Sunday, April 14, 2019

Speaking To Influence

Leadership “must be in the air” as co-blogger Joan Heminway recently wrote (here and here).  I agree.  Last week, I had a chance to connect with Dr. Laura Sicola, a close friend from my days as a UPenn PhD student, and the founder of Vocal Impact Productions.  She shared that her second book on leadership, Speaking To Influence: Mastering Your Leadership Voice, would be released this Tuesday, April 16.  Exciting news! 

Many good books have been written on leadership.  What’s unique about Sicola’s work is her focus on the role of voice in building one’s executive presence.  In a highly-insightful TedxPenn talk with over 5.5 million views, Sicola notes that executive presence is thought to consist of: appearance, communication skills, and gravitas.  However, she argues that there’s a “missing link” uniting these considerations.  That link, according to Sicola, is vocal executive presence.   How one delivers information can reinforce and establish executive presence or undermine it.  She explains what it means for the voice to have both a cognitive and an emotional impact on listeners.  In sum, “if you want to be seen as a leader, you have to sound like one.” 

Here’s a blurb on Speaking To Influence:

“When you speak, whether on stage, in a meeting, or on the telephone, do you command the room confidently and naturally?  Are you seen as a true leader? Do you get the full respect you deserve and the results you want?

If you’re like most people, your response to many of these question is, “No, but I want to!” The reason is because we all have a “blind spot”: the gap between how we think we come across to others, and how we actually come across when we speak.

Have you ever had an argument in which someone angrily said to you, “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it!”  That’s the blind spot, and if you’ve ever been there, then this book is for you.

Full of stories, examples, and exercises for you to try, Speaking To Influence helps you take the blinders off and see where you’re getting in your own way.  Discover the secrets to creating strong, positive relationships, establishing your best reputation, and achieving your greatest goals and purpose.”

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