Finding Your Voice

Posted on 25 Jun 2015 In: Uncategorized

Okay, I’ll admit it. I make my clients cry.  I don’t mean to. I don’t want to. But it often seems to happen when I’m helping them find their authentic voice.

 I’m a very likeable person, really I am. And I’m very, very nice to my clients. But I can take a perfectly functioning, happy person, ask a few gentle questions, make a few initial observations, and pretty soon their eyes start to glisten…a tear drop or two forms, and oh no… I’ve done it again. Whether it’s a one-on-one speaker training sessions or a group workshop, it happens.

 So why does this happen?  Very simply, it happens because finding one’s authentic voice, truly finding it is a very intimate, individual process. 

As a speaking coach, I work hard to gain my clients’ complete trust and let them know I respect their natural expressive gifts, along with giving them their dignity.  This approach gives them the confidence to bring out their best.  Full expression requires they be willing and intentional about revealing themselves through their words, voice and movement.  The process of self-expression activates deeply held beliefs and desires and can result in awareness of long-held blockages to becoming fully expressive.  In short, it goes to the very core of their being. Finding the path, and following their path, can be a moving experience.

Revealing more about one’s true, authentic self is generally something people avoid doing in public. You can certainly become a skilled presenter by learning the external methods of good presentation skills, but I offer my clients the option of something more: 

1.  The opportunity to fully engage with their audience and create an emotional connection

2.   The opportunity to fully express their message with depth        and authenticity

3.  The opportunity to move an audience to feel empathy,       motivate them to consider a new idea, move them to take action, or excite them by sharing information in a compelling way

 My methods are straightforward – they include teaching a client to

  • engage their breath
  • become more fully expressive by using the richness and variety of their voice
  • energize their body for fuller expressiveness in movement and gesture, and
  • determine, craft and express their key messages in the best way for their audience to hear and remember

And those clients who feel the need and allow themselves to cry, ultimately are able to work through whatever has been blocking their true expressiveness – something to which every human being is entitled.

Dirty Little Secrets: Confessions of a Public Speaking Coach

Posted on 24 May 2015 In: Uncategorized


 “If speaking powerfully were easy, everyone would do it.”   Laurel Weber Snyder



I relished reading Kristi Hedges’ provocative 2012 Forbes article, “Confessions of a Former Public Speaking Trainer:  Don’t Waste Your Money”.  She argues that most public speaking trainers focus on “superficial attributes” like “‘correct’ postures, gestures, and speech effects,” rather than digging deeper to uncover and foster the development of leadership communication behaviors.  In addition, Hedges speculates that clients will “forget 90% of what (they’ve) learned after a few short months.”  It’s true. Backsliding is common when clients lack ongoing speaking opportunities. And, when they don’t commit to practice their new-found skills and speaking methods, improvements are fleeting.


Like Hedges, I experience discomfort when a returning client presents the same speaking challenges and levels year after year.  Some clients hire me for a small group of sessions (typically 3, 5 or 10) when they have an important yearly speech, and I do, indeed, give them the skills and practice to develop and enrich their content and “up their game” expressively. But, those improvements can be temporary.  Incorporating change and continuing to improve over time, requires consistent practice.


Growth requires motivation! Growth requires dedication! Growth is uncomfortable!

Reinforcing new behaviors and skills through ongoing practice is essential for growth. Athletes, artists, musicians and performers of all types understand the importance of training and practice.  Why don’t speakers? 


Just a Little Practice Creates Improvements

Many non-professional speakers become complacent with their habitual style of expression, speaking and moving, and can lack the motivation required to make permanent improvements.  But the benefits of committing to a consistent regimen of taking opportunities to speak and practicing exercises are extraordinary.  Results can be achieved with 20 – 30 minutes of focused practice two or three times a week. Working with a speaking coach to determine and set goals as well as target areas for improvement can help to accelerate growth.  Likewise a quarterly “check in” with your coach can ensure you are on the right path and your speaking exercises/goals can be refined and new ones added as you improve.


