Your (Executive) Presence is Required
MAY 12, 2016
How to demonstrate Executive Presence through your voice In 2012, the Center for Talent Innovation published a now-famous study about executive presence.
You talk funny…and so do I
DECEMBER 6, 2016
Preparation to facilitate a workshop in India got me thinking about the differences in how we humans communicate with each other, and how that influences the kind of relationships we have with each other. Every culture has its unique language, both verbal and non-verbal. The culture may be that of a country, a state, a […]. Musings conversations listening perception Trevor Noah
How to inspire others
APRIL 12, 2017
What makes a talk or conversation inspiring? Is it magic? Is it power? Is it beauty that inspires? Is it joy, pain, or sorrow? Leaders often feel a need to be inspiring because they want to get people to embrace their ideas and follow their lead.
5 ways to improve your voice in 2017
DECEMBER 31, 2016
Many of us start the New Year with goals and promises to improve our lives. Of course, old habits die hard, and new ones may not stick.
Your voice on conference calls: How to show up when no one can see you
OCTOBER 19, 2016
Recently, I facilitated a workshop for a group of people who work in their pajamas. One of them told me that she will do her hair and makeup for the rare call when her customer turns on her video camera, but normally she doesn’t have to worry about being seen. What she has to worry […]. Presence Vocal Image conference call engagement perception
Do you tic when you talk?
APRIL 13, 2016
When I was in high school, I had a French teacher who grunted between every few words; little pig-like grunts would come from her mouth even when she was not speaking. It was awkward for us, to say the least, and she was the brunt of many jokes.
3 Steps to Create a Voice for Your Costume
OCTOBER 13, 2013
A few years ago, I published a post called “How to Disguise Your Voice.” Surprisingly, it continues to be one of the most popular posts on this blog. Part of me wants to take offense because that post is not nearly as scholarly as many of my other posts ; part of me thinks the […]. vocal powe
Women’s Voices in Business: Strategies for dealing with 3 common issues
MARCH 6, 2014
This week, I attended a conference for women presented by one of my corporate clients. There was a lot of discussion around Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, of course, and lots of tips on how to do that.
5 Steps to Greater Influence in Meetings (PSSST)
NOVEMBER 19, 2013
One of my clients, who is determinedly on track for a promotion in a fast-paced corporate environment asked me, “How can I insert myself more into conversations and meetings?” Was he asking about how to overcome shyness or how to get invited to the right meetings?
3 Steps to Create a Super Voice for Vocal Marathons
MARCH 9, 2016
Ever since people have been trying to be heard over a crowd, there have been hoarse voices, but nowhere is this more apparent than in the race to grab the Presidency in the US.
How to design your talks to engage an audience without resorting to nudity
JUNE 22, 2014
When I saw my first business presentation 18 years ago, I was afraid that, in my attempt to apply my performing arts skills to business, I had fallen from grace into a pit of darkness and boredom.
Help for Tired Voices: The 5 Habits of a Healthy Voice
APRIL 6, 2014
It’s 4pm on a Thursday, and it’s been another long week of phone calls, meetings and non-stop talking. There is one more meeting on the calendar and your voice is so nearly gone that it actually hurts to speak. It takes a lot of effort to get through the frog in your throat to find […].
Lose the Grocery List
MAY 28, 2015
Have you ever noticed that many people treat the first part of their presentation as if it’s merely a list of what you need on a camping trip? …and every statement is spoken with “up-speak?”
How to create a strong voice, Part 4: Practice
SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
3 Essential Ingredients of a Meaningful Conversation
DECEMBER 31, 2013
What I remember most about being home from college for the holidays is deep, meaningful conversations with people. My mom was the master of this art. One year I had a traumatic experience with a man- the kind that shapes you forever- and when I arrived home, I was sad and frightened.
The Case for Cracking a Smile
SEPTEMBER 3, 2015
Last week I was observing a wonderfully talented speaker. He was expressive, had an interesting voice, and used perfect pacing. However, there was something missing until…he smiled. It was a big, genuine smile that caused crow’s feet to blossom around his eyes (a Guy Kawasaki must!)
