Clearly Speaking
Clearly Speaking

Interview with Lynda

How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a ClearlySpeaking expert?

A clear moment of inspiration to move to corporate speech pathology was after an executive friend of mine, told me an embarrassing story of saying something so unclearly (he happened to have a foreign accent) to his colleagues that they all broke out laughing. What he said gave his message a completely different meaning that was not corporate-like (a little bit offensive) and probably would have caused him some problems had the wrong crowd heard him. It was one of those faux pas that could have had disastrous consequences.

Since then, I’ve met people who were immobilized by the fear of speaking to groups or in staff meetings, and others who had such distractions in their communication style that their audiences paid attention to that and not their message. In all cases, these people had styles that were holding them back from achieving greater opportunities. It was clear to me that these intelligent people needed tools to help them become more impactful, inspiring, influential and more clear.

Voice Branding for Executive Leaders

 

Since beginning my business in 2002, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, educated groups about the perceptions the sound of our voice has on others, written a book, "Voice Branding for Executive Leaders" and created programs and courses to help leaders grow and develop.

Some of the most gratifying and fulfilling experiences I have had as a branding specialist are the ones that through coaching, gave my clients self-confidence to give a presentation or influence a business outcome because of the way in which they presented him or herself. And his/her boss was elated with their performance

AmericanSpeechAss-member
I have a background in Speech Pathology and I have been doing work related to that for over 30 years. My more traditional roles in speech pathology were in hospitals and schools helping my clients to speech more effectively so that they could communicate their message. After 20+ years of work in traditional settings, I decided to branch out with corporate clients. My background in Speech Pathology offers unique skills to the corporate world.

Who are your clients?

My clients are mid to senior level executives and emerging leaders working in larger corporations. These executives have been identified by their employer as employees on the fast track. The organizations want to enhance their skills so that they can reach even fuller potential. These corporations understand that new roles for employees require new skill sets and new ways of communicating. In order to climb the corporate ladder, the executive often needs to develop new skills. There are a range of skills to be developed; I help the executive who struggles with communicating/presenting effectively because they don’t sound like the person they are becoming in their new roles and there is a misalignment.

I have worked with hundreds of clients in a wide spectrum of industries:

Accountants, Bankers, Engineers, marketing specialists, scientists, sales, human resources, research and development, IT

Here is a partial list of ClearlySpeaking's Clients:

  • Advantech
  • Alcoa
  • Allegheny Energy
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Astrazenica
  • Bayer
  • BNY Mellon
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • DBT America Inc.
  • Dempster Healthcare Group
  • Epicenter Consulting
  • Ernst & Young
  • EQT
  • Giant Eagle
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Giant Eagle
  • The Heinz Endowments
  • HRV Inc.
  • Kennametal
  • Koppers, Inc.
  • L-3 Communications Corporation
  • Lanxess AG
  • National Technology Transfer Center
  • PNC Bank
  • PPG
  • Pittsburgh Housing Authority
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Ramsey Medical
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi, LLP
  • Sandler Sales Institute
  • Shadyside Hospital
  • Teletracking
  • UPMC
  • Vocollect
  • WallaWalla College

What happens if you haven’t yet worked with people in my field?

These industries, much like your industry, have different levels of organization. New roles require learning new responsibilities. Different communication skills are often required…more presentations and more opportunity to engage with a more senior level audience. The strategies to do this, do not change other than using a different vocabulary for your market and the specific audience you are speaking to. The fact remains that you are attempting to sound like the executive you are in the new role you are climbing to or have already achieved. The way you do this is not dependent on the industry you are in. So, no matter what industry you are in, being a good communicator is essential for being effective and having more impact. Developing communication skills is important in any field.

How are you different from other coaches?

Other coaches who are working on communication skills are not trained in the same way that I am. I have a masters degree in Speech Pathology which has given me an in-depth understanding of how speech, language, and voice are developed. The areas give you the “sound” that you have based on 12 aspects of speech, language and voice that most coaches don’t consider or know how to work with and change. If a coach doesn’t understand a voice problem, he/she cannot evaluate it properly or help you change it. On occasion, there have been times when a development opportunity is actually a disorder. In that case, you will be referred to a specialist who can work with your problem. Although I could also do that, my practice doesn’t accept insurance and a “disorder ‘ will be covered by insurance.

What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?

