I have been reading a lot about the neuroscience of changing habits. It is an utterly fascinating topic and at the heart of all my teaching.
Change a habit
And you change you
When I am working with clients on their communication skills the main thing we are doing is swapping current communication habits, which are not effective, for more effective ones. As human we need to function by habit otherwise our brain gets overwhelmed.
The key to habit changing is motivation coupled with repetition, repetition, repetition!
Listen to the rhythm of the way people speak. Whatever the language or the accent, tune your ear into their overall rhythm. Imagine it like a drum beat. Where are the strong beats and where are the weak beats? Then mimic what you hear using a pattern of made up sounds, tapping the finger on the table to emphasise the strong beats
Strong beat – “Dum” Weak beat – “di”
Standard British Example: John Keats – To Autumn To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum
You can join the ICV to enjoy the forum where voice professional discuss the voice and its wonders. They also have a full program of Workshops covering many topics, that are open to both teachers and students of voice, professionals or otherwise.
The larynx is the name of the area which produces voice. I’ve been enjoying this series of videos on head and neck anatomy and how the voice works. It is a five part series which shows you the anatomy and movement of the larynx.
Understanding the movement of the larynx helps you to to make changes in the way you use yours, enabling you to discover new parts of your voice.
Teaching an Accent Softening workshop at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. The workshop targeted the rhythm and intonation of spoken English. It also showed you how to use your voice to become an engaging, interesting speaker and avoid misunderstanding due to accent.
Here is a link to the feedback in a blog post they did about the session:
I’ve made this video to target the difference between the ‘W’ and the ‘V’ sound. Indian people will find this particularly useful.It gives you tips to help you find the right position and sound, as well as some words and phrases to practice on. Enjoy!