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Communication Skills You Need To Master To Command The Room

Laura is a professional speaker, leadership communication coach and the founder of Vocal Impact Productions. Her mission is to help people confidently and authentically master the 3Cs of “Vocal Executive Presence”: command the room, connect with the audience, and close the deal. She has written many books, her most recent one being "Speaking to Influence."

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Key Takeaways

  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes--most people think WIFM (what's in it for me) when you're up on stage speaking.
  2. Record your audio and video to improve your speaking.
  3. Do a self-evaluation for which goals you want to complete at a given time and chase them.

Podcast Interview Notes:

1. What advice would you give entrepreneurs who’d like to be more persuasive using their voice?

Before people buy into your product or service, they have to buy into you. You need to sound like you believe in what you’re saying and come across as being authentic. You need to have confidence, authority, and sound like you mean what you say. The problem is that most people have a fear of public speaking.

Seinfeld once said public speaking is like the second biggest fear of people on the planet. But, most people don’t want you to fail. For example, if you went to see a seminar you wouldn’t listen to a speaker for the sake of listening nor are you out to get them. You’re tuning in because you’re genuinely interested in the content.

The truth is we’re selfish and have too many choices. We only tune into things where we truly believe and hope that there’s going have serious “what’s in it for me” value.

Your audience is rooting for you consciously or subconsciously. They want you to do great because if you do then they’d get maximum value out of their time with you. So don’t allow yourself to go down that “what if” spiral.

2. What daily habits have you adopted to becoming a better speaker?

I’d advise someone to record themselves and listen.

If you’re a podcast speaker you’ve got great data, to know which areas you’d need to improve. I do a lot of public speaking but also recorded myself on video to ensure I’ve told my story well. But you don’t need to be a public speaker to improve, simply use what you have available.

For example, I’m working on two-minute videos right now. For these videos, I do them a dozen times until I’m happy with everything–from the lighting to the speed of my voice. 

3. What led you to become a speaker?

I don’t know if I chose it or if it chose me.

My parents like to say I showed up into the world talking. I love to teach and have always been a teacher. My first real job out of college was teaching Public School in South Central Los Angeles. I don’t care whether you’re 8 or 88– if I can help someone come to that realization where suddenly you understand something and you feel empowered I enjoy this process.

The opportunity to give people something that I absolutely love is validating for me. 

What's been your motive to achieve success after success?

It’s a combination of both doing what I love and wanting to get better at it.

I want to help more people and enjoy making others happy. I believe when others can figure out how they can contribute something that makes others happy, that’s beautiful.

I also like money, but money is a means to an end–not the end itself. Any of the steps that I’ve taken, from starting a business to getting another degree was always a question of asking what I was passionate about and what needed to be done to obtain it.

Money Round

If you had to start all over knowing what you know now--how would you start making money in the next 30 days?

I would go on LinkedIn and look for connections who were in the demographic that I was targeting. Then, I’d do one of my executive speaker labs. Every two months I’d run an invitation-only event in Philadelphia for excutive speakers.

Here I’d offer dinner and bring high executives together to have them do an evening workshop to polish their public speaking skills. 

At this event, I’d focus on offering them a ton of value coaching them and helping them network with like-minded. From doing this I’d anticipate some of them following up with me after the event. This would be a good lead generator for me.

What advice would you give to someone who's currently struggling with their finances and feeling hopeless?

I’d advise them to do a personal financial audit.

If you feel like you’re struggling, my guess is you don’t know exactly where your money is going and may need to go down on the more nitty gritty level of your budget. It could be going to go through your grocery bill and see how much money you spend on ice cream, candy, etc. You’d be amazed at how much money you actually have at your disposal. 

What does money mean to you?

For me, money is security and opportunity.

I’ve got a teenager, a toddler, aging parents, and a business I’m trying to build.  Having enough money allows me to take care of my family and knowing that they’ll be taken care of in the future. 

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About the Author Chris

Chris writes personal finance and productivity articles for software companies. He gets fresh ideas through continuously investing in himself and interviewing successful entrepreneurs.

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