Yusrah receiving a certificate for completing the Voice Gym Workshop with VoiceWorks

VoiceWorks partners with RX RADIO

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VoiceWorks is honored to be playing a small part towards the ongoing success of the RX Radio station. We are in awe of its unique setup, which has the children from the hospital running the show as the DJs and reporters, under the guidance of a professional radio team.

A group session with VoiceWorks

RX Radio is one of the first hospital radio stations by and for children. It has been established under the auspices of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Facility Board and started operations on 1st December 2016. VoiceWorks MD, Marianthi Dickie, was delighted to have attended the official launch last week on the 6th October 2017, which was a captivating, lively event that inspired and energized the audience.

RX Radio’s mission:

”Strives to empower all children attending Red Cross Children’s Hospital, to tell and listen to their stories about issues that are important to them. In this way we contribute in order to improve the hospital experience and wellbeing of each child and family members.”

VoiceWorks has been given the opportunity to help the children get their voices fit for radio and to tell their stories with confidence, clarity and enthusiasm. We conducted our first Voice Gym Workshop with a group of children on the 4 October 2017. The workshop is fun, interactive and practical and makes them aware of how they can learn to use their voices skillfully for radio. They were given exercises to do to help with the projection of their voices, to speak with clarity and credibility. The ages of the children attending ranged from 6 – 17 years old and their enthusiasm to learn and commitment to the process was inspiring.

Marianthi assisting Naseerah with improving her communication skills Imaad receiving a certificate for completing the Voice Gym Workshop with VoiceWorks

VoicWorks is passionate about empowering people to make their voices work for them, so we are extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to add value to the children’s RX Radio experience. This incredible initiative is hugely beneficial to the children, giving them the platform and tools to build on their confidence, wellbeing and future career choices and dreams.

Thank you to the RX Radio Team, Dr. Gabriel Urgoiti, Noluyolo Ngomani, Wayne Boonzaaier and Ramabina Mahapa and the children for including VoiceWorks in your exciting journey!

Visit the RX Radio website for more information and sign up to become a supporter or partner today!

Woman whispering close up

A Few Tips From Our Team

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Prepare physically and emotionally as well as intellectually.  Start at your best, like an athlete, rehearse the opening sequence.

Prepare for speech not print, use the immediacy of language not “literature”.

Research – ask the right questions.  Who is the audience, what do they want to know, what do you want them to remember?

Bullet points –  know what you want to say, not the words you are going to use.  The delivery should have a sense of spontaneity.

Have three main points – create a narrative line.

Talk to, not at your audience – talk as if to one person and move them around the audience.

Audience engagement and involvement – energy, vocal variety and vocal and facial expression are essential.

Fill the space with your energy and presence -imagine the room is 50% bigger than it actually is.

Timing – less is more!  Edit rather than add!

Style and substance – aim for a balance between the content and your personality.  People remember information because of the person who told them!

Kingfisher FM and VoiceWorks presents

Behind The Scenes With VoiceWorks

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Watch an advert in the making! VoiceWorks got together with the wonderful team at Kingfisher FM radio station in Port Elizabeth to make our radio advert, which was aired during the month of July.

Our very own Port Elizabeth facilitator Anabel Stindt provided the lovely voice for the advert and had a fantastic experience in the studio recording it.


We’re so looking forward to our next adventure with Kingfisher FM when we start our Executive VoiceWorks Course with their radio presenters in September!

Take a look at the behind the scenes making of our VoiceWork’s advert.


Govornistvo i javni nastupi, Verbalisti

Glossophobia – The Fear Of Public Speaking

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The term Glossophobia comes from the Greek words “glossa” meaning “tougue or language” and “phobos” is the personification of fear in Greek mythology. It’s estimated that 75% of people suffer from speech anxiety, making it one of the most common phobias that exist and along with other social fears, is thought to begin at around age 13.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld.

People who suffer from Glossophobia tend to freeze in front of any audience, even a couple of people. They find their mouth dries up, their voice is weak and their body starts shaking. They may even sweat, go red and feel their heart thumping rapidly.