You are my best client if you are a bright, intelligent executive leader or emerging leader in your organization. You are highly-valued there and they are willing to invest in your development. Your biggest need right now is communicating in a way that feels confident, that resonates with senior management, and is easy to understand. You are in new situations requiring that you craft succinct messages to influence others.

You have great ideas and you want to have more impact with your ideas so that you reach farther and improve the company even more. You realize that great communication skills are key to your success. You value self-improvement and see how becoming even better gives you a clear path to your success. You are ambitious and highly motivated to make time for learning how to make changes in your speech, language and voice a reality.

For what type of professional is this program NOT going to work?

I am very selective about with whom I work and I carefully look at the way in which my potential clients respond to the questions on the ClearlySpeaking Academy application. I gently turn away people who are not ready to accept the fact that the way you sound matters, who don’t believe that there are areas of speech, language or voice that can be changed to have greater impact, or who are not willing to spend the time developing a new skill because they don’t have the time or they fear a better “ME.”

If you fall into this category, it’s absolutely ok. The timing is not right. You will do yourself a huge favor and save yourself money if you wait until you are ready. Here are three things you can do in the meantime:

  1. Find people with executive presence and begin to observe their behaviors. What is it that you like about the way they speak? What are the perceptions you have of these people? Do you know what it is about their speech, language, and voice that creates this perception you have? Awareness of others is the first the step towards attaining YOUR goals.
  2. Do you sound like the people you admire? What is different about the way you communicate compared to the way they communicate? What are the areas you need to change? Self-awareness of your skills is the second step towards getting ready to attain YOUR goals.
  3. Sign up for the webinar called, A Step-by-Step Voice Makeover Strategy. It will help get clear about what’s important to you in terms of the way you want to be perceived, what that sounds like and the steps to take to achieve that goal.

Doing these three things will really help you get primed for our work. When you are ready to take the next step, sign-up for a professional evaluation of your skills. We will talk about your goals as a communicator and what needs to change first to have the most impact towards achieving that goal.

Committing to do the daily practice is also necessary. My program doesn’t require hours of daily practice but rather a short time of your effort and attention to be aware of the skill you are trying to develop. If this is too much for you, I gently and respectfully ask that you don’t apply for the training. We probably won’t work well together and I want to work only with the people who are committed to making changes and reaching their goals. That’s fair to you, your organization and to me as a professional who wants my clients to succeed!

Finally, if you are someone who is considering private, one-on-one coaching and you recognize that your schedule will prevent you from meeting on a regular basis, I respectfully, acknowledge you are a busy person but meeting regularly is essential to keep the momentum of your progress going. If you are not able to meet with me at least every other week, the progress you make on your goals will be limited. Making your goal a reality is a goal of mine, too. The few clients who haven't made progress in training were unsuccessful because of inconsistent coaching sessions and a lack of practice.

What exactly is the ClearlySpeaking IMPACT System and what does it include?

Learning to sound like the professional you are and aligning that sound with the perceptions you waIMPACT Coachingnt others to have of you requires a full understanding of what values are important to you. Once you know what is important to you, then you must understand what that sounds like. Here’s what the System gets you to do:

  1. The ClearlySpeaking System includes an evaluation of your current skills, a report of your strengths and development opportunities, a recommendation for what you should work on first to have the most impact based on your goals as the best communicator.
  2. A Plan of Action (POA) is developed for training that includes a concept lesson where you learn a new skill. Once you have mastered the new skill, you develop a system for changing the behavior into many other areas of your life in a systematic way. Your practice time is highly individualized so we develop that daily plan of practice so that it can work as seamlessly into your day as possible. We will also examine strategy stoppers that may be preventing you from achieving your goals. Changing a behavior is hard work; you are encouraged to develop a system that works for you. We help you discover that system so that you are in charge of making your new skill a habit.

Does this really work?

Trib Media Award

Trib Media Award: Voted in 2008 as Pittsburgh’s Top 250 Best Minority Owned Business by Trib Total Media

 

Yes! The result of our work in an approach to effective communication that over time and with your hard work and dedication works consistently to give you the image you desire, the impact you want and the clarity you need to be likable, trustworthy, and influential.

What results can I expect?

