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How To Talk Proper English: LSW In The Times


By Emma Serlin
December 2, 2010

It's ok to talk proper againThis week, London Speech Workshop was featured in The Times. I was asked to give an elocution lesson to journalist Helen Rumbelow, and to discuss Kate Middleton's interview debut in her first public speaking engagement.

It was an interesting task, analysing the vocal tones of Britain's newest princess to be, and speculating as to how much Kate had adjusted her voice to suit the situation. My consensus? Kate's voice was no doubt effected by nerves, a tight dress (restricting breathing) and an awareness of 'getting it right' for her husband to be and the millions of hungry eyes watching her.

We also spoke at length about what elocution means today, how it is so much more than simply achieving accurate sounds, and Helen did these ideas justice in her article:

"Gone are the dropped consonants of the 1990s. As Kate Middleton proves, enunciation is back in vogue. You learn a lot about the modern British psyche by learning to impersonate Kate Middleton. During my hour with a speech coach — I’m not trying to look like Kate, that would take a fricking miracle, but to sound like her takes about an hour — I came to a revelation. We’re more at peace with who we are, or at least how we sound.

In the speculation over which fashion labels Kate will endorse, the fact that her voice shows her support for the most British, yet most politically fraught, brand went unnoticed. For the past decade this brand has been languishing, rejected by cultural icons no less than Tony Blair, the BBC and the products of the middle-class private school system."

If you would like to have a look at the article, read it here and watch this video.

Emma has made guest appearances on Newsnight, London Live and a number of documentaries. She personally coached the Korean Olympic Bid team, which led to their successful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Emma is often asked for her input in radio, documentary and newspaper articles and has contributed to The Times Newspaper, the FT and The Independent. Contact us to book a talk with Emma to inspire and motivate your colleagues, professional network or community. 

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