James Alburger and Penny Abshire are professional performance coaches, voice-actors, and producers of award-winning radio commercials. As a high-level coaching team they specialize in teaching simple, practical, and highly effective techniques guaranteed to improve communication skills at all levels of business.
James and Penny believe every business is a stage, and at one time or another, every employee is a performer . . . from the front office receptionist who makes that all-important first impression to the sales and marketing team making an important presentation to the CEO who needs to speak at a special event or news conference. They have developed a formula utilizing voice and performance techniques that can be effectively applied to any business environment.
As author of the best-selling book on voiceover, The Art of Voice Acting, James Alburger is an expert on taking a scripted presentation "off-the-page" to effectively communicate its message. He has been performing, directing, and coaching for over 4 decades. For his work as an audio producer and sound designer, he has received eleven Emmy awards.
His first experience on stage was as a young magician — a part-time career that evolved into a mastery of performing arts and a unique ability to bring out "hidden" talents in people he works with. When he decided to add a musical background to his magic act, he literally taught himself how to edit music . . . and that was at the age of 12! His love of the two arts (music and magic) culminated in his first book, Get Your Act Together (Producing an Effective Magic Act to Music), which became a standard reference for magicians.
James continued to master sound recording, production, and directing skills at San Diego State University. He simultaneously held positions with KPBS-FM; the SDSU Music Department; and the campus radio station, KCR. Jim's love of sound recording and audio production led him to Los Angeles as a recording engineer and producer at one of Hollywood's top recording studios. While there, he directed some of the highest paid and best known radio, television, film, and voiceover stars in the country . . . Rod Serling, Jim Backus, Steve Allen, Maclean Stevenson, and Charles Nelson Reilly, among dozens of others.
With a move to San Diego in the mid 1970's came a career change that took James to a new level of excellence as a producer, director, and performer. During a career spanning 25 years, he handled talent direction, sound design, and audio production for the NBC network television station in San Diego. Jim coached on-camera and voiceover talent on a daily basis; designed the audio for thousands of station promos, programs, and commercials; and directed an average of 15 live newscasts every week for more than 20 years.
While still working in television, Jim began teaching workshops on the craft of voice acting, based on the performing techniques he had developed. He soon left the world of television and opened The Commercial Clinic, an award-winning production company specializing in full-service audio communication. Through The Commercial Clinic, James works with his partner, Penny Abshire to produce radio commercials; provide performance training; and coach business professionals in techniques for effective communication.
Penny Abshire is a born actor! Very early in her life she discovered a natural talent for acting and communicating with audiences of all sizes and was already doing public speaking at the age of 7. Penny is a classically trained concert pianist and dancer. In her youth, she played professionally throughout the Western states and performed non-stop in community theater and school plays. While attending college, life took her in a different direction as she began what would become a 26-year career in the field of Estate Law.
Throughout her legal career, Penny continued to perform in community theater; worked as a freelance writer; and opened Mere Image, a finishing school for young ladies. She taught beauty, grace and charm as well as personal communication, presentation, and performance skills for young women. She believes that introducing these skills to teens is of great importance and she taught with tremendous passion. Her school was very successful, and many of her students went on to careers in acting and modeling.
After selling her business and moving to San Diego, Penny was introduced to Dr. John Gray who immediately recruited her as a facilitator for his Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Workshops. A unique combination of her talents as actor; performance coach and business owner (not to mention the experiences of a 35 year marriage!), developed into a powerful ability to connect with audiences on an emotional level through the use of quirky humor and touching drama.
Upon completion of her work with Dr. Gray, Penny met James . . . and the synergy of their talents was immediate. She soon joined him at The Commercial Clinic as head writer, talent director, and senior producer. Penny is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the prestigious Omni Intermedia Award for excellence in copy writing; the Communicator Award, for her work as an audio producer; and multiple Silver Microphone Awards for her work as a voice actor.
James and Penny work together as a coaching team to help business professionals raise their communication skills to new levels of effectiveness. They also co-teach The Art of Voice Acting Workshops, and work as a speaking team. Their clients include clergy, television news stations, radio personalities, professional speakers, sales people, tour directors, and corporate management.
