Gareth John, Chair Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation "Fiona's calm and assured approach is just what you need ahead of an important speaking engagement. Extremely professional, fun and inspiring - the sessions were a delight and I felt thoroughly prepared. The very practical tips will hold me in good stead for any future engagement."
"Fiona's calm and assured approach is just what you need ahead of an important speaking engagement. Extremely professional, fun and inspiring - the sessions were a delight and I felt thoroughly prepared. The very practical tips will hold me in good stead for any future engagement."
Professor Richard Moorhead, University College London
"I've seen Fiona's impact on groups of senior lawyers. It's really quite something... She's fascinating and charismatic, and brings a wealth of experience. They're engaged and excited and they learn things that I suspect they wouldn't learn from anyone else."
Dr Ana Milinkovic MBBS, MSc, PhD, Clinical Studies Coordinator, University College London
"The best and most inspiring training that I have ever attended."
Paul Gilbert, CEO LBC Wise Counsel (company specialising in CPD training for In-house lawyers)
“We have worked on a number of assignments with Fiona. Her reputation is excellent. The experience of working with her is truly wonderful although very hard to put into words. It is potentially transformational and a joy”
Alan Rusbridger, Editor The Guardian
“Fiona Laird helped me prepare for an occasion when I had been asked to narrate a fairly long poem with orchestral backing. Within a very short time she had taught me to breathe, project, relax and art-i-cu-late...She appears to suffer fools reasonably gladly...and, in under three hours, made a passable imitation of silk out of this particular pig's ear”
Collated feedback following a group workshop for Senior female Academics at UCL, in answer to the question, "If you felt it valuable, in what ways do you think the session will improve your professional and personal life?"
"There were some really important things that I took away from the session. For example, the idea that everyone gets nervous when talking in front of people, but there are skills you can learn to control your voice and take a risk speaking out. Using a lower register was not something which had previously occurred to me. The instruction to Be Still and Slow was also very helpful and I have noticed since just how much I fidget and speed up when nervous."
"I will be more confident in my public speaking because I will now take the time to warm up my voice, tongue and body, control my breath and give myself the time and space that I need to give my lecture. The most valuable advice Fiona gave was to give ourselves permission to have the starring role in our own lives."
"Made me think about communication and how I might be perceived in a way I had not really conceived before, I now feel more mindful about the way I stand, move, breathe and speak."
"Thinking more about how to communicate effectively with colleagues, breathing and voice projection techniques."
"I will use my voice more effectively to express my message and also reach my audiences in lectures and meetings more effectively, and will do so without straining my voice as much as I have been."
"It was very inspiring."
"Will help me to maintain calmness, for many types of situations, not just when preparing to speak in front of people. It's also given me confidence and a new perspective in the way I see myself. (THANK YOU FIONA)"
Stephanie Shields, HMRC
"I wasn’t sure what to expect from attending a Women-Only Voice Workshop.
Led by the talented and charming director, Fiona Laird, what I got was a frank discussion of social structures and the impact they have on our ability to speak out; how our voices can be supressed by life experiences nor how we can suppress ourselves without even realising it. The discussion exploring this was an eye-opener and worth attending the workshop for alone.
This was followed by a fascinating explanation of how the voice and the body work in harmony. I am sure this must have been covered in biology a long time ago but hearing it afresh within this space gave it a relevant context. Once you understand how something works then you can understand how better to use it, and this is certainly true of the voice.
There were breathing exercises and other warm up tips, many of which I have subsequently put into practice.
I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to use several of the learnt techniques the following day, in meetings with my senior management. These proved effective far beyond what I had imagined, including giving me the confidence to bat aside another person's attempt to claim credit for my work and persuade a more senior manager to the wisdom in agreeing with my proposed choice of action, as opposed to that being suggested by someone else. I truly believe that the workshop, the techniques I learnt, assisted me greatly in this.
Overall what I learnt in the workshop is something I will continue to practice and use. I would advocate anybody who uses their voice regularly for business, most especially those in difficult and demanding situations, explore what a workshop like this could do for them."