Dr. Laura Sicola is a leadership communication expert and the founder of Vocal Impact Productions in Philadelphia, PA. Her mission is to turn leaders into master influencers who get to “yes” and make a positive impact by helping them master the 3Cs of “Vocal Executive Presence”: Command the room, Connect with the audience, and Close the deal. She has spent over 20 years in language, culture and education, and has done coaching, trainings and keynote addresses across five continents. She is a coach for the TED Fellows program and works with clients such as Comcast, Wikimedia, the US Department of Commerce, IBM, and Women Against Abuse. She earned her PhD in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania where she was faculty from 2001-2013.
How today’s leaders are
Leaders know that establishing their speaking voice is more important than ever. They are already on the spotlight: appearing in podcasts, on the TV, magazines, etc. Without soft skills and critical communication skills, leaders will not achieve the desired level of influence.
Some leaders are more aware of the need, whereas others think they are “good enough.” Laura says that being “good enough” is the kiss of death, because in the best case it will make you “average.”
The most common mistakes that leaders make in communication is the lack of alignment between the message, body language, and voice. Credibility is built on the coherence of these three elements. Oftentimes leaders put a lot of effort in the content but neglect the voice, delivery.
Let your leadership voice shine through
If you want let your leadership shine through, the first thing you must think of is: Plan.
Plan your talk. Before any talk, meeting, presentation, ask yourself: How do I want to be heard? Which leadership qualities I want to project? Do I want to come across as being confident, charismatic? Approachable and Easy going? Or rather strong and determined?
Don’t just plan your content, plan your body language and voice. Take control and create your leadership image.
Great examples of leaders are Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs. Winfrey speaks with a warm tone but her passion comes out. Steve Jobs was low key not high energy, but you could feel his intensity and he sounded very sure about everything he said. In their own different styles, both are equally powerful and influential.
Related: How to Perfect Your Speaking Voice
“This is the voice god gave me, now he has to listen to it.” — Laura’s mum
The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey
Routine to Shine
Drink a lot of water the 24 hours before your talk. Avoid caffeine, soda and alcohol. Being hydrated will help your voice.
FREE GIFT from Laura: 10-point checklist “Do You Speak Like A Leader?”
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