Burnout Recovery

S021 - Dr Laura Sicola - leadership communication and influence expert

August 31, 2023
Burnout Recovery
S021 - Dr Laura Sicola - leadership communication and influence expert
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

 Dr. Laura Sicola is an expert in a skill that many of us lack - powerful and influential communication at the C-suite level. She knows how YOU can help people hear, and stay engaged with, your message.

If you're anything like me, you know your stuff and can push through a presentation with professional acumen and passion, but sometimes a little tweak of the way you're actually speaking can make ALL the difference.

Listen to Laura as she gives compelling suggestions on how to modulate your voice and express yourself, so people will hang off your every word and remember afterwards what you said.


Show Notes
TED Talk: "Want to sound like a Leader? Start by Saying Your Name Right" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02EJ1IdC6tE
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drlaurasicola
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipvoice1
Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/speaking-to-influence/id1515649028
Book: https://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Influence-Mastering-Leadership-Voice/dp/194878730X

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Dex Randall (00:00:09) - Hi, everyone. My name is Dex Randall and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. So. Hello, my friends. This is Dex. And today I am delighted to welcome a special guest, Dr. Laura Sicola, who is a leadership communication and influence expert, speaker, author of Speaking to Influence Mastering Your Leadership Voice and host of the podcast Speaking to Influence Communication Secrets of the C-suite. Welcome, Laura. How are you today?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:00:48) - I'm very well. Dex, Thank you so much for the invitation.

Dex Randall (00:00:51) - Delighted to have you here. And folks, here's why I invited Laura onto the podcast. I watched her Ted talk, and the name of that is Want to sound like a leader. Start by saying your name right. It's had about 7 million views. It's very good. Recommend it. And I know many of you listening here have struggled with making an elegant transition to leadership from kind of hands on or professional roles.

Dex Randall (00:01:18) - And I'm hoping Laura might give us a few little clues about that. And if nothing else, by the end of the episode, you will know how to say your own name. So don't say I do nothing for ya! All right, then, Laura, we throw you in, throw you into the lion's den straight away there. I'd really love for you to tell the listeners here what you do for a living.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:01:41) - As you mentioned, I am a leadership communication and influence coach. And what that translates to is really helping you take the genius that's in your brain, the experience, the expertise, etcetera, the passion that's in your heart and making sure that when you open your mouth, what comes out actually reflects both accurately and in a way that other people actually get it. And that's surprisingly difficult for most people, especially to your point when most leaders have risen through the ranks, up the technical career ladder because of that expertise. And then I think there's what I would refer to as a linguistic glass ceiling, where it's no longer about how well you execute technical tasks.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:02:26) - Now there's this need to make a lateral shift if you want to progress into and make that leap into true leadership, where now it's about how well you lead other people who have those technical skills and execute those tasks and how well you lead people who don't. Can you get that by and can you translate to all can you get everyone rowing in the same direction, so to speak, and the ability to translate and get that buy in to get the results that you're looking for? Is that what the gap that I helped to close? The short version is also to say closing the gap between what you think you said and what they think they heard. And that's where we often get tripped up. So that's what I do.

Dex Randall (00:03:10) - Tell me about it. I mean, I'm in the same boat. I had a lot of difficulty in learning how to speak in the way that is expected of leaders. And I think as well, when we transition to leadership, we're dealing with a whole different set of stakeholders. That sometimes can be intimidating because they've often been in this style of communication going for a much longer time than we have.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:03:31) - Yes, Yes. And we get used to talking to certain groups of people who have certain expectations and certain needs, and we get good at that. There was a client that I worked with for about six months, and she was at the the VP level and looking for the next in a very large company, looking for that next leap and kept getting passed over, kept getting passed over and couldn't understand why because everyone loved her. She was clearly good at her job. There was no question about it. But she wasn't viewed as having it. Something was missing. And what we realized in part was that when it was her turn to attend those big mucky muck meetings with the big people up top and she was still presenting to them with the tactical detail and explanations as if she were leading her own team or speaking to her peers. She wasn't translating and thinking, Well, what do people at that senior executive level need my information for? What are they going to do with it? What pressures do they have? She wasn't being strategic enough and telling them she didn't feel like it was her place to tell them what to do.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:04:36) - But the fact is it is. You want to be part of that space. Then you need to show them that you think like they think if you want a seat at that table. And once we realize that that was a big part of what she was viewed as missing and teaching her to frame things differently, to speak more strategically, to get rid of all those details that she loved, all that technical expertise. Then it was like, oh, there she is. Okay. Needless to say, within about nine months total from our start, she got that promotion. But that's what it takes to be viewed as not just the expert who you want on the team, but the leader who you want heading it.

