VOICE, SPEECH AND WRITING SKILLS for Professionals in Business and Education
After spending only a brief time with Joan, I realized how disconnected my voice had been from the rest of my body—and how quick and easy it was to re-engage. Her approach is, is to say the least, revolutionary!
— Mark Wong, Melbourne, Australia
- Use your voice easily and effectively in any situation
- Integrate body and voice—physicality directly affects the sound of your voice!
- Eliminate common grammatical errors often made even by experienced speakers
- Discover key elements of phrasing that help you to be clear, even if you are not a native English speaker
To book onsite training, small group sessions and/or individual coaching, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions and additional information, contact Joan Melton at email@example.com.
TIPS for using your Voice:
One Voice classes and individual coaching bring these tips alive in practical and enjoyable ways, so that you leave even a single session with greater confidence and skill!
- Do a thorough physical/vocal warm up as you start every day—not only for your voice, but also for flexibility and focus.
- Everyone has a huge vocal range—although you may not yet have discovered some of the highs and lows! So let what you’re saying determine the notes you use, instead of assuming you’re limited to whatever is habitual.
TIPS for speaking in English:
- Be sure that relating or modifying pronouns agree with your subject, e.g.:
“The more creative a person is the more sensitive they may be.” – “A person” is singular, whereas “they” is plural.
Two possible ways of correcting the error:
“The more creative a person is, the more sensitive he or she (or she or he) may be.”
“The more creative people are, the more sensitive they may be.”
- Pronouns can also be either in nominative or objective case. I, we, she, he, they are all nominative case, whereas me, us, her, him,and them are objective case. A common mistake occurs when a nominative pronoun is used following a preposition—which must have an object, for example:
“He gave the tickets to Jennifer and I.” – “I” is nominative case, so cannot be the object of the preposition “to.”
“He gave the tickets to Jennifer and me.”
To test this example, would you say, “He gave the tickets to I”? Of course not! You’d say, “He gave the tickets to me.”
TIPS for writing in English:
- In writing, your and you’re have different meanings:
“Your” is a possessive, as in “your article,” “your house,” whereas
“You’re” is a contraction of two words, “you” and “are,” as in “You’re right,” “You’re on time.”
So be very clear about what you mean when you use these words!
- Likewise, its and it’s have two different meanings:
“Its” is a possessive, as in “its principal,” “its place,” whereas
“It’s” is a contraction of “it” and “is,” as in “It’s a nice day,” or “It’s going to be a long meeting.”
So if you don’t mean to say, “It is,” leave off the apostrophe!
TIPS for speakers whose native language is not English:
- The way you physically produce the sound of R can make the difference in whether you are understood or not. For example, if you habitually roll the R or curl the tongue up and back, English speakers will likely have difficulty understanding what you say.
- English is a stress-based language, so an important part of speaking and understanding it has to do with emphasis, or stress. If your native language has all syllables stressed the same or similarly and you use that approach when speaking English, an English-speaking listener will need to reorganize your sounds with appropriate stresses in order to understand what you say. For example:
“I’m com-ing here to-day but I will go there to-mor-row” – all syllables equal, compared to
“I’m coming here today but I will go there tomorrow.”
There is no one way to stress even this simple sentence—in acting terms, we say “Use operative words,” or stress the words that help you to say what you mean. However, words in English with more than one syllable do have consistent stress on one or more syllables (therefore lack of stress on the others), so use of a pronouncing dictionary can be very helpful!