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The Well-Spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Sheryl Sandberg advises women to "lean in" to realize their full potential. To do so successfully, women need effective communication skills and a confident presentation style. In this must-have guide, one of the nation’s premier speech coaches shares tested techniques from twenty years of coaching women on what works and what doesn’t. The author details the practices and ...more
Paperback, 355 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Tara Brabazon
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, well, well. This was a surprisingly fabulous book. It covers effective models for public speaking, with attention to voice, posture, clothing (always a bloody nightmare for female speakers) and managing speaking on camera.

This was simply excellent. Whatever the level or standard of speaker, there is something relevant and useful here. Because men dominate the public sphere, we all maintain a literacy in men who speak. We are comfortable with men offering commentary. Whenever a woman occupi
Ruxandra Balboa-Pöysti
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I first heard of this book, I had great expectations as I do believe we, women, should be able to give each other a kick in the ass from time to time to propel us in our careers - not to mention that I am the president of a Toastmasters club (in Finland) and that I indeed know how important it is to support the development of public speaking and communications skills, the importance of gaining confidence through training, etc.

I have not been disappointed: the book is very comprehensive and
Stephanie Barko
Nov 10, 2011 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: women who do public speaking
Recommended to Stephanie by: Story Circle Network
If you are seeking an up-to-the-minute resource that will turn you into a first rate speaker, this is your book. Written by a top speech coach, this book leads you into claiming your power by confidently stating your ideas and opinions while looking polished and prepared. In short, it helps you conquer public-speaking anxiety and be taken seriously.

Simply illustrated by Kersti Frigell with real life examples from speakers such as Ann Richards, Pat Summitt, Maya Angelou, and Melinda Gates, the ma
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really appreciated the author's anecdotal style to describe some of America's most outspoken women from whom she has drawn much of her inspiration. I don't speak publicly, so there were many parts of this book that I was able to skim, but I did find it useful to hear the stories of how women mentors handle themselves in the face of sexism and self-doubt. ...more
Mary Kenyon
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
While there were many excellent suggestions for improving as a public speaker, the examples of well-spoken women leaned heavily into political figures. I was surprised the author didn't address speakers who "read" from their script, something I find maddening. ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I found this book informative, it did not maintain my interest. As a result, I had to force myself to finish it. I believe part of the problem for me is that there was a large focus on political figures (especially American political figures) and since I am not from the US I did not relate well to these examples. Additionally, I downloaded this book to my e-reader. I believe I might have obtained greater benefit from the book if I had it in hard copy and it was easy to go back to the coupl ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
I thought this book was incredibly useful and had some great advice for speaking, whether you are on a conference panel or presenting to your team at the office. I happened to go to two events this week and was able to note what the panelists were doing effectively and ineffectively - men and women! I also liked the author's strong call for us to support each other as women leaders and the profiles of different strong female speakers. ...more
Lisa Peterson
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book which should be required reading for any woman who has to speak to anyone, ever. It was both inspirational and instructional. I came away with many useful tips I can immediately incorporate into my upcoming public talks.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love the way the chapters were broken up and the interviews done.
I confess that I have had The Well-Spoken Woman next to my bed for a couple of years, and did start it a few times. Because I am leading a quiet life in my twilight years and have no intention of becoming a circuit speechifier, I suppose that I was not motivated to read this densely instructive and specific self-help book.

Last month when I was without any new reading material I made a decision to finish this book, The Well-Spoken Woman. I had to go back to the beginning since I had long since f
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Good thoughts on how to deliver your message in various ways. While the book claims to help you overcome public-speaking anxiety, it seems that all of the advice it gives can contribute to making a person anxious - having to remember all of the extra things - like body language, tone of voice, etc... could make a person more nervous. The true way to overcome or lessen anxiety about something is to practice and prepare.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great resource for professional women. I'll be pulling this one back out from time to time to remind myself of the great tips. ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book is okay. It offers practice examples. Gets to be a bit long and repetitive.
Ruzana Glaeser
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you want to be an effective public speaker, this book is perfect for checklists!
Laura B
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a well rounded guide to public speaking and appearances. I also enjoyed the last chapter about changing the double standards that apply to how women are judged in the public sphere.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
some good stuff here, but the style (and typos!) drove me up the wall.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent resource for any woman who desires to sound (and look) her best in any speaking situation... from a brief introduction to a major speech or media interview. Jahnke profiles many, many successful women as she instructs the reader on how to state ideas more effectively, overcome anxiety, be taken seriously (especially in situations dominated by men), gain confidence in asserting opinions, and be polished and prepared. This is a great addition to my library, and a book that will be ref ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written, with lots of good, useful advice. I wonder if some of it will sound dated in about 5 years, but most of it will probably stand the test of time. It was about public speaking, and, although geared to women, it was useful advice for all. She used examples of successful women from all walks of life which was inspiring, and she had a tendency to make her advice not only quite clear and easy to follow, but memorable. I would recommend this book to any of my friends interested in public ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
The Well Spoken Woman is a great book on public speaking with a guide to how to prepare and present a speech that is thoughtful and thorough, while at the same time entertaining and inspiring with stories of well known accomplished women. I think the main reason I only gave it 3 stars is because I thought that it would have more tips on how to be a well spoken woman in the workplace, not just for giving speeches and presentations.
Patricia J
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best ultimate books for public speaking. You cannot read this book one time it must be read several times over.I personally read this book seven times and still reading different chapters once per week. The book cover everything from how to prepare and deliver acceptance speeches also how to speak with the media and so much more. It's your own private speech coach. The Well Spoken Woman is a book to have in your personal library. ...more
Decent primer for someone looking to get tips on public speaking -- although truthfully this is a skill that really should be taught/practiced in real life, and not just read about in a book.

For someone who has been trained in public speaking the book does not offer many new insights beyond the basics.
An excellent primer on public speaking and comporting yourself in the best way possible. All range of women could benefit from this book, not only women in the public eye. Give it a try!
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Must-read for any woman who regularly speaks to the public or works with the media!
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very helpful. I know I'll be referring to it in the years to come. ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not terribly applicable to my life but interesting.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really helpful to improve public speaking skills, and I love that it is tailored to women.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a must to read book, it guides how to be a truly well-spoken and astonishing presenter. And Christine is an amazing writer, the book is very well put together. lucky to have such book :)
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Jan 06, 2019
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