MET workshops

Calm down, warm up, check your voice, say your piece – and have fun doing it!

Because language professionals so often work alone, we may lack the regular practice and often also the techniques needed to speak authoritatively and with ease before an audience. Fear of speaking in public may make us tremble or fidget; we might speak too fast or too quietly, or mumble our words so our message is lost. All of these difficulties can be overcome with exercises and techniques used by performers around the world. Learning to relax and feel grounded, and to apply standard practices to control breathing and the voice can help even the most reticent of us to make effective presentations.

Facilitator: Nancy du Plessis

Purpose: To learn relaxation and warm-up exercises, and vocal, speech and corporal techniques to present your talk effectively and enjoy yourself in the process. 

Description/structure: In this practical – physical – workshop, we begin by discussing the kinds of presentations you make, or would like to make. We look at your fears and/or difficulties and learn techniques for presenting effectively. The workshop mainly focuses on practising relaxation/groundedness exercises, as well as how to develop and control your breath, pitch, tone, vocal strength, volume, speed and nervous expressions. We consider the quality of voice (nasal, breathy) and delivery, and learn techniques to find and sustain the proper tone. We try out entering the space and making eye contact with the audience, and explore how to start and wind up your presentation. We also analyse the physical space and situation (size, layout, flooring, lighting, possible distractions, etc.). Are any changes needed? Are there ways to optimize the space and compensate for possible drawbacks? We’ll be working as a group and in pairs.

Who should attend? Language professionals who want to learn how to control their nerves and voices – and to enjoy making effective live presentations.

Outcome skills: Participants will have learned relaxation and warm-up techniques, and how to speak clearly and pleasantly at the proper volume and pace, stand comfortably (and still), control shaking hands, voice – or whatever reveals their nerves.

Preparation: This is a practical workshop, which includes some exercises on the floor. Come well rested and wear loose, comfortable clothes.

About the facilitator: Nancy du Plessis applies her comprehensive performing arts training to the solo performance of her texts, with movement and vocals. That background serves as a good foundation for her to help others make effective presentations. Nancy is a translator, editor, coach, subtitler and voice talent currently based in Berlin. /