Jessica Chen, founder and CEO of Soulcast Media and author of “Smart Not Loud: How to Get Noticed at Work for All the Right Reasons.” Jessica delves into her upbringing in a quiet culture household, the challenges and strategies of navigating a fast-paced corporate world, and the essential skills for developing executive presence and effective communication. Jessica shares valuable insights on advocating for yourself, enhancing your presentation skills, and harnessing the power of communication to advance your career.

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Practical Tools for Effective Communication:

   4A Sequence for Speaking Up in Meetings:

  1. Active Listening: Fully engaging in the conversation.
  2. Acknowledge: Recognize the previous speaker’s point.
  3. Anchor: Build on a key word or phrase from the previous speaker.
  4. Answer: Clearly make your point.

  The 5 Elements of Voice:

  1. Pitch: Using a range of high and low tones.
  2. Intensity: Modulating volume and energy.
  3. Rate: Adjusting speaking speed.
  4. Inflection: Emphasizing key words.
  5. Quality: The inherent sound of your voice.

Saying No with Confidence: EOT Framework

  1. Explain: Briefly state why you can’t take on the task.
  2. Offer options: Provide alternatives or suggest another time.
  3. Tone: Use a neutral and understanding tone

Developing Executive Presence:

  • Executive presence is about inner confidence and the ability to communicate effectively.
  • It involves making others feel heard, valued, and engaged.
  • Building executive presence is not just for executives but for anyone aspiring to be seen as leadership material.


  • Advocating for oneself involves celebrating wins publicly, asking for what one wants, and confidently following up.
  • Emphasize how your requests and achievements benefit the team and organization, not just personal gains.
  • Advocacy requires consistent effort, including reiterating and following up on requests.

Making Presentations Engaging:

  • Approach presentations as conversations with individuals, which reduces pressure and anxiety.
  • Turn speeches and presentations into interactive experiences to foster connection and engagement.
  • Encourage audience participation to make the talk more dynamic and conversational.

General Career Advice from Jessica:

  • Prioritize learning communication skills, including advocating for yourself and presenting effectively.
  • Focus on asking for what you want, celebrating wins at work, and saying no when necessary.
  • Develop emotional intelligence and ensure that others feel valued and heard in interactions.


  • Jessica Chen is most active on LinkedIn for sharing communication tips and advice.
  • Her book “Smart, Not Loud: How to Get Noticed at Work for All the Right Reasons” and her website provide further insights.

Actionable Advice:

– Apply the 4A sequence in your next meeting to make meaningful contributions.

– Use the EOT framework to confidently decline tasks while offering helpful alternatives.

– Reflect on how you can shape your career brand by seeking out projects that align with your passions.


More Learning:

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Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership