Speaking is the sound of the heart

Posted on 11th Nov 2021 in International education, Tutoring

Lucienne Sharpe, of Amazing Tutor, offers communication and presentation advice to students in the UK and globally.

It is more than sound; it is the beat too. The diamond.

As a member of the Professional Speaking Association and the Australian Tutoring Association, I am privileged to work from England with students around the world.

I offer voice work, English GCSE and exam writing criteria and success strategy.

Using Zoom, the world is my classroom.

To help a student learn the tools of communication is my mission.

The intent when speaking isn't just about communication. It is deeper. It is about YOU. It is the same for your writing essays. It is what the examiner wants to hear too.

When I work with a student there is usually a specific aim. Maybe an exam for speaking or a hidden difficulty because others do not understand what you are saying or possibly because you have a real desire to make a change in the world.

Speaking and listening are the keys.

Challenges are the key to opportunity. When a student in New Zealand is writing about Covid, what is she trying to say? She is telling her own story, but it has to have her voice.

The Narrative, the Hero or the Passion, or all three, can be the voice, so I like to encourage students to go find their voice. Maybe somewhere it has got lost. The self-belief that comes with finding that voice is incredible. It's a key that can open so many doors.

I love to use Shakespeare when working with all kinds of students; they enjoy the intrigue of Macbeth, the costumes and the history. We discuss the wigs, the hidden lives of Henry VIII and the lovelorn Mary Queen of Scots.

Think about the poems that changed lives and are still there to show how people can be heart-driven when quoting such poems as Sonnet 18: 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'.

Take a pause. Take a pause and see how your audience will be held.

My student in New Zealand received a standing ovation for her speech work about Covid and how we must look at this as an opportunity to develop as a world together.

We worked on this project, me from England and her in New Zealand discussing how to excite, speak and influence with the voice. We used inflexion, tone, beat and dynamics as a baseline and then there it was the voice, the message and the delivery. A piece of dynamism that only the voice and poetics can deliver. Now there is real power.

Make no mistake, when there is a communication from the heart, if the voice does its job well, the heart is held by all who listen.

Students need to understand how the delivery of a speech with panache and passion can influence, you only have to listen to Winston Churchill to know rhetoric can be a world changer. 

Students need to hear those ideas, and then they can work on their own mastery. One day they may be standing with key people who are eager to listen; or perhaps they will become they will become a Prime Minister themselves; anything is possible.

I always say, follow the dream, but make sure that you know how to sell it!

When running training sessions with non-native English speakers, I say, tell me in your native language, now say it in English and try to join the heart; then it will work, and it always does.

Culture is a key influence, I should know as my parents were French and Czechoslovakian, but their cultures encouraged me to use the tone rather than the 'stone' voice.

For an example of the way I work, I had a student from Switzerland, who had a very French manner of speaking.

No one could understand him when the family arrived to start life in England.

This is what the family has to say: "Lucienne quickly determined that our son was speaking English with a French mouth, causing him to slur his words and speak too quickly. Over time this had caused him to not be understood and had therefore developed a nervous habit of not looking at the person he was speaking to and appeared to be lacking in confidence.

Perhaps most importantly Lucienne taught him how communication should come from the heart and how it comes from thinking and not just the basic words. This helped him speak with more passion which automatically changed his tone and slowed him down. The success was him gaining the star role in the play The Lion King at school."

If you are a student or have a student who wants to find their own voice, I would love to hear from you.

For more information about Lucienne's work, please visit the Amazing Tutor website