Despite a perception that you either “have it” or you don’t…public speaking is not a soft skill. Just ask nationally recognized voice coach, and trainer of thousands of professionals Alicia Dara, she would know. She has helped CEOs, managers, and even Presidential candidates find their voice and put it to work. Needless to say, we were thrilled to have her as a guest speaker at our latest Lunch and Learn series event to provide our consultants unique professional development opportunities.
Bringing a new approach to a topic that can make even the most seasoned consultant nervous, Dara guided our team through a short, yet effective meditation and breathing exercise to kickstart the event. A few brave RedCloud volunteers then helped demonstrate the impact body language and posture have on a speaker and their audience. Timid and nervous, or standing tall and proud…..Alicia also shared specific insights on how effective the proper amount of voice volume and projection can be on the audience. She also shared background on how the nervousness associated with public speaking is completely natural, and effective public speaking in a true skill that requires study and practice like any other hard skill we all have developed as professionals.
The best way to improve as a presenter? According to Dara speakers must, “let go of the anxiety and remember to breathe. Whether the audience is 4 or 400, pacing, volume, clarity and enunciation are important. Practice, practice, practice! When ‘comfort with self’ is achieved, public speaking becomes much more approachable and therefore effective!
Our team certainly walked away with new skills and techniques to improve those client presentations, executive briefs, or even coaching their kids soccer team. It’s amazing how impactful improving public speaking can be on so many aspects of professional and personal lives.
“It was a nice change and thought it was something that could be applied to people at all levels. She was very engaging and I found her tips very useful! I think public speaking is something people either think they “have it” or they don’t, and she made it feel much more achievable.” -Courtney, RedCloud Account Manager.
To learn more about Alicia Dara, head to www.aliciadara.com and follow her on social media to catch her insights, tips and tricks for improved public speaking!
Alicia Dara is a nationally recognized voice coach based in Seattle.Her most popular group training is “Public Speaking Bootcamp for Women”, which helps women strengthen their voices, clarify their messaging, and push back against workplace sexism. Corporate clients include Microsoft (where she is a vendor), WeWork (where she is a vendor), Kimpton Hotels, Planned Parenthood, The Rivkin Center, Carhatt , and Premera. Private clients include the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Female Founders Alliance, and members of Amazon, Merrill Lynch, Seattle Trade Commission, Windermere, and musical theater in New York City and is an AMDAgrad. As a musician she has released 5original solo records and 4 with her current band Diamondwolf. Her writings about public speaking and creativity have appeared on CobeyClub, The Write Life, and Daily OM.