Re-Launch of “Give Fear the Finger”


GFTF 3D coverDiResta Communications Recognizes International Women’s Day with Re-Launch of “Give Fear the Finger”

Diane DiResta, author, speaker and owner of DiResta Communications honors the 2016 theme for International Women’s Day—Gender Equality

New York City, NY:  “International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.” The 2016 theme is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”

Diane DiResta, in keeping with this theme, is relaunching her latest book, Give Fear the Finger: How to Knock out Fear of Public Speaking and making it available for only $.99 for the rest of the month, starting with International Women’s Day.

Give Fear the Finger shows women (and men) how to never be nervous again. Diane teaches the reader the secrets to being confident and fearless whether speaking to one or 1000. The interactive ebook shows how to stand up to fear and command the platform. Gifted speakers are born but effective speakers are made. Speaking is the new competitive advantage and levels the playing field for women. It gives them visibility they might not access and allows them to have a platform. Speaking let women celebrate their social, economic, cultural and political achievement.

Diane DiResta, who grew up on military bases around the world, began her career as a speech pathologist and now travels internationally teaching interpersonal communications and presentation skills. She traveled to Russia to speak to women entrepreneurs and teaches public speaking in countries like Tanzania, Africa; Bermuda, Brazil, Egypt, Spain and the UK. Diane’s mission is “empowering through the spoken word.”

About Diane DiResta, CSP

Diane DiResta is the founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc, a New York City-based communications skills consultancy serving business leaders who want to communicate with greater impact – whether one-to-one, in front of a crowd, or from an electronic platform. DiResta is a certified speaking professional, a designation held by 12% or professional speakers nationwide. She's also the author of the ebook Give Fear the Finger: How to Knock Out Fear of Public

Speaking and Knockout Presentations, an Amazon.com best seller and widely used text in College business communication courses, entrepreneurship, and more. Celebrated for her inspirational message and inviting presentation style, Diane draws from her knowledge and expertise to engage and motivate her audiences to become the change agents in their own lives and businesses.

For additional information on Diane visit her website - http://diresta.com

To order a copy of Give Fear the Finger for $.99 (beginning Tuesday, March 8) - http://amzn.to/1Y3Bo6k

To schedule an in interview with Diane, contact her publicist, Sandy Lawrence


281-989-8892 (Cell)


Success Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

sorry-229978__180Love Story was a popular move in 1970. It starred Ryan O'Neill and Ali McGraw. In one scene they have a fight and go their separate ways. O'Neill finds McGraw after he cools off and apologizes for the fight. She stops him and says through her tears, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." I don't know if most people in conflict would agree with that. What people may agree with is the overuse of the word "Sorry" in the workplace. This is especially prevalent among women. When I speak to organizations about executive presence and confidence, I advise women to avoid weak speak or what I call wimpy words. Certain modifiers such as "only," or "just" weaken conviction. That is, the speaker negates everything that follows the words "only" or "just". For example, "This is just an idea," is less powerful than saying "This is an idea."

Related to these two modifiers is the word "sorry". To use the word "sorry" in emails and spoken language is to the detriment of women. An apologetic communication style sabotages leadership and authority. Leaders are perceived as decisive and willing to take a risk. Saying "sorry' too frequently is a way to avoid taking a stand and not be taken seriously.

The word "sorry" is also used as a substitute for "excuse me". Instead of asking the speaker to clarify or repeat, some women will say "Sorry?" rather than use the more effective phrase, "Excuse me?".

There's an app for that

How can women rid this undermining word from their vocabulary? The first step is awareness. Technology to the rescue! Now there is an app that identifies wimpy words when they are used in emails.

The Just Not Sorry extension for Chrome is downloadable at the Chrome app store. The app identifies wimpy words in Gmail by underlining them in red and providing explanations of how the word weakens the message in the email. Whether the reason for using wimpy words is a subconscious lack of confidence or simply a bad habit, this tool can create conscious awareness for women so that they can become more successful leaders and communicators.

After all, success means never having to say you're sorry.

Public Speaking is Being Infected by a Vocal Virus


hands-589475_640Anthrax isn't the only bacteria we need to worry about. There's a vocal virus that is sweeping the nation. In the last few days, I've been getting more responses to a video on my youtube channel about Uptalk. It seems to be hitting a nerve. Watch here, then keep reading below:


To many listeners, Uptalk sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I've had employers contact me to work with young women who have this speech pattern. Uptalk does not serve anyone in the workplace. It kills your credibility, destroys your presentations, makes you sound younger and less confident, and can prevent you from being promoted or working on high profile projects.

