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Voice Coach and Founder of Orator | Masters in Voice Studies, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama | Currently Coaching in London | www.oratorvoice.com

Those that contend with Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

Miyamoto Musashi

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I was 15 when I first read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. His notions on life were monumental in giving me a sense of belonging. Aurelius has a way of changing your framing of the world; away from the tendency to feel you are owed something by Nature, to instead discover what it is you can owe. A sense of duty. It is this purpose derived from duty that transcends happiness to something likely resembling contentment, or peace:

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength” —…


Critical skills all leaders need to practice

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

Habit 1: Monotone.

The physiological effects upon a listener and the speaker.

Habit 2: Underpowering.

How your body may be working to keep you alive but at the expense of your voice.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” J. P. Sartre

We are free because we have the capacity to become angels of our better nature; we are condemned because we are born into contexts not of our choosing and hence everywhere curtailed by limits.

Your voice and the muscular physiology that fuel it have been moulded with precision to account for the…


Three rules to attain an influential voice

Female Fallow Deer evaluate potential sexual mates by evaluating auditory cues underlying a males mating groan. Males who possessed lower fundamental frequencies compared to their rivals were judged by females to have higher social dominance and were more successful in passing their genes on. Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

You may have heard through the grapevine that human communication can be broken down into three proportions:

55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.

Although, these proportions tend to change over the years because the jury is still out on this one; it is too simplistic to explain such a complex matrix but it did provide a nice framework for life coaches everywhere.

Indeed, so as not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, body language is vital due to the effects it has on the unconscious…


And why children never do…

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

There tend to be four main drivers of occupational voice loss; they aren’t exclusive but they are the most common reasons in my profession. They are also almost non-existent in healthy children which is far from a coincidence as to why children rarely misplace their voice.

Like children, speaking should not be effortful, but fluid. Not painful, but joyful.

The Issue is Not Occupational

Clients ranging from business analysts, meditation teachers, to QA techs have come to me for this issue that debilitates their ability to present, guide, or coach. Some occupations demand them to talk all day, while others ask for merely an hour…


How the Sacred Band of Thebes changed history

Background: The Political Dichotomy That Tore Greece Asunder

For thirty brutal years (434–404 BC) the nations surrounding the Aegean Sea were embroiled in a bitter civil war. On one side sat Sparta, an unrelenting Oligarchy, whose power increased through its military interventions provided by the finest warriors the world had yet known. The Spartan phalanx.

Sparta’s influence created an “alliance” of city-states called the Peloponnesian League that were more obligated, rather than volunteered, to settle beneath Spartan authority. However, the political ideology of Sparta and its growing influence did not sit well with others.

Athens, a Democracy, with its own alliance of city-states, called the Delian League, whose…


The small everyday triumphs that matter

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

The Count of Monte Cristo is a massive book. It is also a masterpiece. Many of us will pick it up and throw in the towel halfway through. It will go to join the other books with the remaining dog-eared pages at the bottom of the shelf.

Much like the half-finished books lying around, other remnants of started but never completed plans and projects litter the room and so fill the empty spaces of your mind.

The follow-through is wanting.

The consequences of failing to fulfill a project to its end might appear self-evident; indeed, it might well be a…


Every dollar you spend plays a part

Photo by Kunal Shinde on Unsplash

Any possible act has many sides to it which are relevant to its rightness or wrongness — Sir David Ross

It is a difficult question to ask yourself currently— how can I be better than I was yesterday? Especially, when each action you take may have many unknown consequences — I just found out Pringles cans aren’t recyclable…

Where do you begin?

In our attempt at improving a little each day, why not start with the known consequences of our actions. …


The three human errors that lead to a false confession

David McCallum’s Reunion with his Mother. Image taken from the documentary David and Me

In 1985, David McCallum III and Willie Stuckey confessed to a crime they didn’t commit. They were tried, found guilty, and sentenced to prison.

29 years later, they were exonerated. In a bittersweet ending, David walked free but without his friend, for a cruel twist of fate had taken Willie too early to his grave.

In our fight for David’s freedom, many of the naysayers commonly quipped, “why would you ever confess to a crime you didn’t commit?” First, let’s begin by setting the record straight — there are thousands of wrongfully convicted men and women in the US alone.


Getting a job in the era of Covid and beyond

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

My partner, Emma, endured six months of unemployment. Throughout this time I saw her evolve due to the circumstances laid at her feet; and, indeed, in hindsight, this growth was due to three main rules she adapted to get herself to the finish line. I hope that for anyone going through the same ordeal this may provide some illumination and kindred feeling.

There is no instant panacea to the suffering to be found here. Instead, I offer you a roadmap of how to endure, how to get to the finish line, and perhaps to get you a nose ahead.

To…


Insight into the anatomy of the “you” in your voice

Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Where is the “you” in your voice? “Speech”, to the average person, is a terribly simple phenomenon that is largely an afterthought but underneath its simplicity lies a myriad of complex processes that each feeds into the way you speak and how you are heard.

How you are heard influences your career trajectory, has been found to influence sexual attractiveness, and creates all kinds of opportunities if speaking is treated with skill and finesse.

Becoming a great speaker demands that you understand how your anatomy works, and how it affects the “you” in your voice; because the powerhouse behind it…

Andrei Schiller-Chan

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