Kevin Phelps instructs his first course outside of his native Wales
Course Instructor Kevin Phelps instructed the recent McGuire Programme course in Newcastle upon Tyne. This was the first time Kevin had instructed a course outside of his home country of Wales.
The temptation to instruct the recently held Newcastle Course was enough to entice Kevin Phelps out of his home county of Pembrokeshire to instruct his first course outside of Wales. Kevin, who joined the McGuire Programme in 1999, attended his first course in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, at the age of 30. He had struggled with most speaking situations ever since he was a child and stammering had blighted nearly every aspect of his life. His success over the last 15 years has been a wonderful testimony to the sustainability of the technique and support of the McGuire Programme. Since joining the Programme his speech has improved to such an extent that he now works as a Head Teacher and primary school inspector and enjoys speaking confidently in any situation.
The Newcastle Course was held at the Royal Station Hotel situated very close to the city centre. At the start of the course were fifteen very apprehensive new students who had come along with hope in their hearts to gain some control over their speech. It was very clear that stammering had created a very negative impact on their lives and they were willing to work hard and be brave to fight against it. Some were very obvious stammerers whilst others tried very hard, and sometimes successfully, to hide it but the devastating effect it had on their lives was the same.
They were taught the costal breathing technique and faced situations to control the great fear of speaking created by their stammers. The improvements were very dramatic and mostly instant. The conference room at the hotel where the course was held became an extremely exciting, vibrant and energised room as step by step lives started changing for the better. It was incredible not only to witness the improvements in people’s speech but the way their whole body language and posture changes for the positive and they begin the processing of becoming who they really are and reaching their potential.
The training on the McGuire Programme enables students to become very confident and competent public speakers. This was well tested when the new students enjoyed the opportunity to speak on a soap box in Newcastle city centre on day three of the course to a large and appreciative audience of shoppers and passersby. The speeches were truly inspirational and helped the new students overcome one of their greatest fears.
On the last day of the course friends and family of the new students were invited to hear their farewell speeches which were again delivered with impeccable timing, charisma and eloquence. It was agreed by everyone that the transformation had been dramatic. However, there was a realisation that in many ways the hard work really starts after the course has finished as the new graduates have to practice the techniques they have learned and to continue speaking with the method they had begun to master.
There was no doubt that the students on this course performed incredibly well and thoroughly enjoyed their new found confidence. I am certain that they will continue to enjoy great freedom in their speech as they work hard to ensure progress in the years to come.