How to Talk so People Will Listen! (and sound confident even when you’re not!)

Lizzie Waterworth, illustrated by Jez Tuya

You may know Lizzie Waterworth’s voice, even if you don’t know her! She is the voice of Henry in the Horrid Henry TV series, and she has written this book based on her own experiences of conquering her fears and speaking confidently in public. As a professional cartoon voice artist Lizzie has created her own strategies to overcome that small inner voice which often says “What if…” – and she shares these strategies in this book in a funny, energetic manner.

How to Talk so People Will Listen! includes useful tips for calming nerves and helping you to feel in control. Lizzie explains about her so-called “confidence toolbox” which helps her to remain and positive. Other topics covered in the book include breathing exercises to calm your nerves, how to enhance the power of your voice, the importance of practising, connecting with your audience and how to avoid relying on verbal fillers such as “errrrm” and “y’know”. The book includes anecdotes from well-known performers such as Stephen Fry and CBeebies presenter Ben Shires, as well as handy hints and tips by professional voice actors from the world of cartoons and video games.

Quirky, humorous cartoons help to reinforce Lizzie’s words, and the typography is both varied and interesting, with large and small type used carefully to get across the book’s key messages.

This is an easy-to read manual about the important but oft-neglected skill of speaking. The advice it gives is playful but instructional, without being too serious or didactic. And it’s not just a book for children – some adults may find it useful too!

Published by DK (176 pages)

Reviewed by Jane Walker