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“When we align the what we say and how we say it, that's the foundation of credibility. It's not what you say versus how you say it, it's the connection between the two that's the key." - Dr. Laura Sicola
Hello everyone! You know I've had the privilege of interviewing many fascinating individuals who are experts in their own respective field. However, my recent conversation with Dr. Laura Scola, a leadership communication and influence expert, was particularly enlightening. I was thrilled to have her on the show, not only because of her expertise but also because of the valuable advice she had given me on improving my presentation skills. Now, what I hope is that you learn from it too like the way it has given me impact. Here are the takeaways of the episode:
A Journey from Academia to Entrepreneurship
Dr. Laura's journey is an inspiring one. She started her career as a teacher and linguist, driven by a passion to bridge the gap between people. This interest eventually led her to become an expert in leadership communication. Her transition from academia to entrepreneurship was propelled by a consulting opportunity with IBM, which marked a significant turning point in her career.
The Art of Sounding Credible
During our conversation, we delved into the importance of sounding credible in various roles, whether as a speaker, leader, expert, sales rep, or coach. According to Dr. Laura, the first step towards credibility is premeditating and planning the desired outcome of a conversation. She emphasized the importance of considering the audience and their needs, and aligning the message with how it is delivered. She gave an example of how the way something is said can undermine credibility, even if the content is true.
Common Pitfalls and the Importance of Branding
We also discussed common pitfalls in sounding credible. Dr. Laura pointed out that a key mistake many people make is not considering their audience. She stressed the need to connect with the audience by understanding their pressures and adapting one's appearance and style of speaking based on who they are addressing.
Dr. Laura also highlighted the importance of branding and consistency in conveying a message. She explained that a brand is the promise of an experience and the experience of a promise delivered. This means understanding the audience and connecting with them in a way that is consistent with the brand.
Closing the Deal
Dr. Laura clarified that this doesn't necessarily mean making a sale, but rather finding an agreement or moving the conversation forward. She explained that closing the deal is about getting to 'yes' and forming an agreement, with the exchange of money being secondary.
The Power of Video in Marketing and Communication
We also touched on the importance of video in marketing and communication. Dr. Laura emphasized that people want to do business with people, and videos help to humanize the brand and connect with the audience. She suggested creating short videos with tips or snippets to increase brand recognition and build trust. She also recommended adding subtitles to videos since many people watch them on mute. She mentioned the power of video in email marketing, where a video thumbnail can significantly increase open rates.
The Ten Weeks to Influence Program
Dr. Laura's website offers a ten-week program called "Ten Weeks to Influence." This program focuses on taking expertise and passion and effectively communicating it to captivate the audience. She compared it to the best teachers who made learning fun and kept their students' attention. She also mentioned that her website is undergoing reconstruction and will be rebranded by the end of the year.
Free Resources and the Importance of a Powerful CRM
Dr. Laura offers free resources on her website, such as a downloadable equipment guide and a worksheet called "Listening to Influence" for having sensitive conversations. These resources can be found below.
Dr. Laura expressed her gratitude for being on the show and hopes that listeners have gained valuable insights to help them overcome their own obstacles and communicate effectively. She emphasized her desire to empower everyone to do so. Thanks again Dr. Laura for your invaluable insights and we all look forward to applying these in our own communication efforts.