Q. What is a “typical” voice workshop?
A. The format of a classically designed voice workshop runs along the following lines
The trainers will choose from a wide range accredited participatory exercises that have been designed for actors and non-actors. These translate comfortably into any business scenario, with their clear relevance in terms of concentration, focus, multi-tasking, eye contact, anticipation and response.
A systematic working though of flex/release for all the major joints. This section will highlight habitual tensions and facilitate best access to the breathing work that follows
Breathing and Support
Exploring and embodying abdominal breathing/ lateral and posterior rib swing and suspension on and free, sound production. Exploration of clavicular breathing/ breath retention and related diminution of power/stamina/resonance
Effortless transition from breath into sound initiation – experiencing the “direct line” between abdominal stimulation and sound production
Resonance and Articulation
Working to recognise the important role played by neck/jaw/tongue, teeth and lips as inhibitors of vocal flexibility and virtuosity
Taking this work into a practical context and exploring range and dynamic changes as communicative tools
A short discussion/question and answer opportunity for clients to clarify any points that have been raised during the session and to feedback their reactions and overall impression of the experience.
Q. Is this agenda the norm for a “voice” workshop?
A. Each trainer/facilitating company will have a different emphasis and speciality area, but should at least touch on all of the above.
Q. What about a CMS workshop – what is your “speciality”?
A. A typical CMS workshop will “cover all bases
However, we usually try to move quickly and efficiently through the initial stages [and have fun!] before concentrating upon text work CMS targets the specific areas of speech, voice, text and delivery of text in a variety of different contexts:-
- Presentation from script
- Presentation without prompt
- Question and Answer sessions [e.g. press Conference]
- On the telephone
- Conference calls
- Delivering Training
- Interviewer and Interviewee
The work will use either texts pre-prepared by the client, texts provided by the CMS facilitator, or dialogue and role play exercises. The groups may prepare and present to each other, or a master-class approach may be employed [where one or more clients present themselves for coaching whilst the rest of the group observes and offers feedback]
Q. Why has a CMS seminar been designed in this way?
A. Because it has been our experience that clients want to be able to put the work into a constructive context as quickly as possible.
Q. How large a group will you work with?
A. We have facilitated workshop experiences for groups of up to 100 clients at a time. However, our preferred way of working is to begin with a group of between 6 and 10 individuals in a group context.
Q. Why such a small group?
A. This allows the more reluctant or more inhibited participant to gradually thaw during the workshop process and not feel unduly exposed and vulnerable. Sounds silly? not really – the voice is a unique instrument – internalise and inextricably linked to personality, coloured by experience and cultural/social history.
Q. What if clients do not want to change their accent?
A. CMS are not in business to create vocal clones or to produce RP speakers. Our passion is to empower the client and give him/her the confidence that comes with being able to access the full potential of their voice as a communicative tool.
Voice and Speech have traditionally been treated as almost mutually exclusive. However, in one to one sessions or in a master- class situation, we have often been able to empower a client to discover ways of tackling habitual speech pattern problems or speech “defects” by dealing with the inherent habitual tensions in articulatory speech muscles. The client may then choose to work towards eliminating or diminishing a particular habit. It must be said, however, that sometimes a trademark speech effect can be a powerful and effective tool that individualises and empowers the confident communicator. Think “Jonathon Woss”!
Q: What if a client wants to work on something specific?
A: We offer a one to one service where a client may work privately to address specific needs.
Q: Is it possible to put in place a “quick fix” for a specific occasion?
A: We have often been called in to provide such a service and are happy to oblige.