Skip to main content

Communicate Like a Boss

Lesson 5 of 9

Boss Move 2: Volume

 

Communicate Like a Boss

Lesson 5 of 9

Boss Move 2: Volume

 

Lesson Info

Boss Move 2: Volume

We don't experience ourselves the same way everyone else experiences us in these crucial communications moments, and volume is a place where this gets to be really true. I work with clients all the time who say, really, I feel like I'm yelling, you want me to speak more loudly? Or, wow, I feel like I'm whispering, can you hear me? So, here's a quick example. Gosh, it was 11 years ago, I was giving a workshop at a company up in the Portland area and I had a woman in my class who was, like, very senior, really articulate, and ran a big portion of their internal council business, just all the legal, right, and she talked about some pretty serious matters, and it was her turn, it was a class, a skill building class, where it was her turn to get up and we did kind of this thing, so she gave her, she had big blonde hair, and a very strong presence, physical presence, and she started speaking and she was just like, we all were, what, can't hear you, so we tried to bring her, I said, double yo...

ur volume, and she clicked it up about 1/3 of a peg, and I said, okay, you're not quite loud. Let's try it again, let's do it, (grunting) and she just only could bring it up incrementally, until we were finally telling her, we can't hear you. She said, really? I can't believe it. She says, I feel like I'm yelling. I said, okay, great, on a scale of one to 10, where do you sense your own voice? She said, I think I'm probably like a five or a six, and everyone in the room said, oh, you're like a two, a two or a three, so I had everyone get up and move to the very back of the room, because then she couldn't have close proximity, and it was a long double conference room. We all sat in the very back of the room, and I said, great, so if you perceive yourself at a three or a four, two or a three, I want you to talk at a six, at your own scale, at a six. She spoke at a six, and everyone in the back of the room was like, yes! I see you and feel you now! She said, that's amazing to me. I feel like I'm screaming my head off. We said, no, now we can just, now we've just paired your presence, with a nice strong voice where we can get what you're saying, which also, by the way, impacted all of her enunciation and how she was changing her tone and all that other stuff, a bunch of stuff comes with volume change, and she said, it's so incredible to me, because when I was growing up, I grew up in a very quiet house, and I was always told I was making too much noise, and I needed to keep my voice down, and I, now, I've just had such a skewed perspective of how I sound in the world, I never had a chance to make the way I show up in the world, current. We want to keep a very current version of how we think we're sounding and seeming, right? When it comes to practicing, our communicating as a compelling person. So, this, volume is a place where this can get a little, like, wait, what? I mean, my husband's always telling me, shh! And I'm like, really? I feel like I'm just, I'm barely registering, right? And I've got my Richter scale is pretty big. So always wanting to calibrate and create a current version of our own voice, so, I'd like to ask for another volunteer to come on up and tell us their story, and play in the world of volume. Yes, that's good, there it is. So, because we can't hear the way, hear ourselves the way others do, practicing like this, even with a colleague or a friend is a huge help, in helping you keep that current version of your own voice. So, tell us your name. Lorena. Hi, Lorena. So, Lorena's gonna tell us a story of something she loved when she was a kid, and then we're gonna play with volume. Go for it. Something I loved as a child was cooking with my parents. I'm the youngest of three, and I'm very much the youngest, so, I spent a lot of time with them. Great, great, cooking with my parents. Okay, so, what do we want to do? Louder, or, yeah! (laughing) Already, great. I know this is my- Yeah. I know this. (laughing) This is one of those things where you're like, I've had this feedback before, right? Absolutely. Great. So, standing on both feet, nice and square, shoulders back, you're gonna hold that mic where it's comfortable, and you're gonna just give it, in fact, you might want to drop it down a little bit so the guys in the sound room (laughing) don't get blown out and those of you at home don't get blown out. So, take it from that first, "I loved cooking with my parents," and you're gonna bring the, where do you think you are on a scale of one to 10? How you feel it. Five. Like a five? Okay, so try to get it up to an eight, okay? What am I starting with? You're starting with, "I loved cooking with my parents." I loved cooking with my parents. Good, one more time, and louder. Was that an eight? No, it was not an eight. Even on her scale, it wasn't an eight, right? Good, good, give it to us. I loved cooking with my parents. Hello, one more time. That works. Great, so one more time. I loved cooking with my parents. Oh, we're getting closer now, aren't we? Okay, let's go the other way just to give you a sense of the floor, and I want you to do it at a two. I loved cooking with my parents. Good, look at the audience and give it to them at a two. I loved cooking with my parents. Good, now give it to them at an eight. I loved cooking with my parents. That's nice, good, a little bit louder. Don't you want her louder, don't you want it? So we want this from you. I know it feels weird, we still want it. Okay, here we go. (laughing) I loved cooking with my parents. Ooh! Did you hear it? Also, did you hear? It was like, "I loved cooking with my parents." She was like, they're my parents! They're not your parents, they were my parents! No, I loved that, did you hear, this is subtle but real. Do it again, nice and loud. I loved cooking with my parents. Good, now do it like you actually care. Do it one more time, nice and loud, and you can do it at a two first if you want, and then pop up to an eight. I loved cooking with my parents. Good, now one more time, keep going, and then continue to tell the story, but keep it at an eight! I loved cooking with my parents. Louder. I was the youngest of three children and I spent a lot of time with my parents in the kitchen. There you go, good, good. Do it one more time and do it down at a two again. I loved cooking with my parents. Good, lower, a little bit lower, one more time. I was the youngest of three children, and I spent a lot of time with them in the kitchen. Great, we're gonna do it one more time, at an eight again, and I want you to look at the room and tell me who you're gonna talk to. Who are you gonna talk to? Right here, so you're talking to Arena, and somebody else. Rosie, Rosie. So, Arena and Rosie, you're gonna tell them the story, and you're gonna give it to them. You cannot scare them, okay? (laughing) They actually want you to yell at them, they can't hear you, they