Put Your Best Pitch Forward

When you only have 5 minutes to make your presentation, to persuade busy, influential people that your idea is the best, the only entrepreneurial idea worth supporting, you’d better sound as good as you believe your idea is. Five Minute Pitch Competitions are a great opportunity for would be entrepreneurs to be heard by a venture capitalist who might be willing to fund their startup. So let’s think about what needs to be heard, and why. 1) Your passion.  You need to be heard as a professional entrepreneur who cares about your potential company, and your product. 2) Your conviction. You need to persuade the audience that you are convinced your idea, or product is excellent because you have done …

Mumbler Jumbler Talk

Mumbling is just a way of describing unclear speech, or speech that cannot be easily heard or understood. It’s annoying if you are the listener, because it requires extra effort to translate the bits of information you can glean from what you hear into something wholly intelligible.  It’s also annoying for the speaker, who is often asked to repeat what they have just said. While it may be a mild annoyance in a social situation, it can be quite damaging in a professional situation.  People who speak clearly and audibly are much more likely to get the job than those who don’t get their message across first time. There are many, complex underlying causes for mumbling.  In physical terms, the …

Where Do You Start?

The question “where do you start” with regard to training the voice, has to be preceded by another question, “why would you start?” It’s a simple fact that nobody thinks about voice training unless something occurs to make them suspect their voice is inadequate, or unhealthy. If there is any pain experienced while speaking, at all, the first step is not training, but some form of medical intervention. Get referred by the GP to a specialist, and make sure there is nothing physically amiss. If there is nothing actually wrong with the larynx (voice box) then therapy is usually advised to address the behaviour that is causing the pain. Two common problems that bring people to the idea of voice …

Clarity of Thought and how to get it

I once wrote a poem about trying to write a poem. It goes like this: It’s never enough The words inside my head Scrambling for freedom It’s never enough The space between the words Inviting interference. It’s not enough To know, to have, to feel. There must be Space Outside my head A clear perceptive silence Room to manoeuvre. Then I decided to include this poem in a play about an actor who was also a poet. It became a shared moment between the actor and her grandson, a way for him to demonstratte to her that he had read her work. But as soon as we (I played the actor) began rehearsing the scene, I realised that it was …

Who Benefits from Voice Training?

Teachers – lawyers – writers – broadcasters – actors (film, tv and theatre) – journalists – doctors – preachers – counsellors – lecturers – salespeople – executives – committee members – public servants (including politicians) – entrepreneurs – and that’s just the start… Writers? Why should they develop their vocal skills and potential? They just sit in a quite room and write, right? Well, sure, until they get published, and have to go on publicity tours, giving readings from their work in front of audiences of potential readers, and being interviewed on radio and tv. How many writers have you heard reading so fast, and in such a monotonous voice that you either fell asleep, or switched off? Entrepreneurs? They …