“The Human Brain starts working the minute we are born and it doesn’t stop until we stand up to speak in public” – Sir George Jessel
Yvonne Gilan is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and an Associate Fellow at Said Business School, Oxford, where she teaches on executive education programmes.
She opens each workshop by introducing herself, describing her theatrical background and the experiences as a conference producer which led her to form her company, Voicecraft.
Her teaching is participatory: warm-up exercises, breathing exercises, relaxation exercises are a major part of the session. She acknowledges that everyone suffers from first night nerves, and shows how these may be controlled by “building your own thermostat”.
Performing is a physical activity, and training and preparation are as vital to successful speech-making, presentation and interviewing as they are for running the Marathon, sailing the Atlantic or playing Hamlet.
The techniques and skills developed in the world of the theatre are invaluable and appropriate in the business world.
Raising the students’ consciousness to the power and flexibility of their prime instrument of communication, the voice, is central to Yvonne’s teaching.