There are so many books about voice coaching and presentation skills that claim they will help you improve your voice, speaking and presenting ability. The Problem? So many of them are so boring to read!
A bit harsh?
Honestly, and I say this with my professional voice coaching hat on, a lot of the books about voice coaching or speaking can be a really tough read for non-professionals. Why?
Most often, it’s because of the overly practical nature of the content. The books seem interesting when you glance at the cover and flick through them in the shop. You buy them with both great hopes and great intentions.
But when you get home they find their way to a shelf where they gather dust, and no matter how much you try, you can’t get through more than a few pages at a time. But there are books that marry good technical content with a pacy narrative flair.
Here’s one that ticks all the boxes.
First off, the title – Breath of Life or Kiss of Death – really grabbed me. But when I got it home and got to work, everything inside the covers matched that promise.
I really liked the simplicity of this book, how easy it was to read, understand, and – most importantly – to apply to everyday, real-life situations.
Author Janet Howd brings a long background in voice coaching, the performing arts and executive coaching to the table, and she combines the use of voice skills and presentations skills very well – something that can be quite rare to find in a book.
The book gives the reader a clear understanding of how to work on your “vocal character’.
It also gives the reader simple exercises and ideas. It’s a book you will read really quickly, but you will also find yourself referring back to time and time again as a quick reference (and that, I think, is a real test of a book’s usefulness).
Her section on presentations is also useful and hits all the key areas. I liked how she brought it all together – voice, language and performance. I liked it and think you will too.
Olivia MacDonell, ConfidentSpeak Consultancy