You can expect to:

  1. Become very aware of the characteristics of speech and voice that affect the way others perceive you.
  2. Learn about all the characteristics of speech, language, and voice that play a role in your “sound.”
  3. Get information about how well you are aligned with the way you sound and the way you wish to be perceived.
  4. Learn the development opportunities you have and which ones need to be changed first to have more impact.
  5. Learn how to change the behavior that needs to be changed.
  6. Learn to leverage your strengths as a speaker.
  7. Develop a system of change that fits your busy life, schedule, and your preferences.
  8. Make the changes you want to sound like the person you are or wish to sound like.
  9. Create greater executive presence.
  10. Get proven techniques that you can apply right away and learn through a process that ingrains the new behavior into all your conversations and presentations.
  11. Stop struggling with being ineffective when you communicate with your peers, colleagues, direct reports, senior level management, board members, etc.
  12. Gain self-confidence and more self-respect which in turn, will positively affect the people around you.

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it’s like to work with you?

I encourage you to read the client testimonials. Due to the confidential nature of coaching, most clients prefer to remain anonymous. The testimonies that you see throughout my site are real although the names may not always be.

How quickly can I expect results?

This is a great question and it depends entirely on you! Any of the new skills that you are learning are easy to learn. The hardest part about learning a new skill is getting the skill to become a habit. You can expect to learn the new skill on the first day. The process of making it a habit will depend on self-awareness, how much you practice and your mindset. If you are intentionally incorporating the new skill in practice and then into your conversations, you may see inconsistent results right away and consistent results within 20-30 days. If you have two areas that you are developing, expect two months of training, practicing and mastering.

Will I recover the investment I put into this coaching program?

Yes! First of all, let me ask you how will you know if the program works? The return on investment is high when you consider the opportunities you can expect. A new higher level job which pays more, self-confidence and acknowledgment are all factors to consider.

How long is the program?

You have several options for taking courses. The online option has the option of pay-by-the-course. You control the number of courses you want to take one at a time. Or you can sign up for a year of training that will take you through each course one at a time. Customized one-on-one training is also available. The length of the program depends largely on the number of areas that you work.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. All of the programs are available to be purchased online or via direct deposit.

I know which program I want. How do I get started?

Congratulations! I am so honored to be a part of your development. The first step is to schedule a strategy session. We will discuss your goals, your timeframe and decide on which program suits you the best (online, one-on-one).

I still have a couple of questions. Can I call you?

Of course, you can. The best way to do that is to schedule a time.  Please complete the form below and you will be given access to my calendar to schedule a time.  I would love to talk to you!

Interview with Lynda

How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a ClearlySpeaking expert?

A clear moment of inspiration to move to corporate speech pathology was after an executive friend of mine, told me an embarrassing story of saying something so unclearly (he happened to have a foreign accent) to his colleagues that they all broke out laughing. What he said gave his message a completely different meaning that was not corporate-like (a little bit offensive) and probably would have caused him some problems had the wrong crowd heard him. It was one of those faux pas that could have had disastrous consequences.

Since then, I’ve met people who were immobilized by the fear of speaking to groups or in staff meetings, and others who had such distractions in their communication style that their audiences paid attention to that and not their message. In all cases, these people had styles that were holding them back from achieving greater opportunities. It was clear to me that these intelligent people needed tools to help them become more impactful, inspiring, influential and more clear.

Voice Branding for Executive Leaders

 

Since beginning my business in 2002, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, educated groups about the perceptions the sound of our voice has on others, written a book, "Voice Branding for Executive Leaders" and created programs and courses to help leaders grow and develop.

Some of the most gratifying and fulfilling experiences I have had as a branding specialist are the ones that through coaching, gave my clients self-confidence to give a presentation or influence a business outcome because of the way in which they presented him or herself. And his/her boss was elated with their performance

AmericanSpeechAss-member
I have a background in Speech Pathology and I have been doing work related to that for over 30 years. My more traditional roles in speech pathology were in hospitals and schools helping my clients to speech more effectively so that they could communicate their message. After 20+ years of work in traditional settings, I decided to branch out with corporate clients. My background in Speech Pathology offers unique skills to the corporate world.

Who are your clients?

My clients are mid to senior level executives and emerging leaders working in larger corporations. These executives have been identified by their employer as employees on the fast track. The organizations want to enhance their skills so that they can reach even fuller potential. These corporations understand that new roles for employees require new skill sets and new ways of communicating. In order to climb the corporate ladder, the executive often needs to develop new skills. There are a range of skills to be developed; I help the executive who struggles with communicating/presenting effectively because they don’t sound like the person they are becoming in their new roles and there is a misalignment.

