BACKGROUND AND BRIEF HISTORY
The SCIC, the 'Service Commun Interprétation-Conférences', the Interpretation Department of the European Commission, asked Joseph Clark in 2005 to design a programme in response to a huge demand from international interpreters at the European Commission and Parliament to help them update their interpreting practice.
There was little training at the time to help interpreters use their voices better. Even today there still is little training on voice use in schools for interpreters, so graduates take up employment with little knowledge as to how to use their voice. Consequently interpreters often experience physical, psychosomatic and emotional problems in their daily practice, with negative repercussions on their work. This is not surprising: the work situation is stressful, movement is restricted, interpreters must be very attentive to the words of others, not all of them good speakers, and to the clarity of their own speech at the same time!
Joseph Clark developed the programme for the SCIC in Brussels over the last twelve years, in conjunction with an interpreting teacher, to unanimous acclaim. He runs the training several times a year. It is continually updated to take into account the individual needs and requirements of each new group of interpreters he works with. The programme has been very popular and successful and has a waiting list for places.
Following the success of this programme over the last 12 years, Joseph has also been asked to work with other international organisations: NATO Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO Kosovo, regularly for NATO Brussels, the independent Interpreters' Association of Belgium, and others.
Joseph Clark's partner Noah Pikes is the creator of The Whole Voice method. His long experience of individual voice coaching, as well as running public speaking and other voice workshops in Switzerland and elsewhere, adds an extra dimension to the programme. Noah Pikes, who lives in Switzerland, became aware of a similar lack of voice training in Swiss organisations and schools for interpreters. Noah Pikes has been working with the voice in similar ways to Joseph Clark, but also adds his own experience of voice work, presentation skills and, especially the Swiss context to the programme. Both trainers studied with Roy Hart in London, and were among the first teachers to emerge from his intensive research group into the real possibilities of the voice.