoken to many organizations and reached out to over 100,000 individuals all over the world.

“I’ve been overwhelmed and motivated by the response from high schoolers, college students, educators, and even people outside U.S. to continue on this path,” Elliot said.

In his presentation of “What Makes You Tic?” he discusses living with Tourette syndrome, not fitting in or feeling comfortable, and fundamental lessons about tolerance. After his presentation, there will be a panel discussion on disabilities and tolerance.

“It has been humbling and really exciting, to see something that started in my room in St. Louis impact lives all across the country,” said Elliot.

Aside from seeing Elliot here at SMSU, you can get more information by following him on Facebook and Twitter at @whatmakesMEtic. His book “What Makes You Tic?: My Journey from Tourette’s to Tolerance,” is available at