Find Your Voice: Vocal Coaching 101

Find Your Voice: Vocal Coaching 101

When you are new  to public speaking you often think about the act of standing on stage and delivering your  presentation, you often focus on the visual aids or your own nerves, on your body language or on your audience. The truth is, though, that the most important...
Pee, Bee, Vee: Why Fricatives and Plosives Matter

Pee, Bee, Vee: Why Fricatives and Plosives Matter

There’s a reason why the police talk about Papas, Tangos and Foxtrots rather than Ps, Ts and Fs. It’s because it can be quite hard to hear the difference between a P and B, a T and a D, or an F and an S. In public speaking, the differences between these...
Change The Record, Up The Ante: The Power of Inflection

Change The Record, Up The Ante: The Power of Inflection

On the infamous occasion that the American Senator Strom Thurmond spoke on the floor of the US Senate for over twenty-four hours, he spoke in a quiet monotone throughout. Thurmond was seeking to prevent the passage of a civil rights bill, and needed to speak until the...
Why the Importance of Diction isn’t Fiction

Why the Importance of Diction isn’t Fiction

Diction in public speaking can be seen as a dirty word. “Diction” often conjures visions of finishing skills for young “ladies” in a P.G. Wodehouse novel, or of BBC news announcers between the World Wars. It sounds fusty, old-fashioned, even a...
Why “How Now, Brown Cow” Isn’t Helpful

Why “How Now, Brown Cow” Isn’t Helpful

It might be the most famous speaking exercise of them all. Unfortunately, “How now brown cow?” may have long outlived its usefulness. Speaking coaches often focus on the qualities of a speaker’s voice: rounding out vowels or developing mask...
Three Ways To Exercise Your Vocal Cords

Three Ways To Exercise Your Vocal Cords

I referred in one of my blogs last month to physical “tricks of the trade” that can help develop a speaker’s voice and vocal cords. Since I focussed on general principles in that blog, I thought I’d follow it up with a post about a few specific...

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