Finally, a 2015 trend you can really use
DECEMBER 22, 2015
The year in review from the standpoint of Google searches tells a lot about what interests people. Although my own little year in review is based on searches too, I admit that it cannot compete with the search trends that lead to results such as the Kardashians’ lips or pumpkin seed recipes. No, people find […]. Musings mask resonance practicing vocal power Happy Holidays
Do cookies make you want to sing? How to form a new habit
JULY 28, 2015
Want to form a new habit? There’s good news out there. First a story: When I was a little girl learning to play the violin, my mom had me practice every day at the same time…right after my after-school snack. Once the cookies were gone it was time to practice.
6 steps to harness energy for vocal power
FEBRUARY 3, 2015
How Green is Your Voice? We all want to be green. But as Kermit so wisely said, “it’s not easy being green.” Especially for people who have to get up and speak or sing in front of others.
Who Let the Frogs Out? Another 3 quick remedies for voice malfuntions
JANUARY 27, 2016
One of the most popular posts on this blog is Who Let the Frogs Out? 3 Quick Remedies for Voice Malfunctions. Maybe it’s just the catchy title, but I think the attraction has more to do with the horrible feeling you get if you open your mouth on stage and nothing comes out.
What to do after you screw up that first impression
AUGUST 8, 2016
From the first moment you open your mouth to speak, people are judging you. They are deciding who you are based on what they hear– geographic origin, your gender, your education, your emotional state, etc.–
The Rise of the Storyteller, and How to Be One
NOVEMBER 18, 2015
Today, I was traveling on business and picked up The Wall Street Journal. On the cover were all the reminders of terror and fear. I almost put it down because who needs to be reminded that the world is a dangerous place when they are 1000 miles from home? However, as I thumbed through the […]. Storytelling conversations storytelling Thanks
How to get what you want this December
DECEMBER 3, 2015
Yesterday, I called customer service to correct an order. The representative was not very helpful. In fact, she challenged my integrity, which, I admit, ticked me off! It’s easy to snap back with someone like that, and sometimes that is exactly what’s needed.
What babies can teach us about better speaking
NOVEMBER 12, 2014
Breathing is a good idea. I think most of us can agree on that. And most people figure there’s only one way to go about it. Breathe in, breathe out. Simple.
The Large Impact of Small Talk
JUNE 26, 2015
If small talk at the beginning of a presentation or conversation seems like a waste of time to you, you may be missing one of the most important parts of communication.
How to create a strong voice, Part 3: Align
AUGUST 23, 2013
Regular readers of this blog know that my mantra for alignment is this: For greatest vocal impact, align your intention with your content and both with your delivery. However, this post takes another, more physical look at alignment involving Posture, Presence and…(the REAL secret sauce) the Pelvic Floor. What are you talking about, Kate?) A […]. vocal health vocal image vocal power breathing Leslie Howard pelvic floor vocal impact
Raise Your Voice! Autistic girl finds hers
NOVEMBER 3, 2013
In September, I was honored to coach a father/daughter team at TEDx OrangeCoast. The talk was about their experience with autism. You will be amazed by their story. The once-silent Leya is now blooming, and has become a vibrant, passionate speaker on behalf of children who are without communication.
Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: Purpose and Repartée
MARCH 3, 2015
Is there method to your madness? Recently, a client asked me how to prepare to network at an upcoming conference that she will be attending. She is somewhat reserved and doesn’t enjoy small talk. We discussed lots of the basics, but in the end, her strategy wasn’t clear until she understood her intention for talking […]. Intention Public Speaking conversations engagement networking personal brand practicing vocal power
How Green is Your Voice? Take the test
OCTOBER 2, 2014
To my knowledge, when world leaders met to discuss climate change, they did not discuss the ways in which speakers and singers waste physical energy. However, many speakers and singers do just that, with detriment to their talk or song and, ultimately, their message. But how do you know if you are wasting energy, why […]. vocal delivery vocal power energy efficiency vocal impact voice problems
An interview with your voice
OCTOBER 12, 2015
How well do you know your voice? Seems like a funny question, right? Just today, I told someone what I do for a living and they said, “There’s nothing you can do about your voice. It is what it is.” And I responded, “Not true. There’s a lot you can do to create a voice […].
