‘It’s given me freedom’ – Letchworth teacher tells of course that helped him overcome stammer

Ramesh Summan has overcome a bad stammer by using the McGuire programme. Picture: Danny Loo

Ramesh Summan has overcome a bad stammer by using the McGuire programme. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A teacher from Letchworth has told the Comet how he has broken free from a stammer using the same programme that famously helped singer Gareth Gates.

Ramesh Summan, 34, was often too scared to speak while growing up with his speech impediment – but he is full of praise for a course called the McGuire programme which has helped him to overcome it.

“This stammer caused me a lot of issues growing up,” said Ramesh, who commutes to a school in Surrey daily.

“I just wasn’t able to express myself. People like me – all your life you’re scared to speak, and it’s like it builds walls around you.

“With a stammer, you also fear what people are going to think of you – what their perception is.

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“This has just been a transformation for me, and it really shows what can happen if you get help and stay determined.”

Ramesh travelled all the way to Newcastle and down into London to take part in the McGuire programme, which teaches participants how to speak using costal breathing.

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“It’s all about speech control,” said Ramesh. “It has also been attended by a guy you may have heard of called Gareth Gates.

“It teaches you to use your diaphragm, a muscle lower down in your body, to control the air flow while you speak, like when you breathe deeply – and that helps you control your speech and stop the stammer.

“That means I speak a little bit differently from a normal person. You can hear a little bit of breath when I talk – it’s something actors do as well.

“But it’s meant that I can talk a lot more freely. Before I could never have spoken to you like this.”

The course saw Ramesh give a speech about his experience to hundreds of strangers in London’s Hyde Park – something he would previously have found impossible.

It also involved acting, with Ramesh performing a rendition of the segment when Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump runs across the USA in the 1994 film.

Ramesh said: “I just want to tell my story, because I think this can give other people the same as what it’s given me.

“If I can get my freedom, a lot of other people can get their freedom too.”

To find out more about the programme, you can contact Matt Wilton on 07838 172768 or matt.wilton@mcguireprogramme.com.

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