What is a voice coach?
One way of looking at it is to think of it like a personal fitness trainer for the voice. It is someone who assesses your current use and asks what you want to achieve. Then together you can work out a plan of action to achieve your goals. It may be a change in the way you talk, ways to project your voice and spare you problems later on in life, or instruction on how to deliver a speech or presentation. It may be that your hopes include personal or business goals. In this case, we may involve other professionals to take you to where you want to be.
How is voice coaching different from speech therapy?
Speech therapists tend to work with children who, for one reason or another are blocked in the development of language or with adults who may have acquired a language problem, for example through a stroke. There are some cross-overs however, as all speech therapists need to have thorough training in phonetics and have a good ear for speech. Speech therapists and voice coaches will know about the anatomy of how speech is produced and how to look after the voice.
Isn't voice coaching helping people with stammers?
In films like The Kings Speech, professionals are seen working with speakers who present with varying degrees of stammering or stuttering. They are the same thing. Many make the mistake of thinking it is caused by nerves. Although situations that make you nervous can make a stammer worse, the underlying reasons are often complex. Where someone has a pronounced stammer, it is better for everyone if the person is referred to a speech therapist who specialises in this area.
It stands for Applied Linguistic Vocal Oral and Remedial Initiatives. The idea is that no matter what your language issue, there will be a service for you.
What qualifies you to be a voice expert?
ALVORI Voice is led by Adam Huntley. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama for three years and City University for his fourth in Applied Communication Sciences. He also has an MSc from University of Hertfordshire in Organisational Psychology and further training from the City Lit. He has experience of working with a range of clients and groups in their communication needs. Together with a network of expert communication specialists, we are confident ALVORI Voice will find the right way forward for you.
What's wrong with having an accent that isn't posh?
Absolutely nothing! Accent modification is not about making you sound 'posh' (although we can if you want to!). You will see we refer to accent work as 'Clear Voice'. This is where people who are not used to speaking English find that people cannot understand them or make assumptions about them. This can hold them back. The work we do on accent is a tool for you to use, as and when it is right.
I find the idea of giving a presentation nerve wracking. Can coaching help?
A lot of work with presentations is about addressing the psychological fear of speaking to an audience. The good news is, this can be helped with the right preparation, instruction on how to stand and what kind of messages to tell yourself. The truth is that 99.9% of nervous speakers can do it. Look at the 10 tips on this site. In the unlikely event that the fear is more deep rooted, we can refer you to experts in this area.
Can presentations and group training be used as Continual Professional Development?
Definitely. Professional Associations recognise and give CPD credits to presentations and voice training. These are applicable business skills for accountants, lawyers and public relations professionals through to the medical profession. They can be continually improved. The good news is that in our experience, trainees enjoy voice workshops. They are cost effective and give you the chance to practise in a safe and supportive environment.
What if I only want a speech to be written?
Sometimes people want assistance with improving a speech or editing a work presentation. In this case we can either write your speech from scratch or edit an existing draft. This can all be done through email or, for that more personal touch the relevant information can be gathered face-to-face.
How can I become involved as an Associate?
If you have an expertise related to coaching people to be more confident in presentations, teaching English as a Foreign Language, child and adult speech therapy, or are qualified through LAMDA or Toastmasters in Public Speaking, or have expertise in programmes like NLP, we would love to hear from you. It may be that your customers have particular one-off communication needs, such as wedding clients or people preparing speeches for bar mitzvahs. In this case ask about how you could add value to your business by becoming an introducer to ALVORI.