10 Advantages to online courses for people who stutter

As many of you will probably already know, the McGuire Programme is now offering online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the many restrictions in place preventing people from meeting up for long periods of time in confined spaces.

As many of you will probably already know, the McGuire Programme is now offering online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the many restrictions in place preventing people from meeting up for long periods of time in confined spaces.

Just like everyone else, we waited and waited for as long as we could and that waiting period extended from weeks upon weeks to months and now years. We had to think outside the box and held several meetings over a period of 6 months to see what can we do to still help people who stutter.

We knew that we were doing expectational support for our current members by hosting all our events online using conferencing software. We all feel for zoom like the majority of others. It felt right for our purposes, especially the breakout rooms for one to one coaching and small group exercises. Plus we even hosted international table topic competitions and quizzes for family and friends of members of the programme. So much fun and so much on offer. Believe it or not, we provided more hemp to our members than ever before. The attached infographic says it all. And that’s an unbelievable amount of hours dedicated to working on your speech and going beyond stuttering.

If all the support online for our members were working, why couldn’t we do this for new members? After six months of planning and going over the pros and cons, we decided to host an online course, a hybrid version for new people only. Our first online course was held in late 2020, December actually and everyone was involved as it was something new and different.

We had coaches from all over the McGuire Programme network and course instructors were observing and taking notes, getting ready for a potential course in their own regions. The experience was amazing and the course itself was a success. And the new students did really well, but as we all know, time will tell and it did. The new students are now (after 6 months on the programme) all doing exceptionally well and their knowledge is second to none. This hybrid course was the start of something special and it hasn’t stopped.

I look after the McGuire Programme Courses in Germany and in The Netherlands and we held our first online course in April 2021 with four new students from various countries. I wanted to list the advantages of hosting online courses and I wanted to wait until I hosted my own course to get first-hand feeling, knowledge and experience of being part of one.

Online courses are convenient. You don’t have to travel and stay in a hotel (unless recommended by us of course, that’s all dependent on your home situation and circumstance). Your only excuse is not going online.

Online courses bring the programme directly into your home. This is a huge advantage as many people who stutter, who join our program, find it hard to bring the techniques home and use the techniques with family and friends. Now they can hear and see firsthand everything that is required for you to go beyond stuttering.

Online courses offer more individual attention. New students get so many hours of one to one coaching over the duration of our online courses. We utilise the breakout rooms in the zoom conferencing software and it works out brilliantly for us and our methods of teaching. Very similar to our inside/outside lines of one to one coaching used during our face to face courses.

Online courses give you real-world skills. Welcome to the world of online interviews, meetings, active webinars etc. We all need to learn the skills required to do things online and we prepare you well for all these online activities.

The online course promotes our life-long learning. Starting your first course with us via the online route is a great introduction to our support group network and how to get the best out of our international supportive community. By continuing where you left off, online and making the most of the support during this restrictive period in time.

Online courses have financial benefits. The only expense to you is the membership fee. There are no travel expenses, no hotel expenses. You can eat at home and save hundreds of dollars/euros/pounds.

Online courses teach you to be self-discipline. This is always the hardest thing to make people realise. Self-discipline is needed and your success depends on you and your commitment to overcoming stuttering and its secondary behaviours.

Online courses connect you to our global village. We are truly an international programme and there’s no better way to meet new people on the same path as you than joining an online course. Our courses, refresher/improvement days are open to all members worldwide. Taking advantage of this support pushes out comfort zones and opens new doors.

Online courses help you to meet interesting people. There is no doubt about it, this programme has opened up my list of connections simply by picking up the phone and calling one of the 250 plus coaches we have worldwide. You also get to meet more people by joining a support group in another region and connecting with like-minded people working on similar goals.

Online courses offer to involve family, friends and work colleagues. Another huge advantage is that we invite family and friends to join in and support their loved ones.

With advantages, there have to be disadvantages, right?. Of course, there are disadvantages. The following is only a shortlist and I am sure there are many more.

Online courses require good time management skills. Time management can also apply to our face to face courses. This is where self-discipline is required. Online courses kind of remove a sense of isolation, but you are still home alone. This is true and we encourage new members to push out their comfort zones by contacting strangers and making as many faces to face contacts as possible. We will be there with you to support you all the way. Online courses require you to be an active learner, especially for our intensive online courses. We need to stay alert and awake at all times. We break up the sessions as much as possible in order to reset the mind and we get people to move around rather than stay sitting. Online courses require you to be responsible and totally engaged for long periods of screen time. Similar to the last point. Taking responsibility is key to any improvement programme.

As you can see there are many advantages to online courses and there are requirements from you to make it as successful as possible.