UK North Intensive Course, Manchester, April 2016
The second McGuire Programme UK North course of 2016 took place in the Britannia Sachas Hotel in Manchester city centre from 13th until the 17th April. Eleven courageous new students attended to learn how to take control of their stutters. By the Sunday afternoon all eleven of the new students had control over their stutters and went home to put all they had learned during the course into practice in the real world. The course was supported by over 80 graduates of the McGuire Programme who came back to help themselves and to help others.
The second UK North McGuire Programme course of the year was held at the Britannia Sachas Hotel in Manchester city centre from Wednesday 13th April until Sunday 17th April 2016. The Course Instructors were Matthew Richardson, who was celebrating twenty years since his first McGuire Programme course, and Jennifer Vaughan, who was instructing a McGuire Programme course for the first time.
Large numbers of graduates of the McGuire Programme began arriving on the Wednesday. Some had been members of the McGuire Programme since 1996, while others were returning to a course for the first time as their first course was only two months ago in Birmingham. All had made the trip to work on their own stutters and to support the eleven new students as they began their journey to controlled and eloquent speech. All eleven of the new students faced their fears and successfully recorded their first day videos.
As usual, Thursday was a long and disciplined day working on the physical aspects of the McGuire Programme technique. Hard work drilling the breathing and the weapons, while being coached by strong graduates of the McGuire Programme soon got the new students in control of their stutters. At the end of the day all eleven new students were able to stand up individually in front of the whole room and confidently say their name and address, loudly and proudly. All were in control and no-one stuttered.
Friday focuses more on the psychological aspects of the McGuire Programme technique. All of the new students were taken out onto the streets of Manchester by one of the experienced graduates. The new students then observed as the graduates used all aspects of the McGuire Programme technique to speak to at least 100 total strangers. Many concentrated on making disclosures - telling members of the public that they were on a McGuire Programme course, they had a stutter and were working hard to become a better speaker. All eleven of the new students later decided that they wanted to complete the course and become members of the McGuire Programme!
The Saturday on a McGuire Programme course is the fun day...and the day when the new students go out and use all they've learned to speak to at least 100 strangers. All eleven new students completed over 100 of these contacts with strangers and also gave an eloquent public speech in St Ann's Square.
After support is a unique part of the McGuire Programme. A person who stammers cannot overcome it alone. We all need the help, support and advice from all the people on the McGuire Programme who have already been through the process. The extensive after support network that is available to all the new students was explained during the course and each of the new students was allocated two primary coaches to work closely with over the next weeks, months and years.
The course ended with some fantastic, emotional, farewell speeches in front of the remaining graduates and the new students' family and friends. It was a massive difference to how the new students spoke, on the very same spot, back on the Wednesday evening.
Thanks to Matthew Richardson and Jennifer Vaughan for the excellent course instruction. Thanks also to Daniel Brierley for being a great course organiser.
The next McGuire Programme UK North course is in Newcastle upon Tyne, 3rd-7th August 2016. See you there!