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‘This stutter course changed my life’: How a speech program is helping Manchester residents overcome their stammer/stutter.

“These guys started out on Wednesday night not being able to say their names, Thursday night they can say their names and addresses, Friday they were able to do telephone calls to complete strangers, and here we are on Saturday watching them find new confidence in their voice and putting it into action”.

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This course changed my life’: How speech therapy is helping Manchester residents
This course changed my life’: How speech therapy is helping Manchester residents

People suffering from stammering/stuttering were able to build their confidence in Manchester with an intensive speech stutter course last weekend.

Stutter course in  Manchester, UK May 2022
Michael Joyes pictured during the McGuire Programme Stutter course in Manchester, UK May 2022

The McGuire programme aims to help people all over the world who struggle with stammering, something that affects around 3% of the UK’s population.

The McGuire Programme, which was set up in 1994, is now a leading global organisation and runs courses all over the world in countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the USA, and Australia.

Throughout the course, students are expected to strip back what they already know about speaking and learn new techniques to help them improve their speech, including a technique called Costal Diaphragm training.

Paul Paluch, McGuire course instructor said: “Throughout the course, we are teaching them a very mechanical way of speaking. The course is about bringing all that together, bringing their techniques from the classroom out into the real world”.

“It’s about pushing comfort zones. We talk about how life begins at the edge of your comfort zone and it’s far more exciting when you do something challenging and that’s what this is about”.

One session which runs at the end of the course for students is the Harrison workshop, which aims to bring people out of their comfort zone throughout a range of activities while practising speech techniques they have learnt in the days prior.

The workshop includes working on voice projection, deliberate dysfluency, eye contact, pausing and adding music to your voice, and then bringing this all together. 

It gives participants a chance to practice their newly learnt speech in an everyday setting, being presented with challenges from their coaches.