Lights, camera, action! Your virtual presence 1: Practical voice and speaking skills for teaching or presenting online

Short description

Presenting at a virtual conference or teaching online synchronously require effective voice skills to be heard and understood. Getting your ideas and research across to listeners in the virtual world is vital for your professional development, academic practice and advancement. In this course we will learn practical voice skills and techniques to prepare us for speaking and presenting virtually, or for communicating through a computer in online interviews, meetings or while teaching. We will also discuss and discover simple breathing techniques that help reduce nerves and tension, which affect the sound of one's voice and delivery. Taking care of one's voice is important to all speakers and we will discuss best practices for protecting one's voice.

This workshop is organised in the framework of CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences

How does this course work

This practical course comprises two sessions of two hours each, focusing on speaking skills and voice techniques that build on each other. In the first session you will learn and practice voice and breathing exercises to warm-up your voice and discuss how to use your voice for effective speaking or presenting online. In the second session we will practice speaking skills with constructive feedback from the session leader and peers and discuss specific voice issues. Participants are encouraged to ask questions or for clarification, as needed. Please have any book or textbook in your main subject available during both sessions to practice reading and speaking aloud. 


Target group

This workshop is useful for most PhD candidates, especially those part way through their programme and beyond.


What you will learn

By the end of the workshop participants will:

· Have a better awareness and improved control of personal communication and public speaking skills in the online space

· Know how to keep an audience’s attention

· Understand the value of warming up one's voice and how to do a short warm-up routine to prepare one's voice for speaking in public



  • Jo Tomalin is Professor of Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University where she teaches movement, voice skills, voice-over techniques, acting and storytelling. She is also a stage director, a theatre reviewer in the USA and UK, and has taught Voice-Over skills at Pixar Animation Studios in California. Jo trained at: École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris, France: Certificat Professionnel + LEM (Physical Acting, Masks, Scenography); Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, RADA, London (Classical acting and Voice); ATCL, Trinity College of Dramatic Art, London (Classical acting and Voice); Goldsmith's College, University of London, UK (Laban Movement Analysis & Choreography); Ph.D. (Education) Capella University, MN.