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Happy to be back – McGuire Programme’s 1st In-Person Course for people who stutter is back with a bang in the UK!

In spite of not having any face-to-face courses for two years, the Bristol course was extremely successful.

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Group Photo of McGuire Programme members expressing happiness being back at in-person courses
Group Photo of McGuire Programme members expressing happiness being back at in-person courses

It is great to be back to face to face courses and although the online courses have been an amazing success, the incredible buzz and atmosphere of an in-person course is something you just cannot replace. 

The first UK McGuire Course for 2 years was successfully held in Bristol with 80 people attending throughout the 3 days. Past Covid guidelines were followed with every attendee needing to be fully vaccinated and testing was carried out daily. This was agreed upon so everyone attending our in-person course felt as safe as we could possibly make it. 

Out of the 80 attendees, 10 were new students. During the week before the in-person course, the new students attended group zoom meetings so they could meet a coach who would be attending the event as well as some online graduates who had recently been through a similar journey that they would be going through. This was also an opportunity for family and friends to find out more about the programme and for the new students to get to know their fellow students and the course team.

On the first day of the Bristol course (Wednesday 16th March 2022), we ran a new session in the afternoon for returning graduates so they could focus on their speech before the actual course began. This was a great success and something we will be going on more often in the future. The Wednesday night arrived and the new students were welcomed by many older graduates as they each did a first-day speech so we could find out more about the new student’s stutter but also give the new student some footage of what their speech was like before joining the programme. 

Good to be back on a McGuire Programme In-Person Course. It's been two years but it was worth the wait.
Good to be back on a McGuire Programme In-Person Course. It’s been two years but it was worth the wait.

The Thursday was all about focusing on learning a new physical technique where the new students and coaches focused on learning a different way of breathing and weapons to attack their fear. The older graduates did something similar but more advanced in a separate room.   

The Friday was all about the psychological techniques and changing their mindset. Being open and honest about the fact we stutter and using techniques to help reduce the fear. The new students were also shown how to practice the techniques out on the streets where they were all paired with coaches. There was also a phone session where the new students spoke to coaches on the phone using the technique. Many people who stammer avoid the phone due to fear of stammering out of control.

The Saturday is about finding a balance between mechanical speech and enjoying our new voice. The was helped in a big way by fun workshops where the new students could enjoy letting go and having fun speaking. This is a great confidence building workshop where the atmosphere is amazing.

Every attendee went out on the streets to practice their speech with the new students approaching over 100 people to practice the techniques and being down the fear of speaking in public. This session was combined with a public speech where all the new students spoke in front of the public. This was also a valuable exercise for the graduates who did their first course online as it was the first time they could do a public speech while on a McGuire course. 

After the speeches were a chance for the new students to give feedback on their thoughts, feeling and emotions to the founder of the programme, Dave McGuire, on zoom and a session on the amazing support network the programme offers. The day ended with every new student doing a commitment speech in front of a packed conference room of McGuire graduates and family and friends who could make the evening in person.   

Family and friends who could not make the in-person course had the opportunity to zoom in every evening to catch up on the course and to observe their loved ones speaking. This is a great chance for them to find out more about the programme and how best they can support their loved ones when they get home.

Straight after the course, the new students have at least 2 primary coaches who they speak to daily for 2 weeks (and then often in the future) as well as regularly calling their course instructors and all the coaches on the International Coaches Contact List. This is to help them continue the intensity from the course to the real world. The new students also have a daily zoom session with the RD and instructors for two weeks so they can refresh overall what they learnt on the course and help them move forward in all situations.

Hopefully, the new students will also take advantage of the daily online warm-up sessions and weekly online support groups around the world as well as more and more face to face support groups that have started up again. This will be a great support for them all until they attend their refresher course – hopefully the next one in Manchester in May 2022. It’s important everyone makes the most of the lifetime support network!

It is great to be back to face to face courses and although the online courses have been an amazing success, the incredible buzz and atmosphere of an in-person course is something you just cannot replace. 


Matt is your first point of contact for people who stutter in the UK Region.

Around the world, our Regional Directors run the Programme in their respective regions. They organise Courses, Support Groups and Open Nights – among many other events and happenings related to helping people who stutter.

Matt is very happy to answer any questions you may have so please don’t hesitate to contact him.