VOICE IN ACTION: Understanding Your Voice and Using it Effectively

VOICE IN ACTION: Understanding Your Voice and Using it Effectively

2 days, Saturday 23 February and 2 March, 10am – 3:30pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Kirstie O’Sullivan 
$265.00 incl. GST

O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul!’ – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Have you ever wondered how you can develop a richer, more flexible and interesting voice? Would you like to speak with greater confidence? Does your voice feel tired or strained after speaking for long periods of time? Voice in Action explores the basic tools of voice production, and how you can use these to your communication advantage, both in your personal and professional life.

Limited to 12 participants

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to speak with increased confidence in public; express themselves with greater confidence; understand the anatomy and physiology of the voice; project their voice effectively and safely; demonstrate an awareness of how to keep their voice healthy and functioning well; express themselves clearly and articulately; express themselves with greater vocal strength, persuasiveness and commitment.

Course outline

Practical application of the concepts and information introduced during Voice in Action is vital to the learning and success of the participant.

A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and enjoyable and accessible exercises encourage an exploration of the following topics:

How the Voice Works: A detailed and practical exploration of the anatomy and physiology of the voice, and how you can use this to your advantage

Relaxation Techniques: Exercises to assist the release of unnecessary physical and muscular tension, which may be impeding vocal power

Fundamental Breath work: Exploring the connection with your breath as a foundation for sound. This also forms the basis for developing vocal resonance

Pitch, Pace and Volume: Three of the most important tools for any speaker. We’ll take a look at how the use of these can improve your vocal variety and flexibility, thereby increasing the chance of capturing the attention of your listener

Articulation: An appreciation and application of clear articulation (otherwise known as ‘good diction’) assists in clarity of communication. Ensure that WHAT you’re saying is supported by HOW you are saying it!

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those who wish to release the full range and vitality of their voice. A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and participants will be introduced to the basic tools of voice production. As a result, this course will appeal to those interested in improving their personal communication style as well as those who are required to use their voice professionally (teachers, barristers, contact centre operators, trainers, auctioneers etc.).

About the Presenter

Kirstie O’Sullivan is a graduate of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting), Kirstie has also studied acting and voice in the UK and New York. Kirstie’s work includes regular appearances in television, film, theatre and radio. She is the Managing Director of BOLD Communication Ltd, a communication training consultancy based in Auckland. Kirstie has been teaching for the Centre for Continuing Education since 2003.

Life Writing with Deborah Shepard Life

Life Writing with Deborah Shepard Life

5 mornings, Monday 15 – Friday 19 January, 9:30am – 1pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Deborah Shepard 
$310.00 incl. GST


Everybody has the skills to write their life story. Life Writing with Deborah Shepard is designed for people who have never written before and participants who already enjoy writing in other genres and want to try memoir. Under Deborah’s gentle guidance you will experience a summer writing school like no other. You will have five blissful days to indulge your dream and write your heart out in a collaborative and supportive environment.

Limited to 10 participants

Course outline

Session One: Getting Started introductions a definition of memoir and why people write memoir writing exercise: What brought me here? a conducive environment for writing a timeline of my life group analysis of literary excerpts: ‘I was born’ writing exercise: ‘I was born.’

Session Two: Remembering Childhood The Writing Life: writers’ studios and the writing discipline writing exercise: ‘My Writing Space’ writing tips and guidelines for the presentation of work edit workshop: a group exercise group analysis of literary excerpts: ‘Remembering Childhood’ writing exercise: ‘Remembering Childhood’

Session Three: Writing directly from life an introduction to observational writing writing exercise: in the outdoors group discussion: Writing about the people we love ethical dilemmas and a participatory model group analysis of literary excerpts: ‘Someone I have loved’ writing exercise: ‘Someone I have loved’

Session Four: Preparing work for publication individual mentoring session with Deborah Shepard editing your story and writing a short bio

Session Five: Publication and Celebration group reading of participants’ stories on ‘Your Story’ the defining qualities of successful authors how to protect your writing project and carry on future publishing and performing opportunities shared lunch group analysis of literary excerpts: a self-portrait writing exercise: ‘A self-portrait: where to from here?’

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will be able to: continue the reading programme established on the course, using my bibliography and read memoir critically sit down and write with confidence write for online publication continue writing their memoir for book publication, for blogging, as an essay, for a family history project and perform the writing at the monthly Inside Out Open Mic forum.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for: new writers, people who are interested in writing and are newcomers to the genre people who want to discover their writing voice people who want to record their stories for their family people who want to write and publish their life story people who want to explore their inner world and express their thoughts and feelings and observations and transform them into literature young and older writers people who have written in another genre such as fiction or poetry, or non-fiction and who want to explore memoir.

About the tutor

Deborah Shepard (PhD Film, Television & Media Studies) Deborah is an author, editor and life writing mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors. Her books include: Reframing Women: a history of New Zealand film  (2000),  Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005),  Her Life’s Work  (2009) and a new work  Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal  (February 2015). Deborah has taught life writing for eight years at The University of Auckland’s Public Programmes, the Creative Hub and the Michael King Writers’ Centre. She is the consultant biographer for the Mercy Hospice Auckland and she hosts a popular life writing forum on her website www.deborahshepardbooks.com

What participants say

This is such a worthwhile course where emotional safety and student growth in writing are paramount – Marilyn Woolford

Deborah is amazing. Her genuine connection with story and people was absolutely crucial to this course’s success – Rachael Breckon

Deborah has a beautiful, compassionate, inclusive approach to her teaching. We all got so much more out of this
short course that we could have imagined – Janet Sergeant.