Dex Randall (00:05:12) - And that's my biggest experience of the gap for so many people as well. We're taught like technicians. Yes. Answers to technical problems. We're not taught to speak business. Correct. So I'm curious, what took you in this direction to be to be working this way with people? How did you get here?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:05:31) - It am an accidental entrepreneur and also a recovering academic after a number of years in the university space.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:05:40) - And, you know, my my intention was, was I've always been a teacher at heart. I love. So teaching, coaching, training, that's all part of that same genetic predisposition, I think. But I am also a cognitive linguist. I went, That's why I did my PhD. And so part of it is really looking at what is it about the way that we speak that makes what you say? Either go in one ear and come out the other for the other person or go in and stick, and when it sticks, what happens in there and how is it received? What is it that triggers certain responses? And when you start to understand that, you can then make more deliberate choices to make it stick and have a greater likelihood of getting the response that you're looking for and doing it more deliberately, strategically, intentionally, instead of, Well, here's what I need to say. And then being surprised that we don't hear. Yes. Far more often. So in understanding that it there were a few serendipitous opportunities.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:06:39) - The very first one, frankly, that was probably the pivot point when I started to think about this whole entrepreneurship thing was that I was at a wedding reception and chatting with someone there who was sitting at my table and he had just defended my dissertation, my doctoral dissertation, and he asked about my research, told him, and he said, You know, I've always had an instinct and an interest in that, but I never had the data to back it up. You have the data, would you? And I think it's relevant. Would you want to come and do a training for my team? And I thought, okay, well, training, that's like teaching. I can certainly do that. Sure, why not? Turned out he was the vice president of government programs at IBM Little Company. You may have heard of them across the pond on the other side of the planet. And so it was that was my first consulting gig, which I stumbled into over a glass of champagne at somebody's wedding.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:07:31) - And there were a couple of other opportunities that came after that where I thought, I think this is really it. But I there was certainly a learning curve for me too. I've been doing this for 15 years now and just learning along the way, having other people say, I appreciate your take on this, help me with this. And one led into another. My oldest son is in university now and a couple of years ago when he was applying trying to decide what his major would be and he said, you know, did you always know that this is what you wanted to do? I had to look him square in the eye and say, Honestly, honey, I didn't know that what I do now is a thing until somebody offered to pay me to do it. But 15 years later and lots of growth and recognizing that there was actually market value for the skill that I had, not just academic value. And here we are.

Dex Randall (00:08:19) - Wow, what a story. And now you're going to hate me for this.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:08:24) - Okay.

