My earliest memory of stammering was at school when I used to block badly while reading out stories or any given passage in school. Although people didn't laugh at me but it hurt really bad one day when a student called me "mentally handicapped" in a heated argument!
I used to avoid social situations like taking part in group discussions, being part of a group, and giving oral presentations were always a nightmare. As I entered adulthood, speaking to people on the telephone became an arduous task and I preferred simply cutting the phone rather than pick up the phone and talk to the person on the other line.
My stammer dictated my life. It prevented me from socializing much with kids in school, it subconsciously made me choose my career path where I wouldn't have to communicate with people much. I struggled throughout my life as far as I recollect but I always had the hope that I would be alright when I grew up.
But growing up, I realized this was only wishful thinking as my stammer would never go away!
In the Summer of 2014, even though I graduated from a very prestigious university in India (BITS Pilani) with a degree in Engineering, I felt terrible as I still had a stammer and knew my speaking responsibilities would only increase significantly after graduation. I decided I had to do something about my stammer otherwise it would be a terrible hindrance in my life. Coincidentally, that's exactly when I heard about the McGuire program.
I attended the inaugural course in India and was amazed to see the results in such a short amount of time. The best part of the course was that it helped me understand both the physiological and psychological aspects of stammering. Its holistic approach gave me the right tools and techniques to get control of my speech. The program also provided me with an amazing support network after the course with such helpful people from all over the world who are more than willing to help you at any point of time and motivate you with their inspiring live changing stories! It was truly a blessing for me!
Of course, there have been times when I felt low and was almost relapsing after the course but thanks to the support network and my primary coaches who are available anytime to help you stay disciplined, I quickly got back on track!
I would also like to mention about a presentation that I had to give during my internship to a group of people of senior authority just a few days after my first McGuire course. Typically, giving presentations in such situations is always a dreadful experience for PWS. It was no different for me. Surprisingly, after the course I was really excited rather than nervous and looked forward to giving the presentation. Using the “weapons” I learnt on the course, I gave the presentation and trust me, it was the best presentation that I had EVER given in my life.
It was the first time that I was confident enough to ask my manager to give me a feedback about my presentation and he really loved my new founded confidence! That's when I realized the importance of the vast support network that McGuire provides you with after your first course and how it keeps you moving forward.
Also recently, I had a chance to give a talk at one of the sessions of TISA (The Indian Stammering Association) about Stammering and my journey along with it.We were given a 35-40 minutes slot to speak but I ended up speaking for 3 hours!!! I couldn't have even dreamed of speaking for 3 hours straight before the course, but yeah McGuire made it possible. I hadn't prepared for a 3 hour session but the enthusiasm of the TISA members and the quality of discussions made the session last for such a long time! I can't express how much happy I was when one of the TISA members approached me after the session and told me how eloquently I spoke and how I was able to make the session so interesting!
After this day, my confidence reached a different level. I was actually pushing my comfort zones to do things that I would have ever imagined. Even my family members and close friends have noticed the new found power in my voice and are very pleased with the techniques which the McGuire program endowed me with.
For all those who are lost at this point in life where they don't know what to do with their stammer , I highly recommend them the McGuire Program as it is not like other speech therapy programs whose effect diminishes or even vanishes in a few weeks or months. Thanks to the huge support group and the techniques which the McGuire program provides you with, a bit of hard work and dedication from your side can help you start your journey in becoming an eloquent speaker!
So yes the McGuire program provides a completely different approach than most of the speech therapies but yes it's your hard work and determination which will help you reach your goal of becoming an eloquent speaker.