This fear may happen at school where a pupil prays that the teacher doesn’t call on him to answer a question. It can happen in the workplace where the employee experiences panic attacks at the thought of making a presentation to her superiors. It can happen at home where the jobseeker becomes emotionally distraught before going on a job interview.  It can happen to actors, actresses and musicians who find shows and concerts extremely difficult.

Others Beat Fear. So Can You.

To inspire you in your quest to become an influential public speaker, here is a list of famous people who have made a successful living out of performing or speaking in front of thousands of people despite their deep-seated anxiety.

  1. Warren Buffett – Once a college student who was “terrified of getting up and saying [his] name,” Buffett was able to overcome his aversion to speaking in front of others by facing his fears head on.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi – During his student life, he suffered from frequent panic attacks. For years, the “the awful strain of public speaking” became a burden so great for Gandhi that he even avoided speaking at friendly get-togethers and dinner parties.
  3. Nicole Kidman – “I panic in front of all the cameras. My hands start shaking and I have trouble breathing.”
  4. Harrison Ford – It is hard to believe, watching a movie like Indiana Jones that Harrison Ford is scared of anything, but in his own words, “its people I’m scared of.” He suffers from anxiety and in particular, he has a fear of public speaking.

The thought of speaking in public can leave us frozen with fear. It can also cause you to miss out on many academic, social, and career opportunities. Don’t suffer this fearful phobia in silence; the team at VoiceWorks is passionate and motivated to help you conquer the fear of public speaking and open a whole new world of opportunity for you.

Multi-ethnic Customer Service Agents with headset on in a Call Centre

You had me at hello! Brand your company image with effective sounding call centre agents

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Call centres are at the heart of modern business practice and customer care is increasingly provided telephonically. In a call centre, your most powerful tool is your voice! A welcoming, warm and confident sounding voice translates into good service much more than one that is flat, shy and distant. By investing and making the time to focus on voice, you’ll be spending quality time that will improve the quality of your entire organization.

“It takes 15 seconds to make an impact – from the way we look and the way we sound. On the telephone you only have your voice with which to make an impact, so using your voice skillfully is vital. This is invaluable in the highly specialized and pressurized environment of Call Centres.” So says Marianthi Dickie, owner of VoiceWorks.

The image and professionalism of the company is projected by the way the agents present themselves vocally, and their overall credibility is enhanced by training them to sound clear, friendly and empathetic, as well as display excellent listening skills. Service excellence is ensured when call centre agents learn to deal with complaints and challenging callers in a succinct, bold manner through effective voice control and good language skills.

Here in South Africa, call centres are being operated locally for companies in countries such as England, Australia, USA, Germany and Netherlands. However 80% of our call centre workforce operates in their second language. VoiceWorks can also assist call centre agents with English language confidence and accent neutralization so that they can communicate more globally.


Our Call Centre Communication Skills Course can be tailored to suit your organizations needs and can be conducted in small groups or individually and are run nationally. Current skills are assessed and a custom designed training programme is created to improve the relevant skills required to be an effective and respected call centre agent.

Speaker giving a talk on corporate Business Conference. Audience at the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship event.

Four Presentation Skills – Tips to command the room

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In today’s technology driven, fast-paced world we are inundated with so many different messages from so many different sources, it’s difficult to hold someone’s attention for very long. People are impatient and demand instant gratification, so get to the point and don’t take too long. Here is how not to lose your listeners.

1. Understand your audience

Know who your audience is and understand what they want to gain from your presentation. Keep it focused on the key points that you want to deliver in your talk. Don’t tell them information that they already know.

2. Less is more

Don’t overcomplicate your message or get wrapped up in the detail. Don’t be afraid to cut information out of your presentation that does not add any value. People can only keep three or four pieces of information in their short term memory easily, so consolidate your message into three distinct blocks of information.