just got out of the swimming pool, they both have swimmer's ear, they can't hear anything. Okay, nice and loud. That's not true, that was my version of the story, okay. I loved cooking with my parents. Louder. I was the youngest of three children, and I spent a lot of time with them in the kitchen. Good, good, give her a round of applause, very nice. (clapping) Okay, stay there, stay there. So, what happened when she got louder? What was it for you? What did you notice? Clearer? Yeah. Much more emotion behind it. There was a sense of ownership, too. When you mentioned it, it's like, oh, why did she love cooking with her parents? Was my next question, like, I wanted to know more. Yeah, so there's another thing that I was, I'm on a side angle, so I could maybe not, I maybe miss-saw this, is that a word? You can tell me if I'm wrong, but it seemed like when you had to really push your volume, which you still had so much room to go. You do, you really have a lot of room. You can watch this back when it's posted up on the catalog and you can see. (laughing) (laughing) You have a lot of room to go, just to see where the ceiling actually is, you know? Because we're not gonna let you go too far, but you don't really know how far too far is until you touch it, and then you go, ooh, there it is, now I'm gonna back off. Did it feel like you were going too far? No, I felt like I could have done more. That's right, that's right, so we want to know where that is so then you can touch it and back off from it. We're not asking you to jump off a bridge, but I'm asking you to sort of stand on the edge, right, and get a sense of where that is. The other thing I notice when you went, when you got a little louder, is your face got a little bit more serious. Okay, so what did you notice, say more, you observed that, I'm not crazy, that's good. I mean, I am crazy, but also I observed that, yes. I was observing that as, oh, are we frustrating her? Uh-huh. (laughing) That she got serious? Did you notice me frustrating her? I was like, do it again, do it again, I'm not gonna save you, not gonna let you out, do it again. Kind of let her out in the end, but there it is, that's right. So you got more serious, what did that do for you, as a listener, when she got- She didn't seem embarrassed by it, she was kind of owning the story more. This is a thing, when you think about, when you think about authority, so for you, if you were speaking in a position of authority, and you need to be more authoritative to reinforce that, positively, to positively reinforce that, volume is gonna be your friend, because it's gonna make, it does seem more embodied. Who said, what was the earlier feedback that you, not that you took yourself more seriously, but there was something else earlier that was around that, ownership, that sense of ownership. You get, I get that from her when she goes louder. So isn't it funny, thank you very much, have a seat. Have a seat, so isn't it funny, yes, (isn't it funny that so often, these boss moves are almost hardly ever about what they're about. They're about something else, which is why I said it earlier, that they are almost embarrassingly simple, but you can see how they create access points to a more powerful version of yourself, that you can touch when you need to, that you can have as part of your toolbox when you need them. Really, really good, let's do one more for speed. Anybody want to go? I'm with you, I feel like I'm always too loud, and I get the feedback of, like, shh. Yeah, it's funny, too loud also could mean, like, you're very intense, because it might not actually be in an absolute volume, you know? I'm not kidding, like, it can be that you're, that your presence is loud, your voice isn't, but people don't know how to parse that, and give you the right feedback for it, so, not saying that's true, but just, you don't always have to take that feedback at face value. Just saying. All right, so, are you gonna tell a similar story or different story? Similar. Similar story, okay, great, so Jess is gonna tell us her story and we're gonna play with speed, excuse me, volume. I loved going to the beach as a kid. Every Saturday, I'd go with my dad, and it was just the best. We'd tan, we used to swim, it was great. Yes! I agree. So I got a clue from the room that gave her a thumbs up, like, go up, go up in volume, so, louder. Now, this is very interesting, that, I just want to say some more stuff about it, because we get so much feedback about a particular thing, that we actually compensate for that feedback and then when we're asked to bring that, re-introduce that into our style or the way that, into how we deliver these piece of communication, it can feel a little bit like, how can I believe that? I spent the first 15 years of my professional life having people ask me to take it down a notch, and now you're asking me to bring it forward, and sometimes, it's because we overcompensate. Sometimes it's because you're not the same professional you were 15 years ago, or 10 years ago, or five years ago. You don't have the same role. Things, we've got to keep it current. Okay, so, nice and loud, taking it from the top. I loved going to the beach as a kid. Every Saturday, I'd go with my dad. It was our thing, father-daughter. We'd swim, we'd tan, and it was just the best day of the week. Was that louder? Tiny, bit, but what did happen? I slowed down. Good, let's give her a mic right here. More emotion. More emotion, how did that show up? Say more about that. It was a very slight increase in volume, but I felt that your gestures, and almost like the tone of your voice was in line with what you were saying. Yes, right, right, there was like an intention behind your voice that was bigger, without the volume actually going up very much. Yeah? Okay, cool. Do it again, now actual, huh? Louder? (laughing) Yeah, what did you think I was gonna ask you to do? So yes, a little bit louder, see how this feels, and it's okay, you're not gonna break anything. Okay. Look, she's got the rockstar mic way around. (laughing) I absolutely loved going to the beach as a kid. It was my favorite thing, I'd go every Saturday with my dad, and it was just my favorite day of the week. That's nice, right? Was it much louder? Not much, but, you could even go louder. Oh yeah, so give her the big mic there, she can say that again. It was just like the tiny increment of it, but you can go louder, but I think the power pose really helped a lot. She has the power pose, that's right, so I'm gonna play with this a little bit. This is a little off script, but I'm gonna have you put your feet together a little bit so we're not doing the big power pose, we're doing sort of a small, a more narrow, take up a little less space, physically, but we're gonna take up more space volume-wise, so last, I would say, on a scale of one to 10, you were kind of at your own six. I want to hear an eight. I absolutely loved going to the beach as a kid. I'd go every Saturday with my dad, and it was my favorite day of the week. There it is, give her a round of