And the reason we know exactly how you feel is because every single person on the McGuire Programme is also a person who stutters and has also faced the same challenges as you have.
These people return regularly to our intensive courses, all stammerers themselves, who maintain the essential support structure that underpins our courses. These people are all highly-motivated volunteers, who have been trained to coach students and graduates of the Programme and are willingly come back on courses to help others and to maintain their own improvement.
Through their personal experiences using the techniques they have learned and the strategies they have put into practice, these people not only provide consistent back-up for new students but help themselves by working continuously and positively on their own speech.
What you know more about our members?
Click on any of the friendly faces below to read a little more about them and their story so far. you might find it’s not very different from your own…
In November 2009 I joined the McGuire Programme having decided that I had to do something about my stammer which had overtaken how I lived my life since primary school. Stammering controlled me and the fear and panic of not being able to say what I wanted made me feel frustrated and angry. Every speaking situation was a struggle and I manipulated my family and friends to speak for me and avoided all situations where I would have to speak. With hard work, courage and perservance the Programme has given me a new confidence when speaking and I now have control of how I speak and I can now be the person I always wanted to be.
I became a coach in 2011 and from my own personal experience I can now help others in their journey to become strong, articulate speakers.
Hiding in the background was an all too common behaviour as was saying ‘yes’ when I really wanted to say ‘no’ and foolishly believing that very few people knew that I was indeed a person who stammers.
I first heard about the McGuire Programme on The Late Late Show in December 1997 and for the first time in my life I could relate to people who had the same problem as I had. I knew that I was no longer alone and I was really impressed by how well each participant spoke and behaved.
They spoke so confidently without any sign of struggle or avoidance and I could tell that they were so proud of themselves.
Eventually I plucked up enough courage to hold onto the telephone long enough to book my place on the October 1999 course in Dublin and over the first year of my recovery I off-loaded most of the bagage that I carried for a long time.
Recovery was not as easy as I had imagined but by giving it my best shot, using the back-up support network and being honest in my recovery I continued to make further progress.
I honestly believe I could not have progressed without the support I received from my coach and all the other coaches of the programme.
The weekly support meetings kept me on track. Attending refresher courses provided me with more knowledge, stronger techniques and with that powerful feeling of empowerment in being able to help others.
In time I gave up my day job and began my role in July 2001as Regional Director for the programme here in Ireland.
Being a Regional Director gives unbelievable job satisfaction.
From hearing courageous applicants struggling with every word to hearing members using good, disciplined technique.
As RD I had to say “yes” to every opportunity such as radio interviews, newspaper articles, television interviews, group presentations and church readings. And at that time I needed to hear “yes” and I still do.
For those of you out there, who are thinking about joining this life changing programme, don’t waste anymore of your precious life thinking… take action!
I was always considered a quiet and shy person. That’s how I was perceived by others and that’s what I convinced myself I was.
I never wanted to take part in social events and the thoughts of meeting new people was a nightmare. How could I introduce myself? What would they think of me when they heard me speak?
During school I kept my head down and worked hard hoping that teachers wouldn’t ask me to speak in class. Although I loved school I was also terrified that I would be asked to speak in class.
At the end of each class I would be so relieved that I wasn’t asked a question, but this relief would only last a short while till I had to go into another class and the whole cycle would start again.
One teacher suggested I should have Speech Therapy and had organised this for me. During these sessions the Speech Therapist would ask why I needed speech therapy as my speech was very good. I had become a master of tricks and avoidance.
Having tried numerous ways of trying to ‘cure’ my stammer I eventually got the courage to apply for the McGuire Programme. I did my first course in November 2010 and I quickly learned there was NO CURE for stammering but a way to control it. Control sounded good to me. It was better than I what I had.
In 2011 I became a Primary Coach. I no longer need to use all the tricks I had built up just to get through a normal day.
I am no longer that quiet and shy person people thought I was. I have become more confident and I now enjoy meeting new people and taking part in social events.
This has been achieved by working hard and using the back up support that is provided by the McGuire Programme.
I have stammered for as long as I can remember.
School was a nightmare for me especially when it came to reading out loud. I would be sitting in my seat and waiting for my turn and feeling sick because I knew that I would not be able to do it.
This happened every day of my life, it wasn’t just a once off.
No one ever asked me what was wrong and in those days (1950’s) stammering was never really spoken about.
My life went on in that way all the way through school up until I left school and had to get a job.
The job I really wanted was to be a Sports Instructor but with a stammer that was never going to be possible for me, so I got a job in Dunnes Stores Donaghmede where there was a new store opening.
My personality got me through the interview. Being in a large company I knew I could hide my stammer a bit easier and it worked. No one knew.
I loved my job and I worked in the Ladies Fashion Department. I was so good at my job that I was asked to go to Head Office. No chance! It would mean that I would have to make phone calls and go to meetings. I had to decline. Life went on….and on…..
Stammering ruled my life.
In 2004 I decided enough was enough and I looked up ways to help me and I saw that I could do hypnotherapy maybe that would work.
I then went to Speech Therapy and that didn’t work for me either. I got on the internet and did a bit of research and up popped the The McGuire Programme. Not sure about that I thought. Anyhow I downloaded the form and kept it . Never filled it in.
Life went on…. One evening I was watching Family Fortunes Celebrities version and Gareth Gates was on speaking very well. Hmm… he has a stammer, I thought – how is he not stammering anymore? I got on to his website and found out that he had been on The McGuire Programme – that changed everything! I rooted out that form and filled it in.
The best thing since sliced bread!
I did my first course in November 2010 and it has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
The programme is run over 3 days and it is very intense, but with a lot of hard work and dedication you will be amazed at how your speech improves.
You will be amazed at how your speech improves
I always had a problem saying my name and by the 2nd day I could stand up and say my name confidently and for a person with a stammer that is a great achievement.
As I said earlier stammering ruled my life, but not anymore. I have done readings at Mass, been on the radio, (talking about the programme) and done newspaper articles, things I could only have dreamt about doing.
I could not do all this on my own without the support of other people on the programme and that is why I think the programme is so successful. You have lifetime support from other people who have been through the same stress as you have, and that is why I am now a coach on this wonderful programme.