I have worked with hundreds of clients in a wide spectrum of industries:

Accountants, Bankers, Engineers, marketing specialists, scientists, sales, human resources, research and development, IT

Here is a partial list of ClearlySpeaking's Clients:

  • Advantech
  • Alcoa
  • Allegheny Energy
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Astrazenica
  • Bayer
  • BNY Mellon
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • DBT America Inc.
  • Dempster Healthcare Group
  • Epicenter Consulting
  • Ernst & Young
  • EQT
  • Giant Eagle
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Giant Eagle
  • The Heinz Endowments
  • HRV Inc.
  • Kennametal
  • Koppers, Inc.
  • L-3 Communications Corporation
  • Lanxess AG
  • National Technology Transfer Center
  • PNC Bank
  • PPG
  • Pittsburgh Housing Authority
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Ramsey Medical
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi, LLP
  • Sandler Sales Institute
  • Shadyside Hospital
  • Teletracking
  • UPMC
  • Vocollect
  • WallaWalla College

What happens if you haven’t yet worked with people in my field?

These industries, much like your industry, have different levels of organization. New roles require learning new responsibilities. Different communication skills are often required…more presentations and more opportunity to engage with a more senior level audience. The strategies to do this, do not change other than using a different vocabulary for your market and the specific audience you are speaking to. The fact remains that you are attempting to sound like the executive you are in the new role you are climbing to or have already achieved. The way you do this is not dependent on the industry you are in. So, no matter what industry you are in, being a good communicator is essential for being effective and having more impact. Developing communication skills is important in any field.

How are you different from other coaches?

Other coaches who are working on communication skills are not trained in the same way that I am. I have a masters degree in Speech Pathology which has given me an in-depth understanding of how speech, language, and voice are developed. The areas give you the “sound” that you have based on 12 aspects of speech, language and voice that most coaches don’t consider or know how to work with and change. If a coach doesn’t understand a voice problem, he/she cannot evaluate it properly or help you change it. On occasion, there have been times when a development opportunity is actually a disorder. In that case, you will be referred to a specialist who can work with your problem. Although I could also do that, my practice doesn’t accept insurance and a “disorder ‘ will be covered by insurance.

What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?

You are my best client if you are a bright, intelligent executive leader or emerging leader in your organization. You are highly-valued there and they are willing to invest in your development. Your biggest need right now is communicating in a way that feels confident, that resonates with senior management, and is easy to understand. You are in new situations requiring that you craft succinct messages to influence others.

You have great ideas and you want to have more impact with your ideas so that you reach farther and improve the company even more. You realize that great communication skills are key to your success. You value self-improvement and see how becoming even better gives you a clear path to your success. You are ambitious and highly motivated to make time for learning how to make changes in your speech, language and voice a reality.

For what type of professional is this program NOT going to work?

I am very selective about with whom I work and I carefully look at the way in which my potential clients respond to the questions on the ClearlySpeaking Academy application. I gently turn away people who are not ready to accept the fact that the way you sound matters, who don’t believe that there are areas of speech, language or voice that can be changed to have greater impact, or who are not willing to spend the time developing a new skill because they don’t have the time or they fear a better “ME.”

If you fall into this category, it’s absolutely ok. The timing is not right. You will do yourself a huge favor and save yourself money if you wait until you are ready. Here are three things you can do in the meantime:

  1. Find people with executive presence and begin to observe their behaviors. What is it that you like about the way they speak? What are the perceptions you have of these people? Do you know what it is about their speech, language, and voice that creates this perception you have? Awareness of others is the first the step towards attaining YOUR goals.
  2. Do you sound like the people you admire? What is different about the way you communicate compared to the way they communicate? What are the areas you need to change? Self-awareness of your skills is the second step towards getting ready to attain YOUR goals.
  3. Sign up for the webinar called, A Step-by-Step Voice Makeover Strategy. It will help get clear about what’s important to you in terms of the way you want to be perceived, what that sounds like and the steps to take to achieve that goal.

Doing these three things will really help you get primed for our work. When you are ready to take the next step, sign-up for a professional evaluation of your skills. We will talk about your goals as a communicator and what needs to change first to have the most impact towards achieving that goal.

Committing to do the daily practice is also necessary. My program doesn’t require hours of daily practice but rather a short time of your effort and attention to be aware of the skill you are trying to develop. If this is too much for you, I gently and respectfully ask that you don’t apply for the training. We probably won’t work well together and I want to work only with the people who are committed to making changes and reaching their goals. That’s fair to you, your organization and to me as a professional who wants my clients to succeed!

