I joined the Programme after a chance meeting with a colleague who'd heard good things about The McGuire Programme.
I'd lived with my stammer for 38 or so years and had accepted it so far as I could, I had nothing to lose and as it was to turn out everything to gain.
Since joining the Programme in 2008 I've achieved a lot of things that I'd convinced myself I'd never ever do.
I've entered competitions at a speaker's club, given presentations and spoken ad hoc at conferences and while the big things such as newspaper interviews, presentations and speakers clubs are great fun. It's the smaller, simpler, everyday tasks that really shine for me. The ability to speak eloquently and with control, an ability that for 38 years I just didn't have.
Giving a newspaper interview as part of a coaching exercise was such a buzz but no more than the smug satisfaction I have when I'm able to do the simpler, everyday things without the fear of stammering I once had. Whether that's as simple as reading a credit card number over the phone or booking an appt at the Dentist. Speaking is now fun.
Occasionally when I need some reassurance with my speech, instead of crawling into my shell as I did for 38 years, I now have set of techniques and an attitude that gives that reassurance.
Instead of shying away from speaking, I know look forward to speaking and seizing as many opportunities as I can. Whether that's chatting to people at a bus stop or on a train or speaking up at work. I have a voice!