What do I do?

Insightful and inspiring - Anthony addressed all the issues I raised. I feel more confident and more aware of how to make a positive impact when I get up to speak
O.L., Marketing Manager, major tech company

Job applications and work appraisals often refer to your 'communication skills' or 'oral communication skills', but what does that actually mean? Being articulate? Having a 'nice voice'? It's both. It's about what you say, but also how you say it. As a coach specialising in voice and diction, I work on the 'how': if you know what you want to say, but aren't so confident about how you say it, I can help.

Book a taster session

Who's it for?

"I mumble a lot, I don't really enunciate my words"
"I'm always um-ing and err-ing"
"I tend to speak quite fast and sometimes people can't keep up"
"I get nervous doing presentations, and then I lose my thread"
"I think carefully about what I want to say, but I don't end up saying anything at all"
"You can probably hear I have quite a boring voice"

Does any of this sound familiar? These are the sort of things people tell me when I ask them why they're interested in speech coaching.
Whatever the issue, there are usually TWO things that are lacking:

1) confidence in your ability as a speaker
2) awareness of how to use spoken language to its full potential

When you work on number 2, you begin to deal with number 1: when you treat speaking as a skill instead of a mystical, unattainable gift, you'll discover a new sense of belief in your power to speak effectively.

What happens in a coaching session?

Depending on what you need to work on, we'll use a range of exercises to explore how the pace, rhythm, melody and tone of your speech can be used to support the meaning of what you're saying. Some exercises deal with non-verbal communication, or to use a terrible cliché, "body language": how your physical presence can affect the impact of your speech, and the overall impression you make on others. Not just posture, but your face, your eyes and your gestures.

Sometimes we'll use video or audio recordings so that you can be your own audience, and get a clear sense of how you come across and what you need to do to improve. And all the while you'll be receiving guidance and feedback from me, to support you through the whole process and give you a clear picture of what you need to do to continue making progress.

What's the format?

I believe the best way to approach this work is one-to-one. It means I can design a course that's focused completely on what you need, and moves at a pace that suits you. And it gives you flexibility, because there's no timetable to stick to - we can schedule sessions around your other commitments.

It's also easier to do this kind of work in the privacy of a one-to-one session: often what stops people being confident when speaking is self-consciousness, or a sense of being observed. This way, you won't be comparing or competing with anyone else - you can work and develop your speaking skills entirely at your own pace, on your own terms.


Book a taster session

How long does it take?

Following the taster session, I generally recommend a package of 5 or 10 sessions. 5 sessions is usually enough to cover the basics, but if you want to work in more detail you can book the 10-session course. Or if you decide partway through your 5 sessions that you'd like to carry on and do 10, you can upgrade and simply pay the difference.

Get in touch for a quote

Each session lasts an hour, and I usually recommend taking a session a week, so that you have time to practice in between sessions. And believe me, you will need to practice.

I'll be completely honest with you: the way you speak is set of deeply-ingrained habits, and it will take patience and time to change them. You won't see results unless you are really committed, and prepared to put in the regular practice you'll need to make progress. Having said that, you'll be surprised how soon you'll become aware of a difference in yourself - and other people will notice it too. Many clients tell me about the positive comments they get from bosses and colleagues after just a few weeks.

Where do classes take place?

I have teaching rooms in central London for clients based in the capital. If you're outside London, or prefer to avoid travelling in, I can work with you over Skype, or another videoconferencing platform.

However, because of the nature of this work, there's a limit to how much we can achieve 'over the phone'. There are some techniques we can work on remotely, but any course in Effective Speaking with me needs to involve some face-to-face contact. I know that's not always possible - get in touch to discuss what we could do if getting to London is a problem for you.


Book a taster session

Why is it important to speak well?

This course isn't just for people who have to give presentations - speaking well is crucially important in meetings, teleconferences, even a snatched conversation in a corridor. Do you look forward to those encounters, or do you dread them? Very often, when people are unhappy with the way they speak, the issue is a lack of confidence - which is ironic, because the people I coach are usually extremely confident in their other abilities, especially in their professional lives. But when it comes to speaking, they feel they are letting themselves down.

It's that disparity - between how confident you are, and how confident you seem - that this coaching seeks to address.

The people I work with are career-focused and have a strong sense of where they want to go in life. Some are just out of university, getting ready to enter professions like law or medicine. Others are aiming for promotion to more senior positions in management, administration, consultancy - roles that require authority and leadership. Their communication skills are more important than they used to be. They want to be taken seriously.
If that sounds like you, get in touch and let's talk about how I can help you get where you want to go.

So...

If you're interested, you can call, email, or find me on social media (links below) and we'll arrange a taster session: you need to try it for yourself to see whether it's right for you. In this hour-long session I'll show you some basic techniques that you can start using straightaway to improve your speaking, and there's absolutely no obligation to book a course.

I'd like to book a taster