Dex Randall (00:08:25) - But I have to ask, just like I'm sure everybody has to ask. Sure. From your Ted talk, please tell my listeners how to say their names.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:08:33) - How to say their names. All right. Let me tell you what not to do first and why. So then you can say, Oh, yeah, okay. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Note to self Check, check, check. Most people, when they have to introduce themselves, it's marketing and marketing excuse me, a networking opportunity or meet and greet, etcetera. They subconsciously or even consciously think to themselves, Oh, I don't like talking about myself. I just sort of want to get it over with. I just I'm tired of saying my name is hard. It's this, it's that. So we blow through it at 1,000,000km/h. And by the time they even realize that you're done talking, they missed it in the first place. So that's number one. Slow down because your name, even if it's as simple as Ann Smith, is not predictable.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:09:18) - So you need to give them a chance for their brains to catch up with their ears. The longer it is, the more you need to slow down. It'll feel unnatural. It's not a natural to them. It is necessary. Number two, we tend to blur our whole name, first name, last name and anything in between into one giant slur of sound. I'm Laura Sicola. Blah, blah, blah, blah. They didn't catch how many pieces there were. Again, how intuitive your name might be. If they're familiar with the ethnic or linguistic background it comes from it cetera. Need to really break it up so chunk it down with a little bit of a pause between the first. Laura Sicola That pause in the middle makes a really big difference. Dex Randall Just let them hear it. You may feel weird doing it. It doesn't sound weird to them. They're not paying attention to the pause. They're paying even more attention to now the discernible pieces around it. So make those components clear and then pitch wise.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:10:13) - Oddly enough, nowadays most people tend to say their name as if they're asking the question. Hi, I'm Laura Sicola. Like, I think maybe and I think, well, if you don't know, I don't know. So come back when you figure it out because I got a hard enough time remembering people's names who are sure who they are. So we want to make sure that when you say your first name, your voice goes up, the pitch rises. And then there's that little pause we talked about. And your last name comes down. It's a declarative statement. Mm. So really when I introduce myself, slowing it down, breaking it down, the rise and the fall, it should come across. Hi, I'm Laura Sicola. Laura Sicola, Dex Randall. And when you do that, people's ears go, Oh, I got that. Okay. And mostly they will. You'll be surprised how many people will say, oh, hi decks and they'll just say it right back to you and they'll they'll have gotten it as opposed to you get that quizzical look or people go high which is the, the, the subtle way of implying I have no idea what you just said, but I'm too embarrassed to ask you to repeat it.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:11:16) - So and that's really part of the reason why most people don't remember names well, is because the name that they received that they heard, I should say, was not intelligible. So how could they possibly remember what they didn't understand in the first place? Make it easy for them to understand and it will make it much easier for them to remember. Say your name, right? Because long in the short of it.

Dex Randall (00:11:40) - Well, it's so helpful because so many of us do do that. Motor through it? Yes.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:11:46) - Yes. Especially if.

Dex Randall (00:11:47) - And then it's quicker.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:11:49) - It is.

Dex Randall (00:11:50) - It is re-invent my surname. I could tack it on.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:11:54) - But you can certainly re-embrace it. Yeah.

Dex Randall (00:11:57) - So, you know, kind of along with that, since you've spent so much time teaching people how to communicate and how to articulate as well is obviously part of that. What is the thing people most do when they're communicating that you wish they would change?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:12:15) - That they would speak with the confidence that they actually feel and not.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:12:23) - Fall into a couple of bad habits that absolutely undermine their own confidence. Appearance of confidence and authority. And there's a couple of quick things that are completely self sabotaging. And most people don't even know that they do it. So we go through the top three.