Depending on a speaker’s needed improvements, he or she can choose to focus on some of the following areas:

·         Vocal expression

o   Resonance, tone, tempo, variety, phrasing, pauses

·         Physical expression, Presence and Movement

o   Stance, gestures, attitude, energy, fluidity, decisiveness

·         Listening Skills

o   “Hearing” what is being said as well as understanding “intention”, responding appropriately, asking great “follow up” questions to continue the conversation when applicable

·         Facial expressiveness and Eye Focus

o   Mood, vitality, and focus

·         Demeanor

o   Respectful, confident, open, engaging, curious, enthusiastic


Not Just One Formula For Success

I am consistently asked this question:  “What makes someone a charismatic speaker?” It’s not easy to be a charismatic or powerful speaker.  To make matters more complicated, there is not one training device, style or trick that will get you there easily.  Consistent practice is key along with confidence in your message, passion, and inclusiveness, (the strong desire to share your message with others). These are 3 top qualities of powerful speakers and leaders.


Finding your confidence, owning the room and sharing your message with authenticity and passion will make you a powerful and memorable speaker.   You just need to commit to practicing. After all, if speaking powerfully were easy, everyone would do it.

Tap Into the Power of “Imagery” To Prepare and Deliver Your Speech

Posted on 19 Feb 2015 In: Uncategorized

“You have to smell it. You have to hear it. You have to feel it…everything.” … Emily Cook, a U.S. freestyle aerials Olympian, on the importance of using imagery mind training to her Olympic success.

When professional athletes prepare for an event like the Super Bowl or the Olympics, most are utilizing a powerful technique called imagery mind training. Describing survey results of athletes and Coaches at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, for, Ryan Mallet reports “One hundred percent of the Coaches and 97% of the athletes surveyed agreed imagery DOES enhance performance.”  Prior to giving a presentation, you can prepare using this technique too! 

How can you harness the power of imagery to become a more competent and confident speaker?

Own the space

If you are familiar with the physical space in which you will present, you can imagine yourself feeling calm and prepared, walking into the room or up to the stage and approaching the podium or table, etc. Next, picture yourself looking directly out at the audience and pausing for a moment to “acknowledge” them with your gaze, before beginning to speak. Add any sensory elements with which you are familiar. What is the size of the room?  What are some physical features? Colors? Air temperature? Sounds? Imagine the chatter of the crowd or applause as you enter, and then imagine the relative silence as you take your place in front of them.

Deliver your content with confidence

Now, imagine delivering your opening paragraph.  What visual imagery can you use to enliven your delivery and inspire your audience?  Remember this technique can be applied to any speech or presentation you will need to give.

Last June, Casey Gerald gave the commencement speech at Harvard Business School in front of his 900 fellow graduating MBAs with “surprising poise and self-confidence.” Described as “the most inspiring and stirring speech we have ever seen given by a graduating MBA,” by John Byrne in, the speech quickly went viral.

Here’s a small sampling of his very well-delivered words: “After all the miles and the memories of the last two years, now I see the biggest sign of hope: You, my friends, my fellow graduates, not because of what we have done, but because I know we have more work to do. In your hands as well as mine lies the hope for a new generation of business leaders in which each of us becomes a pioneer, in which each of us commits our time and talent not just to the treasures of today, but to the frontier of tomorrow where new dreams and new hopes and new possibilities are waiting.”

How to create imagery for your speech

If you were going to deliver these lines, you might begin with a vivid mental picture of one your fondest college memories, possibly a post-finals gathering of college friends, laughing and talking animatedly during a shared meal. You would conjure up the scene using specific colors, sounds, smells or tastes, holding this image in your mind very briefly, before you begin to speak. Remember, this is your preparation to be used just prior to your speech.  It will serve to make you more confident and enhance your mood and delivery.  Now you begin to speak.  Once you get to “the biggest sign of hope:  you…” you need to be fully present in the moment as your gaze focuses on people in the auditorium.  As you go on to pursue your point about “business pioneers of the future,” you might create for yourself an image of a particular job or business leader who inspires you to want to succeed despite any obstacles. Again, utilize any sensory imagery that inspires and affects you because when you are enthusiastic, your audience will be too.

Benefits of using imagery mind training

This technique can help to free you from the type of nerves that impair your ability to give your best.  The key to making it work for you is using the imagery that you find inspiring, and then practicing so it becomes second nature to quickly access the image, sound, or other element in your mind.  Practicing will create confidence, ease and great delivery!

Laurel Weber Snyder is a public speaking, media and job interview skills coach. Follow Laurel on Twitter @wellspokencoach 





“Wow… what a great, incisive question.  No one has ever asked me that before.”…. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people, in response to being interviewed by Terry Gross


 I LOVE Fresh Air, Terry Gross’s show on WHYY Public Radio.  She has perfected the ability to ask questions that allow her guests to distill to their essence, their juiciest experiences and most profound realizations.

