Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Learn how to become a Van-tastic speaker

In a first of a series spotlighting female movers and shakers in the Asian American community, is Vanna Novak. She presents a session to NAAAP on speaking to persuade April 23 at 6 p.m. at The Seattle Times.

Novak is a veteran in the inspiration business. For the past 20 years, she has been coaching professionals from such powerhouse companies as Nordstrom, ESPN, Nintendo, Boeing, Fisher Communications, KOMO News, Lockheed Martin and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Her main goal? To teach the art of buy-in within the first ten seconds.

Vice President-External Affairs and Seattle Times reporter Marian Liu interviewed Novak for NAAAP-Seattle.

Q: What tips do you have – give us a taste of what you’ll teach.
A: Think of three adjectives of how you want or need to be perceived in order to be successful. Another tip is what energy, one to ten, do you throw out there? One would be taking a nap. The second you start a presentation, what number are you targeting? Are you projecting an 8? Or coming in at a 5? You better have decided what energy you want when you walk up to the room.

Q: You work with a lot of Asian Americans, including teaching for EDI, the Executive Development Institute, why this community?
A: For so long, our voices have not been heard, or if they are heard, have been taken as seriously. I’m not saying it’s anybody’s fault, but I do believe that with Asians in particular, we do not do a good enough job of using our voices to speak out effectively. So much of it has to do with cultural values of not wanting to stand up and have spotlight on us, much less want to speak up. … The work is cut out for us to present and project ourselves, to take us out and away from existing stereotypes.

Q: What are you going over in the session?
A: I’ll ask for 5 volunteers, and have them speak for no more than a minute a piece, about things they already know about themselves. … Then, we’ll watch each person…allow them to give themselves feedback, before anybody else says anything. Their eyes will be opened and they will quickly identify what’s working and what they need to work on. … It adds more value with self discovery rather than have somebody else tell you what you need to work on to improve. … The vast majority of people are very honest about themselves. … Also, asking for volunteers gives them the opportunity to be more aware of how good they are in seizing opportunity the moment that it comes their way, how often they sit back and allow other people to take advantage of opportunities. The question is – is this a pattern in your life? Is it working to your advantage? Or if not, make a commitment to change it.

For more on Vanna Novak, go to -

Vanna Novak. “Speak to Persuade - When Being Informative is Not Enough!” 6 p.m. Friday, April 23. @ The Seattle Times, 1120 John St, Seattle. $20 members; $40 nonmembers.

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