Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Women in Leadership presentation

I was invited to be a keynote speaker at a recent day-conference here at the University of Waikato. The topic for the conference was "Finding your voice".

I think that there was an expectation that I would give them a good singing session, to fire off the endorphins and give them a light vocal exercise to start the afternoon session. However I valued the opportunity too much to just do that, and talked about the use of voice and what effect it has on how we are perceived. I illustrated, gave them exercises to do, did some singing (good speaking voices use the resonation that is used in singing) and took questions. Along the way much laughter, especially at some of my demonstrations. This is strategic, learning is significantly more effective, when people are having fun. I left promptly to go and take a singing session with the Rest Home at Hilda Ross, and then returned to the conference.

Margaret Wilson (ex politician, and now law professor here at Waikato University) chaired the session, and shared stories of how she used her voice when speaker of the house, to keep order. In summing up at the end of the day, she enlarged on that, re-enforcing all that I had said and done. At the post conference drinks time there were many people who wanted to talk to me about working with them, their team etc. I have subsequently had an email from an Associate Dean to come and talk with engineering students about use of voice. Unfortunately I am not available any of the times mentioned, but this is a whole new area where I have future possibilities.

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