Interviews and Profiles with Chris
Activists invigorated by the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement are expanding the definition of what it means to be a female political leader. Meet one woman who’s coaching them along the way. Guest: Chris Jahnke, speech coach to women working in politics. Podcast production by Samantha Lee with help from Danielle Hewitt.
“If I was coaching any of the six women, I would be thinking strategically about how these women can assert themselves very proactively, but forcefully. I think that’s going to be key, how to draw attention to yourself in a crowded field of 10, but really 20, candidates and be assertive.” Keep reading here.
It came as no surprise to Christine Jahnke that the chattering classes would instantly cast doubt on whether Elizabeth Warren is “likable enough” to be elected president in 2020. What was new to Jahnke, a D.C.-based speech coach who trains female politicians, was the backlash: a collective howl raised by voters and political analysts who […]
Christine Jahnke, a political communication expert who has advised former First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has seen some head-spinning stuff while working with Democrats and progressive groups. The author of The Well-Spoken Woman, Jahnke recalls an incident in Indiana, where a candidate she advised arrived to campaign at a veterans’ hall and “some old guy […]
“These different women who are running, and the way they’re running, is going to change politics forever,” said Christine K. Jahnke, a longtime consultant to Democratic women. “They’re rewriting the playbook. But we don’t know exactly what the new playbook will look like.” Read the full story here. See Chris’ New York Times Quotation of the Day […]
“These different women who are running, and the way they’re running, is going to change politics forever,” said Christine K. Jahnke, a longtime consultant to Democratic women. “They’re rewriting the playbook. But we don’t know exactly what the new playbook will look like.” See the quotation of the day here.
So it’s remarkable that here we are eight years later, and there’s a candidate—a young progressive candidate, no less—who’s not only fielding questions about her appearance but doing so voluntarily, with the enthusiasm of a genuine beauty junkie. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” says Chris Jahnke, a Washington, D.C.-based speech coach who was […]
The Trump administration’s attempts to suppress research on science from climate change to vaccines has become a call to action for many usually apolitical scientists. And one grassroots activists organization, 314 Action, is trying to get them elected to public office. Well Spoken Woman’s Chris Jahnke spoke to Vice News Tonight on HBO about running for office […]
This female vocal coach teaches women how to talk without being called angry or shrill. The balloons hadn’t even begun to drop after Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention this summer when pundits started scoring the way she sounded. There was Brit Hume of Fox News complaining about Clinton’s “not-so-attractive voice” and saying, […]
Speech and debate coach Chris Jahnke has advised a number of female candidates and leaders, including New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and First Lady Michelle Obama. She discusses the gender dynamics at work in last night’s debate, and the particular ways in which women are expected to behave on stage while debating men. Listen to the full radio […]
NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with O’Donnell and Chris Jahnke, who works with female Democratic candidates at all levels, to find out a few debate do’s and dont’s — which the Democratic presidential candidates might do well to remember at Saturday night’s debate in New Hampshire. Listen to the full piece here.
When debate coach Chris Jahnke schools women in public speaking, she likes to start with this: “Let your inner diva come out.” The author of The Well-Spoken Woman and founder of Positive Communications says that women need to understand how important it is to own their own voices. Read the full article here.
Not long ago at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, action film director Michael Bay famously melted down in front of an audience and fled the stage. In the post-presentation analysis, everything Bay did that day contributed to failure on the field. “He broke all the rules of public speaking,” says media trainer Christine K. […]
With the proper preparation, you can stand and deliver with the best of ‘em. Speech coach Christine K. Jahnke, the author of The Well-Spoken Woman, reveals how through five clear steps – including carving out time, visualizing success and putting in the work. “People underestimate how much work it takes to prepare. The speakers who […]
“Paul Ryan looked like what he is: a rumpled, think-tank policy wonk sort of guy,” said Christine K. Jahnke, president of Positive Communications, a Washington-based media and image-consultant company (her hundreds of clients have included The Washington Post). “I don’t think that will change as the campaign goes on. If he clicks it up too much, […]
The invitations are out. The trimmings are up, and workers everywhere are starting to sweat. It’s beginning to look a lot like the annual holiday party. “Especially for more junior people, the office holiday party is a rare opportunity to be in a room with immediate supervisors and the big boss,” says Christine Jahnke, author […]
Some professionals prefer to think that what they say is more important than physical appearance. But in fact, folks are sizing you up before you even take off your coat, says Christine K. Jahnke, a speech coach and author of the book The Well-Spoken Woman. She recently explained that to a senior-level engineer at a large […]
Christine Jahnke talked with FOX 25 in Boston about why some people struggle with public speaking. Watch the full interview here. [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQsZxOSz5yw”]
“Women are the majority of the population but still a minority voice,” says Christine Jahnke, a speech coach and the author of The Well-Spoken Woman. She’s worked with some of the most powerful women in the nation, advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Michelle Obama’s first international speech, to help them command authority in any setting. Read the full article here.
