Caroline Goyder is a sought-after expert speaker and trainer by senior management within high-profile organizations as well as private individuals. She speaks at Youtube, Facebook, Amazon, Harvard Business School Alumni, Henley Business School, School of Life, and London Business Forum. Goyder helps her clients develop their spoken style so they can express themselves better, and become more effective leaders.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was bought up in the North of England with a pretty idyllic childhood amongst nature, horses, and super supportive parents. My father’s love of music has definitely passed down to me and permeates my work each day through my love of singing (I might not have the best voice but I don’t care!). I sing every day – it’s the best way to warm up the voice and build confidence. We can all learn a lot from singers.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That confidence can be learned you are not born with it. That just because you’re not the “sporty” kid, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn to fully inhabit your body and your breath. That education doesn’t have to be just about the mind.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
A lot is talked about public speaking. I hate the expression of public speaking. Why can’t we just call it speaking – It sounds a lot more fun, and a lot less daunting, I’d ban the phrase personally!
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
One of the darkest yet one of the most enlightening experiences where I learnt the most about myself was my time at drama school. My confidence felt crushed and dismantled but I took the positive from that realizing that the voice was the area for me and its exploration was going to be my mission. In rebuilding from the ground up I learned a huge amount about myself and gained toughness and resilience that I’m proud of years later.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Practice, tenacity, to keep going when you want to give up. The voice responds to regular, relaxed practice, in a way that is a kind of magic. Do it daily and everything will change over time. It’s why I told the story of Desmothenes in my TEDX and why I wrote Find Your Voice.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine can vary depending on my children, when I’m writing I like to get up about 5 am when the house is quiet and still allowing me the mind space to focus and create. I start my day with 5-10 minutes of breathing and stretches this really grounds me and gives me the positivity to begin. At about 7 am the house wakes up and becomes a crazy spinning wheel of making breakfasts, feeding the dog, and getting my girls out of the house in time for school. I always walk my girls to school then try to join a pilates or yoga class before I begin my workday.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Saying thank you. Gratitude goes a long way to making our lives so much happier.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Over the years I’ve learnt to delegate, I have star quality, a totally brilliant team around me that allows me to focus on what I do best and frankly what I enjoy best too! Switching off any distraction such as my phone or turning off notifications allows me to focus on the task at hand. Diarising tasks and time to think/create have also made all the difference I then know what I need to do and when.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
As a young student, I discovered the work of the late, great voice expert and coach Cecily Berry – her book the Voice and the Actor changed my life and direction. More recently I love the work of Viv Groskop her book How To Own The Room…..is one everyone should read! I’m a massive fan of Brene Brown as well, and I’m a voracious reader of anything on breath and body. Mimi Kuo Deemer is a fabulous yoga and Qi Gong teacher and her books fascinate me currently.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Gosh, where to start there are so many. If I’m nervous which is often the Fritz Perls quote “fear is excitement without the breath” resonates. When life gets to me, or opinions knock my confidence a quote I always refer back to is from Dr. Seuss “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’ My mantra each day belongs to the words of Coco Chanel ‘The most courageous act is still to think for yourself aloud’. This resonates so much with me and lives firmly at the forefront of everything I do.
Where can we go to find out more?
For free resources, interviews, and brand new video and audio training which share practical skills for confidence, gravitas, and influence, plus Caroline’s membership program you can visit Caroline’s new site carolinegoyder.com