Crikey! Control outside a church?!
People who stutter came together in Christchurch, NZ to work on a speaking technique that allows them to gain control over their stutter, to become eloquent, effective communicators.
Christchurch, NZ - With a nervous step, the young lady made her way in front of a crowd of strangers, to step up onto a soapbox in front of the derelict remains of the city's famous cathedral. Traveling from Wellington to support her sister in a hip-hop dance competition, she had no plans to make a public speech in a strange city; yet, something compelled her to give this scary proposition a try, something persuaded her to take the courage to stand up and talk to the people of Christchurch, something assured her that it would all be OK to push out of her comfort zones.
That something was listening to more than twenty people who stutter take to the stage before her. That something was hearing how stuttering had scared them into avoiding speaking situations for years on end, but now they would no longer allow that fear to take control. That something was enjoying the eloquent, effective communication of people taking part in The McGuire Programme. As she gathered her thoughts and emotions and looked at the crowd, she reminded herself "if they can do it, I can do it!" before paying tribute to her younger sister and remarking how proud she was to see her compete in the competition. She remarked how the strength and courage of those people who had stood up before her, those people who were literally facing their greatest fear, had given her the strength to jump up and speak in front of the crowd.
These people who stutter were in the midst of a four-day Intensive Course; a course designed to teach people the McGuire speaking technique, to replace their old stuttering behaviour with new, effective ways to speak. As with any technique, the basics require repetition, drilling and habituating. Once the foundations of this new technique were embedded, it was time to take it out of the practice room and into a more competitive environment. Speaking challenges were the order of the day, testing how well this new technique held up in pressure situations.
By the end of the course, our New Students had proven to themselves that they can say every word and sound, even in the most stressful situations. The next stage: practice, practice, practice!