What is your voice saying about you?
Whether you are looking for your authentic voice, or are simply interested in a vocal ‘MOT’ to spruce up your vocal skills, a few sessions of voice coaching will set you on the right track!
How your voice sounds is becoming increasingly important as communications grow; your voice is as individual as your fingerprint and is the means by which you present yourself and your ideas to the world. Many people come along to voice coaching usually for a number of reasons – because they know there’s more to their voice but are unsure how to explore it, sometimes to learn how to project it further or perhaps because they want to have more confidence for speaking.
Apart from your appearance, it is your voice that makes the first impression when you meet someone. Understanding how your voice works and gaining greater knowledge of how to control it can be a huge step in your confidence and personal development. Many people are helped by going through a basic warm-up which includes how to breathe more efficiently, and learning relaxation exercises to avoid tension in the tongue, throat and voicebox. Coaching sessions cover how to slow down and add interest and emphasis (and therefore clarity) to what you say, and to manage the nerves or stage fright we feel especially when talking to an audience – speaking at an interview, or when teaching and tutoring, giving a wedding speech or a presentation at work in these days of conference calls and Skype.
Working on neck or body posture can benefit the sound of the voice and for some, voice coaching undoes a shyness or lack of vocal power of earlier years and brings a person out of their shell. Some people find that exploring their voice can in turn lead to clearer speech, making your listener take notice even more. All these aspects can be particularly useful if you are required to record your voice for your work and/or need to add conviction and energy to what you say – vital for teachers, actors, broadcasters, public speakers.
Professional Voice Users
Voices for Teachers
Vocal problems greatly affect pupil listening, learning and behaviour. Teachers can continue to struggle with a voice problem, and absence due to voice loss can stretch into weeks and months costing the school on several levels. There is still little or no vocal training in undergraduate or postgraduate teacher training.
The Vocal Wellbeing Workshop for teachers is offered as a 2-hour course. Contents include:
- Producing the voice you need – breath, resonance, articulation
- Warm-ups and relaxation exercises for your voice
- Vocal care and preservation – habits, Irritants and environmental factors
- Voice toolkit for the classroom – varying your voice
- Other communication strategies for the classroom
Voice Work for Actors
For character voices and broadening your understanding of your own voice or simply an MOT to keep your voice healthy, I can offer individual or group work. Learn more about performing voice.
Voice Use for Yoga Teachers
Yoga teachers and trainee teachers have a good awareness of their own bodies and can get into breath work very easily. After a vibrant discussion about voices and accents, we go through a thorough warm-up, and then each student takes a turn to go through one asana in front of their fellow trainees.
The workshop involves discussing their strengths and weaknesses with projection, clarity and flow of explanations necessary to relax yogis into their practice in a yoga session.
Voice Awareness for Counsellors
We start the session by addressing how the voice works, which involves running through a varied repertoire of vocal exercises and warm ups. My middle session looks at the voice of both therapist and client; in particular, counsellors need to be acquainted with how emotions physically affect the voice, breathing and speech of clients – how blocks occur in posture, speaking and the flow of breath because of feelings, and how these tensions arising in the throat and along the vocal tract manifest themselves and can be worked through. We also look at how counsellors can be aware of their own voices, speech and use of language. The final section covers other communication problems (stammering, deafness, aphasia following stroke, speech/voice problems generally and post surgery), and looking at how the voice ages, finishing with how to look after your voice effectively.