frequently asked questions
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We offer coaching that takes you beyond what you have already learned and experienced. Much as a golf swing improves a golfer’s performance, we take your communication to the next level, addressing areas most communication training does not reach such as voice and vocal image, and creating a competitive advantage in the world of video conference calls and arena speeches.
This is much more than presentation coaching. We use presentations and conversations that matter as content for learning skills of delivery and intention-driven communication. Although our approach creates presentations with greater impact, the advantages of our services are also realized in meetings, conversations, and, best of all, in interpersonal relationships.
Many of us started in the arts where we learned that a systematic, regular approach to behavior change is the only real answer to changing habits. We know what it takes to transform communication and while we don’t expect a quick fix, we know the steps needed to make significant change happen. In addition, we focus on the voice rather than the content…the person rather than the slides. Our services guide people to find the voice they want to use, both physical and metaphorical, and help our clients improve all their communication rather than just one small portion.
We balance our time between virtual and in-person coaching. Much of the coaching can be done virtually, some is focused on responding with critiques of client videos, and, if possible, we also meet in person every few weeks. We always seek to find a balance that works for our clients.
We work with very busy people. If you want to have impact and want to find the time to do this work, we find ways to help you fit coaching into your calendar. To do this, we observe you in meetings and presenting at conferences, and we give you feedback; we schedule in advance; we work with relevant content so that each session takes advantage of preparation that you would be doing anyway. We are creative and seek to make this work for you.
Voices are created in the first place. We all learned to speak through imitation because humans are not born with the ability to communicate verbally. The evolution in the human body that led to speech took 100,000 years to happen and it still takes 2 years for a baby to learn to use their voice to form language. You created the voice you have, and, with time and the right training, you can create something different if you want to.
Each voice is unique to begin with, but we often “lose our voices” due to a lack of the skills necessary to create purposeful communication wherein all parts tell the same story. Finding your voice requires a process of discovery and the willingness to try new things; you have to discover what drives your communication and how you want to be perceived by others. You have to find the story you want to tell. We have a process that quickly reveals the core of who you are as well as what stands in the way of using that voice to express yourself. We then coach to bring out your real voice in your unique story told in a way that others will listen.
Research tells us that it takes anywhere from 24 to 240 days to break a habit or learn a new one. The length of time depends on the complexity of the habit and how much time you have to devote to that change. Any real behavior change takes constant, regular attention.
K8sVoice is our blog. We’ve been writing since 2006 and have hundreds of posts addressing public speaking, executive presence, and the human voice, and each post has actionable tips and techniques to explore. You can check it out here. There is also a book written by our founder that you can purchase online. It’s called Can You Hear Me Now? Harnessing the power of your vocal impact in 31 days.
Executive presence is defined by the Center for Talent Innovation as having three characteristics: Gravitas, communication, and appearance. Of these, gravitas is the
Core characteristic. Having gravitas means that you are taken seriously, that you are comfortable in your own skin, that you are committed, and that you demonstrate confidence in your point of view. With gravitas, you say what you mean and mean what you say, and all parts of your communication tell the same story. Executive Presence is something you develop through knowing who you are and what matters to you, speaking from your authentic self, and gaining experience through applying skills and discipline to your communication. We coach to guide people to find their unique, authentic voice, and in so doing they develop the confidence and centeredness of Executive Presence.
One way to develop more confidence is by taking opportunities to speak and gaining experience. There is really no substitute for that. However, speaking today is a relationship-building exercise. The more you focus on what you bring to the audience, the more confident you feel. It’s not about you. It’s about them. In addition, we coach to find your true voice and when you do, you feel more confident because you are speaking from the core of who you are, with no apologies.
People may be shy because they are afraid to step out and take a risk or they may be introverts. Either way, there are methods to help people express themselves with impact without insisting that they have to be someone besides who they are, naturally. Introverts can learn a few extroverted behaviors that serve them and that don’t make them uncomfortable in order to have more impact, and people who are risk averse can take small risks regularly over time to increase their confidence in their ability to speak up and be heard.