What can you learn from Gross’s approach that will allow you to earn respect and trust from both colleagues and clients?

1.  Do extremely thorough research 

Whatever the topic, Gross has read the book, watched the movie, researched the scientific theory or political situation.  In short, she prepares by finding relevant facts and thinking deeply about her interviewee’s perspective and topic.  

The takeaway:  You can prepare for each business meeting or important professional conversation using the same method.  Read that report your colleague has provided; take some time to think about what your boss may need to make her job easier or create better results for the quarter; Google your potential client and learn all you can about them, their product or company and their business needs 

2.  Ask relevant, meaningful questions and then… be quiet

Gross employs her natural curiosity to understand more about her guests’ research, theories or artistic ventures and uncover their motivations, feelings and experiences.  In short, her pre-work and her ability to hear what is being said in the moment creates fascinating audio portraits of people, their achievements and experiences. 

The takeaway:  Asking the right questions is one very effective method of beginning to develop relationships of trust and collegiality, gaining insights or closing a sale.  You just need to give your colleague, boss or client the opportunity to speak up.  

3.  Create an experience of being heard

Gross has a robust list of questions she wants to ask, but she is able to put aside her agenda and listen well to what her guest is saying in every moment.  This enables her to have an intimate, authentic conversation and probe further with great follow-up questions.  It  creates a great conversation and award-winning radio.

The takeaway:

Forget about yourself.  Put your worries, extraneous thoughts and subjective desires on HOLD for the moment. Place your attention on what the other person is saying.  What do her words convey?  What is her body language and facial expression communicating?  Feeling as though one’s opinions, ideas and concerns have been heard is powerful.  When you combine that experience with your response of intelligence, curiosity and empathy, you will be a much sought-after employee, colleague or vendor. 

Reducing the Fear of Speaking: Earn Their Interest, Speak Your Truth

Posted on 20 Nov 2014 In: Uncategorized

“Mom, I think I’m ready to communicate with you now”…                                                                                    Haley Joel Osment as Cole in The Sixth Sense

I recently rewatched “The Sixth Sense”, M. Night Shyamalan’s film about dead people.  Or is it?  Eerily moving, well-acted and beautifully shot in revealing interior sets and on the streets of Philadelphia, this perfectly constructed, 1997 movie is also about communication based on confidence, truth and trust.

 Early in the film, we learn that Cole, Osment’s character, routinely hears voices and sees visions of departed souls. His terror is not unlike what some of my clients experience when anticipating and then giving a speech.  I know it may sound funny, but I’m actually not kidding. Remember Jerry Seinfeld’s comment about speaking at a funeral?  He said most people have such fear of public speaking, that when it comes to giving a eulogy, many would actually prefer to “be in the box”. 

So, what can you do to reduce your fear and increase your effectiveness when speaking?

The good news is you can begin today to take 4 small steps to become more confident and competent as a speaker.

Find Your Voice

Practice helps immeasurably.  Begin with situations that are only moderately uncomfortable and commit to speaking up.  Opportunities to practice can range from something as simple as yelling down the block to say hello to a friend, to chatting with a colleague at a social or networking event, to offering comments, questions or ideas during a class or a meeting at work.  If you commit to speaking up at different events, you will soon become more comfortable with speaking in other situations, too.  Why not begin today?

Construct Your Message

     Gear your comments or speech to the needs of your audience. A powerful method for earning audience trust and creating interest in what you have to say is learning about your audience and designing a message that will appeal to their interests and needs.  Learning about what “makes them tick” or motivates them is not just useful.  It is essential.  For example: What will make them more successful at work, in life?   And, how can you frame your message in such a way that is informative, entertaining and/or inspiring 

     Create a Context

     Set the scene.  Give any history or information that is essential to generate understanding of your message. 

Next, create a receptive mood for what you have to say.  This means preparing your audience to hear your message.  Cole began by stating clearly that he was now ready to communicate.  That is how he created “context”.  He set the scene by signaling – this is a very important talk I am initiating with you right now!  This piqued his mom’s  interest and caused her to perk up and listen intently.

Speak your truth

He still had a challenge to overcome.  His credibility needed to be heightened.  Only after he increased his credibility, was he able to speak his truth and be heard.

Cole had to go through an odyssey of character development including psychic pain, healing, and finally insight, in order to finally be able to speak up – but, hey, that’s what makes for a great movie.  I hope your experiences will never be as painful or scary as Cole’s. You will most likely experience discomfort or even fear, but, the more you practice, you will begin to experience greater competence, confidence and speak powerfully!