applause! Thank you, Jess, good job, have a seat right here. We have some comments here. What do you notice? When she got louder, she slowed down. Yes! This is, again I'm gonna say, these boss moves are never about the boss move, they're about the impacts of all the other stuff that gets organized when you touch this one little lever. Really good. Anybody else? Yes, back here. Also, when she raised her voice more, none of her words trailed off towards the end of the sentence. They all kind of stayed this elevated pitch the whole way through. Great observation. Really great observation, so it just sort of stays there, but was it, like, (imitates horn) or was it modulated? Still felt kind of modulated, to me anyhow. Now, I am not saying stand in front of a room and speak at a six forever, for your full 45 minutes. This is about modulation, which is, makes, you have this now at your disposal. That was never too loud, Jess. That was never too loud. It would be too loud if it was the only way you were talking for an entire meeting, but it was never too loud at a moment, you know? Okay, great, let's do one more. Let's just really wring this out. Who wants to come up? (laughing) It's fun, right, Jess? It's fun, come on, it's fun. Good. Okay, so, tell us your name again for those who are watching at home. Rosie. Okay, and Rosie's gonna tell us a story of something she loved when she was a kid, and then we're gonna play with volume. When I was a kid, I loved spending Friday nights at my grandparents' house because you sleep over, morning, wake up at 8:00 a.m., have some coffee, which my parents did not allow, and then just go to Costco and get the biggest boxes ever so we can play in the garage. That's great, that's great. Do you notice how she was like, I'm gonna do this volume thing really well! (laughing) All right? (laughing) Here I go! (laughing) That's great. So here's a challenge for you. This is, and this, again, this is not making any of these things wrong. It's just like, let's play in this other territory, so let's try this one. As you do this next one, I want you to give it to us like you're whispering a bedtime story, like we're camping, and everyone's asleep, but I'm gonna read you the story, because we have to have a story before we go to bed, okay? Like that, so quiet, but you make sure we can hear you. Okay. When I was a kid, I loved Friday nights at my grandparents' because it meant we slept over, coffee in the morning at 8:00 a.m., and then later, we'd go to Costco to get the biggest boxes that we could just play the whole day in the garage. That's great, give her a round of applause! I'm not even gonna bug you anymore about that. Yeah, have a seat, that was fantastic. Actually, Rosie, come back here. Sorry, sorry, I lied, I lied. So, what was that like for you? What did you notice? So doing it the first time, I was like, oh, I'm pretty sure they're gonna tell me to go louder, because sometimes I give off, I guess, my friendliness is like, oh, you're too sweet, like you have to have a bit more ownership, but I guess I was really loud! That's great, that's great, okay, and when you were quiet, what was that like for you? What did you notice? I kind of slowed down, and I feel like I pronunciated better, and I was like, okay, I'm telling the story to my clever niece. That's right, that's right. So, again, a boss move's never about the boss move, but all the other stuff, great, have a seat. Thank you. You're welcome. So, what did you all notice, what happened when she got, and that's a surprise, right? That she could be so whisper quiet. What happened when she was so whisper quiet, for you? Yeah, back here and then right here. There was more of a sense of magic when she was whispering. It felt like, oh, what's this story about? Yeah, that's great, magic, what a great word, yes. Felt myself leaning into the story, like as if I were a little kid in bed, like ooh, tell me more! (laughing) Yes, I sort of love that, because sometimes, as communicators, sometimes we do so much work to make sure you can hear us, and we're doing this thing and we're working so hard, and there is something very compelling about creating a moment where you actually have to lean into me. That in and of itself is a boss move, to go like, hey, psst, come here. You're gonna have, you want this? You're gonna have to pay real close attention. It's lovely. It also treats that part of your story as sort of magical. I think that's a great way to articulate for you specifically. Now, for sure, you slowed down, you were so much more enunciated, and interestingly enough, that you have this sense of, like, I'm so friendly and approachable and like this and so people need to take me more seriously. When she was whispering, did it feel, did it feel like you wanted to take her more seriously or less seriously, even though we had the word magical in there, more seriously, or less seriously? More seriously, for sure. Yeah, why? Because, it gives you the space to enter the story, and also, I think I notice, this is very interesting, when she was loud and when she was speaking faster, she said, when she was saying, when I was five, we had the coffee, this is not supposed to be, but when she do it second time, she skipped, this is not supposed to be, she just keep on telling the story. It actually had a better flow, when it's not being interrupted. Yes, interesting, so good. So, your perception that, you know, being loud and commanding, is your access point into a more maybe compelling or, I don't, yeah, compelling version of the way you communicate, might not be totally accurate. You might want to play on this lower side a little bit. So, really, really, good, and I appreciate all the folks on camera here, chasing everyone around as we do a bunch of demos. So, really, modulation, in my mind, puts you in control of your impact, so these are the two boss moves we're talking about in the category of, in the category of modulation. There's lots of other places we can play with that, how you use the space in the room, et cetera, but these are two places that you might imagine right now might be one of the boss moves that you're gonna take from this class and just experiment with, and see what happens. Now, it's hard, of course, it's so easy for us to record ourselves and play it back and sort of see maybe what others are seeing, but you don't have to be alone with this, either. Again, find friends and colleagues, spouses, partners, people that you may be in classes with, to help recalibrate this with you, so that you can see what the outcomes are of pulling each of these little pulleys. So, great. So that is all about modulation mattering. So I'd like now to go into this idea that words matter, too. We saw that a few times. Jess, you asked earlier in the class, why did you have her start with that particular sentence? And yes, it does matter, it makes a difference, to how you start and how you end. So we want to choose our first and last words well. These are the next two boss moves that we really want to play with a little bit here.

