Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Speaking with Strategic Impact by Kate LeVan (Book Spotlight, Author Interview & Giveaway!)

The business woman in me will always be attracted to books that help with communicating better, along with having presence and persuasion. Today, I'm spotlighting this new book by Kate Levan. Check out my interview with her and enter to win a signed copy of Speaking with Strategic Impact, a $20 Amazon gift card, and an optional coaching call with the author!

Book Details:

Book Title: Speaking with Strategic Impact: Four Steps to Extraordinary Presence & Persuasion
​Author: Kate LeVan
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 152 pages
Genre: Business
Publisher: Delton Press
Release date: May 24, 2017
Tour dates: June 12 to 30, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Speaking with Strategic Impact is for business people who make their living—or their mark—through presentations long and short.

It’s a must-read if you’re a consultant, analyst, pitch team leader, roadshow executive, technology specialist, project manager, internal or external marketer, sales rep, subject matter expert or innovator.

Do your presentations unexpectedly fall flat? Do others hijack your meetings? Do you spend more time compiling slide decks than actually influencing decision-makers? Has someone vaguely told you that you “should look more confident up there” or that you “lack gravitas”? Have you watched TED Talks but wonder how you can bring that level of effectiveness into real business presentations?

Speaking with Strategic Impact gives you the key to leadership presence and persuasion. More than just tips and tricks, it outlines a discipline for navigating real business situations with consistently superior outcomes that’s favored by top business schools and Fortune 500 companies. You’ll get specific strategic and tactical advice to keep you on the mark in your presentations and meetings—and differentiate you from the vast majority of business presenters.

Read Speaking with Strategic Impact to master the means by which you make a living and a difference in the world!

Buy the Book:

Interview with Kate LeVan

LCR: Welcome to Library of Clean Reads, Kate! Can you describe your book in 20 words or less?

KL: Thanks Laura! Okay, here goes: 

Contents: One simple communication process for handling high stakes interactions that make or break careers.

Directions: Add discipline. Learn. Repeat.

LCR: That a creative and succinct way to describe your book. What motivated you to write it?

KL: I’m basically a teacher. I enjoy seeing light bulbs go on over people’s heads.

I’m also a liberal arts generalist. But I greatly admire—and am a bit envious of—people who have deep knowledge and passion about their “one thing.” I always wished I had that. On some level though, I also knew that I could get promoted or recognized over others with deeper knowledge because I knew how to be seen and heard. It gave me an edge.

In my training/coaching—and now in my book too, I try to give that same “edge” to all the people who know their stuff and who aspire to lead: the subject matter experts, analysts, physicians, business developers, engineers, technologists, scientists, project managers, innovators, etc. By doing so, I also found my passion.

LCR: There are many books on public speaking and presentation. What makes yours different or unique?

KL: Tell me about it! Everyone wants to be seen and heard, and everyone seems to have advice.

The advice that’s out there now for business people seems to fall into two categories: 1. general compilations of tips and tricks (Be animated! Tell a story! Be passionate! Be yourself!) that can discourage those who are not born “life-of-the-party” people, or 2. elaborate systems of templates, charts and checklists that experts are often drawn to, but that keep them in their own heads and disconnected from their audiences.

There’s nothing new per se about audience-centered communication. In my previous life, I was in advertising and marketing which is all about targeting and being strategic in your messaging. So, what I do is apply this discipline to interpersonal communication. I’m told I do it in a way that is “elastic” enough for those who “wing it” and need just a little more structure to rein themselves in and connect the dots adequately for an audience. But it’s also “prescriptive” enough for those who “data dump” and need the dots connected for them, so that presenting doesn’t feel so risky. I like to think of it more as a professional discipline around communication that propels careers.

LCR: In all your work experience, what was the toughest situation you found yourself in when it came to doing a presentation.

KL: That’s a tough one. It’s either the time I disregarded the president of my agency’s instruction and presented the way I wanted to during a high-stakes pitch (when he couldn’t do anything about it) or when the technology went down right before I had to address 50 senior business leaders in Chicago who were guests of my banking client.

Both situations were nerve-wracking and nothing I’d wish to relive. But I also learned things I’d never forget from each. In the pitch, I learned that being just as straightforward and gutsy as the decision-maker was a way of building rapport with that type of person. In the other situation, I learned how having a good structure or map for what you intend to say in a presentation can help you look brilliant when you only have a flip chart and markers left to save you. Other than that, I’d only recommend insubordination if you have a very good chance of winning.

LCR: How did you come up with your book’s title?

KL: At the last minute. Speaking with Strategic Impact—as straight out of the text as it is—was NOT my original title. The cover was approved and the interior text was formatted when we had to stop the presses, as they say. This was due to some testing of the title that happened at a networking event. Colleagues there slapped me upside the head with the realization that I wasn’t following my own advice: to make what you’re saying about the audience as quickly as possible! I had become enamored of a thematic title with a play on words that only people who knew my emphasis on smart planning might understand (Before I Begin). What can I say? I have a degree in literary criticism. But the audience I’m trying to reach with this book—the experts who want and need to be seen and heard as “strategic”—would never have even found me on Amazon with that one!

LCR: As a trainer, what is the most challenging element in teaching people to speak with strategic impact?

KL: Getting them to not worry so much about creating those darn slides! When you start with the slides, you are starting with the tactical—not the strategic.

LCR: Finally, if you could travel back in time, where would you go?

KL: Back when I was in high school, I would have picked the late 19th or early 20th century decades when a lady of high society would host a soiree in her Parisian salon for artists, writers and philosophers who entertained her with their sparkling conversation in return for her patronage. Since then, I’ve grown fonder of becoming a woman of substance (if not great means) in 21st century Western society who can be seen and heard for who she is—wherever and however she wishes!

LCR: Thanks so much, Kate! And best wishes for the launch of your new book.

Meet the Author:

Kate LeVan trains, coaches and collaborates on business communication effectiveness with major corporations worldwide and as an instructor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her training consistently receives top ratings from executive development program participants for its simplicity, applicability and career-changing impact.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 8
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Congrats on your release and tour as well. Thanks for the giveaway also!

  2. Thanks for this invaluable and extremely worthwhile feature and giveaway.

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! I work in HR and feel that this information is something I'm constantly trying to share with others so I'm looking forward to reading your take on it!


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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