How does voice coaching work?

You have thought about improving your voice in a second language, but you probably wonder how it works, the system and what aspects of the voice and language voice coaches at.

Voice Assessment & Analysis

In the first meeting, a second language voice coach will listen to you, assess the way you use your voice and language and do a speech analysis which will be used to create a plan to improve your voice. 

The first questions are:

Which aspects do youwant to improve? How do you feel
about your voice and the way you speak? Most people have an idea about what
features they are not happy with.

What’s your purpose / objective? In which situations do you need to improve your voice?

An action plan will look at any of the following areas by priority.

Delivery. This is the overall way you speak and project your voice.

Intonation and Pitch. This is the way the voice rises and falls.

Tone 1. From a vocal quality point of view, the features are, hard, husky, soft, silky, low, high, etc. 

Tone 2. can also be defined as the impression you give on different dimensions including: formal-informal and serious-funny.

Stress patterns. These provide the rhythm or melody of the sentences,
an example might be a “sing-songy” effect. 

The way you link words together is  known as “liaison“. This makes you sound more
natural.

Pacing (Speed).  You may find you speak more slowly in a foreign language than you want to. Normal speech is around 140 WPM. When to PAUSE is also a key feature.

Volume. This is under your control in whichever language you speak. Using
volume is useful tool for maintaining audience attention.

Articulation. Mouth and tongue positions : these affect your ability to make the
sounds of the language.

Pronunciation of the sounds of English (phonemes) and the correct stress
patterns on words are the main features of your accent.

Language. Recurring language errors will be addressed, especially if they create misunderstanding or ambiguity.

Gestures and body language. These will be dealt with on a priority basis.

PRIORITISING

We work on the features by order of priority. Trying to change too many things at the same time is a big mistake.

Often, changing just one or two features can be a game-changer
for the speaker and the effect it has on the listener.

Example Voice Coaching Session.

The course is based on the objectives taken from the individual Voice Analysis using the features mentioned above.

Step 1 . Warm up.

Sessions begin with breathing and vocal warm-up exercises. Body, neck
and face are included here.

Step 2. Review of the previous session.

We go over the main points of the previous session.

Step 3. Action

The classes begin according to the plan and objectives.

Step 4. Feedback

We talk about how the session went.

Step 5. Homework

We set tasks to do at specific times for the next session.

Methods & Techniques

Sound scripting

We take the speech that the person is working on and do “Sound scripting”, breaking the text into meaning phrases, also know as “chunks” focussing especially on pausing
between them. From here, we will work on overall tone, intonation, pitch and
stress patterns taking into account what the person wants to communicate, e.g.
influencing or inspiring.

Recording and playing back the voice is another important technique.

Get in touch to find your perfect voice. 

simon.brampton@advantage.es

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