Darren now treats speaking situations as opportunities rather than situations of anxiety and avoidance.
Name: Darren Matthews
State and Club number: VIC, Geelong Club 14
My reason for joining Rostrum was to expand my speaking comfort zone and to give me the opportunity to practise speaking in front of people in a supportive environment.
My journey begins as a child growing up with a debilitating stutter, my fear of public speaking, reading out-load in class, speaking on the phone and just speaking in general was exacerbated. I would avoid certain speaking situations and would remain silent rather than speak.
I have stuttered all my life and it wasn’t until later in life that I was introduced to a speaking technique where I could control the stuttering. It is a technique where one speaks from the costal diaphragm. I believe the technique was developed from opera singing – interesting for people that stutter the words flow freely when we sing. The technique is called the ‘McGuire’ Technique named after the founder ‘David McGuire’ who resides in the United States. At this point in time, there is no known ‘cure’ for stuttering, but this technique if used correctly and practised regularly can control stuttering.
When I joined Rostrum one of the promises that I pledged is ‘that I must not remain silent when I ought to speak’. Being a person that stutters this statement is especially relevant to me. Before any speaking engagement, I remember this pledge and it empowers me to speak – to speak well and to the best of my abilities.
During my time at Rostrum, I have competed in many speaking competitions including the Callahan Cup & Joe Davis Speaking Competition. I was awarded Club 14 – Geelong - speaker of the year in 2016. I have presented as a guest speaker at both the Werribee & Carnegie Clubs. I have forged great friendships with many fellow Rostrum members and have found the atmosphere of the clubs that I have visited to be warm and friendly. I have also acted as Treasurer and Secretary for Rostrum Club 14 where I attend.
I now treat speaking situations as opportunities rather than situations of anxiety and avoidance. My aim is to be the best speaker that I can.