Dex Randall (00:12:41) - Sure.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:12:43) - Okay. So number one per as I mentioned before, with the names, there's a pattern that's known as upspeak or uptalk. And this is something that where women have the reputation for doing it, more men are just as guilty. So I hate to tell you guys, a Y-chromosome is not a vaccine against the upspeak, but it is that pattern that sounds like you're asking a question because your voice goes up at the ends of all your phrases and sentences, and that makes you sound uncertain. It's like you're tagging on a little implied, right? You know, okay, well, when you're perpetually tacking that on tonally, it sounds like you're begging for validation over and over again that you're not sure. So if I'm begging you for validation, then wait a minute.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:13:30) - Which one of us is the authority? I've just given away my power. So that's a really important one just to be mindful of. Here's a hint. Record yourself. Just take a little phone video or audio recording. Just listen to yourself talking to somebody else or practicing opening a meeting or something along those lines. I'll be surprised if you don't at some point hear yourself do that pattern over and over again and go, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I did it, because you probably would have bet money prior to listening that you didn't. And most people are wrong on that one. So first is avoiding the up speak. Second speed. When people get nervous. They talk faster. And when there are patterns, when there is a limit to the amount of time that you have and there's pressure to get your ideas in, whether you have official scheduled speaking time or you're just participating in a conversation when the nerves kick in and you're trying to force stuff through a very small hole of time, so to speak, getting things out of your mouth faster is not necessarily a way to make them understand what you're saying or think that you're smart.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:14:43) - We tend to. Our nerves kick in and we give that. I like to call it education by fire hose method, open mouth, turn on fire hose, drown guests in data or listeners in data, and then wonder why they don't say thank you so much. But the trying to overcompensate for nerves by talking too fast and adding way too much detail for the sake of trying to sound smart and you know when that's what you're doing under it all, then that's a giant telegraphing of your own nerves. Slow down, own it. Give the main idea. If they want more information, let them ask for it and then provide that. But you need to have discernible periods when you're speaking as I'm modeling here, as opposed to that massive run on sentence. That's a stream of consciousness which is really rambling and trying to figure out what your own main point is, what it sounds like you're scrambling. That is the hallmark of somebody who is mentally and emotionally scrambling, which is the antithesis of confidence. So break it up.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:15:48) - Periods don't overwhelm with data because all those accomplish the exact opposite of what you're looking for. How's that?

Dex Randall (00:15:57) - And it's quite interesting hearing you and your speed variations because you do talk quite quickly and then you kind of decelerate and put a point across.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:16:09) - And what does that do for you as you hear that?

Dex Randall (00:16:12) - Well, it perks me up. When you slow down. I'm listening. Harder.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:16:19) - Okay. The one of the hallmarks of a good speaker, someone who's compelling. When I say good speaker, I'll say in the sense of a compelling speaker is someone who not only knows how to use the various things that I teach, whether it's about speed, about tonality, about diplomacy, about storytelling, but the key is the ability to vary on command. It's not just about do you always talk fast? Do you always talk slow? Do you always go up? Do you always come down? Are you funny? Are you serious? Are you. The variation and the ability to shift in order to make the point and then have some fun and then bring it back as needed is where you keep people's attention and where they're able to truly feel the intention that's behind every word that you utter.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:17:16) - And that is a massive hallmark of credibility in leadership.

Dex Randall (00:17:22) - Yes. Agreed. I'd one of my clients the other week and he had this big long PowerPoint presentation to take to his new. His company had just been acquired into another company and he was trying to educate all the people into this product, this huge technical PowerPoint. And I said, Really? Do you want to teach them all that or do you want to win over their hearts and minds?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:17:46) - Oh, and what did he say?

Dex Randall (00:17:48) - Hearts and minds every time. And he's good at that, too. Yeah. Yeah. So what? When you're sort of saying some of those things you've just told us, what do you think is the thing that really kills executive presence when you're, for example, in a presentation.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:18:12) - A little. Certainly the doing the opposite of everything I just lost is a big part of it. But the because there are many pieces. But I think, number one, knowing your audience is what is the definition of executive presence that's, I think, important and.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:18:30) - To me. Let's back up for one second. Leadership itself is not just a role of sorts, but leadership is an image and people will perceive you as a leader or they won't. You can outrank them in a quote unquote leadership role, but not have them perceive you as their leader, meaning someone who they trust, whose vision they are behind and who they would follow voluntarily into battle. That's a leader, somebody who otherwise just happens to outrank you, who you report to. That's just your boss. The difference in how people show up and perform for you. Is massive and really experience altering based on that perception. And one of the greatest factors in what creates that image of leadership or lack thereof is the way that you communicate with your people. So the both the how you speak as far as let me rephrase that, what you say and how you say it, both matter equally. One of the greatest myths out there is that it's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:19:52) - No, it is absolutely the alignment between the two because you can have one without the other. But if you say the right. So if you on the one hand say the right things but don't deliver it in a way that lands right your voice, your body language, your other components, it's like dipping a pearl in mud. There's good stuff in there, but you can't really find it. On the flip side, if you are, don't have a whole lot of good content to say you don't know what your point is or you're clumsy in what the words are, but you're really charismatic in your delivery. Somehow or other, it's kind of lipstick on a pig. It might be entertaining to some people and it's definitely going to annoy the pig, but ultimately there's not a whole lot of value to it underneath it all. So. Really? Where are the two aligned? Do are you clear on what you want to say? The organization, the word choice, the diplomacy factor, the directness versus anything else? The stories that you tell versus the data that you share.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:20:58) - Are you giving examples that resonate with that audience? Is it an all female audience, an all male audience and all international audience and all technical audience and all? Or a mix of all of the above? What who are you talking to and can you provide information that resonates with them? And then. Do you deliver it in a way that hits home? Are you familiar with the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