“When Opportunity Knocks, Don’t Answer the Door in Your Bathrobe”  

                                                                                                Laurel Weber Snyder

I am currently coaching a bright and thoroughly charming young man in his 20s who is already recognized as a star performer.  Rising through the ranks in a telecommunications giant having nearly 200,000 employees and ranked in the top 20 companies globally, he is about to be rewarded for his stellar performance by being included in a select group.  He is being given the opportunity to go on a luxury, dream trip with the top brass of the company – C-suite executives and top managers along with a few peers who are likewise being honored. 

The benefits of having this access to “face-time with the higher-ups” in a variety of vacation-like settings over several days cannot be overestimated.  Clearly they are grooming him for management.  But at the same time, they are going to be watching closely to learn more about his character, his drive and his personality.  What will they observe about his manners, behavior and communication skills?  His ability to engage in conversation? His relationship with his peers?  His wife?  Will he dress appropriately, even elegantly for formal, informal and business casual events? Will he drink in moderation? Will he take advantage of an invitation to a non-mandatory business “conversation” with the CEO and area presidents?  And if he does, will he be prepared to discuss his hopes for his professional future?  To ask and answer questions? 

Although most readers will not have experienced this type of trip, I know you often experience a variety of situations and opportunities where making a personal connection can have a big payoff.  Picture this: you attend a meeting of your peers and bosses where your participation is not specifically required, but you would benefit by expressing your thoughts and ideas; or you attend a fund-raiser and find yourself in line for drinks behind your boss’s boss.  Are you comfortable expressing your ideas or engaging in casual conversation? 

Recognizing opportunity

Opportunities to create meaningful personal connections abound in casual and formal business situations, social or sports events…any time you have the opportunity to engage with peers, managers, customers, and friends!  Examples include business meetings, networking events, spectator or team sports events, theatre, music or other performances, parties, social or business dinners.  The list is virtually endless.

How to Create Connections

There are also unexpected opportunities for making connections. And guess what?  You need to be prepared for those, too.  People who are successful, “natural” communicators do this instinctively.  But anyone can learn how to converse and through practice, begin to experience greater satisfaction while reaping the simple pleasures as well as the professional rewards of creating real and lasting connections to others.  Read on for ways to achieve this.

5 Powerful Methods for Becoming a Great Communicator

You can prepare by becoming:

·         Curious

o   Develop an authentic curiosity in other people; this will enable you to ask meaningful questions.

·         Better informed

o   Become knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics by reading and learning.  (*hint:  try exploring topics and having experiences that you previously avoided – you may develop new interests!)

o   Have at least 3 topics or comments ready to go that will make you stand apart and create memorable moments

·         A great listener

o   Practice “staying in the moment” as someone speaks to you.  Don’t plan your future comments or allow your mind to wander.  This will naturally lead you to ask questions and offer relevant comments.

·         Empathetic

o   By making a commitment to listen nonjudgementally, you will become more empathetic.

·         Well spoken

o   Practice speaking about your current and new interests by telling great stories and citing interesting facts.  But limit the amount of time you spend speaking.  Your main focus should be on the other person.

My client will soon be travelling and I have worked with him to embody these 5 methods in addition to goals specific to his situation and professional objectives.  This is going to be a stressful, exciting and hopefully gratifying adventure.  Clearly, his high-level reward comes with responsibilities.  Accepting the invitation for the trip means committing to being put under the microscope. But, he is determined to succeed and…I feel sure he’s ready.

Mastering the 5 Elements of Expression

Posted on 31 Jan 2014 In: Uncategorized

 “All of us, whether we are in this business or not, have little voices that tell us we’re not good enough.” Ellen DeGeneres

Why are we so quick to find fault with ourselves? To think we are not good enough, that we will never “measure up”? In a recent post, “Conquering The Fear of Public Speaking”, I cited the wide variety of professionals, including politicians, celebrities and performing artists who suffer terribly from fear of performance failure.

I’m grateful to Ellen DeGeneres and others who publicly acknowledge the universality of these fears. She validates the feelings of those who are less well-known by letting them know they have plenty of company in their struggle to gain the confidence necessary to be authentically themselves and fully expressive in a public speaking situation.

