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Elocution | voice classes

Elocution lessons for future solicitors and barristers

Future solicitors or barristers should not only possess excellent writing skills; they should also speak with clear diction. Certainly, successful lawyers are well-spoken and are able to get their message across with ease and elegance. Hence, linguistic competence is a must not only for non-native English speakers seeking to pursue a legal career in an English-speaking country, but also for native English speakers, for instance, those with regional accents. Precision, clarity and exactness in speech demonstrate that the person has a real command of the English language. Variations in intonation have subtle meanings, which are useful techniques in the toolbox of a lawyer.

It has also been reported that the legal sector prefers candidates from the middle class and the way one speaks can thus have a profound impact on the image one portrays during interviews for important summer placements, training contracts or pupillages. The ability to communicate clearly is also assessed during the legal practice course, where it is common practice to record a mock interview which a prospective solicitor conducts with a hypothetical client.

The movie 'The King's Speech' and the musical 'My Fair Lady' further underscore the importance of proper articulation and effective communication.

Our voice coach Andre Gottshalk specialises in elocution and public speaking. Andre was awarded a scholarship for a BA in acting by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which only takes 12 students out of over 2,500 applications each year and is therefore incredibly selective. Andre has also worked in radio, television and film. Early on in his career, he started teaching elocution and public speaking and has amassed a wealth of knowledge in assisting native and non-native English speakers to reduce their accent and/or to speak with clear diction.

Learning objectives

Speak with clarity, ease and precision, including by pronouncing English vowel and consonant sounds correctly
Understand the importance and role of rhythm, stress and intonation and its use for the purpose of rhetoric
Communicate with enhanced clarity, articulation and diction
Be more confident when speaking
Understand how to speak the Queen’s English/Received Pronunciation (RP)/BBC English

How it works

All lessons are taught online via Skype. You will be taught on a one-to-one basis by the voice coach. During the lessons, you will practice particular sounds individually, in words and in sentences and will work on speeches and texts. You will receive voice recordings and handouts, so that you can practice in between lessons. We are flexible with times and also teach on weekends.