First came Ashleigh Barty, now here comes Michael

What does a voice class have to do with tennis?!

A few years ago, a quiet young boy walked into the studio with his chin down and told his new classmates that his nickname was ‘Mickey Mouse’ – because he was as quiet as a mouse. Michael, then a year six student, was signed up for classes by his parents who were searching for a way to help him feel more comfortable in social situations and to speak up more at school.

Michael was struck by the way his new classmates could jump up, speak off the cuff, and keep each other engaged while sharing stories, speeches and scenes.

He was hesitant and nervous, but something always made him have a go, and eventually his own speaking skills began to grow and flourish.

Michael set a goal that he wanted to be able to feel more confident when speaking.

He wanted his older sisters to pay attention to him when he spoke (of course!), and he wanted the skills to help him with his sporting passion too.

Michael was already a fine tennis player and knew that if his tennis continued going well, he’d one day have to speak in front of a crowd.

One such moment came a few weeks ago when Michael, now in Year 9, won the 14U Boys singles at the 2019 Twin Towns Tuncurry Junior and AMT tournament!

Michael had to give a speech as he collected his prize and everyone commented on his public speaking style. He was the only athlete who knew how to use the microphone and the audience caught every word.

Four years since first walking into the studio, Michael loves his classes, his classmates, has a booming voice, strong microphone technique, and builds a friendly rapport with the audience whenever he speaks. He has completed three AMEB Exams with outstanding results and participates in the Inner West Eisteddfod every year.

Michael’s story is a wonderful example of how speaking skills are honed over time, and it’s the long-term, life-long skills that make weekly classes so worthwhile.

Michael was thrilled with his result at the tournament and was pleasantly surprised with the feedback about his winner’s speech!

We’re so proud of what he’s achieved with his speaking – and we plan on following his tennis career all the way to the Australian Open!