From Publishers Weekly: "... Doyle-Mekkes fluidly weaves together practical speaking tips and big-picture advice on how to shore up one’s self-esteem. The reticent will find much to mull over in this confidence-boosting manual.”
I’m Speaking is every woman’s guide to creating a clear, confident voice that is authentically hers and then using it fearlessly.
Full of effective, efficient, brain-science-based ways to make positive changes to your voice, in your head and coming out of your mouth, I’m Speaking also teaches the reader how to fearlessly use that voice, personally and professionally: ask for what you want and get what you need, speak up against toxicity, communicate everything better, have the difficult conversations, and cultivate resilience.
Imagine a world without the voices of Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafzai, Gloria Steinem, your mother, your best girlfriend, your midwife, your hair stylist. Do you know a woman whose voice isn’t essential to her career, her family, the world? Women’s voices are essential, and they are powerful. Every woman can harness that power. This is the only book written that gives women the exact tools necessary to solve the common vocal problems they face, and literally reprogram their brains and bodies to be more confident when speaking.
Think of how much more centered, how much more confident you would be knowing that you can deliver your message in a voice that makes people want to listen to you. Knowing that, regardless of situation, you can speak clearly and confidently, stay on track (or get back on), relax your body, and even enjoy the moment you’ve worked so hard for. Your voice is the secret weapon to success you’ve always had, but never knew how to use, til now.
Jessica Doyle-Mekkes is the Head of Musical Theatre at East Carolina University where she has taught since 2017. She also runs a private voice studio for both professional singers and executive speakers. A vocal coach, researcher, and accomplished performer, she has spent the last 15 years studying the power of the human voice. Jessica is an internationally published writer and sought-after clinician. Her work uniquely combines brain science, voice science, and girl power. Jessica lives in Greenville, NC with her husband Don, their daughters Tallulah and Jolie, and a codependent chihuahua named Sebastian.
Vocal coach Doyle-Mekkes stresses in her peppy debut that 'all women are capable, by making small, specific changes, to speak in a way that both reflects who she is and commands a room.' She begins with technical advice, breaking down the human vocal cord system and outlining such practices as standing up straight to optimize vocal strength, and deep 'belly breathing' to facilitate calm. Among other tough-to-shake vocal habits, the author spotlights upspeaking and overapologizing, the latter of which can be mitigated by swapping out 'sorry' for the less self-minimizing 'unfortunately,' 'excuse me,' or 'thank you for your patience' where applicable.... Contending that 'being able to speak freely is a right denied to so many women in our world,' Doyle-Mekkes fluidly weaves together practical speaking tips and big-picture advice on how to shore up one’s self-esteem. The reticent will find much to mull over in this confidence-boosting manual.
Voice. Breath. Posture. Exercise. Vocal coach and musical theater professor Doyle-Mekkes shows readers how these four body-related elements can affect women's work. Sharing some alarming statistics (45 percent of women don’t speak up in meetings), she offers tips to up women’s workplace success. A basic course in anatomy (epiglottis, anyone?) precedes her explanations and recommended exercises. Vocal warm-ups, for example, demand tongue stretches and bubble blowing, while posture relies on a series of yoga stretches (cat-cow and child’s pose) as well as mirror assessments. Lest this seem vain, Doyle-Mekkes links it all to the mental side of speaking up, including her three commandments to conquer fear and gain assertiveness: prime (or practice), pinpoint (focus), and power (courage). Each chapter ends with a bulleted summary, and the book is closed out with, quite simply, a bible on how to stand your ground without trepidation, whether asking for a raise or speaking out against gaslighting. This unique spin on a well-documented topic includes notes and a bibliography.
If your voice doesn't feel like it deserves a place in the Marvel Universe after reading this book- read it again.
You know those self-help books that give fortune cookie advice? Yeah, that's not this book. Get ready to not only understand what gives your voice power, but perfect what to do to improve, train, and overcome to make it your biggest asset.
Drenched in humor, this guide is an incredible turnkey resource for women to embrace the potential of their voice. The interactive skill-building scattered throughout is phenomenal and should be incorporated in public speaking classes everywhere.
…a hilarious confidence-boosting guide for anyone trying to strengthen their physical voice and empower their inner voice. The thoughtful research within helped me combat my imposter syndrome and inspired me to be bolder!
Excellent book. I loved the balance of anatomy, wittiness and experiences. It is truly a different angle to talk about women in leadership without the same cliches over and over. I felt like I was continuously learning, throughout the book, about my body and how it applies to using my voice in leadership.
If you are interested in unleashing the potential of your voice both physically and mentally, grab a straw, get ready for some self-reflection, and add this book to your must-read list. Jessica Doyle-Mekkes grabs your attention, keeps you hilariously entertained, and instrumentally changes the way you have ever thought about finding your voice.
Had me humming, breathing, and laughing my way to more confidence. A fun mix of engagement, humor and learning! Timely for any woman, in any field.
Jessica helps to bridge the gap between speaking & self-confidence, offering women the exact tools needed to create a voice that is clear, confident, and authentically yours - and then hands-on ways to put that voice to work.
10/23/23, The Daily Beast: Jessica Doyle-Mekkes wrote a piece about women’s voices and the book is included in her byline.
9/28/23, WTAM (Cleveland, OH) Morning Show: The Wills & Snyder Morning show features Shannon Eastin and the book. Link: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-wills-and-snyder-in-the-mo-28122505/episode/wills-snyder-shannon-eastin-interview-124383800/