Happy Women’s Equality Day!

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

August 26, 2015, was Women’s Equality Day, and this year marks the 95th anniversary of that turning point in US history when women won the right to vote. Given the current buzz about upcoming elections, whether Donald Trump makes a good candidate or just good television, whether or not President Obama giving his “blessing” to Joe Biden (should he choose to run for the Democratic ticket) is the equivalent of giving his endorsement, and all the other noise in the field, it is critical to listen to what is being said, and just as importantly, take action, adding our own voices to the fray.

Women like Susan B. Anthony (with whom I proudly – if wholly coincidentally – share a birthday) are credited for spearheading the movement, fighting as suffragist and abolitionist throughout the latter half of the 1800s and into the 1900s for all people, regardless of gender or race, to have the right to vote and more.

When election season rolls around, there’s one election-oriented term that really bugs me: the concept of “women’s issues,” for the sole reason that, by implication, it means that there are issues that are decidedly NOT for women. It’s as if people think women are so myopic or self absorbed that they only care about issues that reflect their own bodies, salaries or children. I don’t know about you, but I care about what the stock market is doing; I care about immigration; I care about what we do with the military; I care about prison reform… Those are “women’s issues” because they’re my issues too. And for that matter, issues like women’s healthcare, early childhood education and pay equity won’t ever be successfully resolved until they are just as seriously viewed as “men’s issues.” The discussions need to be inclusive if they are going to be fruitful.

So it is up to each of us, male and female, to make our voices heard. To contact our local, state and national representatives and make sure that they understand our positions and do the job we elected them to do. If we don’t, then we have no one to blame but ourselves when they fail to represent our interests.

For those whose cynicism has taken over and who doubt whether their single vote would really make a difference, I offer this: the only guarantee you have for sure is that if you do not exercise your right to vote, then your vote certainly will not count. If you choose to silence yourself, to give up your power, I guarantee someone else will quickly volunteer to speak for you.

So let’s honor the years and the lives that were given in the fight to give us all this right to let our voices be heard and counted. Find your voice. Prepare to cast your vote. Happy Women’s Equality Day!

Podcast on Your Authentic Voice in Business

Podcast on Your Authentic Voice in Business

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be the featured guest on J V Crum III’s Conscious Millionaire Podcast today. It’s a top-rated podcast with coaching and strategies on how to make big profits and a big difference as a conscious entrepreneur! But even if you’re not officially an “entrepreneur” per se, JV and I have a great time discussing the importance of communication as a part of leadership, and how to do it in a way that is authentic to who you are, while still effectively reaching the ears, mind and heart of your audience.

JV and I had such a great response about six months ago when I first was on his show, he asked me back and that’s what’s coming out today. I’m honored to be included among guests such as Chris Brogan, Michelle Patterson, Adam Urbanski, Dame D C Cordova, Greg Reid, and Dov Baron. If you want to make a difference in your job, no matter what it is, scroll through all the topics in Conscious Millionaire; I guarantee you’ll find information that is crucial to your success and happiness.

Click here to listen now:

Read all the Show Notes

Enjoy the podcast, and feel free to drop me a line with your comments. I welcome your feedback!

Here’s to your success,
Laura

PS: Here are other links to the show:

FOR INSTANT PLAY:

 

iTunes Link to subscribe

Sticher Link to subscribe

Milestone: 1 Million Views on my TEDx Talk!

Milestone: 1 Million Views on my TEDx Talk!

Today I’m celebrating a milestone I’d like to share with you: My TEDx
Talk, “Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right”,
published almost exactly a year ago, just passed the million viewers
mark.

I’ve learned a lot in that year, about everything ranging from voice
to web popularity to marketing and more. Naturally, I’m very proud and
honored to have given the talk, and I’m even doing some mentoring work
behind the scenes for TED, which has been a thrill. But in hindsight,
if I could do my talk over again, there are some things I’d have
changed (and not just my wardrobe, as some commenters perhaps
rightfully but rather ungraciously posted…talk about people with
nothing better to do!)

Word choices, cadence, anecdotes and the like are all details, large
and small, that change the impression you and your message leave on the
listener, and there are some details I still think I could have done
better. But the ability to reflect on your work and simultaneously
appreciate what was well conceived and executed, and still take an
objective eye to decide what you’ll do differently and better next time
is an essential skill that ensures continued growth, and the likelihood
of getting to, or staying at, the top of your game, and being a true
leader in your world.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I invite you to watch the talk and share
your thoughts. I know each one will help me hone my craft. And for
those of you who have seen it, I happily and humbly thank you for
helping me reach this exciting milestone.

And to everyone — here’s to creating your own unique and authentic
sound of leadership!

Today, April 16th, is World Voice Day!

Today, April 16th, is World Voice Day!

It’s an opportunity to celebrate the amazing instrument that connects us to virtually every other person on the planet (and no, I’m not talking about the Internet.)

The voice is one of those things we take for granted until it fails us, whether a case of laryngitis due to overuse/abuse, an illness, or anything else. Here are a few tips to take care of your voice so it can take care of you:

  1. Drink plenty of water! It’s important to keep hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol have the opposite effects and the voice can suffer so limit those options and stick with healthier options.
  2. Avoid dairy before a speaking eworldvoicedayngagement – including a simple phone call or meeting. Dairy (which I love) can cause excess mucous/phlegm, so unless you want to continually be clearing your throat, stay away from them too. Citrus can help counter those effects, so add a few drops of lemon juice to your water to give it a little zing.
  3. Breath support is key. Check your posture: are you a perpetual sloucher, whether standing or sitting? If so, you aren’t getting a full breath of air, which is the “fuel” for your voice. It has a negative effect on volume, clarity, endurance (you’ll run out of breath easily), and increases the likelihood of “vocal fry,” that annoying crackling sound that makes people sound indifferent or insecure. While men and women, old and young, commit this faux pas, women get the brunt of the bad “rap” for it, even influencing hiring decisions.
  4. Use a microphone when possible. Plenty of us decline to use a mic when it’s available, declaring, “oh, I have a big mouth, I don’t need it!” But more often than not, you’re wrong: acoustics of the room, audience members with undeclared hearing impairments, and our own unrecognized tendencies to trail off at the end of sentences, or speak loudly enough to be easily heard by ourselves but not by those toward the back of the room, are all landmines that sabotage our ability to be heard… or we try to compensate for all those things and PUSH our voices to be heard by everyone. But then you’re practically yelling, and without breathing from the diaphragm (see point 3 above) you’re just straining your vocal cords, and that causes the very problem we’re trying to avoid!

So remember these simple tips and practice them regularly to make sure your voice projects the best image of you!
To good vocal health and communication,
Laura

The gift of your voice

The Gift of your voice

Hello everyone! I am so excited to unveil my newly redesigned website, complete with this blog where from time to time I will share observations, tips and techniques, advice and inspiration regarding the power of the voice, and how to make your vocal impact. In other words, how to use your voice in a way that gets your message through to the ears, minds, and hearts of your listeners.

As we begin this new journey together, I wanted to share a quote that I think encompasses my wish for you:

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible.”
― Margaret Atwood, Second Words: Selected Critical Prose


Read more

Voice and Character

Voice and Character

“There is no index of character as sure as the voice.” ― Benjamin Disraeli

Truer words were never spoken. Whether you are already in a leadership position, on some rung midway up the corporate ladder, or right out of high school, wondering what direction your life will take, the way you speak is going to influence your current success and future trajectory. Read more