Dex Randall (00:21:22) - No. 

Dr Laura Sicola (00:21:23) - 1980 or so. It's an iconic teen flick from the 1980s. So you've got some homework to do now. So go back to Hollywood movies, find it on whatever streaming services you've got down Under. And but the one of the most iconic roles in movie history was played by an actor named Ben Stein, and he played a high school economics teacher. But he talked like this the entire time. And whether he was explaining the economic trends of the time or taking attendance at the beginning of class, this was how he delivered everything. And you just watch the kids all catatonic in class, falling asleep and drooling on themselves, etcetera.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:22:06) - But and we laugh at that because we've all had to sit in that situation at some point. A teacher, a preacher, a boss who knows what. And we think to ourselves, gee, how could they be so terrible? We didn't realize. Do you think he thought he was terrible? Do you think he got up in the morning aspiring to be like that? Do you think he actually thinks he's as bad as he is? Probably not. How many of us are guilty of the same? We love our content. We think we're being really interesting in our delivery, not realizing the vast majority of our audience is catatonic in their desks. So being remembering how to deliver that content no matter. And he was an expert, absolute content expert, but bored his audience to tears. So and if you go on YouTube and just type in Ferris Bueller's Day Off Boring teacher, trust me, it pops right up. You will see it. So there's everybody's homework out there. Don't be that guy. On the flip side, here's the key.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:23:07) - Be the speaker you'd want to listen to.

Dex Randall (00:23:12) - Be the speaker done?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:23:15) - It is. But most people don't even set the goal. Most people talk about the stuff they want to talk about, but they do not show up with the presence of the kind of speaker they'd want to listen to. And if you don't make the choice first consciously, you're going to miss by default. So make that a conscious choice. Would I want to sit there and would I, if I had to listen to myself give this presentation? Would it be painful? What if I was going to be honest with myself? What? I want to sit here through the whole 30 minute presentation? Probably not. Well, then, shame on you. Go back and fix it. That whole little golden rule thing. And here's a tip. Here's a tip for how to do that effectively. When we speak, we have three impacts, three levels of impact on our audience, no matter who they are. One on one, one to many.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:24:13) - ET cetera. Cognitive, emotional and behavioral. In other words, we are going to have an impact on what people think, on how people feel and on how people behave. The worst impact you can have is none. So put it in your GPS. You need to start your GPS with a destination first. Where do you want to go? What are those three reactions, those three impact levels that you want to have on the people? You're listening to? Choose that first. Then for the technical people, reverse engineer it and figure out then what is the path that you need to take in what you say and how you say it to get that audience to that destination in your vehicle. How's that for a little mnemonic of sorts to get people driving in the right direction?

Dex Randall (00:25:01) - Yeah, well, I think that will actually resonate quite well with my audience because that's the kind of stuff that I. Coach on anyway. Good. Perfect. Obviously, when I've been thinking about you, I'm also thinking about my own podcast.

