My journey from an out of control stutterer to a competent public speaker.
“How I was able to shed the enormous burden of shame and guilt to embark upon a journey of self-discovery and move forward into the new world of limitless opportunities”
How do I see the beauty of life beyond this ‘Dusty haze’? All throughout the formative years of my life, this was the most terrifying question that I was never able to find an answer for. The haze which blinded not only my vision but also my spirit was my severely overt stutter.
I started stuttering at the age of 10. Due to my struggle with stammering and negative experiences that ensued, I started thinking that I will be a failure on all the crucial barometers of life. But, all this was set to change in those ‘four fateful’ days.
I still have vivid memories of my first day at a new school. I seated myself in the last bench of the classroom before the teacher arrived. “Welcome students, let us have a brief introduction” – The teacher announced assertively and eloquently. The idea of knowing each other, though exciting for many, was nerve-wracking for me. My heart started racing faster than the fastest sprinter. When my turn came, somehow I managed to stand up, trembling and shaking out of fear. My words froze completely and I remained silent for a minute, not even attempting to say my name. While my classmates got a reason to laugh, it sent the teacher fuming with rage and I was sent out of the classroom, a huge sigh of relief for me then. The next day, my parents were called to check if everything is fine with their boy.
My nightmarish experiences did not just end at school. The ferocious enemy, called ‘stutter’ was chasing me well into the confines of my home. Everyone in my family used to look forward to family gatherings over the weekends, but the mere thought of having to introduce myself to a room full of even 25 familiar faces, was enough to send shivers down my spine. I could visualize the scary faces of the guests a day before, who were waiting to feed not only on the scrumptious food cooked by my Grandmother but also on my self-esteem, for the simple reason because ‘The boy just cannot say his name and fumbles uncontrollably’.
My name is Sunny Mehta and I was introduced to this life-changing McGuire Programme in June 2017. There has been no looking back since then. My first McGuire Programme course instilled a strong belief that I too can aspire to become an eloquent speaker and get good at the ‘Sport of Speaking’.
During my association with the McGuire Programme, I have managed to accomplish more than I could have ever imagined. McGuire made everything that earlier seemed impossible to achieve, possible – from speaking confidently in team meetings and organization-wide talk sessions with company leadership or participating in a discussion in global town halls. The journey outside my comfort zone has been most rewarding and hasn’t only been limited to the professional front.
I am really happy to be able to pursue my dream of becoming a good orator, something which I could have never imagined earlier. Today, I am an active Toastmasters and a regular participant/speaker in online meetup groups and events. I recently represented my club in the Toastmasters Global Impromptu Speaking Championship and could do well and speak assertively without any turbulence. Not only did the McGuire Programme help me take ownership of my stutter and nudge forward with a fearless mindset, but it also had a transformational impact on many other aspects of my personality and life.
Thank you, everyone,
Sunny Mehta – McGuire Programme INDIA