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An Inspiring Few Days In Birmingham!
NUMBER OF NEW STUDENTS: 15
COURSE LOCATION: Birmingham, UK
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Chris Cooksey
beyond stuttering course report default

The McGuire Programme UK North region ran another four days, intensive, residential stammering therapy course in Birmingham from Wednesday 21st until Sunday 25th August 2019. Fifteen new students learned how to control their stutters and how to become articulate and eloquent speakers. All fifteen of the new students spoke to over one hundred strangers on the streets of Birmingham on Saturday afternoon and also made a public speech, in the hot and bright sunshine, in Victoria Square in the city centre.

The McGuire Programme UK North region recently ran its annual course in the Birmingham Conference & Events Centre.  Fifteen courageous new students attended to learn how to control their stammers.  As usual, there was a wide range of stuttering behaviours on display on the Wednesday evening of the course.  Chris Cooksey was the Course Instructor for this course (he also instructed a course in Chicago earlier on in the month). Jawad Anjum was the Course Organiser. Both Chris and Jawad asked the questions of new students when we filmed them in front of the room on Wednesday evening. Some were very quiet and gave little away. Others were more forthcoming. All displayed freezing, struggle and distortion and/or the use of tricks and avoidance strategies. All had negative body language. Many were very passive. There was much to work on during the next few days.

As always, we begin the Thursday by teaching costal breathing, a basic cycle of speaking and the all-important Big 4 weapons. This was drilled, repeated and practised. By Friday, all of the new students were in control of their speech and the transformation was well underway.

Saturday arrived very quickly and it was a broiling hot and sunny day.  The streets of Birmingham were packed out with people enjoying themselves in the sun. The entire course – around 60+ people hit the streets at lunchtime and started speaking to random people in the city centre. The reaction, as always, was incredibly positive. The new students were beginning to enjoy themselves and their fears of speaking to people and their fear of stammering were melting away with each person they spoke to.

At 3 pm we did our Public Speaking Challenge on the steps in Victoria Square.  Everyone spoke superbly!  In control and with confidence. What a contrast to the people we met on Wednesday evening!

Thanks to Chris Cooksey and to Jawad Anjum for instructing and organising such a fabulous course.  Thanks as well to all the new students, parents and families of the new students, observers, graduates, coaches and other instructors who attended the course and worked so hard on their own speech and who also helped and advised the new students.

Stuttering can be controlled and speaking can be fun, even if you DO have a stammer!

The next McGuire Programme UK North course will be in Stirling, Scotland, from the 6th to the 10th of November 2019

See you there!

Matt Wilton

Matt Wilton

Regional Director of the United Kingdom (UK South)

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