Workshop

Introducing: Your English accent

Are you a non-native English speaker? Do friends or colleagues often ask you to repeat yourself in English? Would you like to feel more confident about communicating in English during meetings or phone calls?  Would you like to improve your accent but don’t know where to start?

Mixed group talking in city building

This introductory workshop aims to break down the component features of an accent and give you some insight into the practical work involved in improving your own English accent. Work within the group (max 18) to explore your vocal potential in a safe and relaxed environment.

Who is it for? Anyone curious about improving their oral communication in English. Presenters, customer service reps, teachers, public speakers, singers, indeed anyone who wants to know more about speaking more clearly and confidently in English. Over 18s only.

What will I do? You’ll be guided through a series of practical exercises to explore and develop awareness of the mechanics of an accent. You’ll observe how physical adjustments impact on the component sounds and how music and rhythm play a vital role in being understood. The workshop will be in English, but your tutor speaks French also. At the end there’ll be a Q & A session and suggestions for taking the work further.

What do I need to bring? Wear comfortable clothing and bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. A summary pdf  will be provided so there is no need to take notes. If you have any disabilities please let your tutor know beforehand.

When is the next workshop? Tuesday 14th May from 19.30 to 21.30

How much does it cost? €15 – 20 per participant

Where will it take place? :

La Manufacture Chanson

Salle de chant

124 avenue de la République 75011 PARIS

Tel: 01 43 58 19 94

Are you curious about your voice and the way it functions? Would you like to feel more comfortable about the way you use your voice? Does your voice get tired or do you feel you’re just not being heard? Are you nervous about taking voice lessons or not sure it’s right for you?

This introductory workshop aims to demystify the workings of the voice and give you some insight into the practical work involved in developing it. Work within the group (max 15) to explore your vocal potential in a safe and relaxed environment.

Who is it for? Anyone curious about voice work. Amateur singers, anyone who needs to speak more clearly and confidently at work, teachers, presenters, public speakers, in fact anyone who feels they want to know more. Over 18s only.

What will I do? You’ll be guided through a series of practical exercises to explore and develop awareness of the mechanics of your voice. You’ll observe how physical adjustments impact on the sound of your voice and how this makes you feel. The workshop will be in English, but your tutor speaks French also. At the end there’ll be a Q & A session and suggestions for taking the work further.

What do I need to bring? You’ll need to wear loose clothing and be prepared to take your shoes off as we will be moving around. A bottle of water to stay hydrated. An optional yoga mat. If you have any injuries or disabilities please let your tutor know beforehand.

How much does it cost? €15 – 20 per participant

When is the workshop? Thursday 16th May from 19h to 21h

Where will it take place? :
Studios Bleu, central Paris
Salle 1 / ISADORA DUNCAN
14 Boulevard Poissonnière – 75009 Paris 
Téléphone : 01 45 23 52 53

Reserve your place

 

 

bold neon sign, confidence

3 key pillars of vocal confidence training

Worrying about that presentation coming up? You know what you want to say, but you’re not confident your audience is getting the message?  It could be your voice that’s letting you down. One thing is for your sure: if your voice is not working with you to reinforce your key ideas your audience may well become bored or distracted. In that case it’s unlikely they will retain information or leave with a positive impression of your pitch. In today’s busy world of relentless information it’s vital to get your presentation across in a dynamic and engaging way.

Before beginning to work on your voice technique  it’s crucial to make your story as compelling as you possibly can. Engage the listener by telling your story in an approachable way: use anecdotes and analogies with comparable, more familiar situations to lighten technical information where appropriate. For each key point be sure to introduce the subject clearly. Repeat a condensed or simpified version to conclude each key point. Use shorter phrases and more familiar language. 
But regardless of the quality of your  presentation writing, a dull and lifeless vocal presence will do nothing to further your cause. Even worse, nerves and lack of confidence can seriously erode your capacity to put across your information convincingly. This is where vocal training can provide practical skills to make sure you don’t undermine your gravitas. 
In what ways can training improve your voice quality? There are 3 key areas to vocal presence which can be developed to significantly boost your vocal impact. Let’s explore them briefly here. For more information get in touch with a qualified voice training professional for a personalised training programme. 

1. Body 

Posture and breath are the foundation of a grounded voice. We are often completely unaware of the impression our posture is making on our audience. But did you know that the way you align your spine can also have a huge impact on the sound of your voice? A hunched spine restricts movement of the diaphragm, the flexible parachute-like muscle which allows us to breathe effectively for speech.  Optimum breathing coordination supports the sound produced  by the vocal folds and enables us to  sustain a clear continuous  sound with which to articulate speech. 

If you are struggling to reach the end of sentences, or your voice cuts in and out as you speak making it difficult to be heard you may benefit from some guided exercises to ground your voice through posture and breathing coordination.

2. Diction 

Clear speech also depends on  the muscles of articulation which shape the speech sounds. Once the voice sound is produced at the vocal folds it resonates within the cavity of the mouth. The articulators, the moving parts of the mouth, ‘play’ the sound by guiding it towards different surfaces to produce the sounds of vowels and consonants. Clear speech begins with accurate position of the tongue and soft palate to channel the voice to the correct ‘sounding board’ ie. the hard palate, lips, teeth or nose cavity. If your diction lacks muscularity, or you are speaking in a non-native language, you may be misheard or misunderstood. Following a professional evaluation of  your speech,  specialized training can improve the precision of targeted speech sounds and allow you to express yourself intelligibly and fluidly.

3. Musicality

What makes a voice engaging? Accents and individuals vary greatly in their use of melody and rhythm to assist meaning. Some speakers may be reticent to vary the highs and lows of their voice as they fear it may sound overly flamboyant. However English in particular uses pitch (notes) and volume to draw attention to key syllables, (unlike French). Effective presenters in English also vary melody (pitch) to highlight the key words in their argument. Indeed listeners of English are so conditioned to hearing these rhythms of speech that they may lose the thread of your argument without them!  Effective presenters in English vary melody (pitch) to highlight the key words in their argument. Pace (speed) of speech also plays a key role in giving your audience enough time to process content and allows your argument to  resonate emotionally for greater impact.  Again, a qualified speech professional will analyse your vocal delivery and provide practical exercises to sensitise your musical ear and learn to ‘play’ your voice to maximum effect.