Here are a couple of recent comments on youtube:

This video should be shown once a week in schools here in the U.S. Males do this too now as well. It is terrible, and makes males look/appear incredibly effeminate.  You are doing God's work, Diane."

Scarey - Every woman in my office under the age of 40 uptalks, more than men but men are doing it as well.  One person literally uptalks on every sentence.  I even now hear older people starting to do this.  It is taking over.

Do you think it's too late? Is Uptalk already embedded in the culture? Should the schools and workplace intervene or should we let Uptalk continue to evolve? Your thoughts?


It's World Voice Day - Do You Have a Voice?

Woman Yelling In MegaphoneDo you have a voice? Voice matters. Everyone has a right to express their voice. But you can't do that if you've lost your voice.  It's World Voice Day, a day dedicated to the care of the voice. You use your voice everyday and vocal misuse and abuse are not uncommon. Follow these tips for  a healthy voice.

Vocal Hygiene Tips

Avoid Vocal Fry

Vocal fry is a phenomenon that is taking off around the nation. Watch my interview with Nancy Redd on HuffPost Live to hear what it sounds like:

Even NPR broadcasters have fallen victim to vocal fry. Recently, they reported that they have received a fair amount of hate mail about the young women on their staff using vocal fry. Ira Glass investigates: If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS

Don't Use Uptalk

Uptalk is another vocal phenomenon that robs the speaker of his power. What is uptalk? It's when the speaker uses a rising inflection at the end of their sentence so it sounds like a question. Watch my video to hear it and to learn why it's spreading.

Women Need To Speak Up

World Voice Day is a perfect time to revisit the importance of women speaking up so they are heard. Some women speak in a breathy voice, and are too soft spoken. Uptalk and vocal fry get in the way of effective self expression.

Are you guilty of hindering your own communication? Ask a buddy to listen to you speak. Are you using uptalk, vocal fry, or a breathy, soft voice? Have your friend tell you when you do it so you can learn to stop it. Just make sure it's someone who will be honest with you!


Vocal Fry Can Hurt Your Presentation and Job Interview


huffpost live with nancy redd diane diresta 10 30 14Does your voice crackle like bacon? You may have vocal fry. Vocal fry is sweeping the nation. This creaky vocal pattern, also known as croaking, is a low vocal pitch that's often heard at the end of a sentence. It's prevalent among women and this pattern of public speaking is becoming a form of peer identity for the millennial generation. Kim Kardashian, Brittney Spears, and other young celebrities have popularized this form of speaking. In one study, vocal fry was noted in two thirds of college students. However popular, vocal fry communicates a negative impression and doesn't serve professionals who want to be taken seriously in the workplace. Not only is vocal fry an irritating sound for a public speaker; it can also be deadly in a job interview.

Women job applicants who presented themselves with vocal fry were perceived as less competent, less educated, and less trustworthy. To learn more, watch my interview with Nancy Redd on Huffington Post Live:

The Laughter of Leadership

We've heard about managing by walking around. We've heard about leading by storytelling. But can you laugh your way to leadership? It turns out that laughter is an important leadership and presentation skill. But when it comes to humor in the workplace men are more skilled than women.

Judith Baxter, professor of applied linguistics at Aston University in the U.K, studied how men and women use language. She observed men and women who were leading high level meetings. Baxter found women to be less at ease using humor. 80% failed when attempting to be humorous and sometimes derailed as a result. In contrast, Professor Baxter observed that 90% of men's humor got a laugh. This reminds me of the numerous times women have told me that their ideas aren't taken seriously. Yet, when a man presents the same idea minutes later, it's enthusiastically embraced.

Are men naturally funnier than women? Baxter didn't answer that question, postulating instead, that culture plays a role. We expect men to be funny but don't have the same expectation of women. Teasing and one-upmanship resulted in laughter from men, but it was risky for women to use the same tactics. When I speak to women leaders, it's been my experience that women don't take enough credit for their accomplishments and speak in more self deprecating terms. Motivational speaker Tony Robbins contrasted the male one-upmanship communication style with the female pattern, which he dubbed 'one-downmanship'.

