Treasured Tongues: How to Become a Teller with a Thousand Voices

Target Participants:

Open to both novice and experienced storytellers in English who wish to improve their vocal quality


1 session, three hours per session

No. of Participants:

Min: 8 people; Max: 20 people

Pre-Workshop Preparation:

  • Please come dressed in loose, comfortable clothing so that you will not feel constricted while doing the various breathing and vocal exercises.
  • Please have in mind a story that you have NOT worked on before and that contains at least 3 distinct character voices.

Notes for Organisers:

  • Please make available a fair-sized room that can easily accommodate all the workshop participants and the facilitator (seated in a circular formation). Please make sure that any other tables and chairs are stored against the wall or outside the room so that the participants have space to move freely about the space when they do the various exercises.
  • Please make sure that the room has been vacuumed thoroughly before the workshop. The participants will be doing deep breathing exercises; thus a dusty environment would not be conducive at all.
  • Please provide a large whiteboard and pens as well as access to computer/computer projection to show PowerPoint slides.
  • Please make copies of hand-outs that will be emailed to prior to the workshop. The hand-outs are to be given to the participants at the end of the workshop.

Do you feel that when you tell stories, your delivery seems flat and all your characters sound the same? If so, Treasured Tongues: How to Become a Teller with a Thousand Voices is the workshop for you. Open to anyone with some storytelling experience, this physical-based workshop will help you gain more vocal versatility as a teller. Areas to be covered include physical gesture and impulse, resonance, articulation, vocal placement, variation of pitch/pace/volume, etc. By the end of the session, you should become more aware of ways to create and sustain character voices, thereby adding life and texture to your storytelling.

Areas Covered:

  • To help the participants to improve their storytelling abilities in terms of expressiveness and vocal texture.
  • To help the participants expand their abilities to create different-sounding character voices.


Voice work/training takes time to be imbibed through long practice. Within the duration of this short workshop, I will be raising the participants’ awareness of certain principles of voice work, rather than aiming to effect a permanent change in their habitual use of voice and speech. Nevertheless, the workshop should heighten the participants’ consciousness in such a way that they will be able to subsequently monitor how they use their voice and make some adjustments for more effective voice usage if necessary.

About the Facilitator

Verena Tay has spent more than 25 years acting, directing and writing for Singaporean English-language theatre. She has three published collections of plays and is now working on her debut novel and first volume of short stories. In addition, Verena is an active storyteller-cum-storytelling coach and a co-founder of MoonShadow Stories. Possessing an MA in Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, 2005) and an MA in English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993), she has been helping people to improve their communication skills since 2001 and currently teaches voice, speech and presentation skills at various local institutions. For more information about Verena, please visit