Be Heard the First Time: The Woman's Guide to Powerful Speaking

Front Cover
Capital Books, 2005 - Business & Economics - 202 pages
Dr. Susan Miller''s passion is to empower women with effective compelling communication skills so they can articulate and achieve their goals, communicate their needs, and master the art of "being heard" where it counts. Be Heard the First Time is an operator''s manual for oral communication and shares the seven key skills of all competent speakers, plus Dr. Miller''s proven strategies for breath and pitch control. For beginners, she shows how to focus on posture, presence, comfort level, and the message itself. For the more skilled speaker, Dr. Miller provides effective strategies for combating dry mouth, retrieving words, and answering aggressive questioning when faced with a high-level public meeting or press conference. Be Heard the First Time promises to help reticent women walk, stand, or sit powerfully, even if you feel insecure; like the sound of your voice; breathe deeply and slowly when you are anxious; say the last word of a sentence without trailing off; express your opinions, desires, and experiences clearly; vary the loudness, pitch, and duration of your voice when speaking; entertain others with stories, presentations, and tall tales; finish your statement without interruption; interview, clarify, object, debate, and negotiate powerfully; and respond assertively to criticism. Now the soft-spoken patent attorney, for example--when promoted to the CEO position--can quickly learn how to make a confident and visible entry to a conference or reception room, and how to speak quite differently than she did before her promotion. And, for those aiming for promotion, this book reveals how to "be heard the first time" so you can achieve your goals.REVIEWS "Local voice and communication consultant Susan D. Miller wants you to speak with authority....Breathe deeply, don''t trail off, express yourself clearly, be assertive when criticized....It''s not just about your voice, Miller says. It''s about your appearance, your manner, and your way of dealing with feeling less than confident. "Washington Business Journal, Washington Business Journal, 2006/03/10"When women are promoted or move up in power, too often they find they aren''t taken seriously when they speak, author Susan Miller says. Why? Maybe they don''t know how to enter a conference room confidently. Or they might be too soft-spoken. The answer, Miller says, isn''t speaking louder. It''s speaking better. Miller discusses seven skills, ranging from controlling one''s breath to how to listen to others."Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Star, 2006/03/22"Dr. Miller''s background as a voice trainer lends to chapters which survey the finer points of public speaking, with chapters covering how to clarify speech, enunciate clearly, and project the voice. Polish speaking skills and professional skills alike with BE HEARD THE FIRST TIME - which also works for the home. "Midwest Book Review, Midwest Book Review, 2006/04"Susan Miller, a voice coach, teaches speaking strategies that include breath and pitch control. The author of ''Be Heard the First Time: The Woman''s Guide to Powerful Speaking,'' says women often underestimate how important posture and presence are in delivering a message. Another tip: Be aware of your voice volume. You''ll get the right level by comparing your volume to other speakers. Co-workers will tune you out if you speak too softly and get annoyed if you speak too loudly. Either way, the message gets lost."Orange County (CA) Register, Orange County (CA) Register, 2006/05/21"Women often precede statements with humbling remarks and sometimes speak so timidly that they''re not ''noticed'' at conference meetings, Susan D. Miller writes in Be Heard the First Time. . . Miller shares these tips." Triangle Magazine, 2006/07/01"Talk Is Cheap in Politics, But a Deep Voice Helps...To gauge what the candidates'' voices say about their appeal, The Wall Street Journal asked Washington voice coach Susan Miller of VoiceTrainer LLC to analyze the voices of seven Democrats and five Republicans by pitch, speed, and two measures of variability -- how loud and soft their voices are, and how high and low they go... The vocal-cord primary, like the campaign itself so far, is inconclusive. But our unscientific poll of Ms. Miller and other leading voice experts suggests: Among the Republicans, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney''s and television actor Thompson''s baritones win on authority, but lose on energy. On the Democratic side, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton''s and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama''s voices convey caring. But Mrs. Clinton can sound shrill and Mr. Obama can lack forcefulness." Wall Street Journal , 2007/11/03

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About the author (2005)

Susan Miller, Ph.D., is founder of Voicetrainer, LLC, a voice and communication consulting business. Dr. Miller has more than twenty-six years of experience with professional and amateur speakers, radio and news broadcasters, and singers. She has extensive experience in major medical centers working with injured voices. She has been interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show, WTOP, Georgetown University Forum, Derek McGinty Show, CBS, and Channel 8 Healthline. Dr. Miller recently taught a course for the Smithsonian Associate Resident Program entitled, "Cultivating the Medium of the Message: Your Voice and Communication Challenges in the Workplace." Her tips regarding vocal health have appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Rock and Roll, Washingtonian, Bottom Line Health, and The American Way. Her recently released CD, "Vocal Vitality," was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Miler is a clinical associate for the George Washington University Voice Treatment Center and the Georgetown University Center for the Voice. She lives in Washington, D.C., and this is her first book. More about her at