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


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:

  • improve their storytelling abilities in terms of expressiveness and vocal texture
  • 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.

Pre-Workshop Preparation

For Participants

  • 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.

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.
  • Please make copies of handouts that will be emailed to prior to the workshop.


Participants' Feedback


What aspects of this workshop benefitted you the most?

“A playful workshop, beautifully structured that reminds the artist of the importance of using the physical gesture to explore voice.”

Jackie Kerin

“The face passing on exercise and the relationship between physical & the voice has been invaluable. I will use this in finding voices. Thank you. It was fabulous & fun. Challenging & informative.”

Ruth Carson

“The ways to find my voice. I came here with one and left with 999. Thank you so much. This workshop has taught me more than any other.”

Heather Perriam

“Being able to free myself to make faces; the ability to connect body posture, voice to facial expressions. I will practice what has been so well demonstrated. It opens my mind to using different visual images to control my voice and projection of my character’s personality.”

Gwen Hilary

“Physicality & evolution of voices. It was very good — cannot think of improvement. A warm, talented presenter! ”

Gaye Sutton

“Articulation. Physical. Absolutely inspiring — want more. Great tools.”

Allan Reidner

“The loosening up exercises were so beneficial. Your skills and your sense of humour — I loved them. Thank you.”

 Angie Kenyon

“Applying voices and body language to characters. Great workshop!”

Louise Lewis

“The practical exercises, actually doing it. The radio exercise was a great way of understanding the 3 aspects. Liked the simple warm up exercises. It was great! Well done! & thanks.”


“All was very good. This was the best workshop I attended.”

 Neville Cheyne

About the Facilitator

A Singaporean writer, editor, storyteller and theatre practitioner, Verena Tay has published a short story collection, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light (2012), and three play collections, and edited various fiction anthologies, including the bestselling Balik Kampung series of short stories published by Math Paper Press. She possesses three Masters: English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993); Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 2005); and Creative Writing (City University of Hong Kong, 2015). Since 2005, she has been helping people to improve their communication skills and has taught voice, speech and presentation skills, storytelling and creative writing.