Welcome to my book report!  Today we’re talking about techniques to communicate powerfully and get what you want.

Think of these book reports as cliff notes to best books on a topic–I read them and pull out the most useful information for you, so you can apply it to your own life. And if you’re intrigued–feel free to nab a copy for yourself.

I am truly passionate about helping and encouraging women to think bigger, go bigger, and be empowered and get what we want–and how we communicate is our primary tool.

Do you speak quietly, apologize for your statements, rush to communicate your message? You’re undercutting yourself and disregarding one of the most powerful tools you have–confident communication.

We need to train ourselves to speak with confidence, conviction, and authority. When we look like we buy into ourselves, others buy in as well. This time I read The Well Spoken Woman by Christine K. Jahnke and Speaking As a Leader by Judith Humphrey. While these books focus on formal presentation, many of their lessons can be applied to a call with a subcontractor, to a water cooler chat with a colleague.


And for those of you who want a few short and sweet takeaways, here’s my top:

Speaking As A Leader by Judith Humphrey www.buildyourselfworkshop.comSpeaking As A Leader by Judith Humphrey

  • Every opportunity we have to speak is an opportunity to persuade and to influence! Be sure to know what you’re trying to drive your listeners to do after you speak (agree, change an opinion, go out and hire more women, etc…)
  • The way you use your body language and voice will determine how persuasive you appear to your listeners. Speak with energy to get your audience excited and be bold in your statements. You can always correct yourself later.
  • Give yourself permission to use words that specifically express power and eliminate qualifying language, eg. words like ‘probably, just…’. It’s ok to commit to making a statement!


The Well Spoken Woman by Christine K. Janhke www.buildyourselfworkshop.comThe Well Spoken Woman by Christine K. Jahnke

  • Visuals, such as body language, facial expressions matter. Your listeners’ attention is divided between all of these aspects so it’s important to have confident body language and a powerful voice.
  • Have a clear, compelling, and memorable message by using three to four takeaways or core messages. Being consistent with that message, as opposed to reinventing it each time, helps it sink in in your listeners mind more effectively.
  • When making formal presentations, always create an outline of your argument or narrative first so that is the most compelling aspect of your presentation. Then add visuals that support your narrative instead of relying on visuals to tell it.


So how do feel about how you communicate? What do you struggle with? What do you want to work on? Has this been helpful? I’d love to know.

Hi I'm Maya

Mia Scharphie , career coach, headshot

I’m a career coach and strategist with a secret power (I mean, past career) as a designer. I love road trips, graphic novels and helping people like you design the career you love on your own terms.