One of the greatest gifts we possess as human beings is self-expression. In order to become fully expressive, a person needs to tap into and develop these 5 elements of expression that I call VIBES:

  • Voice
  • Idea
  • Body
  • Enthusiasm
  • Story

Use your voice to its fullest. To do this, you need to support your voice with your breath, enunciate well, and play your voice like an instrument to fully express your message.

The idea for your speech is your core message that you want the audience to understand and remember

Animate your body – utilize great posture and physical energy. Move with intention. Don't just wander around; use expressive hand gestures, facial expressions to give life to your words.

Imbue your speech with enthusiasm! When you are excited by your message, your audience will be too!

Create a story that will give some life to your core message and make it memorable.

A good place to begin is by simply making a commitment to not heeding that nasty “little voice” inside that DeGeneres referred to. By taking a leap of faith and believing that you will succeed, you change the way you walk, talk, listen and present.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. To achieve this freedom of expression, you must first do adequate and appropriate preparation prior to presenting. This includes practicing out loud and on your feet, at least 3-5 times.

Here is a brief checklist to help you to ensure that you are well-prepared. (please note this does not address the technical and logistical needs of being “on location):

  • Know your audience
  • Fit your content and your language to their needs
  • Have no more than 3 key points
  • Design your presentation and delivery style to best express your key points
  • Include anecdotes or personal stories that add meaning and entertainment value
  • Practice your delivery out loud at least 3-5 times including gestures and movement
  • Be informative, entertaining, inspiring, or all three!

Enjoy Your New Confidence and Freedom of Expression!


Laurel Weber Snyder is a public speaking, media and job interview skills coach. Follow Laurel on Twitter @wellspokencoach.

Fear of Public Speaking and Performance Anxiety

Posted on 18 Jan 2014 In: Uncategorized


In Scott Stossel’s recent book, “My Age of Anxiety”, he describes what the Wall Street Journal calls a “world class anxiety disorder”.  Stossel is in good company.  Gifted performers, world class athletes, brilliant lawyers, and politicians all can suffer from debilitating anxiety when faced with public speaking and performance. Like Stossel, historical figures like Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi and even Demosthenes suffered from an intense fear of public speaking.  Carly Simon's stage fright was so bad Mr. Stossel reports, "she would sometimes drive needles into her skin or ask her band to spank her before going on stage to distract her from her anxiety."


Performance anxiety does not only affect the famous.  It is an equal opportunity fear that wreaks havoc in the lives of many otherwise competent professionals making it difficult for them to progress to the next level or even fulfill the requirements of their jobs. The fact these fears can emerge unpredictably causes greater anxiety. Some live in dread that their fear response will crop up unexpectedly in the most important performance situation. 

I’ve been thinking about how I could boil down to its essence the work I do with clients that is most effective in diminishing their fears so I could share it with my readers.  First, you should know that the majority of fear reactions are predictable and most people can learn techniques to cope with and diminish their fear response and behaviors

Public speaking fears are often a result of one of these mistaken beliefs

  1. your audience has a negative attitude; they are either hostile, bored or infinitely more knowledgeable than you and will judge you harshly  

  2. your mistakes or poor performance will follow you all your professional life; you won’t be able to overcome or move beyond it

  3. you are unprepared; you feel that no amount of preparation is sufficient for this public speaking challenge

Of the many clients I’ve helped overcome their public speaking fears, here are a couple of colorful examples: 

·       A CIO (Corporate Information Officer) whose job required her to speak in a variety of situations on her company's behalf experienced shortness of breath and an almost paralyzing fear when called upon to give her opinion extemporaneously in public Q & A panel-type settings. 

·       A top executive at a major pharmaceutical became tongue-tied in the presence of his boss and was unable to express his well-thought out ideas.  He stifled himself, pre-judging his every word and phrase before it even left his lips. 

Both of these top-level, highly competent professionals dreaded their own specific “hot button” situations that brought on a kind of “temporary dementia”.  During these episodes they felt their minds go blank and they felt unable to form cogent thoughts or to speak well.


In each case, our work involved learning breathing techniques for relaxation and better voice production.  Next, each of them prepared for a specific meeting/speaking situation, creating index cards with bulleted “talking points” and then practicing by role playing.  I would play the role of the boss or the people asking questions, at first allowing them to use their prepared points; once they were comfortable delivering their prepared points, I began challenging them by “throwing them a curve”.  Practice and discussion afterwards with suggestions for improvement helped immensely.  Also important to both clients’ success was learning to slow down their speech and use pauses to enable them to capture and communicate their thoughts.  They learned that expressing something in the most perfect manner is not always possible, nor even always desirable, and in any case, is highly subjective. 