Some of their clients include:
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys; San Diego Chargers Football (Charger Girls); International Catholic Engaged Encounters; Escondido Education Compact; EESOO Productions; The San Diego Opera; World Talk Radio; LifeScore Disease Prevention Centers; AM Strategies; KSWB-TV; NBC San Diego; Lathian Systems; Science Media; Sun Marketing; Comic-Con International; Calderon, Jaham and Osborn, Accountants; Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc.; K2 Security Systems
Here's what people say about working with James Alburger & Penny Abshire:
I attended the San Diego Engaged Encounter National Convention at the Town & Country Hotel last weekend and I was amazed at your presentation. It was FANTASTIC!! I've attended several full day seminars on presentation skills, but I've never seen what I witnessed at your workshop. I couldn't't stop talking about it when I returned to work.
I work as a trainer teaching computer skills and many of your wonderful ideas and concepts on presenting material, I WILL USE!!! :-) Staff attend my presentations because they have to, it's part of their job. Why have these skills not been taught before? It was great and I'll be sure to attend one of your full day workshops in the near future. Maybe I can get a group together and we can all attend!
Terry Vasquez Professional Trainer Catholic Engaged Encounter
Wonderful, entertaining and the most useful presentation on how to improve speaking skills that I've ever been to!
Mary Putnam City of San Diego Govt.
I want to thank you for the lessons and time you spent helping me improve my speaking voice. I speak to groups of people numbering from a few to a few hundred. You gave me the tools to use my voice as an instrument and not just a noise that comes from my mouth with the hope that some one understands what I am trying to convey. I have spoken to groups from a convention in Dallas Texas to meetings in California I am also the Chairman and on the board of directors for the pest control industry, Cap Orange County division which is the largest division with 130 members. All of the above require speaking to groups of people and not just speaking but getting a point across and holding their attention. That is where your training comes in. I use the methods I learned from you to communicate to the people and hold their attention. Thank you both!
Jerry Bryant Business Owner
You showed me some incredible ways to get my message out that I never imagined were possible!
Kathy Boettcher CEO, Author Eesoo Productions
Thank you for a wonderful experience! I had a great time, although I have identified 3 problems with your course, and they are as follows: 1) With your positive approach and words of encouragement, I walk a little taller, so I bump my head when getting in my car. 2) The sun is a little brighter and it hurts my eyes. 3) I'm so wound up when I leave that I drive a little faster on my way home and once I get there, I can't get to sleep-and I think my wife is tired of hearing of the great people I have met and how much fun I've been having. Thank you very much for the bumps, the squints and the need for morning coffee!
Chris McBride Business Professional
Great Workshop-James and Penny "know their stuff"! They're very good teachers! We'll use this immediately.
Paul Jennings VP Marketing Productivity Associates
Mere words cannot express how grateful I am for having the opportunity to study under you both. Your positive thinking approach set the stage! With that in mind, the course has helped me remain conversational and pleasant even when I'm under stress. I guess if I fool myself, the illusion will be more real for others.
Milton Staver "Blue Suede Buick" Music Group
I was amazed at the level of professionalism and the instructors' expertise. I had a great time and learned a lot in a very short time.
Carrie Thomas Sr. Detective San Diego Police Dept
Really, you blew me away with your critique. You were extremely thorough, and I really liked the extra touch of having both of you join in the oral critique. One thing I have to say: The way you do business feels extremely "personal". I certainly don't feel that I was treated like "just another voice among countless others". You really made it obvious that you were talking to ME and I felt like you cared about ME. I received MORE than my money's worth... trust me on that. I truly thank you for your valuable perspectives and insights.
Phil Merrifield KATU-TV Portland, OR
Valuable info-fun atmosphere-great concepts! you're A-B-C's and M.O.V.E. are gems that I'll use!
Ken Chapman Management Training Consultant
Wow! I've got a lot to think about now! Your concepts are HUGE! I can hardly wait to start using them! Thanks for a great seminar.
Gina Bolles Professional Actor/dancer
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