In The News

New_York_Times_logo_variationForget Suits. Show the Tattoo. Female Candidates Are Breaking the Rules.

“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.”

Studies have long shown that voters hold female candidates to a higher standard. They tend to support a male candidate they don’t like as long as they think he’s qualified, and they presume he is — after all, for several centuries, most leaders have looked like him. But women have to prove that they are both qualified and likable. Read the full story here

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It’s 2018, and Female Candidates Are Tweeting About Lipstick. Is This Progress?

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 a consultant on Clinton’s 2008 campaign and has worked with Michelle Obama. “It goes against the conventional wisdom of how women candidates should act.” Read the full story here.

Prepping Scientists to Run for Office in Response to Trump

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 in a Trump world. Watch the full story here.

Do Women Have to Talk Like Men to Be Taken Seriously? And Should They?

This female vocal coach teaches women how to talk without being called angry or shrill.hillaryspeech

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, “She tends to accelerate her delivery and speak louder and sterner.” There was New York Times columnist David Brooks demanding more “humanity” from the country’s first female presidential nominee: “She projects one emotional tone throughout, and it has a combative manner to it, and not a happy warrior manner.” Donald Trump himself took to Twitter to chastise Clinton’s “very average scream.” None of this would have come as a surprise to any woman who’s run for office. Read the full story here.


Huma Abedin On Her Job, Family, and the Campaign of a Lifetime

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-1-12-09-pm“The summary of how it feels is like every day you’re drinking from a fire hose,” Abedin explains one evening, about the constant onslaught of her job. Wearing a pink-and-navy print dress, she is sitting in her light-filled corner office in Clinton’s downtown Brooklyn headquarters. One wall is covered with framed photos of the candidate. … On the shelves are Clinton’s Hard Choices; Dana Thomas’s Gods and Kings, about Alexander McQueen and John Galliano; and Christine K. Jahnke’s The Well-Spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best. Read the full story here.


How Not To Bomb Your Convention Speech

POLITICO_LogoThe 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 the free world. And you have been chosen to speak to them. For the speakers at the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the stakes couldn’t be higher: If it goes well, you can launch yourself into the national stratosphere, as happened after the convention speeches of then-Illinois state Senator Barack Obama and former California Governor Ronald Reagan. If it goes poorly, your speech could be memorable for all the wrong reasons; you risk becoming a walking punchline. Read the full op-ed here.


Elle: How to dominate a debate as a woman

elle logoWhen 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.

How to ace a debate? Ask the pros behind the politicians

2000px-National_Public_Radio_logoNPR’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.

US News & World Report: TV is ruining presidential debates

usnewslogoTypically, 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 five simple steps to ensure future debates do more to shore up our democracy. Read the full op-ed here.


US News & World Report: You don’t have to smile to be liked

usnewslogoThe 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.

realsimplelogReal Simple: 5 steps to conquering your fear of public speaking

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 make it look effortless are the ones who’ve spent hours getting ready. Schedule ample time for writing and rewriting your speech and practicing it aloud, whether on video, a voice recording, or in front of the mirror.” Read the full article here.

SUCCESS: How to get over your fear of speaking up – in public or not

success-logoNot 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. Jahnke, author of The Well-Spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best. Read the full article here.

wnycWNYC: The scrutiny that comes with being a female candidate

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 interview here.

wnycWNYC: Hillary and Bernie spar one on one in New Hampshire

Christine Jahnke previews the Democratic presidential debate. Listen to the full radio interview here.

The Hill: Presidential debate styles: Why they matter

thehill logoThe 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.

Medium: Third woman in a row to deliver SOTU response. Does it matter?

medium logoSouth 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.

WFXT_Fox_25_logoFOX 25: An interview with Christine Jahnke

Christine Jahnke talked with FOX 25 in Boston about why some people struggle with public speaking. Watch the full interview here.

New York Times: Writing her own dress code

NYT LogoAnn 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.

Fortune: The way you talk at work, like matters – you know?

fortune-logo“’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 ‘out front’ dealing with clients.” Read the full article here.

Forbes: How to make a lasting impression

Forbes-LogoSome 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 defense company who used to wear a ski parka to professional meetings. (Jahnke insisted he purchase an overcoat.) Read the full article here.

Washington Post: Ryan and Romey, a contract in sartorial styles

The_Logo_of_The_Washington_Post_Newspaper“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, both he and Romney will have the distant CEO-Wall Street look.” Read the full article here.

Roll Call: Coach: Well-spoken woman, tough likable

roll-call-logo-v2There 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 to tricky questions — pretty good advice for male politicians, as well. Read the full article here.

NYT LogoNew York Times: The fashion conservatives

“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.

POLITICO: What makes women top talkers?

POLITICO_LogoPublic 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,” media and public-speaking coach Christine Jahnke explains how to deliver a message to an audience without hyperventilating. Read the full article here.

Yahoo! Finance: How to get promoted at your office holiday party

Y!F_3The 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 of The Well-Spoken Womanand a speech coach who’s worked with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. “You can leverage it, or you can really blow it.” Read the full article here. Practice makes perfect for confident women

Christine Jahnke admits that she was an awkward teenager. By junior high school, she towered over all the boys her age. She was 5-foot-10-inches tall, and while that was great for basketball, it took a toll on her self-confidence—not to mention her wardrobe. It has taken her a long time to build up her self-esteem. But now, two inches taller (she’s 6 feet tall) and decades later, she is the author of “The Well-Spoken Woman,” a comprehensive guide that focuses on moving females into leadership positions by teaching them how to command an audience. Read the full article here.

Classy Career Girl: Interview with Christine Jahnke

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 large and small. Read the full interview here.

The Globe and Mail: Why women need to step up to the microphone

2000px-The-Globe-and-Mail-LogoIn 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 in an interview, possess three common characteristics. Read the full article here.

US News & World Report: Michelle Obama coached on Teleprompter too

usnewslogoThere’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 by Rio de Janeiro. Read the full article here.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Face forward, shoulders back, head up, smile!

rjlogo2Many 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 “Nevada Week in Review.” And not so long ago. Read the full article here.

US News & World Report: Women pols have fewer sex scandals

usnewslogoWant 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 full op-ed here.

Christian Science Monitor: The toughest Winter Olympics event

TCSMlogoAs 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 field. Read the full op-ed here.

AMA: The well-spoken woman can be you

Chris joins Susan Zeidman of the American Management Association to discuss “How to be Well Spoken.” View and listen to the full webcast here.

Forbes: how to speak with authority

Forbes-Logo“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.

The Globe and Mail: A good speech begins with good writing

2000px-The-Globe-and-Mail-LogoAn 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 the full article here.