Ask Esther…Help, how can I get my voice heard?

Ask Esther

Here’s your chance to ask me anything related to confidence, how you feel about your career, presentation and speaking techniques, your elevator pitch, personl brand or your boardroom presence…are you in danger of underselling yourself? 

Ask me anything. I literally have a tp for any eventuality when it comes to communicating with impact and influence.

Esther Stanhope is an international confidence speaker and communications expert. A former BBC producer she’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, and many global leaders.

She now helps talented women in business, like you, to speak up in meetings and conferences, get their voice heard and radiate charisma, confidence & gravitas.

If you have any questions for Esther about the way you come across in business, as a leader or when you’re chairing a meeting, fire away.  Ask anything.

Email; [email protected]

Dear Esther,

“Help, how can I get my voice heard?”

I was at a meeting on Friday and got into a situation where I thought I could do with some help and motivation So basically, I was in a meeting with some external people, and then had three very experienced individuals from my company too. I hadn’t really said much for the first hour and a half because there was not much I could add at that stage. It was an exchange amongst the others and was all going well. However, at one point I really wanted to say something, but was struggling to break in (and it has happened many times before). The others were saying the same things but I felt like I could structure it differently which could add value and ‘hit the nail on the head’. Finally when I had the opportunity to speak, in order to get to the add value point, I had to pull together a couple of things that had been said already (and the conversation had also moved on a little). Because I started with some repeat statements, I think people lost interest in what I had to say before I could get to my ‘add value point’. The other issue is because I am not as experienced perhaps people are not aware of what value I can add and therefore get a little opportunity to speak and then I get conscious of people interrupting before I can say everything so I just starting speaking very quickly and waffle a lot. So it’s a vicious circle. I don’t get a chance to speak and when I do, I probably make a mess of it, and perhaps that’s why I don’t get a chance to speak…..

Any suggestions? I have many meetings in the next three days with senior internal stakeholders and external people.


Hi Raveena,

Thank you so much for the email.

First of all, you are not alone – don’t beat yourself up.  I know how you feel.

You are a normal human being and like so many other professional women (& men) I’ve worked with, you suffer from lack of confidence for many reasons, many are out of your control.

However, your ability to manage your confidence in meetings is within your control and YOU CAN DO IT!  I can help you.

What you need is a good dose of self-belief.

Long term, I suggest you seek a coach, mentor or group of like-minded professional women you can talk to about this.  It’s like therapy – you can’t figure this out on your own.

Short term

For the next three days you need a quick ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ fix for your immediate senior meetings.

Here’s how to be ‘boardroom ready’….

Here are my TOP three best speak up tips for the boardroom….

Prep by warming up (in the loo) and doing the power POSE – remember the Amy Cuddy TED Talk ? Here it is as a reminder…..

Prof Amy Cuddy & me (yes I saw her lecture in London) click on this photo to play her TED talk on Youtube.

Esther Stanhope & Amy Cuddy

Self-Affirmations work well in times of need. 

Add another dimension to your Power POSE by looking on the mirror and saying this to yourself…

“I am experienced, I know what I am talking about, I have got this, I am awesome”

(It’s a bit like the Netflix documentary ‘Knock Down the House’ when US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chants to herself)

Cut to the chase in the meeting and make your punch line your top line – yes blurt out the big words – the big statement.

Fill in the context and detail later…. don’t JUSTIFY why you are saying it – just SAY IT

“This XYZ idea is going to make us more money”

Here’s a blog you’ll love about having your confidence ZAPPED – it’s got some more brilliant tips too…like what to wear to look the part…

Does facing senior management zap your confidence

And don’t forget the icing on the cake…..

Eyes and teeth! Smile smile smile. They’ll think you are relaxed and confident, plus your brain will also think “I’m happy!”

Go for it, step outside your comfort zone and let me know how it goes.

Good luck. May the ‘confidence-force’ be with you

Esther xxx

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