The pharmaceutical executive has been promoted to the next level in the corporation and maintains a much greater level of comfort and confidence when speaking in any situation.

The CIO is able to prepare and practice a set of “talking points” for each extemporaneous situation by anticipating topics, and is able to deliver several of them during each panel she is on.  This has increased her level of confidence so she is also able to respond with much greater comfort to questions asked and discussion points brought up “in the moment”.

“We looked very carefully for six months at this deal, and we think it’s pretty messed up.”

That’s a quote from William J. Baer, a “top dog” at the Justice Department, speaking about wanting to block the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.  Well, if you’re the assistant attorney general in DOJ’s antitrust division, you do need to create simple statements likely to be quoted in the media.  But “messed up”?  As William Baer, himself might say, “Really?!”  I think readers would like a bit more informative interpretation. Or at least, a statement appropriate to his professional standing.

Your goal:

When you’re being interviewed by the press, your statements are always edited to fit in with the reporter’s narrative. That’s their job.  Your goal should be to deliver brief, pithy statements or “sound bites” that a reporter will find quotable, something that will add interest and pizzazz to their stories. If you consistently deliver great sound bites, reporters will remember you and seek you out.

Creating a great sound bite:

Make a list of the main points you want to convey to the interviewer.  Now, edit each one so it can be expressed in a complete phrase using the fewest possible words.  Create statements that are entertaining, emotionally or visually evocative, or informative.  Don’t expect to do this “off the cuff”.  Give yourself adequate time to prepare your statements, edit them and practice your delivery.

Utilize one or more of these:

  • Statements that express your honest emotion about the topic
  • Sparkling words
  • Visual imagery
  • Simile or metaphor for dramatic effect
  • Humor

One more thing about your delivery:

Remember, you need to find the language to express your sound bite appropriately.  That was William Baer’s biggest mistake.  Obviously, his statement is memorable and quotable, but sounds ridiculous because the language he used does not align with his professional position.  He could have expressed his honest regret that this airline merger would lead to higher fees, worse service and would be bad for consumers.  He missed a golden opportunity, and given the fact that he is a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, his statement was, well…pretty messed up.

Be on the lookout for another blog post, coming soon, that will offer examples and more in-depth methods for creating memorable sound bites.

Acing Your Job Interview: Creating Powerful Talking Points

Posted on 14 Jun 2013 In: Uncategorized

You’ve worked hard to get this job interview.  It is vitally important that you succeed.  Now, how do you prepare?  It is your job to communicate what makes you uniquely suited for this job.  Of course, you must do all the research necessary on the company and the interviewer, and then make sure you are superbly well prepared to answer every question with enthusiasm, clarity and confidence. (We will cover this basic preparation in more depth in another blog post).

And… regardless of the questions asked, you must commit to communicating your prepared talking points.  Talking points are the most powerful communications tools you have for creating interview success!

What are Talking Points and How Do You Create Them?

A “Talking Point” is a brief anecdote that clearly and compellingly illustrates why you are a great fit for a particular job.  First, make your professional capabilities/personal qualities list. Here are just a few examples: leadership ability; conflict resolution skills; excel at doing research and designing targeted solutions; money management acumen; human resources management; detail oriented; presentation skills; written communications skills; etc.  Next, decide which of these capabilities are best suited to the job for which you are interviewing.   

Now, brainstorm events where you demonstrated these capabilities, and create a separate, brief, clear anecdote (1-2 minutes at most) for each capability.  This is not as easy as it sounds. You may want to talk to a good friend or trusted former co-worker, or use your resume, or any letters or documents you have to “jog” your memory. Cite facts and figures, statistics and profits, and measurable improvements you’ve generated.  Remember to utilize sparkling prose, great adjectives and really tell a compelling story.  In other words, you need to really paint a picture with your words…“show” what you have not done, not merely “tell” about it.  Then, practice saying these brief anecdotes aloud until they feel and sound natural.  This is immensely important.  You must sound “conversational”; avoid sounding as though this has been “memorized”.  Congratulations!  You have just created your “talking points”!

Please feel free to post any comments on your interview successes or missteps.  I’m always interested in your experiences and I’m here to help!



Laurel Weber Snyder
Laurel Weber Snyder

Contact Info

Well Spoken Coaching Services
Phone: 973.979.0834