“After speaking to Randolph and a colleague – I was excited about taking up the SpeakSmart course and also listening to how Randolph speaks; his enunciation, expression, pronunciation and confidence in his speech was very inspiring. I have been to college and university and through both of these I have had to do presentations as part of a group and as an individual. I always did each presentation to the best of my ability but, I was never satisfied as I knew that my delivery could have been better, therefore when I was presented with the chance to take up the SpeakSmart course, I took it up without question.
The course ran over 10 weeks and each session was scheduled for 1 hour but often ran over. This was due to the discussions which took place about the text I was studying and also, my reluctance to ‘lose my Yorkshire accent.’ This became a real sticking point for me in the first sessions. Randolph understood my resistance to this but patiently explained that he did not expect me to speak this way all of the time if it did not suit me but, he was giving me the ability to speak that way when I felt it necessary. Randolph would constantly find new examples of how speech can hinder or elevate one’s progress. These examples were everyday examples from TV adverts, news, radio programmes and real life scenarios, all of which really highlighted the power of elocution.
Randolph’s teaching space is very comfortable and he always made me feel at ease, making light of my mistakes whilst quickly correcting them and making my successes a real celebratory moment! He instilled confidence in me from the start.
Now that I have completed the course, I feel more able and equipped to do public presentations; my public speaking has slowed to a more relaxed and confident pace and I am not in a hurry to say what I need to say. I do not stumble over my words as much as I used to and I now enjoy reading aloud to my family, friends, colleagues and anyone else who will listen! I share what I have learned with my family, correcting them as they speak whilst explaining the power of the spoken word to them.
Without a doubt, SpeakSmart with Randolph has given me greater self-confidence. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone, even if one does not use the elocution every day, just having the ability to use it when necessary is just as powerful.
Many thanks Randolph for your time, effort, patience and a truly enjoyable course.”
Leeds Black Elders
“I first met Randolph in the academic year of 1996-97 along with Dr Carl Hylton and Andrea Henry who were in the process of re-launching the CIAS or the Chapeltown Independent After-School.
The school had been injected with new funding and to get new pupils at the school it was having a revamp.
I was new to teaching and Mr. Hamilton was one of the main tutors, I would shadow him on a number of his lessons and I can honestly say he was great to work with and watch.
Mr. Hamilton’s expertise was elocution, speech and communication. It was his warming up sessions that 15 years later as a teacher, that I now use myself in the teaching of phonics, he would start by opening and closing the mouth stretching it as far as it would go, then with your tongue pushing it as hard as you can against the top of the mouth and either side of your cheeks. Then sticking your tongue out, wiggling it around and then trying to touch your nose, young children love doing these fun things and I get so much cooperation from the children by making it fun and different.
It is through Mr. Hamilton that I got into teaching and he once said to me that “all the greats in history were great speakers even if they had some kind of speech impediment, because their eloquence is what stands out”, to paraphrase him.”
“I saw a marked improvement in the way the kids were speaking… in fact; the kids were now correcting their parents…
Thank you for giving back to the community Randolph!!”
Parent of children that attended Chapeltown Independent After-School (CIAS) 1996/97
“I started elocution while I was job hunting to help to me develop communication and presentation skills. Mr. Hamilton’s professionalism and teaching style in elocution, speech and communication increased my confidence and vocabulary in a short space of time. I got the Job. My presentation was faultless.”
“The main reason I joined the training course was because I had a problem with my self confidence as I used to be shy and had trouble with my speech. Stuttering was the main cause and I used to stammer in certain situations, mostly talking within public groups.
All the lessons I undertook were individually tailored to my needs in focusing on developing a high standard of spoken English combined with confident and effective communication skills.
Randolph gave a strong emphasis on precision, clarity and accuracy in the spoken word. I was encouraged to develop a strong, pleasant and well-modulated voice. This was developed by different tongue exercises, speech involvement also and revising words.
Randolph was friendly and gave me the support towards giving me social confidence in the workplace and within the public.
Leeds Black Elders
Many of those seeking help from elocution teachers are business managers and professionals. They include company directors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, university lecturers, NHS managers, barristers and even ministers of religion. Others include students and recent graduates looking for their first step on to the careers ladder, and parents looking to help their children prepare for oral presentations and university interviews. Source: Jeremy Sutcliffe, November 27, 2012 The Independent
The depressed state of the jobs market appears to be fuelling this demand as even established professionals are increasingly turning to elocution teachers to help them to develop interview, communication and presentation skills in the hope of gaining promotion or a new job. Many fear they are being hindered in their search for jobs or held back in their careers because of their regional accents, or because they struggle to speak clearly. Source: The Independent November 27, 2012
With rumours that Education Secretary Michael Gove also wants to see the return of traditional speaking and listening methods in a revised English curriculum in schools, emphasising Standard English, it looks like elocution lessons could also be on the political agenda. Annette Burgess would be the first to approve. Source; The Independent November 27, 2012
“I do think that if this could be offered in some way to children from a young age, it would be so much easier to learn and become part and parcel of their everyday life. The older you are, the harder it becomes having to start from scratch. I would absolutely agree that there should be some form of elocution lessons taught within the day-to-day of school life,” she says. Source: Melissa Ednie, The Independent November 25, 2012