Laura Handke is an inspirational and energetic facilitator, writer, speaker and certified Transformational Voice® teacher, committed to helping others express themselves fully in the world. She helps new and experienced speakers and performers feel comfortable, confident and personally expressive speaking in front of people or on camera. You can check out her workshop here.
Laura’s presentations teach you how to:
- Speak with power and confidence for maximum audience impact
- Be heard strongly and clearly at the back of the room
- Connect with and touch your audience so they remember you
- Harness the power of your breath to reduce performance anxiety
- Loosen up, relax and be your genuine self on stage
- HAVE FUN while learning
In her own words: “It took me 50 years to be able to voice my mission: ‘I help people stop being afraid of being themselves. I inspire people to express their authentic voices in the world.’
I grew up a prairie-land farm girl, surrounded by wildlife, with a cat, horse and dog as some of my best friends. Mom tells me my first word was ‘kitty.’
The two words most often used to describe me (in a complimentary way; there are other constructive ones!) are ‘inspiring’ and ‘passionate.’ I quit my day job as a Senior Claims Examiner managing workers’ compensation claims when it hit me that no matter how much money I was making, those two words aren’t at the top of any claims professional job posting. I wasn’t living in my purpose.”
1) What exactly is your business and what inspired you?
I’m a vocal trainer. I left the corporate world after becoming trained as a Certified Transformational Voice® Teacher. I’m committed to helping people bring their inner voice into the outer world. I speak, teach private voice students, and facilitate workshops – acting, speaking, singing.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
I walk outside in nature – I call this practice a “Godwalk.” Free tip 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNSqwV7nBOI
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
First thing in the morning, I make a cup of tea, and go back to bed to read something inspirational, with my cat by my side, and meditate.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
Feel everything I’m feeling, and not be afraid of it. Let it out. Breathe deeply. Ask for Divine guidance. Sleep as much as I possibly can (menopause has interrupted my sleep patterns.)
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
A few weeks ago, I facilitated a class with 10 women. One of them was in her 60’s, or so, and had some pretty serious “vocal fry.” She’d been told people couldn’t hear her, and that she needed to speak up. After just two hours, she was able to speak clearly, with resonance, her voice ringing out. Everyone in the room broke into applause.
Friday, I taught my third of five music classes at Peace Valley School. I was concerned about one student in particular being able to match pitch. I asked some of my colleagues for help and found one exercise that worked beautifully. All the students were singing on pitch afterwards. It was an experiment, one I’d never tried before. Scary, but it worked.
Those are both the best and the worst. Complete celebration when something works really well. But I don’t have all the answers. I’m relatively new as a voice teacher, and I run across things where I know I can’t help, without help. In those moments, I can feel fearful and inadequate.
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
Being a stepmom in my first marriage of 12 years. I learned much from Derek, Cam and Chad…yet I sometimes think I could have done more. I’ll give one specific example. When Derek was about 10 (he later became a Marine and was killed in Iraq at the age of 21) we were on a camping trip and he asked me what the a word meant. It was one of those moments you have to decide do I answer this honestly or pass it on? I suggested he ask his parents. But he had asked me. Perhaps I should have honestly answered his question, just between us.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I would go to Bali tomorrow, rather than waiting!
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Follow your gut. Don’t give up. It can take a few years. Listen to Divine guidance at every turn.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
Fear of marketing would be the big one.
10) Any last parting words?
The world needs your authentic truth, spoken in your authentic voice.