Public Speaking with Confidence

Public Speaking with Confidence

1 day, Saturday 19 May, 9:30am – 4:30pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Lisa Brickell and  Kate Bartlett
$210.00 incl. GST
1 day, Saturday 17 November, 9:30am – 4:30pm 
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Lisa Brickell and  Kate Bartlett
$210.00 incl. GST

Do you ever feel nervous speaking in front of groups? Do you need to give presentations in the workplace, at social occasions, or as part of your studies? Recent surveys have shown public speaking to be the number one greatest fear, above being afraid of spiders, snakes or even death! Using comedy, drama and storytelling techniques, this one-day intensive course will:

  • Develop your public speaking skills
  • Explore your unique presentation style
  • Increase spontaneity
  • Develop storytelling and vocal techniques
  • Overcome fears and help you enjoy being in front of an audience

Presenters: Lisa Brickell MA, DipDrama, Cambridge CELTA, DipTheatre (LeCoq, Paris) and Kate Bartlett BA; Dip Prof Acting(NZ Drama School); Dip Drama; Dip Tchg; ATCL

Course outline

This course will cover: Presentation skills: building skills in the following areas-non-verbal communication, creating audience rapport and having a clear intention Relaxation Techniques: exercises used to overcome tension and fear associated with presenting in public Improvisation skills: building participants confidence in the area of spontaneity Storytelling techniques: content and structure Vocal skills: exercises to encourage vocal strength and confidence.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to identify the characteristics of effective presentations; utilise physical and vocal techniques to enhance presentations; use relaxation techniques to help release tension; demonstrate an understanding of storytelling and improvisation techniques; apply the above when presenting.

Who should attend?

Those who feel nervous speaking in front of groups and/or those who wish to improve their public speaking skills, whether it be in the workplace, at social occasions, or as part of their studies. Lecturers and teachers would also greatly benefit from this course.

About the Presenters

Lisa Brickell has run public speaking skills seminars both in New Zealand and overseas. She has taught at Unitec, Auckland, Waikato and Brighton Universities, and has worked with many companies including Genesis Energy, Coca Cola and DDB. Lisa trained at The Lecoq Theatre School in Paris and at Kiklos Drama School in Italy. She also has a MA in Drama from Auckland University. She was the Key Note Speaker at the Drama New Zealand Conference in 2014 and is a professional actress and comedian, teacher and director.

Kate Bartlett is an actor and trainer with over twenty years experience in the performing arts and training industries. She has taught at Auckland and Waikato Universities, and has delivered Executive Presence, Presentation Skills, Storytelling and Improvisation courses throughout NZ. Kate trained at Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) and has a BA and post graduate Diploma in Drama from Auckland University. She has performed professionally in theatre, film, TV and radio.

Mood and Memory: How food can boost your Brain function

Mood and Memory: How food can boost your Brain function

Saturday 18 November, 9:30am – 1pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Vicki Martin-MacKay
$50.00 incl. GST

If you struggle with those ‘where are my keys’ moments, are tongue tied for lost words, and forget names more often than you care, then this is the course for you. These little signs that our brain function is less than sparkling are annoying indicators that all is not completely well. Your brain is the control center for thought, memory, speech, and movement, and needs to be fed, rested, and exercised daily. The good news is that an enriched diet and practical lifestyle adjustments can help to make improvements and prevent the wear and tear that happens as time goes by.

Course outline

This course will cover the following subjects:

  • A brief discussion of brain functions and effects – memory, concentration, mood, motivation, sleep. brief physiology and anatomy – nerve cells and synapses
  • Brain neurotransmitter chemicals and hormones – a brief overview including serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin
  • The energy supply for the brain – a discussion focused on blood glucose regulation and its importance for healthy brain function
  • Essential nutrients and foods required for healthy brain function
  • Proteins, fats, carbohydrates and key micronutrients – focusing on B vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids
  • Detrimental aspects of western lifestyle and diet which may impact on healthy brain function – lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress, lack of physical and mental exercise, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, and caffeine – a discussion of their impact on brain function and health
  • Constructing a healthy eating plan for optimal brain function
  • Critiquing and consuming popular diets and supplements – are they useful or detrimental for brain health.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course learners will be able to:

  • Briefly describe brain cell function and related neurotransmitter function
  • Identify key macro and micro-nutrients that are essential for healthy brain function
  • Understand and recognise the regulatory functions of nutrients and blood glucose balance on healthy brain function
  • Examine current eating and lifestyle habits make considered changes
  • Identify different food groups and create a balanced healthy eating plan
  • Use knowledge provided to consider whether a diet, supplement, or media information regarding brain function is appropriate or safe.

Who should attend this course?

This course is designed for those of any age or stage who wish to protect and enhance their brain function with healthy eating.

About the Presenter

Vicki is a Registered Dietitian with many years of nutritional counselling and teaching experience.  She has a private nutrition practice specialising in assisting those with challenging health conditions utilising both integrative nutrition and complementary medicine approaches. Along with her Otago University Dietitian training, Vicki has completed a naturopathic diploma and studied traditional Chinese medicine extensively in China and Japan.  She has also worked for many years in the health food industry.  Currently she is studying towards a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. Vicki strives to bring a balance of both clinical nutritional experience and evidence based study to her practice and teaching.