Great quote – building strong children

I saw this and re-tweeted it this morning, but I wanted to share it here on the blog because I know not all of you follow me on Twitter.


This is so true – so powerful. What are you doing to make your children strong and capable? How are you building them up? Do you enable your children, and build them up, or do you compete with them and attack them? Have you ever told your child they’ll never amount to anything? Your words are so powerful! They have real force.

So many broken adults in the world have pasts where they were not given the tools to be strong, capable and successful in life. Whether this was a fault in their upbringing, or a fault in their schooling – somewhere someone mistreated their natural curiosity, their natural creativity, and crushed them.

I’ve spoken before about how I was bullied, and how a good voice can help bring out  confidence, and it can, but it’s only one part of the jigsaw. It also helps if parents and teachers give constructive criticism and praise and encourage good behaviour and ideas – this can help build adults who will really succeed in life.

Think today how you can inspire your children to be great people, strong and capable!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

Quotations from Charles Bukowski

I came across this poet yesterday, yet rather than share his poetry with you today, I want to share some of his burning quotes with you. They are the words of a specific state of man (I once knew a man like him) – these have a special quality to them, and those who have felt a love, loss and loneliness, may well resonate with these quotes.

“A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.”
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

“I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.”
Charles Bukowski, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

“I stopped looking for a Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasnt a nightmare.”
Charles Bukowski, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship

“there is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy”
Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell

“each mans hell is in a different place:
mine is just up and behind
my ruined face.”
― Charles Bukowski

“People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.”
― Charles Bukowski

“I didnt have any friends at school, didnt want any. I felt better being alone. I sat on a bench and watched the others play and they looked foolish to me.”
― Charles Bukowski

Not poetry, but poetic in their own way. Certainly thought provoking. You can read Bukowski’s poetry on

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

The answer to yesterday’s tongue-twister conundrum

What did the writer mean?

Yesterday I wrote a post containing the Tuesday Tongue_Twister, and yet there was an issue! A question! Eeek!

“She sat upon a balcony, inimicably mimicking him hiccuping and amicably welcoming him in.”

So what’s the problem here? Well, inimicably isn’t a word! *shrieks*

I know!

Calm down.

First of all, when I searched I got this:whoop.jpg

So what do the two most likely words (inimitably and inimical) actually mean, and do either of them fit the context of the tongue-twister?


Well, she can’t be mimicking him inimitably – that doesn’t work.


Uhm, well…. how about she’s mimicking him in a hostile way, and then ‘amicably welcoming him in.’ – well, frankly that doesn’t work much better, does it?

Ah, well, it just shows you that words are fascinating, and we often use them wrongly – get to know and love your dictionary, whether paper or online, because we all need to use them! In fact if you’re going to read anything challenging, you will certainly need to use one.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little sojourn into the dictionary to sort out whether maybe the writer meant this or maybe the writer meant that. If you have any ideas for re-writing the writers tongue-twister, please leave a well-written comment in the writing box below. Or something….

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Why you should follow me on Twitter!

Why on earth would you want to follow me on Twitter, when you’re already following me here? Well, because there are things I spot all over the internet which relate to health, family life, inspiration and (a weakness of mine) pens and stationery (sssh!), which I share on Twitter, but don’t have time to write posts about here.

My Twitter page is here *tweet*

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

Back to School – August special offer

The school holidays had hardly begun before I, as a youngster, saw the signs declaring ‘Back to School’ in shops up and down the high street. It filled me with a deep, pit-of-the-stomach dread. I hated school, and all I wanted was to enjoy the summer holiday in peace!

The one thing I looked forward to, and enjoyed, was my speech training lessons – indeed those lessons are, today, my inspiration in working with youngsters who, like me, may not be having the easiest time academically.

Whether your child is clever or average – and the grades they get – well, it might seem important right now, but however far up the ladder of life you get what is going to count most is how you communicate. Success depends not just on what you know, but whether you are able to get those ideas across to other people – to express them well so others can connect with them and with you.

Good communication is a gift that lasts a lifetime. In fact, if you ask anyone who took computer science back in the 90’s and never took it up professionally – well even qualifications can go out of date, but communication never does. Communication is a vital well-spring of self-expression, understanding and, of course, even more importantly, exchange of information.

Being understood, being heard, and being able to express your thoughts, feelings and needs accurately and authentically is a vital part of everyday life.

If your child is aged between 9 and 15 years old, now is the time to start their journey in confident communication. Get in touch today to book their first term of online lessons. If you book and pay before the 15th August, you can claim a discount of 10% off their first term. T&C apply.

Don’t delay – I have only a few slots available, so book today! If you have questions, again get in touch.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

What makes for confident communication?

