Online Voice Coaching
Skype and Zoom and FaceTime. What would be do without them.
At one time, in all honesty, I wondered if I’d ever really enjoy working online. Trying to offer as full a service as possible but not having the person I’m working with in the same physical space. Well I do enjoy it.
And my clients give me positive feedback: they certainly seem happy to come back for more!
When you are in the same physical space perhaps it’s easier to reach out to a client – not necessarily physically touching, but sending out a positive energy. And, yes, sending the energy through a screen isn’t quite so simple: but we do it: and we make it work.
My work is not just about coaching voice exercises, for a stronger voice, more colour, more range, better articulation. Though obviously that’s a major part of it. And of course it includes helping people as they find the best words, to speak in the best way, for their individual circumstances.
That’s the beginning of that ‘extra’ ingredient which I want to strongly project into the mix. We are all individuals, and, thank goodness, there is neither a perfect voice nor a perfect way to speak. We all have to find our own magic. I’ve always liked the saying, ‘you have to kiss a lot of frogs’: you won’t know if it’s the prince or princess until you’ve made that first move. So I want my clients to trust, that I’m doing my best to guide them, through the process of finding the voice that best suits them. Working out how they want to use that voice. And then I will happily support the planning and preparing and performing they need to do whether it’s in a work or social setting.
And yes, we can do all of that online.
In recent weeks I’ve been working on:
Podcast Material. A lot of clients are looking to developing new careers. They are reviewing and extending how they manage already established ones. The internet offers us almost unimaginable opportunities to spread our creative wings. And find new ways to pay those bills!
Broadway Songs. I’m always begging clients to sing in the shower. Even if you get no other voice practice, give your vocal and breathing muscles a workout as you get washed to face the day.
A lot of clients have a long-cherished dream that somewhere inside them a singer is hiding. I always say, ‘we’re not trying to get you a recording contract. Not just yet anyway’. But, seriously, singing offers a very simple way to find more vocal range and colour. And it can do wonders for your breathing.
I’ve also got clients looking to study in a Drama School. They long for ‘Normal Service’ to be resumed in our theatres and TV and Film studios. Even if you want to train to be a speaking actor, it’s not unusual for those on the audition panel to ask you to be prepared to sing. Best to be ready.
Prepping for a TV show. You know your job, you know what you’re talking about. Then they stick a microphone in front of you and tell you that anyone turning on their TV will be able to see and hear you. You know the subject area you’re going to be quizzed on, but not the specific questions you are going to be asked. This needs some serious thought.
Interview Technique. Old careers fade and new ones rise from the ashes. I think many of us are not ever-so good at putting in a good word for ourselves. We could praise to the skies our friends and others we think highly of. But ask us about our best points, and why we should be recommended, and the words dry up. Here’s a tip: try talking about yourself in the third person. And yes, I’d advise you to turn on your mobile phone voice-recorder so you can listen back to the wonderful things spoken about this clever person. Tell the life story of this person. And yes, speak out loud the virtues: he did, she did, they did.
If it is truly the beginning of your working life then go back into schools and every other experience this person, you, had. Tell about when they were kind, when they were the best friend. Talk about their hopes and dreams. Talk about why they want to work in this particular area, why they want this job, this career. You are doing solid and useful prep for the interview itself when you speak your thoughts rather than writing them down. Because they will want you to speak some of your story, even if they’ve already seen a written version in your application. Don’t listen back to the recording straight away, give it twenty-four hours if possible. And I bet when you listen back you’re going to find yourself quite impressed with this person. The person being spoken about. That’s you. That’s what you did, and what you want to do. Get used to telling your story. Because if you don’t probably nobody else will.
I want a good voice. There are a fair number of variations on this theme:
wanting the voice to be ‘better’; wanting more ‘presence’ and ‘gravitas’; wanting a more confident and interesting voice. Very often at the top of the list is ‘I speak too quickly’.
Remind yourself of something you intrinsically know, your voice is something physical. Of course what’s going on in your head and your heart will affect the sounds you make, but voice work is essentially physical work. That’s why I’m always going on about ‘taking the voice to the gym’. If you want to be confident, if you want to open your mouth and have faith in your voice. Will the sounds that come out have a fighting chance of living up to your own high expectations? There is usually some regular practice to do. I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do and do everything I can to support you doing it. But you’ve got to want it.
ONLINE VOICE COACHING
BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL / INDEPENDENT
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
Want to know more or book a session?
A Practical Guide to Confident Speaking: Let Your Voice be Heard (Practical Guide Series)
[Paperback/ Ebook] published by Icon Books
Available online from Amazon and Waterstones.