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Poole man attends a speech course for his stammer.

A POOLE carpenter said he used to struggle to introduce himself due to his stammer, but now has a lot more confidence after completing a speech course in Watford.

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Jodie Whitfield attended a speech course for his stammer
Jodie Whitfield - Jodie Whitfield attended a speech course for his stammer

Jodie Whitfield, 25, of Kitchener Cres, was challenged by the McGuire Programme to phone a local radio station or newspaper to talk about his experience living with a stammer.

Jodie said: “I would always try to get someone else to introduce myself for me rather than doing it myself. I would try to get someone to order food for me too.”

Jodie said, due to his covert stammer, he would always try to avoid words and sounds that he’d usually struggle with. He said since attending the course his bad days are nowhere near as bad as they once were.

As part of the course, Jodie had to go into Watford and make 100 contacts throughout the day. He had to introduce himself and use the techniques he had been taught. He said he was surprised at how nice people were towards him, and admitted he thought they wouldn’t be as understanding.

“People without a stammer would not do that,” he said. “So it was a really good thing to do. I was really struggling so went on the course. Since then, work went quiet. I am self-employed, some private work came up and usually, I would not have the confidence to do it. The course gave me overall confidence not just for my speech.”

Jodie said in the past he would be quiet and avoid situations rather than making conversations.

“The course is definitely one of the best things I’ve done,” he added. “I just feel amazing really. It pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Matt Wilton, 47, who also went on the programme and is now the regional director, said: “I hope Jodie will be a coach one day because he has the right attitude to be a coach.

“(This challenge) is simply pushing them out their comfort zone. What we don’t want them doing is working hard on the course and then going back to their old ways.

“Jodie has never done this before. To be able to feedback that they have is a big thing. By contacting a paper, he will be opening himself up to the world, it’s a really big thing.”