I love teaching elocution! My students have transformed their lives for the better and enjoyed a higher level of self-esteem which benefits them in all areas of their life.
The most dramatic transformation I have witnessed was by a beautiful, young, very tall Somali woman called FiFi (named changed for confidentiality).
Fifi had been forced to run away from home at the age of 14 and had survived by lying about her age and dancing in strip clubs.
She arrived at my apartment in West London, at the age of 19 with a tiny vocal sound, apparently stuck in her throat, very pronounced Northern vowels and little or no confidence in her speech. She told me she wanted to change her life.
She was a wonderful and determined student and with my enthusiasm and her dedication she left my care speaking as if she had attended one of England’s top private girl schools such as Roedean.
I began by asking Fifi to tell me about her life and what she did, so that I could target her everyday vocabulary & teach her verbal grammar. I used mirrors, took extensive notes and asked her to record the lessons. She practised diligently – especially on strangers as I advised – as they won’t know you are using a different voice!
Once the everyday parlance was fine, I asked her to read extracts from an accessible law book by Helena Kennedy so that we could discuss serious issues affecting women. She loved discussing different points of view, with me gently challenging her, so that she learned to form persuasive arguments as to why she was right!
Dear Fifi began to speak clearly, effectively, employing excellent articulation and conversing with confidence, ease and so pleasure! She was my very own My Fair Lady and I was so proud of her.
Three years later she called me from Los Angeles to tell me she was completing her final year at film school.