There’s one less thing President Obama has over his wife Michelle: mastery of the Teleprompter. Speech coach Christine Jahnke, author of the new book The Well-Spoken Woman, reveals that she taught the first lady how to use a Teleprompter in advance of her pitch in 2009 to the Olympic Committee in Denmark to pick Chicago for the 2016 Olympics, won […]
“A Palin effect? Show it to me,” said Christine K. Jahnke, a media trainer who advised Mrs. Clinton during her presidential campaign. “Women aren’t trying to look like Sarah Palin. That would be a mistake.” Read the full article here.
As a speech coach to athletes and politicians, I can tell you this exuberance cannot be taught. But an articulate manner can. And for top athletes – who often depend on endorsement deals and speaking engagements after they hang up their skates – savvy media skills can be just as important as performance on the […]
Want fewer embarrassing, distracting sex scandals? Elect more women. Ann Richards said it best when she admonished the leadership of the Democratic Party with her line, “If you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” Read the […]
Advice from Chris
The stage of a national political convention is the Olympics of political oratory. You are standing on a podium before a national audience, in front of hundreds of the partisans who can help make or break your career. The audience is there for the singular purpose of rallying together to elect the next leader of […]
A wave of women’s voices will once again power the resistance and drive social change at the third annual Women’s Marches around the world this weekend. For the speakers taking to the stage to make themselves heard, standing before a gigantic crowd can be a simultaneously exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience. I’ve been backstage coaching women leaders […]
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was subjected to the same double-standards Anita Hill dealt with in eerily similar circumstance: both were expected to be pleasing while their abusers felt free to let their anger fly. Women who speak truth to power often face intense scrutiny and pressure to conform to expectations. Yet, knowing full well what they would […]
In GenderWatch, Chris Jahnke writes, “Too many campaigns hold back – ignoring derogatory comments because they don’t view them as damaging. Or, candidates are advised to bite their tongue lest they sound whiny, petty and create a backlash. In a post-2016 election world, this guidance is outdated. It’s time for campaigns to pull on their […]
Telling your personal story is a powerful tool to let voters know who you are. Learn a few tips from our team on how best to tell it! Tune in to Emily’s List on Facebook here.
Oprah – Other Worldly Source of Inspiration: What Every Woman Candidate Can Learn from Her Magnus Opus
In GenderWatch, Chris Jahnke writes, “In today’s blockbuster release of A Wrinkle in Time, Oprah Winfrey plays Mrs. Which – an out-of-this world being who inspires a young girl to “Be a warrior.” Real-world Oprah doesn’t need to appear as a shimmering light to lead us out of the darkness here on Earth.” Read the full article here.
Campaign Tips from a Speech Coach The surefire way to bring the crowd to its feet at the Women’s Convention in Detroit was to announce you are running for office. “Hell ‘yeah!” was the response at the three-day organizing event as love was showered on the aspiring candidates. It was a wind beneath candidates’ wings needed […]
Tips for Lawyers & Anyone Who Contends with Mansplainers and Conversation Hogs In Medium, Chris Jahnke writes, “As a speech coach whose passion is helping women speak out I’m often asked: how can I do a better job of holding the floor? The question comes from women who want to throw out ideas in meetings […]
Typically, if debates fail in the intended purpose of informing voters, the blame is heaped on the candidates who supposedly are coached to deliver canned responses. This cycle, we can blame weak moderators, gotcha questions and no clear ground rules. Fortunately, there is still time before voters head to the polls next week to take […]
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will be the third woman in a row selected to deliver the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address. Does it matter that another woman will be laying out the opposition party’s policy agenda? Read the full op-ed here.