Class Description

Getting ahead in an organization requires a lot of different things—from working hard to making connections to being at the right place at the right time. But one of the most important aspects of career advancement is having strong communication skills.

Being a compelling communicator helps you stand out from the crowd, gain influence, be seen as trustworthy and get invited into new networking opportunities. But how do we increase our visibility without being perceived as a grandstander? And how do we communicate effectively while remaining true to ourselves?

Renowned communications strategist and coach Dia Bondi will help you develop your reputation as the go-to communicator in your organization by showing you how to not only say the right words, but deliver them from the heart.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Be the most compelling person in the room without being “too much.”
  • Elevate your impact through content choices.
  • Get useful feedback so you can accelerate your communication competencies.
  • Come off as genuine and authentic when you speak or present.
  • Overcome common issues such as rushing and lack of organization.
  • Start off strong and end with a bang.

Reviews

Felicia Tan
 

This is a super helpful class! It helped open my eyes to how to communicate better just by changing the speed and volume of how I talk, as well as paying attention to the beginning and end points. She is easy to listen to and follow, both a good teacher and speaker. I loved the exercises she did live with the audience members, and I felt a lot of their feedback was helpful too. I liked her teaching style, and I could definitely watch her for a 3 day seminar if I had to, but luckily this class is short, concise, with no fluff and very helpful.

Lorena Villegas
 

Dia's style of coaching is fantastic. Its not a one size fits all approach and she is skilled in relaying her feedback in a way that is incredibly constructive and supportive. Dia's energy is genuine and sincere. It's her personality and presence that kept all of us engaged and wanting to learn more.