Caroline Goyder is a leading voice coach, trainer and keynote speaker. Caroline is the Founder and Creator of “The Gravitas Method”, and author of the revolutionary book, GRAVITAS, in which she reveals how to speak so others will listen. Her work has featured on BBC TV’s The Speaker and The Voice, and BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth, as well as in the FT, Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times and CNN. Her TEDx talk “The surprising secret to speaking with confidence” has been watched almost 2 million times.
Her journey to become a voice and speaking coach
A big principle in Caroline’s life is “We teach what we need.” Early in her career in Literature and Theater, she wasn’t great at speaking because of physical tension. Her body couldn’t express fully. When Caroline discovered The Alexander Technique, she unlocked her full expression. That was her epiphany and now she can teach others from her experience.
How to have confidence under pressure
Caroline says the situations we feel more under pressure is when we are in front of our peers. Example: a voice coach in front of an audience of voice coaches. In Caroline’s book “The Star Qualities” there is a story in which Ewan McGregor was under pressure and forgot his line. From that experience he learned that “in performance there is no perfect.”
The TED talk The science of stage fright (and how to overcome it) by Mikael Cho teaches us that the main thing that helps overcome fear is practice. Practice creates a “back up drive” in your brain that happens when you’ve done enough rehearsal. If during a performance the pressure hits and you go blank, that back up drive (your memory) kicks and you know you will be OK.
Her TEDx talk experience
In Caroline’s TEDx talk “The surprising secret to speaking with confidence” (2014), she used a very unique prop: a human-shaped chest of drawers used as a metaphor for breathing. That prop was key in her talk’s success. Caroline suggests that we skip Prezi or PowerPoint and we bring a unique prop. In this talk she also shared an epiphany moment when a yoga teacher showed her that a simple breathing exercise calmed her stress.
Related: How to Perfect Your Speaking Voice
“Fear is excitement without the breath.” — Fritz Perls
Voice and the Actor by Cicely Berry
Presence by Amy Cuddy
Routine to Shine
The “FOFBOC” exercise: When you get a bit nervous, feel your Feet On the Floor. And then, Bottom On Chair.
* (the exercise is included in her book “Gravitas” – in Principle One, the first chapter)
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