Winston Churchill humorously said: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

3. Reduce the fear by visualizing the end result

Author Rhonda Byrne quotes “You can easily understand that the more prepared you are before a test, exam or speech, the less fear you will have. When you prepare your mind for something you’re about to undertake by visualizing the outcome, you will reduce the fear you feel. You might also discover that when you begin to do the fearful thing, the fear disappears at once. I have often found this to be true in my life, the fear of doing something is much worse than the reality of doing it.”

4. Smile…even if you must fake it

Susan Cain is a former lawyer who wrote Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking said “There are psychological tricks you can employ to feel calm during intimidating situations, such as speaking in public or chairing a meeting. For example, pay attention to how your face and body arrange themselves when you’re feeling confident, and adopt those positions when the time comes to fake it. Studies also show that taking simple physical steps – like smiling – makes us feel stronger and happier, while frowning makes us feel worse.”


Female speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship. Business woman. Horizontal composition.

Our Voice & Presentation Skills Workshop

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Join us on the 8th, 13th, 15th and 20th of June for our Voice and Presentation Skills Workshop!


Address: Woodstock, Cape Town (TBC)

Times: 4pm – 7pm

Price: R3600 per person

We will help you:

– Overcome fear and nervousness when presenting

– Communicate with confidence and passion

– Develop your authentic voice to the best of your potential

– Cover reliable presentation techniques even when pressured

Please contact Marianthi Dickie on 082 658 5542 or via our enquiry form to sign up today!

Just Breathe

Stress and its Effect on Your Voice

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How to destress your voice

Our advice to a confident voice

Stress can be an incredibly weakening factor in our lives and we are seeing more and more cases of stress manifesting itself in disease. We currently face the stress of our economy, uncertainty of our government and politicians, on top of the day to day strain of juggling our households, families and careers. Stress affects everyone in some form on a daily basis.

There has been an explosion of industries focusing on wellness, relaxation and de-stressing, such as going on retreats, relaxation techniques and meditation, organic foods and healthy eating habits. People want to go back to a simpler life. As a voice coach, what is interesting to me and often overlooked, is the negative impact stress has on our speaking voices.

In an article by Kathryn Senior PhD, she states that “General stress can strain your voice, as tension in the muscles of the neck and upper body can change the shape of the larynx slightly, and can cause the vocal cords to constrict. This can change the voice so that it becomes higher than usual. Other factors also come into play when we are stressed – being very emotional, angry, upset and shouting or crying a lot can all make the vocal cords inflamed, causing the same sort of effects as laryngitis.”

An article by Reader’s Digest, Best Health also states that “A stressed voice may sound more aggressive, inviting negative reactions from others, and breathing may become shallower as the pace of speaking gets quicker. If you can take the tension out of your voice, you’re more likely to breathe better, produce more efficient speech, and get a better response.”

Our advice is to take care of your voice by using it correctly. Firstly you need to learn how to relax your body in the form of exercises that help lighten the tension. This will then allow you to breathe using your diaphragm, which will reduce the stress significantly and improve the sound of your voice. Most people are lazy breathers in that they only use the upper chest for breathing. Using the support of your diaphragm to breath will enable you to lessen and possibly eradicate your stress due to the fact that diaphragmatic breathing removes toxins from your body.

De-stress your voice; it is the mirror of your soul. At VoiceWorks, we give you the tools to use your voice skilfully to help control your own stress. Breathe. Hum. Relax.

A lady answering the phone with confidence after attending a VoiceWorks course

It Takes 15 Seconds to Make an Impact

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Research shows us that people judge us by the way we look but more importantly by the way we sound. We spend time, money and effort on the way we look, and so we should, in order to reflect the correct corporate, business or personal image. Few people spend the same effort on how they sound.

Yet far more indicate of our character and personality, social standing and intelligence is how we sound.

We are ‘placed’ by our listeners and sometimes we do this to others.

The voice is important – it brands us so we need to be in control of how we sound.

The minute we speak, our tone, pitch, clarity and variety sends out signals about the kind of person we are, even indicating our moods at that particular time.

Projecting the right sound can make a big difference to the way we are perceived and treated so make sure that your 15 seconds to impact is well spent when you open your mouth to speak.

– Marianthi Dickie, Founder and CEO of VoiceWorks