Hello again everyone

Did you know that it is illegal to:

  • Eat mincemeat on Christmas Day
  • Wound a fairy
  • Die in Parliament
  • Shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow in Chester and a Scotsman with the same weapon in York except on a Sunday

I am assured by a fellow networking colleague (a solicitor) that these laws are still on the statute books!

By the way, if you’re in America it is illegal to throw a moose out of an aeroplane!

This has absolutely nothing to do with Voice coaching but it made me smile and I hope it does the same for you.

I am beginning to get into the Christmas spirit after completing the 12 week Autumn term with my Performing Arts students at the end of November. Although my voice work with young actors and speakers is very similar to the work I do with business people it obviously has a different aim. I think this is one of my strengths, in that I can help my business clients access the performing element of their personalities which will enable them to be memorable in this competitive world.

I’ve had another varied month which began with a stand at the Access 2 Business Expo in Nottingham. I made a number of very interesting contacts including some large training organisations who could see the benefit of my speaking or taking seminars for them in 2009. I was also pleased to make contact with a call-centre based in Leicestershire. There is a serious need for voice training in these businesses as it can make a big difference to the effectiveness of calls and the take-up rate of offers plus it can guarantee less absenteeism due to vocal damage. The TUC flagged this up as a potential problem in a paper published in December 2006 entitled “Work Hoarse” but it is still given little consideration.

I was delighted to join 18 other voice tutors and therapists at a training day on articulation run by the Voice Care Network (for whom I am a National Trustee) in Leicester. Although I thought I knew my sound formations backwards, I still learnt some excellent new techniques and strategies to help individuals with strong accents to be more easily understood. There are increasing numbers of foreign nationals running SME’s in the U.K. Over the last year I have worked with people from Russia, Poland, the Caribbean and Pakistan who felt that their pronunciation was creating a barrier between them and their potential clients. A marked improvement can be achieved in a very short time once sound structure and placement is understood.

My second ‘Voice Matters’ workshop took place on November 12th. It was another great success. Here are some of the comments:

  • Excellent! A good balance of input and activity.
  • Will recommend you to other business colleagues. Excellent presentation & seminar.
  • Very useful & practical learning delivered with passion.
  • This course was extremely useful. It answered all my questions and taught me information about my voice I had not known before.
  • This was a very interesting course. Priscilla showed me how basic changes to the way I speak can make a huge difference. Thank you very much.
  • Today has been an enjoyable training session. It has surprised me to find how much of a tool the voice actually is.
  • This is a skill that is very important and not stressed in training enough.

So, I’ve started marketing my next workshops on 4 February and 18 march 2009 and at the time of writing I only have 2 spaces for February which is very encouraging. I am also offering the first of my 2 day ‘Dynamic Speaking’ courses in May. This will be specifically for those with a need to present their businesses in front of groups and will include a filmed record of ‘before and after’ presentations. Ideally, delegates will already have attended my introductory ‘Voice Matters’ workshop so that we can get straight to the nitty gritty! I am very excited about this new challenge and have already had forward bookings. Also in the pipeline is a Team Building/leadership course to be delivered in-house entitled ‘Take Your Cue for Business’. I’ll tell you more about this next month.

I didn’t have a great deal of time for socialising in November but I did get to celebrate my dear friend, David Shire’s, 70th birthday at the Tigers Rugby Club headquarters in Leicester. What better birthday present could ex tigers chairman and son-in-law Peter Tom give him that the surprise arrival of his daughter Helen & grandsons from Australia! David’s wife, my best friend Ann, has been Assistant Principal; of my drama school for more years than I care to remember and it was a wonderful occasion for everyone.

I only managed one trip to the theatre this month but what a fantastic production it was. ‘Anything Goes’ the Cole Porter classic was on offer at my local theatre. if you live in the Midlands take a look at this wonderful example of amateur theatre which had recently raised £400,000 for a disabled lift extension by voluntary donations. www.concordiatheatre.co.uk One of the best amateur theatres in the U.K!

I recently returned from 2 days examining in Stamford, Lincs. and the week before spent 4 days adjudicating at Southend-on-Sea. Not, perhaps, an ideal spot in an English winter but cold and bright until the morning of my return when it snowed causing an accident on the M25 which shut west bound and I got a flat tyre and waited 1 1/2 hours for the rescue service to change it! Oh the pleasures of travelling to work!

I greatly enjoyed the business event organised jointly by The Best Of Hinckley (www.thebestof.co.uk/local/hinckley) SJP c/o Dusty Durham www.sjpp.co.uk and the Hinckley Town Partnership. Around 80 businesses got together to exchange details and enjoy a drink and nibble at the Marston Stadium, Hinckley.

Finally, I made a return visit to the Parkinson’s Society, Coventry where I previously delivered a session last April on ‘How to look after your Voice’ and offered a seasonal recital of Christmas readings with my friend Ann Shires. It went down extremely well and they have invited me to repeat my voice session next summer because the techniques I taught are proving very beneficial to members.

I intend to have a quieter time in the lead up to Christmas but there is quite a lot of preparation to do for 2009. I am in the final stages of organising in-house workshops for the Leicester NHS Trust and Birmingham City Council. I am looking forward to strategic partnerships with several prominent training providers and working 1-2-1 with the director of a national networking group.

Rather than give you a training tip this month, let me leave you with these seasonal words about the voice:

“Everything was quiet; everywhere there was the faint crackling silence of the winter night. We started singing, and we were all moved by the words and the sudden trueness of our voices.
Pure, very clear, and breathless we sang”

from Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Have a wonderful Christmas and here’s hoping for a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Loud & Clear Voice Coaching


01455 230317


Published Date: 2nd December 2008
Category: Recent

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