“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue”
William Shakespeare –“Hamlet”
“Sorry, What was that again? I didn’t hear what you said” …
… Often what is meant is, “I heard you but I didn’t understand you.”
Speech is used to communicate meaning.
Speech involves the production of a set of sounds that are sufficiently distinct so as to be heard, recognised and understood. The sounds which compose what we know as words are distinguished by individual characteristics.
All sound patterns are initiated by breath, then:
Vowels are free, open sounds produced by the resonators.
Consonants are formed by the organs of articulation creating explosions, friction or barriers to the exit of the breath through the mouth. Lips, tongue, teeth, alveolar ridge, hard palate, soft palate and jaw comprise the organs of articulation.
Together, vowels and consonants form words which make sense to the hearer.
Clarity of speech is the result of well-shaped vowel tones together with the careful formation of consonants.
Speech is a moving, dynamic process so the articulatory adjustments from one sound to another must be made rapidly and precisely.
- Are you lip lazy, tongue lazy?
- Have you closed down resonance by mumbling through a tight jaw and clenched teeth?
- Do you need to learn to relax your jaw and use your speech organs with muscular precision and energy?
- Do you have particular problems with /s/r/th/ or /l/ sounds?
- Do you have concerns about fluency and the rhythm of your speech?
- Do you use meaningless ‘fillers’ such as ‘um’, ‘like’, ‘you know’ instead of pausing silently?
Speech training will necessarily involve elements of the work outlined under ‘Voice Coaching’ as the two are closely linked but motivation and committed practice will enable you to speak successfully and to speak your way to success.
This can be achieved by learning how to re-mould the shape of the space within the mouth by the correct positioning of the speech organs to impose particular, changing shapes. As the shape changes, the sound will change. Changed sound = changed accent.
Speech / Voice Disorders
Some speech/voice disorders – those that are functional arising from muscle tension, irritation to the vocal folds through misuse, incorrect breathing with interruption of flow and rhythm, and those of primarily psychogenic origin – can be helped by a Voice and Speech Coach.
Disorders that arise from medical conditions (e.g. unrepaired cleft palate; partial laryngectomy after cancer; damage to a laryngeal nerve after surgery) are the province of a Speech and Language Therapist, rather than a Voice and Speech Coach.
Adults – £50 per hour
(half-hour lessons available)
Corporate Professionals – £60.00 per hour
Although there will be some overlap of Speech Training with Voice Coaching, no additional fee will be incurred.