Smithy Strikes back

Blog of Matthew Smith, Swansea graduate of the McGuire programme, a course to help people overcome their stutter, or stammer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Speech challenges of the past

Since joing the McGuire programme, I've had the opportunity to go on the radio a few times. Here is one clip...and more to come. Still work to do on pausing, formulating and getting a deeper tone but I was pleased that I didn't feel too many nerves and held it together. Anyway, you be the judge!

Before going on my first course, I probably would not have done this even though it is a short interview - and if I had plucked up the courage to do it, I'm sure I would have not wanted to listen to it again. Not that I used to be spineless - far from it, but the radio environment is not one for an out of control stammerer to get into too much difficulty.

On this radio interview from August 2006 ( lasting a couple of minutes), I was asked by a BBC Wales journalist about my opinions on the problems young people have to put up with today.
I did feel the time pressure (as is clear) and could have been a little more succinct! However, great practice and pressure. I was the person to be interviewed after the American chap, Bob.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Other stammering/ McGuire programme links. - McGuire programme website. - British Stammering Association (BSA). - Michael Hay, McGuire graduate and course instructor. - Hein Van Der Merwe, McGuire graduate. Matt Wilton, Regional Director
of the McGuire programme, UK South. Justin Vietz, Australian McGuire graduate.

Wedding and honeymoon

On my honeymoon!

This is my ugly mug though hopefully the soft light will improve the impression of my appearance slightly!

This photo was taken in Sorrento, Italy, on my honeymoon in August (that is Mt. Vesuvius in the background). I got married to my wife Emma on August 2nd in Gower, Swansea, and we had a great day.

I had done quite a bit of vows and speech practice beforehand and it all went very well.

If I were to offer any advice to anyone who may have problems with their vows is to ask the priest/ registrar etc., to break down the words so that you can focus on three or four at a time. Go through this with the person and practice a great deal beforehand with yourself and then different people. To counteract nerves and holding back, don't be afraid to raise the roof with your voice as well! I didn't take the option of writing my own vows. I tackled the ones given and I had several feared words. Having come from a recent Mcguire course in Dundee I was brimming with confidence.

New challenges

Since my first course, I have been able to challenge myself in ways that I would have never imagined before. Initially, it enabled me to beat my nerves in interviews and get a job.

Doing newspaper articles, radio interviews and organising a Mcguire course have all been ways in which I have both challenged myself and thanked the programme for what it has done for me. And I am certainly not unique in doing these things. There are so many graduates who have done these things and much more afte having moderate - severe stammers...

It's easy to sound a bit over-evangelical about the Mcguire programme but when you spent most of your time at school and University hiding the fact that you had a speech dysfluency and then you get over this and change your mentality it's quite momentous!

In the future, speech-wise, I would like to work on my career, have more job interviews and become a course instructor to help others...

Welcome to Smithy Strikes Back!

Welcome to my internet blog. My name is Matthew Smith and the purpose of this blog is to explain from time to time how I am getting on as a grad of the McGuire programme, an international speech recovery course for stammerers.

Hopefully, the success I've had on the programme - gaining a lot of confidence and control over my speech - will inspire a few out of control stammerers out there to get on a course!