In addition to cultural expectations, Baxter cited minority status as another reason for this difference in effective use of humor. She observed an 80/20 male-to-female ratio in the meetings she attended. Being in the minority made some women defensive and less relaxed. An interesting turn of events occurred in meetings with middle managers. When the meetings were more gender balanced or contained more women, the women got more laughs.

So could lack of female confidence once again be at the core of this gender difference in humor? Is this one of the reasons women get stuck in middle management? Is humor the missing key to leadership advancement? Speaking may be the new competitive advantage but humor may be the leadership edge.

What's been your experience? Should women leaders study stand-up comedy?

Executive Presence: Fall Makeovers and Tips for Women


Diane with James Palazza and Becky from CHANEL I co-hosted my first event with 85 Broads, and it was a smashing success. The topic, Get Your Executive Presence On, received rave reviews. The event was sponsored by CHANEL and Saks Fifth Avenue, and held at CHANEL's education center on East 57th St in New York City.

Adam applying Dianes makeup at CHANEL

The evening began with networking and fall makeovers. Each woman received a makeup application and instruction. When everybody looked beautiful, we gathered to hear my presentation about 8 keys to Executive Presence for women. The audience learned ways that women can be heard, look like leaders, and own the room.





diane speaking at CHANEL

CHANEL provided a special ambiance, with lighting, wine and delicious hors d'oeuvres. They provided a skincare station and a fragrance and chocolate pairing station. The networking continued as CHANEL was cleaning up - people didn't want to leave.



Here's what some attendees had to say:

I didn't think I would learn anything new, but I did. Diane is incredible. The things she shared with people are life-changing." -Judy

This, for me, is one of the best events I've attended." -Sophie

diane with 85 broads members

Diane gave examples and insights that had the whole audience captivated." -Alison

I've been to so many seminars and trainings on leadership and thought I'd heard everything about how to be an effective public speaker. But Diane's presentation gave me tips I never heard before." - Carrie


2013 New York Conference Where Business Opportunities Happen

Women's Leadership Exchange I am very excited to be on the LEXCI Business Expert panel at the Women's Leadership Exchange NYC conference on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013. Please join me and celebrate with other women business owners like yourself. You will get the knowledge, support and connections to help you leap hurdles to real growth at the WLE Conference.  Register today to hear from top business professionals who will share their secrets to success.

Dianne Budion-Devitt Moderator

Diane DiResta Panelist President, DiResta Communications Inc.

Darcy Ann Flanders Panelist Baseline Group NY

Rika Keck Panelist NY Integrated Health, LLC

Beth Neuhaus Panelist Chief Corporate Counsel, The Hamburger Law Firm

View the complete conference agenda here.

Be Inspired and Learn From the Best: - Lori Greiner, QVC/Shark Tank, WLE Compass Award Winner - Colonel Maria del Pilar Ryan, Ph.D., WLE Compass Award Winner - Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., CEO, Horizon Point, Inc. - Sue Malone, Founder Strategies For Small Business, Number one SBA loan provider - Jane Hanson, Partner, The Media Masters - Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert

For a complete list of speakers, click here.

WLE would like to offer you a special discount. Use EARLYBIRD in the promotion code box and the conference will only be $99 (regular price $129). It includes continental breakfast and luncheon. This discount will only be available until September 9th. Don't miss out on this opportunity. REGISTER NOW! Hoping to see you on October 15th.

NYC Conference Location : MetLife Building 1095 Sixth Ave, New York, NY 10036

PS. Forward this letter to other women business owners or professionals who are serious about growing their businesses, too! With your recommendation, we will offer them this special discount.

For Details: www.womensleadershipexchange.com

Sponsored By:                Media Partner:

American Express OPEN        Glow Magazine

Hillary Clinton's Face Improves Women's Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking continues to be a top fear for both men and women. Overcoming public speaking fear is a must for anyone who is serious about success. I know a lot about boosting public speaking confidence. I use a number of techniques to help my clients master public speaking and overcome their fear and anxiety. In the 20 years I've been in business, I've utilized  many approaches including breathing, NLP (neurolinguistic programming), acupressure, etc.

But for the first time, there is a technique that never occurred to me.

