Voice traning with SpeakLab

“Our voice speaks louder than we often think, especially after we have learned how to use it.” – One of the course participants.

In collaboration with the competence center SpeakLab, Support Not Protect (SNP) is developing a strength training program to develop more role models for young men. The goal is to create a nationwide model that highlights a big and invisible challenge in our everyday life in Norway.

SpeakLab has spent several years training top-level communicators with backgrounds in journalism, voice research, dramaturgy, kinetics, and top-level sports. Together, we have developed a program with six gatherings in the spring and six gatherings in the fall. In 2020, 12 boys aged 20 to 25 underwent training to familiarize themselves with their own voice and body language. They were taught how to structure a presentation and given practical training in telling their own stories.

Today, the debate about negative social control is driven by strong female voices. There are currently few young men taking part in the discussion. At the same time, we know that boys with multicultural backgrounds struggle in many arenas. Minority boys are stopped more often by the police and are overrepresented in youth criminality. They run the highest risk of dropping out of high school. We also know that outsiderness is the greatest risk factor for radicalization. There are currently few role models for boys who want to break with what is expected of them. There are also few arenas where boys can meet to talk about what impressions their surroundings have of them.

Course plan – Every gathering spans two days.

Gathering 1: Clarification of expectations, information.

Gathering 2: Goal: to create safety around speaking, voice training, simple exercises.

Gathering 3: Words/voice use/body language/mastering nerves

Gathering 4: How to structure a presentation

Gathering 5: Storytelling – how to structure and tell a story well

Output: YouTube as a training arena, podcast stories, and SNP events with an audience.

Some reactions from the boys who have participated so far:

“I have learned that my voice has a power I wasn't aware of. I’m also a lot more confident when I’m speaking, and I feel that all my short or long conversations go a whole lot better than before this course. Again, thank you so much for this opportunity!”

“SpeakLab has been an extremely useful course and a great experience where I have learned that something as small as words and my voice can be influential and powerful. It has primarily made me more aware of HOW I can speak and be heard, and I have learned certain speaking techniques that I use in my everyday life in everything from work to social contexts. I would say it has made me more understanding and influential as a person, boss, friend, and youth.”

“SpeakLab has made it clear for me how my voice can create credibility and change. This course has been a big leap toward becoming my complete self!”

Speaklab, founded in 2010 by Siri Lill Mannes and Arne Møller, is a training center for presentations and communication based in Bergen. They offer courses and programs for private and public companies in and outside of Norway.

Are you interested in participating in the course?

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Do you want to help give more boys the opportunity to participate in voice-strength training?

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