My Evolution as a Voice Coach

Published: 10 April 2024

Looking back at when I started working with celebrants and trainee celebrants, it seems like aeons ago; and, in comparison to now, I was like a one-cell amoeba floating around in a primordial celebrant soup.

Recently I put up a blog about how it’s possible to have your eyes opened to new methods and thoughts around presenting ceremonies in a natural, spontaneous-sounding way. I mentioned how I love this work, and how what I teach is almost certainly not taught in other trainings. I’m proud of the fresh ideas I’ve come up with and adapted as I evolved.

I can help you with your voice, how to use it well, to get it to sound better, to strengthen it, and to develop vocal stamina. Possibly the most important single thing I do is to enable celebrants to seriously improve their communication skills – how to get your message across in a natural-sounding effective way. How, by really connecting with the words you’re speaking, you connect with the people listening.

One of the results of training to present a ceremony in this way is that your ‘presence’ can be enhanced. I looked up ‘presence’ in a huge old dictionary. It said ‘the impressive manner or appearance of a person’.

Huge and Old

That’s a decent start to describing an ideal celebrant. How about adding to that dictionary definition: ‘a benevolent, friendly authority’; ‘someone instinctively trusted by the people listening’; ‘a person the audience can have confidence in’; ‘giving the feeling of embracing everyone there’; and ‘poised – that is relaxed but alert and on the front foot’.

I was working with a ‘trained’ celebrant recently who’d come to me because her training had involved no voice, communication or presentation coaching. What I teach isn’t rocket science.

It’s reasonably straightforward to understand. But it does need a fair amount of practice to embed it and make it second nature. This person was presenting to me a ceremony that she’d be officiating a few days later. It’s fair to say that she was struggling to connect with what she’d written, and it sounded like she was reading it rather than communicating it. All of a sudden, towards the end of the eulogy, everything fell into place. I was amazed and entranced by the transformation! All those qualities of ‘presence’ that I’ve described, sprang out of nowhere. I had the feeling that I would have almost trusted her with my life. As a teacher, it was a gratifying experience!

And how did I evolve from amoeba to where I am now?

My development as a celebrant voice and communication coach has gone something like this: My early voice and singing training were thorough, and stood me in good stead as an actor, radio presenter, singer and celebrant. But doing those things is one thing, teaching them is a step further. How could I share whatever I knew, and could do, with someone else? I had a lot of skills and experience to call on, but I’ve had to dwell on these and distil my training, knowledge and experience into something that can be reasonably easily absorbed and put into practice by the people I work with.

Many years ago, a dear, five-year-old, bright-as-a-button boy inspired my wife to say to him “If I ever have a little boy, I’d like him to be just like you.” His excited reply was priceless: “And I’ll teach him everything I know!” It brings a huge smile to my face every time I think of that. He knew a heck of a lot for a five-year-old. Well, I’m a bit older than that, but that’s how I feel about what I do. I want to teach you everything I know!

I offer a free no-obligation chat (phone or Zoom) so you can see whether you’d benefit from working with me. Often, the answer is yes. I work on a session-by-session basis. Some people book just one,
and take it from there. Others commit to between two and four sessions. I charge £70 for a one-hour session. (And as someone remarks in the testimonials, I’m generous with my time.) I send an email after each session with a summary of what we worked on. When you get to four sessions, you get a fifth one, free of charge.

This blog tells you why I’m highly qualified to be a celebrant voice,
presentation and communication coach.


07469 957 199

For full two-on-one celebrant training, see Heart-led Celebrants – Heart-led
Celebrants (