Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Voice Skills Workshop for Writers

Voice Skills Workshop for Writers
North Finchley Library, Ravensdale Avenue, N12 9HD
10.30-12.30pm Saturday 23rd May

reading from her novel
 at GW Lit Fest
Leader of the workshop, Lindsay Bamfield, explains why she devised this workshop:

Reading aloud well is an art. Many people can do it instinctively but it doesn’t come so easily to everyone. But, you might say, surely writers are all good readers?

I’m sure they are good readers, but reading aloud to an audience is a different matter. As a speech and language therapist I work with a great many teachers who are experiencing voice problems. As part of our therapy I get them to read aloud. I always choose pieces that are easy to read, often children’s books: this isn’t about pronouncing long complicated words, it’s about prosody: the rhythms and intonation in speech.

I assumed teachers would be good readers, especially as most read to children, but I have to say I’ve occasionally been quite appalled at the dull, plodding reading some of them produce. How any child could be asked to listen to this and gain any sense of what is being read, let alone enjoyment from this, is beyond me.

I’ve attended a number of literary events where authors have read their work aloud. Some were so brilliant, I could have listened to them for hours. Others were terrific writers but their words lost all colour when they read them.

Nerves are often the culprit; most of us have felt our mouth go dry, or our voice becoming squeaky when we’re nervous. We tend to speak more quickly when we’re tense too and that leads to a lot of the problems. Unfortunately I can’t claim to prevent everyone's nerves, but I can give them some basic techniques to stand them in good stead.

We think of actors and singers as the vocal elite, but any professional voice user needs to look after their voice. Authors are relying on appearances at book events more and more in the name of publicity so they too are professional voice users. Reading from their work in an interesting, lively manner can help sell it, and in the end that’s what authors tend to want to do!
Whether you simply want to read your work aloud in your writing class with a bit more pizzazz or you are a published author who has a gruelling schedule of public readings ahead of you, this workshop is the one for you. 

The workshop costs £12.00. Booking is required - please book here.

As well as a writer, Lindsay is a speech and language therapist specializing in voice. While most of her work is with people who have voice problems, she also sees clients who wish to improve their vocal skills and to this end has worked with a variety of professionals who need to give presentations, radio presenters, ministers, lecturers and barristers.
She trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and is a member of The British Voice Association.


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