Improve your speaking voice, vocal clarity & communication
Quintin Norris llam mstat
This is the heart of elocution lessons with me. It is not about one way to speak, but about speaking clearly and precisely. This means :
Improving vocal clarity, strength & expression
Pronunciation & articulation
In this exceptionally competitive world, there seems to be an increase in people looking to lose regional accents in an attempt to improve their career prospects. This is a difficult issue. I would not wish us all to speak the same, and certainly not to be turning out a brigade of Mr Cholmondley Warners! But what this desire does illustrate is the undoubted importance of clarity of communication and the use of 'proper English' in order the 'get on in life'. It enables us to be more easily understood and to be taken seriously in the job market, as well as in education and our personal relationships. I don't think that 'proper English' and regional accents are mutually exclusive, but I do think that if you have concerns, some softening and modification of particular sounds and ‘quirks’ can be helpful, and sometimes essential, particularly where bad habits and laziness have crept in!
We can work on your particular concerns to achieve improvement that remains natural.
Accent softening & modification
What is Elocution?
What is it really all about and who is it for?
Some people might still have images of Eliza Doolittle or the BBC English of Harry Enfield's Mr Cholmondley Warner when they think of elocution lessons! But that’s not what it’s really about.
Elocution is simply the skill of clear and expressive speech. It comes from the latin eloqui, which just means ‘speak out’, and which is also the root of our word ‘eloquence’.
Far from being outdated then, in our modern world where our personal impact and ability to communicate are increasingly important, more and more people are recognising that this skill of clear and expressive speech is essential in their everyday lives.
I am not a speech therapist and my methods are different, but I have worked with many adults with particular difficulties to improve their speech. This includes looking at how to slow down speech, to control breathing and the way you form words. These may not entirely get rid of a stammer but do reduce its impact, softening the sound of the difficulty, reducing its frequency and aiming to give you a feeling of greater control over your speaking which, in turn, reduces the anxiety that can exacerbate the difficulty.
Overcoming stammers and other speech difficulties
Improving personal impact and vocal confidence
I believe that the clarity of your speech also very much depends on creating the right conditions for your voice. Throughout our lessons I will help you identify the ways in which you use your mouth, throat, head, neck and your whole self that might be interfering with your speech.
Vocal condition and maintaining a healthy voice
A recent study reported in The Independent showed a significant increase in the number of people seeking help with their elocution, so you are by no means alone if you have similar concerns. The most common reasons cited include a lack of confidence in their voices, fear of speaking in public, dissatisfaction with accents and difficulties finding a job or progressing in their career.
Many of those seeking help with elocution are business managers and professionals, including company directors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, even ministers of religion. Others include students and recent graduates looking for their first step on to the career ladder, and parents looking to help their older children prepare for oral presentations and university interviews. The current state of the job market appears to be fuelling this demand as people fear they are being hindered in their search for jobs or held back in their careers because of the way they speak.
So elocution lessons are for anyone who wants to improve the clarity and expression of their speech and develop confidence in being properly understood. If that includes you, below are some of the ways I can help.