The Aging Voice: Thicker middle, thinner voice
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
If you are over 50, you may have noticed your voice growing weaker, or phlegmier, or sounding more tired than it used to. Sorry to say, but the process that makes your knees sag also makes your vocal folds get thinner and lose strength and tone.
Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: What you have in common with Tina Fey
FEBRUARY 25, 2015
What is the secret to great extemporaneous speaking? People who are good at improvisational comedy have learned to adhere to 9 basic maxims. Three of these are: Say Yes Don’t prepare Just show up At first glance these titles may seem to reinforce that you don’t need to practice to be a good improviser, but, […]. Public Speaking exercises extemporaneous speaking practice practicing public speaking tips Tina Fey
Vocal Impact Tip: How to make them choose you over email
MAY 21, 2015
It’s tough to be heard on conference calls especially when so many people are doing other things besides paying attention to your brilliant ideas. Check this out: 82% of people are likely to do something unrelated while on a conference call such as email or even chasing their dog down the street.
Vocal Impact Tip: 3 Steps and a million reasons to share stories
MARCH 23, 2015
But how do you find a story that inspires? Last week, StoryCorps was awarded the $1M TED prize. The prize didn’t go to a technologist or an architect or a scientist. It went to a company that exists simply to instruct and encourage people to tell and record their stories.
You had me at “hello”
OCTOBER 15, 2014
Recently, I was interviewed by Boyd Blackwood as part of his very informative podcast series on iTunes called “Life’s a Pitch.” ” Boyd has interviews with many pros on the topic of presenting and persuading in order to prosper, and I highly recommend the series. The interviews are lively, entertaining and always informative and actionable, and […]. Practical application vocal power voice lessons Boyd Blackwood breathing intention Life''s a pitch podcast vocal health
Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: Improve your voice over the holidays
DECEMBER 18, 2014
Designed to help you stay in the game, this is your weekly tip sheet for having maximum impact with your voice and in all your communication. WHAT YOUR VOICE NEEDS IS A GOOD WORKING VACATION Many of you are planning to take some time off over the next couple of weeks. In fact, some of […].
Dialog vs. Divalog: Listening for greater impact as a speaker
FEBRUARY 6, 2013
We often make the mistake of choosing the wrong communication approach. In conflict, we orate. When expressing a point of view, we need too much consent from the audience. When negotiating we assume agreement when we don’t have it. We say we invite learning but we leave no opening for the other’s individual expression. We [.]. communication Expression listening vocal impact
How to say “thanks” like you mean it
NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Last week, a friend observed a conversation between my partner and me wherein we said “thanks” to each other a dozen times. Afterwards, she remarked on this and said, “That seems like a lot of work.” In our family, we practice saying thanks. It’s a ritual for us; it expresses gratitude, and that we take […]. vocal image conversations Expression intention vocal impact
Who Let The Frogs Out?: 3 Quick Remedies for Voice Malfunctions
JUNE 6, 2012
Pulled from the archives, this post is still one of the most popular on this blog, along with its sequel, More Quick Remedies for Voice Malfunctions. We just added a new pic. You are just about to make your point, bringing your dynamic and well-prepared speech to its exciting climax, when you open your mouth [.]. vocal health vocal power delivery frog in throat laryngitis tired voice
Pause: Create a Powerful Presence Through Silence
JUNE 15, 2010
In a non-stop world, we have become non-stop speakers. For this reason alone, silence is a powerful tool. Silence also allows you to breathe, and give your audience time to breathe as well. In our crazy world, silence is not easy to find, and it’s just not that easy to use either. Here are some [.]. Speaking vocal delivery vocal power breathing delivery vocal impact