Want to communicate more effectively? This Public Speaking Coach can help.

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By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Posted: 08/04/16, 8:13 PM PDT |


In the world of business, effective communication is key.

When a CEO or chief financial officer gets up to give a presentation, it’s imperative that the information be delivered clearly, concisely and with confidence.

But what if you end up racing through the presentation, glossing over key points and ultimately losing everyone’s attention?

That’s just one of many scenarios speaking coach Sandra McKnight is familiar with. McKnight offers speech coaching and accent reduction techniques to senior executives, sales managers, customer service representatives and others who want to become better communicators.

“A lot of people come to me because they had a performance review and were told that they speak too fast or that they’re not being clear,” she said. “They are not speaking succinctly and are talking around subjects. Sometimes they are repeating themselves and using filler words like ‘um’ ... and ‘OK’ because they’re not sure what they’re going to say next.”

Others might mumble or speak in a monotone voice thatt is guaranteed to put listeners to sleep.

Speaking coach, McKnight offers a variety of programs through her Voice Power Studios that are designed to correct those problems. She provided an overview of the most popular one.

“I offer eight sessions that are taught every two weeks over the telephone, so it’s highly convenient,” she said. “Each session is 75 minutes long. They call in and I record it and then send it to them afterward with a written summation.”

Clients are taught how to properly project and support their voice and how to speak at a pace that best conveys the information they are trying to present.

Robab Safa-Bakhsh, who manages technology research projects for Boeing, is one of McKnight’s clients. She frequently collaborates with others in and outside of her company in such locations as Southern California and Seattle.

“I’m from Iran and because of my heavy accent I needed to know how to pronounce words,” she said. “She also helped me with other aspects, such as voice control which is very important. I have a strong technical background and there are a lot of concepts I understand in my work, but I had a hard time communicating them. Sandra is very effective in what she does.”