We’re not just a fantastic translation agency – we work with voices too! Today we’re presenting a guest blog from local voice coach, and fantastic trainer Pippa Wilson. Pippa runs the Voice Coaching training courses that Atlas offer, more information on which can be found here.
Speech – Clear communication is where it’s at!
Communication is a vital part of everyday life more than ever before. The written word has changed beyond measure in recent years with the advent of ‘internet’ language, new ‘portmanteau’ words and emoji lingo. However, the spoken word is still king and, due to our greater use of phones, conference calls, Skype, Facetime and the like, there is greater awareness these days that being clear in your speech takes you along way.
Thankfully, gone are the days of dull, dry elocution lessons! Speech and accent coaching is today’s method of honing your skills of articulation for work presentations, recordings, meetings and everyday conversations – all while having fun!
People who have English as a first or an additional language usually come along because they have become aware that they are not always being as clear as they would like and find that they are sometimes (or often) not understood. Speech and accent coaching sessions involve learning the pronunciation that was usually not taught alongside the grammar and vocabulary drills used when first learning English. Coaching helps to identify the particular sounds and aspects of an accent which may make speech less clear, and a few baseline recordings are taken and used for comparison in identifying how sounds can change.
For some people, working on understanding English intonation (the ups and downs of a sentence which convey meaning) and word stress is of great benefit. For others just unpicking slang words and some of the phrases we say in English (“raining cats and dogs”, “chock-a-block”) leads to a greater understanding of this complex language!
Accents won’t fully change after around the age of 10 years or so, and sometimes change can depend on how much of a natural ‘mimic’ a person is. A couple of sessions will start you on the road to improving your clarity – and confidence – for speaking and for being understood.