Dex Randall (00:25:14) - It's a little bit daunting sitting in front of a communications expert interviewing them on a podcast. I've had to learn very, very deliberately some of the skills about storytelling, about a nation, about. You know, chunking up ways that I speak. I wouldn't rate myself particularly highly. Although it does seem to be working for the audience. But I think. What would. What would you do? Because we've we've only had a few minutes interaction, but I'm sure you've made a lot of insights in that time. How can you make me more credible, Laura?

Dr Laura Sicola (00:25:52) - The beauty truly is that there's no singular answer to that because and I'm going to give you the answer that I begin the most answers with. For a lot of my coaching and training clients, which is the most annoying answer on the planet, which is whatever those qualities are that you want people to perceive in you as part of that leadership image. The. Those are all the audiences subjective interpretations of your objective speech behaviors. So you have to think much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say you.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:26:30) - We want to think, okay, what is. What does authenticity look and sound like? What does authority look and sound like? What does approachability, empathy, passion, compassion? What do all of those things look and sound like to that audience, which might be a little different for a different audience if you're talking to a bunch of leaders versus a bunch of cybersecurity leaders, there's different stuff you need to talk about and perhaps different ways you need to talk about it. So how you need to think about is when you ask me, you know, how can I be better? Well, it's it. How can it be more credible, etcetera? I don't know. What is the definition of credibility in the eyes of your audience. So you figure that out, reverse engineer, and then figure out, okay, how do I demonstrate those qualities? If it's about talking a little faster or slower, modifying it more, if it's about having a little bit more variation in the tonality, not that you necessarily need it, but hypothetically, if it were, if you realize there's a little bit of monotone, sometimes people realize they're a little tonally flat to just have a little bit more animation.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:27:42) - Not all the time. You're not trying to be a cartoon character, but just to be able to every now and then, you know, punch something up a little higher than everything else, let it stand out to then let it pause sink in. And then move on. So there are a lot of things that we can do that will reinforce those images if it's about empathy and compassion because somebody's struggling with something, you know, then take it down a notch, soften it a little bit. And again, it's not that the whole thing needs to be here. You're not trying to talk somebody down off the ledge. I hope so. But thinking about what is that impression that I want to make and what does that look and sound like through the lens of this audience and adapting accordingly? It's not faking it. It's not acting. I'm not an acting coach. I'm not a voice coach. Couldn't teach you to act if my life depended on it. But just like beauty, you do know it when you see it.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:28:36) - You do know what it should and shouldn't likely sound like. Everybody's a little bit different, but you can tell when you watch yourself on video. That did not sound terribly empathetic. That did not sound like I was truly committed to what I was saying. That did not sound like I was enthusiastic to invite people to join me on this. This sounded like I was checking boxes going down. When you listen to yourself on video, you'll go, That did not land. And here's why. You'll be extremely clear in a way that I cannot share with you and frankly, with any client that I'm coaching, I can't coach you until you see and hear what I see in here. You will watch yourself on video a lot with me because then you are clear on the discrepancy between what you thought you said and what they actually heard, and then you can get to work.

Dex Randall (00:29:35) - Mm. Interesting. I'm taking all that in. And I do watch myself on video a lot to pick all of that up and see if my tone is there.