Is it all about the voice? No, but it helps.

Is it the vocabulary? Again, that is a much underused and unloved (in the modern world) tool, and improving it, and working on it will give you a greater ability to communicate accurately, which is vital if you’re going to communicate at all! It also helps you to understand more of what others communicate to you!

Is it to be extrovert? Well, that helps too, but alone it’s not enough.

When you combine a good voice with a good vocabulary and a willingness to speak (being extrovert helps, but some don’t need that so much as a reason to speak, a need to share something they know) – you’re heading for confidence.

Confidence is the thing that supports your words as you speak, and conveys them to your audience with an expectation of being heard. Not all confidently spoken words are listened to, but a lack of confidence will often work against even the most important attempts at self expression.

That’s what voice coaching is all about for me – discovering that person’s self expression and building that into inner confidence. It’s about more than speech – it’s about your voice as a person.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

How posh is your vocabulary?

This is rather fun – I got 100% on this – share your score in the comments!

How Posh Is Your Vocabulary

(N.B. Buzzfeed it not suitable for children unless supervised)

Does vocabulary matter? YES! A resounding yes, because accurate use of language inbues your words with their TRUE meaning. Inaccurate language produces stilted communication – because you aren’t really saying what you mean!

Voice coaching includes improving vocabulary as part of the work – I believe it’s vital to good and confident communication!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

‘You were an amazing history teacher! Why did you leave?’ – Ed Boland’s memoir of teaching in a New York High School

This is NOT for the faint hearted, and I would advise it’s certainly not suitable for kids to read, but the article linked here (Click!) is a good insight into the big problem society has in reaching kids often termed ‘underprivileged’. They aren’t underprivileged – as if it’s a ‘privilege’ to have simply enough – they are under funded and under-parented. They often have only their mothers to care for them, and have so little money they don’t have sufficient clothing or food to be healthy.

With that seems to come a hardness, which looks to us outside like narcissism. It is narcissism, because narcissism is usually born from a deep wounding of the sense of self. When we are deeply insecure, one way to cover that brokenness and vulnerability is to swagger, pout, shout and do everything we can to look tough. Tough is not what these kids are underneath – hence the comment:

[Bolan] stayed in touch with many of the students and came back for graduation at the school three years later in 2010. One of his most defiant former students asked:

‘You were an amazing history teacher! Why did you leave?’

Often resistance to being taught belies a sneaking admiration for the teacher who is failing at juggling any of the balls a teacher should be able to keep in the air if it weren’t for the chaos in the classroom. If only Boland had known, he might have stayed on.

Another quote from the article sums it up nicely though – Bolands humanity:

Boland’s sister, Nora, offered some advice on managing a classroom:

‘I hate to break it to you, but ultimately, you need to realize that your students are people with free will. Just like you and me. You can do all you can, but in the end, it’s not you who has the power over their behavior’.

‘Welcome to their world. They have very little power in their lives, so they will use it where they can. Either of us would do the same.’

I thought I was forgiving. I thought I was understanding. I thought I was mature. But, so quickly into this experience I began to loathe my students, resenting everything about them that was their lot—their poverty, their ignorance, their arrogance. 

Everything I was hoping, at first, to change. I was supposed to be the adult, but I had to check myself repeatedly as childish resentments and judgments flared up over petty things like Mariah’s body odor, Lu Huang’s single four-inch strand of facial hair, or Nestor’s disgusting bag of chicharrones.

I haven’t included any of the colourful anecdotes from the article – but do go and read it, you may be amazed or shocked, but this is life in many poor neighbourhood schools.

I hope you find it interesting.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Lessons – options and time-management

Clients who want to visit me for 1-2-1 lessons often have to travel some distance, and for them it seems wise to combine longer, 45 minute lessons with shorter, 30 minute intermediate lessons via skype. This is very helpful for those who are working on presentation skills as part of their work, because during lessons together I can have you standing to speak which you won’t naturally be doing on a computer.

Lessons with me are based purely on the time spent – there are no hidden fees or extras. I offer discounts for lessons paid for in a block of ten, and this works out to be approximately a term of lessons. It’s in fact five hours of lessons, and so I have devised a secondary option for those who want to combine lessons 1-2-1 and lessons via skype.

Your term of five hours breaks down perfectly into four 45 minute lessons and four thirty minute lessons, giving you eight lessons per block booking.

It’s a good option for those just starting, and those who want to keep within a budget.

Your voice is a tool, and it can be used to communicate your thoughts clearly and accurately, or even to persuade softly. You can develop the voice that reflects your true inner self, and that others want to hear.

Confident communication is the key!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Picture credit