It’s good to talk – but how would you feel about speaking to 50 strangers a day?
For many of us the prospect of approaching dozens of people would fill us with dread.
So imagine how it feels if you go up to someone and literally can’t get your words out.
That’s what life was like for Liam Pogson – who has suffered with a stammer since he was a child.
But Liam’s stammer has now been transformed thanks to an intensive programme that helps sufferers conquer their speech.
A huge part of that is stopping people in the street and striking up a conversation.
For years now, as part of his daily exercises to remain in control of his stammer, Liam, 26, forces himself to talk to 50 strangers.
He will routinely ask people for directions that he doesn’t need or just try and make small talk with people he’s never met.
While some people think he’s trying to sell them something, others will stop and have a word.
Liam, a gym enthusiast from Mirfield who works at the Stadium Fitness Centre in Huddersfield, has spoken out in a bid to get other people suffering with stammers to take action.
He says the McGuire programme he used has been life changing and is urging anyone with a stammer to watch a new ITV documentary next week called School for Stammerers.
“I want people to watch it and then do the McGuire programme,” he said.
“They will learn new ways to speak and new ways to think about their stammering.
“It doesn’t have to ruin your life anymore.
“It’s part of you but it doesn’t have to define you as a person.
“If they do the course they will be in control of their speech for the first time in their life.”
Liam has previously revealed in the Examiner how his stammer had stopped him from enjoying life, particularly during his teenage years.
He developed a way of hiding it and avoided talking or socialising.
But after completing the McGuire programme he was transformed.
“I’m able to be the person I’ve always wanted to be,” he said. “I can show my true personality.
“Before I wasn’t even able to say my name. I went for a job at the stadium and I couldn’t speak.
“Thankfully I still got it even though I couldn’t say a single word.
“The McGuire programme has let me take control of my stammer – it’s a lifestyle and you have to work on it every single day.
“I speak to 50 strangers either on the phone or in the street and I will do every day for the rest of my life.”
School for Stammerers follows the emotional journey of six people trying to overcome their problem.
A lorry driver, a teacher, a pharmacist, a professional photographer, and two school boys all undergo a course that claims it can transform a stammerer’s speech in just four days.
The show airs on ITV 1 on Tuesday, January 9 at 9pm
ORIGINAL INTERVIEW FEATURED IN examiner.co.uk. LINK: http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/how-talking-50-strangers-day-14106763