Dex Randall (00:29:43) - And I think there's some. There are some energies you can bring to a presentation for me that really will always work Passion, authenticity, commitment, compassion, empathy. Those types of things are always going to come across. People don't detect us for them. And that's I guess what I try and.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:30:01) - Work and that's great. And the variation I think is really key. There's a a renowned speaker, I won't mention her name. She's had an amazing life story, have nothing but ridiculous amounts of respect for her personal and professional achievements. What she's overcome. ET cetera. She's on global stages, making an obscene amount of money per speaking engagement. That being said, I have, I think most audiences, if not in the context in which I know that she speaks a lot of audience would find her a little bit too much because she's all level ten the entire time, because it's such a motivational you can do it. There's nothing you can overcome. Here's this. This it's an amazing story, but there is a point when I'm like, could you just and I am a New York Italian, as you pointed out earlier, I talk fast.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:30:58) - I am high energy. I there's and I'm caffeinated usually first thing in the morning at least. So there's not a lot that I can't keep up with energy wise. But there is a point in listening to that for a half hour keynote or something where I'm going, Okay, could you just take it down a little bit? The when everything is at a ten, nothing stands out. Nothing becomes memorable. You just kind of numb to the wall of energy that keeps coming at you. So the ability to vary, especially in a podcast, I think where people are coming back to you over and over again, I don't think it would be tolerable to have that level of ten plus energy all the time. So to bring it down and to have that more moderate flow I think is doing you service and again, not she's been so incredibly globally successful. It's almost odd for me to levy any sort of critique, so to speak, because I should be so lucky to have her bank account for speaking engagements.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:32:03) - But nonetheless, I think she's not. Speaking to our audiences in the capacity. She's not doing the coaching that we're doing where our audiences, if we're doing a training for a company or something, would not receive that. It's not relatable for the stuff that we coach. So that's where the matching has to be between, Well, what is your message and how does it need to be delivered? And I think you match that well.

Dex Randall (00:32:32) - It's interesting you raise that issue because probably at least 50% of the podcast I try and subscribe to. I can't even sit through one episode and I just write them off immediately.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:32:42) - Why do you think that is?

Dex Randall (00:32:46) - Just the. It's so full on the energy, so full on. It's just like, Oh, you've worn me out in five minutes.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:32:52) - Sure, I'm going. And you know, as speakers, we know that you can't please everyone. So for anybody who's out there who was like, Oh, this was such a fun episode, there was such great energy and chemistry and lots of great information.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:33:07) - Somebody else within five minutes was like, Her voice sounds like a cheese grater. I cannot listen to her for the rest for another 25 minutes. Delete, delete, delete and unsubscribe me. Don't ever do that to me again. You know, there's you can't please everyone, but you can figure out what tends to land with the majority of your audience. And when you know that someone is of a slightly different persuasion, adapt and that's okay. You're not faking it. You're just adapting to the needs of your audience so that you're delivering a message that's in a way that they can hear what you need them to hear, and that's where you're going to get your results.

Dex Randall (00:33:48) - Super. We've run over time just a tiny bit now because I was so enthralled by what you were saying there. Um, any anything you you would like to share with the audience before we wrap it up today? Um.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:34:00) - Well, let's see. I would certainly invite people to check out my podcast as you were generous enough to mention in the beginning, which is called Speaking to Influence Communication Secrets of the C-suite.

Dr Laura Sicola (00:34:11) - And if you are a C-suite leader of a relatively well established company and are interested in even being on a show, feel free to reach out. You can go to Speaking to Influence. For more information there, follow me on LinkedIn. That is my preferred platform. But of course there's other social media, typical platforms as well. And you can also check out my company website, which is VocalImpactProductions.Com And there's a contact page there if you'd like to reach out, if not by LinkedIn. So if there are interests in training, coaching, speaking engagements, I would love to have a conversation with you. And of course, any feedback from today's session is always welcome. So thank you, Dax.

Dex Randall (00:34:53) - My pleasure. Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Laura. It's such a pleasure to chat with you. And for everybody listening there. I'll put the full set of Laura's links in the show notes for this episode. And please do go and watch the Ted Talk, which I will also include there.

Dex Randall (00:35:11) - And if you have enjoyed today's show, I would love you to rate and review the podcast. It's how you help us reach more people who are suffering in burnout. And if you yourself are in burnout, listen for the link At the end, you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly, sustainably and reliably, and get back to your best performance leadership and most of all, enjoyment inside. And. If you're in burnout and ready to recover. Come and join my Burnout to Leadership program. You can book in to talk with me a burnout round or just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.


Closing the gap between what is said and what is heard
Introducing oneself clearly
Communication mistakes to avoid
Aligning content with executive presence
Being the speaker you'd want to listen to
Debugging podcast vocal delivery