According to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, women and men each spoke before an audience. The researchers placed a picture of Bill Clinton on the back wall in one room and a picture of Hillary Clinton in another room. Some back walls were blank. The women who presented in the room with Hillary's picture on the wall performed better and gave longer speeches. The evaluations were more positive for the women who spoke in the room with Hillary's photo.

This study takes the impact of female role models to a whole new level. While I don't recommend simply pasting Hillary's picture on the wall and expecting a standing ovation, presenters who've worked on their speaking skills and still feel anxious may benefit by imagining their role model. To read the entire article, click here.

Here are some of my resources for public speaking fear and nervousness:

Press Release: Students Rock FWA Dinner Speeches


For Immediate Release DiResta Coaches Student Award Winners for Annual FWA Awards Dinner

FWA Students 2013New York (April 29, 2013) — Two students, Ashley and Fang Fang, stole the show last night as they gave their two minute acceptance speeches to 600 attendees at the Financial Women's Association annual dinner.

Diane DiResta, President of DiResta Communications, Inc, and a member of FWA, volunteered to coach the student presenters for the third year. The coaching involved helping them craft their speech and deliver it with confidence from the main stage.

Click here to read full Press Release.

Gay Marriage: Can a Presentation Change Minds?

Even when the subject is controversial, it's not hard to admire a perfect speaker. Professional speakers know how to marry the timing and the humor, so it all comes together into one neat, perfect package. The best motivational speakers make it look easy, so we think, "I could never do that. How could I have any impact?"

But it's important to remember that YOU are the message. When you speak from passion, people will forgive the foibles and faux pas. Case in point: watch this video presentation of Diane Savino who is the New York State Senator from Staten Island. She gives an impassioned speech in the Senate in support of gay marriage.

When she begins, she's playing with her pen. Later on, she tugs on her ear for a while, which is distracting. An executive speech coach would fault her for that. Yet, the passion and clarity of her message overshadows the imperfections in her presentation. While many politicians waffle, the most persuasive presenters take a definitive stand. Whether or not they agree with her position, the audience is drawn in and listens.

When it comes to public speaking, passion trumps perfection. Forget about perfect delivery, and focus on your passion and your message. You'll be less nervous and more persuasive.

What do you think - does she make a convincing case? Why or why not?

Press Release: Sheryl Sandberg, Move Over – Diane DiResta Tells Women How to Own the Room


For Immediate Release Diane DiResta invited to present at FWA 12th Annual Executive Coaching Summit, The Power of Communications: Stand Out at Every Stage of Your Career

New York (March 21, 2013) -- Diane DiResta, founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc, was selected by the Financial Women's Association to be one of three speakers at their 12th Annual Executive Coaching Summit on Thursday, March 28 at 5:30 (sessions run from 6:30 to 8:00pm). DiResta will present her speech, entitled “Speaking With Impact: How to Be Clear, Commanding and Confident,” at the Credit Suisse offices on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Click here to read full Press Release.


5 Mission-Critical Steps for Public Speaking Success

Vernice Armour, the first African American woman combat pilot, wrote an article in Speaker Magazine entitled, "The Gutsy Move". In the article, she relates what she learned in her military career and shared 5 mission-critical steps to realizing your goals. In reading these steps, I realized they had a lot of application to success in public speaking and presentations. Here are Ms. Armour's 5 tips:

1. Establish clarity with your flight plan.

The first thing I ask my coaching clients is, "What is your intention? Why are you doing this?" And from there, we set a clear outcome. This is another way of saying, "Start with the end in mind." Too many speakers start working in PowerPoint. Your intention comes before your structure.

2. Create courage with pre-flight.

The biggest fear is public speaking. The first step in assuaging that fear is to prepare. The formula for successful speaking is 90% preparation and only 10% delivery. Preparation mitigates the unknown zone. The more you know about your topic, your audience, and the venue, the more confident you will feel. Use a presentation checklist to keep you on track.

3. Power up for takeoff.

Just like any pilot fires up the engines, a public speaker needs to get ready to speak. That involves mental conditioning, practicing out loud, timing and recording yourself. A speech coach will help you get ready to be your best. If you can't hire a speech coach, you can practice your speech at a toastmasters meeting, or in front of friends and colleagues.

4. Embrace execution.

Once you've prepared, the big moment comes when you're in the spotlight. Have the confidence that you already know your message and speak from the heart. Forget all about the perfect hand gesture or the ideal entrance. Be authentic and the audience will embrace you and your message. If you forget one of your points, the audience will not know. You can always say it a different way.

