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Voice Power
: the Voice in Business and Public Speaking
by Michael McCallion
Published by Mouritz

Reviewed by Alan Philps
First published in STATNews, September 2013

Michael McCallion began his career as a successful actor, writer, director and musician and worked with theatre companies in Chile, England, France, Spain and the USA. In 1961 he started teaching voice to other actors.

It is good to have more work of Michael McCallion published even though it is seven years since his death. His first book, “The Voice Book” (1988), is very good and still in print. He finished “Voice Power” shortly before his death in 2004. There is a certain amount of repetition between the two, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as we all generally need to be reminded of things more than once in our life.

The book is divided into two parts. The first is “The Mechanical Aspects of Voice and Speech” and the second is “Making the Connection”. For anybody who has not read “The Voice Book”, which was written with the professional actor and singer in mind, then this one will be of  particular interest. as it is aimed at anybody who has an interest in their voice and communication skills in general. Personally, I was interested in part two, which covered subjects like “Communication Blocks”, “Meetings”, “Words”, “Performance Skills” and “Radio, Television and Telephones” as they help broaden our thinking about how we communicate either professionally or personally.

As with all self-help, DIY books, there is always a danger that the reader will misinterpret what has been written and in trying to carry out the instructions, may get in a bit of a muddle. It is sad that Michael is not alive to be able to conduct workshops and one to one lessons of his work as he used to do so well.

The Alexander Technique world will find what Michael has written very much in tune with its principles as one would expect as he was married to Anna McCallion who is an Alexander Technique teacher. And we have her to thank for seeing that this book was brought to the attention of Jean Fischer who has published it through the imprint of Mouritz.

For all people who are interested in their voice, I think this book will give them much to think about.

© Alan Philps 2013

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