One of the hardest toastmaster’s manuals to complete well is the “Interpretive Reading manual”. The manual comprises 5 assignments and involves the interpretation of other peoples work from reading a story to performing a one man play.
If I was going to do this well and enjoy the challenge I needed help. I needed a Voice and Drama coach. If you have studied Drama before, this may not be new to you. I enlisted the help of Gillian Rosenberg who had been recommended to me. Gillian led my voice along a path it had never been before.
The work we did was entirely practical and Gillian lets you get away with nothing but your best delivery. Then she raises the bar when you’re not looking. Improvement is imperceptible moment to moment but the comparison from beginning to end is striking. People remarked how much the quality of my voice had improved.
We started each session with some relaxing and warming up exercises. Then we progressed to the variety of aspects of the voice such as projection, clarity, mood, pace and rhythm. Gillian works from memory using a multitude of phrases and set pieces which emphasise each aspect. We practised and practised until she was satisfied.
Lastly we worked on my assignments. It was here that I learnt the techniques and beauty of drama, such as how to emphasise a word or point with silence, not to dwell on unimportant words and how to change the mood. It was here that everything came together. The assignment took on a life of it’s own. It was as if you were really there.
One of the outcomes from spending time with Gillian is that I can write any speech and then really consider how I am going to deliver it so that it is appropriate and certainly not dull.
I owe Gillian a great deal and thoroughly recommend that you take a speech or some work along to her and learn how to deliver it well.
Geoffrey D Hall
As a Toastmaster Gillian helped me tremendously in developing my vocal variety and pronunciation while vastly improving how the audience receives and interprets my message.
We worked at differentiating the storytelling from the dramatic and developing the different styles to a high performance level.
Many Toastmasters might think doing voice coaching for something they do as a “hobby” is a bit too much, that is a short sighted approach. This work permeates and improves your communication ability in all areas of life. A well worth investment.
Willem Gous - One Step Presenter
I did voice and speech work with Gillian Rosenberg for two years to help me improve my ability to present myself credibly. As a non-native speaker of English, I needed to improve my pronunciation and the rhythm of my speech.
Gillian helped me to speak clearly and improve my annunciation, my voice projection and my ability to speak confidently and credibly whenever doing presentations. In my business as a trainer/facilitator and organisational storyteller, whose use of language and voice is crucial for success, these two years of practical experience was crucial to my success. Gillian’s professionalism and her joy in her work made these work sessions a pleasure; they never felt like work at all. I would recommend Gillian’s voice and speech training to anybody who needs to come across professionally using oral communication.
We also worked on Toast master material – bringing to life the texts I had chosen. While toast Masters gives the practise, this was the work/training and development of my rendering of stories and dramatic storytelling.
Gillian has worked with George, who is a severely attention deficit child. She has been responsible for assisting him with literacy and numeracy homework in the afternoons. Gillian has shown understanding and sensitivity to Georges needs, and she has employed creative means to help with sound/symbol recognition as well as directionality and planning difficulties.
When teaching basic numeracy skills, Gillian has engaged George in high interest activities. I believe that Gillian's input has been very beneficial to George and he is now carrying over his new knowledge into the classroom.
Gillian has discussed Georges program with me on a regular basis.
Sue Hill - Class Teacher, Bellavista School