Speech is about communication. Content is the most important part of your message, but how it is delivered affects how it's heard. A truthful message delivered weakly and with hesitation may not be taken seriously. And a jumble of words strung together to influence and manipulate can be perceived as truth if that message is delivered with poise and conviction. Advertisers have known this for a long time. In fact, they would say delivery is 99% of the message!
Speech for Business and Success
Everything about the way you deliver speech affects how your message is heard. Your tone, your posture, where your eyes rest as you speak, whether or not you are speaking in the right pitch register for your voice - all of this affects how people are hearing and perceiving you. I help people deliver their best presentations, performances, and interviews by improving the vocal and mechanical delivery of their spoken sound.
I do not work on eliminating accents or curing clinical speech impediments. What I do work on is the performance aspect of the spoken word. I also do not create your content for you, but I help you deliver the content or ideas you have in the best, most natural, most confident way possible.
We will work together to help you eliminate learned speech habits like a vocal fry, "upseak," "downspeak," and filler words. We will also start by examining your vocal tone, your speech intonation, and your head and neck posture and work to improve those areas so that weak and mumbled speech does not get in the way of your ideas.
For your presentation to potential investors, your one-on-one interview for a job or college admission, or that important conference call, the way you deliver your content can make or break the outcome.
Methods and Means
As we work together, we will use a combination of vocal exercises, acting exercises, monologue work, and themes from creative performance and stagecraft to dissolve the blocks to your success as a speaker.
You will be asked to sing, rap, tap rhythms, clap, dance, stomp, and physically move around as we work through our exercises. Spoken words have a pitch and pacing just like sung words. You'll have to develop a comfort with the pacing and intonation of both sung and spoken phrases in order to "break through" to a place of ease.
Does this mean I will ask you to sing? Yes, sometimes. Remember, you are not a vocal student that is undergoing years of musical training and developing a repertoire. That is not the route we'll be taking. But because speech and singing are so closely tied to each other, you cannot really work on one without the other. You'll only be singing for me in the course of our lessons together. You will not have to post it online, perform it, or sing for your colleagues. Just remember that working on singing will help you become a better speaker.
Doing all this physical work, which comes from the fields of singing and stagecraft, will absolutely help you become a more effective and more confident speaker. This holds true even if you get very nervous at the thought of public speaking. Unless you have a true clinical phobia of public speaking, these methods will help you achieve a smooth and seamless delivery of your message.
You will be able to record our lessons and practice the exercises over the week, applying them to your speech or presentation. I encourage all students who are seeking this kind of help to take this process seriously. The exercises may sometimes seem ridiculous, as there is a strong element of play that influences them, but they are challenging, and they are important to do every day with thoroughness.
Course of Study
These lessons are undertaken with a very immediate goal in mind - to help you with your presentation happening in three weeks. Or to help you ace a college interview happening in two months. Most of the students I have helped in this area have a specific speech or presentation they want to work on. Luckily, many of the challenges people face in delivering content well can be addressed in just a few lessons.
For students who come in with an already innate sense of comfort while speaking, just 3-4 lessons may be needed to polish the presentation so that it is at its most effective.
For students who come in with a range of issues that need to be worked on - they mumble and swallow their words, their speech is monotone, their nervousness makes their sound weak and restricted - more lessons may be needed, but those issues can also be improved within a reasonable frame of time (compared to the years it takes to develop as a singer).
The most important thing to remember is that most of the work will be done by you in the time between lessons. You will work on our exercises every day, several times a day, and apply them to your spoken sound. You will integrate the concepts every chance you have, even while doing ordinary things like calling your family on the phone or ordering a cappuccino at your favorite cafe. Anytime you speak, for any reason, you will remember to integrate the concepts we are working on, and you will begin to see a surprising amount of success in a short amount of time.
Real Examples, Real Applications
While I cannot disclose the personal details of my students and their work, I can offer examples of the kind of speech work I have done with students:
*Preparing a student for the interview process with a top NYC high school *Guiding a female entrepreneur in finding a more comfortable and healthier speaking range for her voice *Helping a tech engineer develop a firm and present speaking voice and a fluid delivery style for in-office presentations *Working with a professional bartender to pass the interview process at NYC's most elite restaurants (this was a fun one!) *Helping a public school teacher deliver lessons without becoming strained, fatigued, or overwhelmed by the din of the classroom *Guiding a student in standing his ground during stressful and chaotic work meetings (he was able to speak clearly and concisely to his supervisors without letting emotion rule him)
The above scenarios are real examples of the success I have had with a variety of students who wished to develop a clearer and more confident speaking style. The methods work, I have used them myself, and I know they can help you too!