Finally, if you are someone who is considering private, one-on-one coaching and you recognize that your schedule will prevent you from meeting on a regular basis, I respectfully, acknowledge you are a busy person but meeting regularly is essential to keep the momentum of your progress going. If you are not able to meet with me at least every other week, the progress you make on your goals will be limited. Making your goal a reality is a goal of mine, too. The few clients who haven't made progress in training were unsuccessful because of inconsistent coaching sessions and a lack of practice.

What exactly is the ClearlySpeaking IMPACT System and what does it include?

IMPACT Coaching
Learning to sound like the professional you are and aligning that sound with the perceptions you want others to have of you requires a full understanding of what values are important to you. Once you know what is important to you, then you must understand what that sounds like. Here’s what the System gets you to do:

  1. The ClearlySpeaking System includes an evaluation of your current skills, a report of your strengths and development opportunities, a recommendation for what you should work on first to have the most impact based on your goals as the best communicator.
  2. A Plan of Action (POA) is developed for training that includes a concept lesson where you learn a new skill. Once you have mastered the new skill, you develop a system for changing the behavior into many other areas of your life in a systematic way. Your practice time is highly individualized so we develop that daily plan of practice so that it can work as seamlessly into your day as possible. We will also examine strategy stoppers that may be preventing you from achieving your goals. Changing a behavior is hard work; you are encouraged to develop a system that works for you. We help you discover that system so that you are in charge of making your new skill a habit.

Does this really work?

Trib Media Award

Trib Media Award: Voted in 2008 as Pittsburgh’s Top 250 Best Minority Owned Business by Trib Total Media

 

Yes! The result of our work in an approach to effective communication that over time and with your hard work and dedication works consistently to give you the image you desire, the impact you want and the clarity you need to be likable, trustworthy, and influential.

What results can I expect?

You can expect to:

  1. Become very aware of the characteristics of speech and voice that affect the way others perceive you.
  2. Learn about all the characteristics of speech, language, and voice that play a role in your “sound.”
  3. Get information about how well you are aligned with the way you sound and the way you wish to be perceived.
  4. Learn the development opportunities you have and which ones need to be changed first to have more impact.
  5. Learn how to change the behavior that needs to be changed.
  6. Learn to leverage your strengths as a speaker.
  7. Develop a system of change that fits your busy life, schedule, and your preferences.
  8. Make the changes you want to sound like the person you are or wish to sound like.
  9. Create greater executive presence.
  10. Get proven techniques that you can apply right away and learn through a process that ingrains the new behavior into all your conversations and presentations.
  11. Stop struggling with being ineffective when you communicate with your peers, colleagues, direct reports, senior level management, board members, etc.
  12. Gain self-confidence and more self-respect which in turn, will positively affect the people around you.

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it’s like to work with you?

I encourage you to read the client testimonials. Due to the confidential nature of coaching, most clients prefer to remain anonymous. The testimonies that you see throughout my site are real although the names may not always be.

How quickly can I expect results?

This is a great question and it depends entirely on you! Any of the new skills that you are learning are easy to learn. The hardest part about learning a new skill is getting the skill to become a habit. You can expect to learn the new skill on the first day. The process of making it a habit will depend on self-awareness, how much you practice and your mindset. If you are intentionally incorporating the new skill in practice and then into your conversations, you may see inconsistent results right away and consistent results within 20-30 days. If you have two areas that you are developing, expect two months of training, practicing and mastering.

Will I recover the investment I put into this coaching program?

Yes! First of all, let me ask you how will you know if the program works? The return on investment is high when you consider the opportunities you can expect. A new higher level job which pays more, self-confidence and acknowledgment are all factors to consider.

How long is the program?

You have several options for taking courses. The online option has the option of pay-by-the-course. You control the number of courses you want to take one at a time. Or you can sign up for a year of training that will take you through each course one at a time. Customized one-on-one training is also available. The length of the program depends largely on the number of areas that you work.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. All of the programs are available to be purchased online or via direct deposit.

I know which program I want. How do I get started?

Congratulations! I am so honored to be a part of your development. The first step is to schedule a strategy session. We will discuss your goals, your timeframe and decide on which program suits you the best (online, one-on-one).

I still have a couple of questions. Can I call you?

Of course, you can. The best way to do that is to schedule a time.  Please complete the form below and you will be given access to my calendar to schedule a time.  I would love to talk to you!