I regularly have clients approach me who want to develop their voice for specific reasons. This month I began working with a young lady from Coventry who needed help in developing audition material for major Drama Schools. I hope to help her follow her dream of becoming a professional actress. I am also working with a Russian business owner from Berkshire who, despite excellent English vocabulary, still needs help with some pronunciation and intonation.
I really enjoy spreading the word about what a voice coach like me does so I was delighted to get 3 invitations to speak in Leicestershire during January at Access2Business, Business Networking Clubs (Broughton Astley) and Women’s Independent Networking Groups. I gave around 70 people tips on being a dynamic presenter. Forthcoming invitations include a lecture on the use of the voice to the British Theatre Dance Association examining board and ‘Selling Yourself Through Voice’ at the Ramada Hotel, Birmingham for ‘Women with B**ls!’
I had the pleasure of attending my first trustees meeting of the Voice Care Network at the Ikon Gallery (near the Symphony Hall and Birmingham Rep.). If you like modern art and tapas why not combine the two at this delightful spot? The café was heaving at Saturday lunchtime!
You may not have heard of the VCN but it has made quite a splash in the Voice World over the last 10 years. It was founded by Ros Comins from Leamington Spa specifically to address the voice problems that teachers have in the classroom. Since then it has grown to an organisation used by the government, the DHSS and the BBC. It is an amalgamation of highly qualified speech therapists and tutors and I was thrilled to be asked to become a Trustee.
I have become quite an expert on Voice Protection for high voice users over the last 10 years since the Amateur Swimming Association asked me to help their coaches. I delivered one of my practical workshops for 15 swimming teachers in Highgate, North London, early in the month. They were a lively lot – great fun and I think they found the techniques they learnt very helpful. I’m sure it will help them poolside ‘on the job’.
As an examiner of oral communication and performance for LAMDA I get the chance to travel throughout the UK. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety and tremendous talent I’ve assessed during the last 22 years. On the 23rd of February I’m examining a mixed day at Northampton and then it’s back up the M1 to my ballroom dancing class – well, I may not make it to Strictly come-Dancing but I can give it a go!There are a few new challenges in the diary for February but one in particular that I’m especially excited about. I have planned a trip to Dubai which involves the chance to speak to 2 new business contacts. I hope I’ll have some interesting news for you in a month’s time.
See you then and keep in touch – have a great month!
Contact Priscilla: www.loudandclearuk.com
Tel: 01455 230317
The festival is a mammoth event with more than 80,000 entries each year. About 15 adjudicators are invited from the U.K and, personally, I must have written in excess of 3,000 reports this time! This was my 4th visit since 2000 and I always find it a vibrant, fascinating place. Yes, there are a lot of people but they get around without difficulty on the excellent transport network of MTR(underground), buses, trams and seemingly endless taxis and they are all so friendly.
The youngsters enter the festival because schools see it as an excellent opportunity to practice their English while gaining confidence in front of an audience and getting expert advice (hopefully!) from the adjudicator.
I was able to see real life for Hong Kong inhabitants as many of my classes took place in outlying districts beyond Kowloon where no tourists ever venture. It is strange to go out for a walk at lunchtime and be the only Western face in the street, or more likely shopping area, as every district has a grand shopping mall with plenty of opportunities for bargains!
I shall be returning in 2009 and I look forward to it immensely and whenever I think about the 3000 youngsters I heard I remember that I couldn’t speak a poem in Cantonese and I have the greatest respect for them.
On my final day I was interviewed by a Hong Kong Television Company, RTHK, for a programme to be broadcast in February to accompany a gala concert of winners which will be shown throughout the Territory. I was asked why I liked coming to Hong Kong and replied “It is exciting, unpredictable, constantly changing, welcoming and fun”. I am very fortunate to be able to mix business with pleasure in this fascinating place.
On my return I caught up with the antics of my ex student, Graeme Hawley, aka John Stape (the teacher) in Coronation Street. His risqué relations with 16 year old Rosie came to a head at Christmas and what an explosive exit he had! I have spoken to him since and we may not have heard the last from John – watch this space!
I’m preparing now for a busy January with several speaking engagements and a workshop on Voice Protection for the ASA in London. My drama school clients will return from January 7th and I have whole day meetings for the Voice Care Network Trustees, the National Council of the Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama and LAMDA Examiners at the Drama School in London..
I now have a CD available with tips for the optimum use of the voice in business called “Voice Matters” – please phone or email for details.
That’s it for now. I’ll be updating later in January.
Have a Happy and prosperous 2008.