As women continue to be more prominent on the world stage, we find powerful lessons in their inspirational speeches. PowerSpeaking, Inc. CEO Carrie Beckstrom introduces three women who demonstrate how to move an audience and have an impact.
For most of us, the Labor Day weekend merely marked the unofficial end of summer (back to school! back to work!). But of course, the holiday has its origins in much more serious issues about the workplace and workers’ rights. Today, it’s meant to honor the value of labor and laborers—no matter what the work entails.
Immediately after the recent U.S. Democratic debates, newspapers and social media ran commentaries observing how much more often the male candidates, vs. the female, interrupted other panelists and the moderators (especially on the first night). Because of those interruptions, the men commanded much more airtime over the course of the debates. The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Inc. Magazine were just a few media we read that took a closer look at that gender phenomenon. Then there was the Los Angeles Times, which didn’t mince words with this headline: “Democratic debates mirror life: Men yell and interrupt. Women (mostly) wait their turn.”
In the process of developing Confident Speaking for Women, we interviewed dozens of women in leadership roles to learn how women can become more successful communicators and leaders at work. From that research, three lines of thought emerged, which are at the core of Confident Speaking for Women. We call them the “3 Cs” of powerful communication: Be Clear, Be Confident and Be Courageous. Listen to women executives like Shannon Brayton of LinkedIn and Yvonne Lin Liu of Genentech talk about how important it is to “Be Clear.”
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’d like to share some recent research we’ve conducted among women leaders in business, science and government—and then, get some insights from you. Read on to hear some sage advice about how to make a powerful entrance to a meeting, then tell us about what you’ve experienced.
According to the National Science Foundation, women currently hold only 13% of engineering jobs and 25% of computer, math, and science jobs in the U.S. In a 2016 study sponsored by Women in Technology International (WITI), only 30% of women surveyed said they knew a woman (other than their mother) working in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) while they were growing up. And even though most of the WITI survey respondents were seasoned professionals, only 13% held C-level or executive jobs.
Have you ever noticed that the most a businessman will bring to the meeting is generally a phone and a pad of paper (or maybe a laptop)? By contrast, it’s not unusual to see a businesswoman haul in a shoulder bag, a briefcase, an armful of files, a purse and a phone. No biggie? Actually, biggie. That’s just one of the many insights incorporated into our Confident Speaking for Women course that offers wisdom from over a dozen interviews with highly successful women. Here’s another gem. Listen to Cindy Solomon talk about being comfortable owning our successes:
“At the beginning of my career when someone would ask me a question, I thought my job was to relay the vast amount of information I had on that subject, so I would tend to give a bunch of useless information. Over a period of time, I realized that it was the synthesis of that information that was so much more important. People were looking to me as an executive or a leader to just give the kernels of information that were important, not the laundry list of everything that happened. And I think that we tend to do the latter—a lot.” — Nina Richardson, Board Director, Zayo, Silicon Labs, CallidusCloud. Women who are powerful communicators make the best leaders (and vice versa).