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I've been a professional singer for over 25 years and my career has taken me all over the world, performing in high pressure situations in some amazing venues. From appearing as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall in London in front of 5,000, presenting a radio show for Radio 3, live broadcasts and recordings, leading workshops all over the country and performing regularly on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a member of the Chorus, I've learnt how to make each performance one to enjoy, rather than one to worry about. It's essential that I understand how to prepare myself physically, vocally and mentally to always be able to give my best - that's how you maintain a level of performance that ensures you are never less than professional and can be relied upon to deliver the goods every time.

So how does all that experience help other people you may ask, and why am I now focusing on helping people develop as public speakers and to become effective communicators?

This strange time of lockdown has given me time to reflect on what I want to do next, and I've used it to think about the things that have given me the most pleasure professionally over the years. I've realised that it's helping people to find their voice that means the most to me - the joy of seeing someone leave one of my singing workshops, not having sung since they were at school, the smile on the face of a client after a session with me when they realise that they now have all the tools to be a really effective speaker, engaging their audience, speaking with clarity and authenticity - these are what really matter.

Coming across as confident, knowledgeable and expert is the best way to promote your business and yourself, and you can learn how to do it! All it takes is a little time and some expert guidance.

Picture the scene - you're at a breakfast meeting or on a Zoom call, and you know that it will soon be your turn to get up and introduce yourself and your business. Do you feel confident and ready to inspire people with your words, or do you feel increasingly nervous and worried?

The way we present ourselves has never been more important, and when it's done right, is one of the most effective ways of promoting our brand and getting our business message out to the big wide world.

Nowadays, pubic speaking doesn't just include networking events, even though we all do them lots! You might have been asked to speak at a family event like a wedding or memorial service, or you might have been asked to lead a meeting or present important information. Then there's the Facebook/Instagram live etc... All of these occasions require you to put yourself in the spotlight, and there are many techniques that can help you to deliver your moment with aplomb!

In my workshops I share my techniques for speaking authentically, with style and confidence for those short 60 second intros or bigger presentations. You'll come away with tips and tricks for better public speaking, breathing techniques and relaxation ideas to make sure you stay focused and can deliver your intro, talk or pitch.


Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek