Sydney Showcases Stuttering Success
People who stutter from across Australia and New Zealand completed an intensive four-day course in Sydney, NSW to learn, refine and practice a technique to control their stutter and become eloquent, effective communicators.
Sydney, AU - The pounding of his heart, his hands shook slightly as he grasped the laminated sheet of paper, his eyes wide and he felt the expectation to communicate with the people in front of him. As a lifelong stutterer, struggling to express himself clearly, he was all too familiar with these physical responses to speaking; however, there was something very different about this moment.
Ryan was smiling. Not the forced, terse mask of a smile, either. This was a genuine, heartfelt, authentic smile. He was enjoying speaking. He was enjoying the freedom to say how he really felt. He was enjoying the ability to communicate effectively.
Ryan had just completed his second four-day Intensive Course on The McGuire Programme; experiencing the four days as a 'Refresher' instead of his previous experience as a 'New Student'.
On that first course, Brisbane 2016, everything had been new, confronting, overwhelming. Now, with that first experience under his belt, he was able to appreciate the four days with a greater appreciation.
Welcome Wednesday was very similar to his first course, the city and hotel were different, but here he had a new perspective as the six New Students were welcomed to their first McGuire Programme Intensive Course. Watching someone else begin the same journey that Ryan recently started reminded him of the frustration, sense of isolation and disappointment that had made him look for help against stuttering.
Physical Thursday was no less taxing as a 'Refresher' - re-learning and refining the basic cycle of speech and our Four Physical Weapons, from early in the morning until late in the evening, reinforcing that level of self-discipline required to make a new technique into a new habit. The Course Instructor was different to Brisbane 2016, but the technique was still the same. The room was different to Brisbane 2016, but the expectation to work hard was still the same. The New Students were different to Brisbane 2016, but the 24-hour transformation was still the same.
Psychological Friday had a whole new meaning for Ryan. Now that he had the luxury of taking his McGuire technique into his everyday situation, he could relate personal experiences to the challenges and psychological weapons that were taught on the second day of this Intensive Course. He was able to share his own speaking situations and fears to get specific feedback from teammates and Primary Coaches.
Situational Saturday had been Ryan's favourite day on his first course, as a Refresher, it was no different: taking his reinforced speaking technique into various situations and challenges was confronting but worthwhile. With the knowledge of what the speaking challenges were from his first course, Ryan was able to maximise the workshops and sessions on his speaking technique beforehand.
Sayonara Sunday was slightly different for Ryan, now he was being asked by the New Students about ways to continue building on what they had learnt, for the first time, on the Sydney 2017 Intensive Course. His best piece of advice? Get on to your 'Refresher' course as quickly as possible!