Here at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training, we place great value and care on the use of voice and presentation skills and qualities in celebrancy work. As a result, our modules include one-to-one coaching with industry expert, Paul Robinson. There are at least five hours of vocal coaching, and more sessions are available to each person should they wish to pursue this element of their celebrancy.
Here’s what some of our celebrant graduates have said about their vocal/presentation part of their training.
Paul is a superb voice and presentation coach. I can still hear his voice in my head with his brilliant advice and techniques that he taught me with such humour and care. The breakthrough for me was recording myself reminiscing about a memory and then listening back to how I sounded and the rhythm and pace of my speaking voice, and that is what I aim to achieve whenever I am officiating either in the eulogy with a funeral or the love story at a wedding. Paul has such a calm and caring manner, and his training has really paid off – because families often comment on my voice and mention how calming and soothing my presentation is, which is all down to Paul. And he taught me how to stop swaying from side to side when I’m speaking too! I would highly recommend Paul, he is simply amazing!
Petra Rigby, Heart-led Celebrant, Blossom Tree Ceremonies
Paul Robinson is an alchemist. The definition of an alchemist is: a person who transforms or creates something through a seemingly magical process.
When someone has the ability to help you to weave your written words into something that touches others, then that is alchemy. You may have written a beautifully crafted piece or you might have written something you feel is quite average. You read it to Paul and he helps you to transport it into a living memory…there is a chemical reaction that happens when he highlights to you that those words need to come from your heart space as if they were new thoughts to you. He teaches you how to pause, as if there is a new idea, a new memory and bring it to life. That sense of making your words come “alive” can bring depth, range and meaning to others in the way you present them. You can have the most amazing speaking voice….but if you have not had the training that Paul offers…..or have had speech training…there is no way that you can deliver them in a way that makes your words have “life”. He helps you to add colour, strength and majesty to your words. Having had the hardest task of conducting a funeral for a dear, dear friend, I can truthfully say that without Paul’s help and guidance, I would not have been able to do so and honour her with anchorage and trust that my voice would be heard, and my delivery would be authentic.
As I said….Paul is an alchemist. I thank my lucky stars for his training.
I was thrilled with my voice coaching with Paul. I had a very confused accent, a mixture of Scottish, English and a posh telephone voice used only at work!
When we started to practise scripts, my breathing and inflection had a lot to be desired… Thankfully, Paul, with his vast experience helped me craft all my accents into one.
He shared how to improve my word inflection, and helped me understand my breathing. Indeed, now when I hear my voice, rather than cringe, I’m amazed that it sounds quite warm and engaging.
Paul helped me with writing in such a way I now adapt my scripts so that I communicate with everyone individually as I deliver my scripts. I’m still working on my eye-contact, this comes as part of the training and has been quite a challenge for me. Like all life skills, practice, practice and then some more practice can only help soften and sharpen these amazing skills.
I’m still a work in progress, but delighted with how my voice coaching has given me a new found confidence for public speaking.
Jacquie Wilson, The Turquoise Celebrant
I found the vocal training aspect of my Heart Led Celebrant training far more difficult than I anticipated. As an experienced and confident public speaker, I was challenged and guided to make my delivery more authentic and sensitive.
Paul was always supportive and encouraging. He offered me constructive advice and modelled his expectations to me. His methods, including breathing technique, where to focus, what experiences to draw on etc, are something that I will refer to frequently as I go on to deliver a range of ceremonies.
Paul immediately put me at ease and made me feel comfortable even though I personally felt very new to the work and process. His playful and relaxed way of engaging made the sessions really enjoyable and made any exercises feel accessible and not intimidating. He tailored the session to my specific requests and needs, making it extremely helpful as it personally addressed what I most needed to attend to most at that time. I would readily book more sessions with Paul for any areas I wish to further hone and develop and would highly recommend him to anyone wanting to learn how to better communicate and engage with public speaking.
Paul is a brilliant teacher and instructor. I really enjoyed working with him for my voice training as part of the Heart-led celebrant training programme. Paul is a really engaging teacher; he is very empathetic, intuitive and understanding. I learned a lot from my sessions about voice work and all aspects of projection and protecting the voice. I found it really easy to have a conversation with him, about the voice or anything else for that matter! It was great to learn in such a fun and relaxed way.
I am looking forward to working with Paul again.