A growing body of research suggests that deeper-voiced political candidates are more likely to win elections. An analysis by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business suggests that there might indeed be a ‘million dollar voice’ that allows Chief Executive Officers of large corporations to enjoy greater success. Based on findings like these, it is no wonder there is an increasing number of parents in Singapore who send their children for specialized voice training. Education is, after all, highly valued in the fast paced island city. Many do it in the hope that early development will lead to greater achievements.
We understand that you do corporate voice and presentation trainings, but a good number of your clients also come from primary school students below 12. What do you think account for this demand?
Brian: I think a good part of it is attributed to our culture. Parents in Singapore are generally competitive and education-oriented. They want their children to excel in examinations of any kind. By coming to our training programs, it provides a structured avenue for their children to brush up on their presentation and oral skills. The PSLE oral examination is 15% of the total score. For ‘O” levels, it’s 20%. They hold the greatest return on investment per minute of exam time.
More parents are also realising the practical elements of good presentation skills. It is apparent these are valuable skills that will go on to serve them well in life. You need them when attracting good employers. You need them to excel in business. You need them to build good relationships with others.
How different is it coaching a younger client versus an older one?
Pic: Brian with his young students.
Brian: The principles are generally the same; simple and easy to understand. I would say it’s the delivery that’s slightly different. When you are dealing with a younger audience you need stories that appeal to them, and also to have some real good fun in the process. When dealing with an older audience, you still need to have fun and stories that are relatable, but you need to be aware of the kind of atmosphere you are creating in the learning environment. Too goofy and you may come across as unprofessional.
How young is your youngest client?
My youngest client is 6 years old.
You have programs catered specifically for oral examinations in say, Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)?
Brian: Yes. In fact, we have programs catered specifically for PSLE and Secondary School oral examinations. The results have been fantastic. I’ve parents commenting how their kids have become more expressive and effective in their communication. I’ve students coming to tell me they’ve gotten perfect scores for their oral.
Is what you teach applicable in say, the Chinese oral examinations?
Brian: Yes. Whatever methodology we teach in English may be plotted over to not just Chinese, but also any other language. The feedback I generally get from students are that they have done well for their respective mother tongue oral examinations, simply by following the same system.
What is the most memorable experience in your coaching career?
Brian: I’ve a young national sailor who came to us with his parents for a Direct School Admission (DSA) interview coaching session. I was told their son doesn’t speak well. They have sent him to speech classes, even drama classes, but none of them worked. The drama school, in particular, caused them undue distress. In their son’s graduation performance, they actually casted the poor boy as a tree. The father was so upset he demanded his money back.
We did our usual assessment of the boy’s communication skills when they came to us. We did a short video interview recording. After some very simple coaching and imparting of vocal techniques, we did another recording after the fourth session.
The father’s reaction after watching the second video was priceless. He told me nobody else had ever succeeded in making his son speak the way he did in the video. That was the first time he had seen his son speak like that; expressive, engaging, confident.
Right away he signed up for another 20 sessions and put me on a retainer, so that his son, friends or relatives may activate me any time.
About Brian and Be The Voice Academy
Pic: Be The Voice Academy.
Brian specialises in customized presentation and voice skills training. Clients of Be The Voice Academy are equipped with soft skills to help them convey thoughts, ideas and feelings much more effectively and powerfully. Brian believes that speaking well is an art that can be mastered. He has made it his mission, since founding his Academy, to familiarise people with the various aspects of being a good speaker of English.
To find out more about Brian and Be The Voice Academy, visit: http://www.bethevoice.com.sg/
Company Name: F6 Global Media
Contact Person: Teo Kianmin