The presidential debates offer an exhibition of personalities with a plethora of speaking styles. What, if anything, do the personas the candidate’s display tell us about their leadership capabilities? Can anything meaningful be gleaned from the on-stage exchanges? Read the full op-ed here.
The media buzz around Carly Fiorina’s debate performances catapulted her from relative unknown to leading contender. Imagine the envy of the opponents who ignored her and are now forced to drop out. But it’s still early and a poor debate performance can immediately disqualify candidates seeking executive office – particularly women. Read the full op-ed here.
Ann Romney “has successfully avoided the Stepford-wife look of red suits and helmet hair adopted by some presidential candidates’ spouses,” said Christine K. Jahnke, a media trainer who advised Hillary Rodham Clinton during her presidential campaign. “In some of the things she wears, she is quite contemporary.” Read the full article here.
“’Valleyspeak’ is the verbal equivalent of coming to work looking like you just rolled out of bed,” says executive speech coach Christine K. Jahnke. “It’s sloppy and, worse, it distracts people’s attention from your ideas and your performance. It can also wreck your chances of ever being selected for a job where you would be […]
Public speaking. Those two words have caused nightmares since the development of the vocal tract. What if I freeze? What if I fall on my way to the podium? Or what if I pull a Joe Biden and curse like a sailor when the microphone is still on? In her new book, “The Well-Spoken Woman,” […]
Chris joins Susan Zeidman of the American Management Association to discuss “How to be Well Spoken.” View and listen to the full webcast here.
About the Well-Spoken Woman
There has never been a madam president, but when it happens, it will be because she followed a few simple rules, author and speech coach Christine Jahnke said. In her new book, “The Well-Spoken Woman,” Jahnke urges female politicians to refrain from being hesitant, to show resolve when faced with anxiety and to practice their responses […]
An awards ceremony is an opportunity to publicly thank the people who believed in you more than you believed in yourself. Expressing gratitude requires and deserves more than 140 characters or 20 seconds. In a wired world, giving a talk remains the most fundamental means to express yourself in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Read […]
In The Well-Spoken Woman, author Christine Jahnke, a Washington, D.C.-based speech coach, offers tips and examples for women trying to overcome their fear. The author draws on her own experiences and her observations of female politicians and businesswomen, such as former Texas governor Ann Richards and PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi. Successful presenters, Ms. Jahnke said […]
Many years passed before I became comfortable with public speaking and television appearances. OK, it has taken decades. Recently, I read Christine Jahnke’s new book “The Well-Spoken Woman” only to discover I’m still doing things wrong. On her list of Ten Most Outrageous Things to Wear on Camera, I have worn three of them on […]
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 […]
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 […]
If you are seeking an up-to-the-minute resource that will turn you into a first rate speaker, The Well-Spoken Woman is your book. Written by top speech coach Christine K. Jahnke, 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 […]
The book is strongly built and its dynamics pushes the reader always further (chap.1 “Ann Richards – Your Best Self”, chap.2 “Indra Nooyi – Take Charge Confidence”, chap.3 “Barbara Jordan – Voice of Authority”, etc.). I dive into chapter 6 about “pre-planned spontaneity” – that very much resembles what we call “prepared speeches” – to support the […]
For professional women wanting to find their true voice and speak with confidence in any situation, this is a must-have guidebook. Christine K. Jahnke, a highly skilled speech coach, shares her twenty plus years of experience in The Well-Spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best. The numerous how-to tips are detailed and illustrated […]
A few weeks ago, members in the Get Ahead Club had the opportunity to listen to my interview with Christine Jahnke. Christine Jahnke the author of The Well-Spoken Woman: How to Look and Sound Your Best. Her new book – The Well-Spoken Woman draws upon her 20 years of experience helping people from all walks of life stand and deliver before audiences […]