Interact with your audience through polling questions, exercises, games and technology. You'll lose your self-consciousness when you are dialoguing, connecting, and sharing the platform.

5. Review, recharge, re-attack.

It ain't over 'til it's over. Joking aside, your presentation doesn't end when you hear the applause. The next step is to collect feedback, review your performance, and re-work or apply the lessons learned to your next speech. Provide a paper feedback form before you finish speaking or ask people to respond online, but they must answer the survey while you're in the room. Most people will not fill it out post-presentation.

When you're a fighter pilot, you do fly into the line of fire. You can breathe a sigh of relief as a public speaker because the line of fire is only in your mind. Follow these five steps to make the most of your speaking mission.

5 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs Learned From the School of Life

I recently read an article by Dylan Kendall entitled, "5 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs I Learned From the School of Life". Dylan's tips are simple and pragmatic. They can also serve as guidelines for anyone who speaks in public. Here are her 5 tips and how they apply to public speaking:

1. Get comfortable asking for money and ask with confidence. Public speaking involves first and foremost both inner and outer confidence. If you're a professional speaker, you need to be comfortable asking for your fee.

2. Learn how to ask for advice. You need to research and seek counsel from others who know your audience. It's also about polling and interacting with the audience.

3. Don't share everything but do share strategically and embellish wisely. It's especially critical to give the listener what they need to know - not everything you know. You can lose an audience or a prospect by giving too much detail.

4. "Help a sista out" -- network with and support other women. People don't realize that networking is a presentation and your ability to present yourself and your message clearly and compellingly is an important factor in attracting clients and advocates.

5. Understand what sacrifices you can make and when you should walk away. Part of your presentation is what you are willing to do for your audience. There are some situations where you should walk away and not accept a speaking engagement. When it's the wrong topic or the wrong audience, you need to know when to say no.

Press Release: Diane DiResta Gets Her Executive Presence On at Saks Fifth Avenue on 12-12-12

For Immediate Release

DiResta Teaches Women How to Amp Up Their Executive Presence

Diane DiResta and James Palazza at Saks Fifth AvenueNew York, NY (Dec 12, 2012) -- Diane DiResta, CEO of DiResta Communications and author of Knockout Presentations, co-hosted a holiday event for executive women sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue. The title of the event was, Get Your Executive Presence On, and included a short presentation from DiResta, a preview of Tahari's elegant winter line, and free Chanel makeovers for the women in attendance.

DiResta works with emerging leaders and executives to develop executive presence and gravitas. DiResta says, "At a certain level, it's not what you know, it's your leadership and ability to influence. Executive presence is difficult to define; it involves good presentation skills, speaking with conviction, decisiveness, self-confidence and a polished image."


Michelle Obama's Speech: Poise, Passion, Presence

This post originally appeared on September 5, 2012. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy - P021213CK-0027, Public Domain

Michelle Obama gave a knockout presentation. Her speech last night at the convention wowed the crowds and she was the epitome of confidence. It began with her entrance on stage. She smiled warmly as she waved to the crowd and waited for the applause to die down. Her voice was passionate and she radiated an energy that communicated she was happy to be here. She has mastered public speaking.

Throughout her presentation, Mrs.Obama connected with the audience. She sustained eye contact throughout her speech and it was not evident that there was a teleprompter.   Too often, public speakers look nervous because of wavering eye contact or lose credibility because they look like they're reading. Strong eye contact combined with her warm smile endeared Mrs. Obama to the audience. They experienced her words as heartfelt as she described the modern day heroes she encountered in her travels.

She also leveraged the power of story and was at her best when she talked about her early life with the president and her personal concerns about giving her girls a normal life in the White House. Her shared experience of growing up with similar values like her husband's and working their way out of poverty was the classic rags to riches story that every person can relate to. It's the classic American Dream.

The speech was skillfully crafted to build from the struggles of her parents and in-laws to the current challenges and policies facing the nation. It was a subtle way of addressing issues without being dogmatic. As a parent, Mrs. Obama painted a picture of a strong family who is grappling with the same challenges that all families face.

She spoke sincerely and her challenge was non-confrontational "we must work like never before…and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward…my husband, our President, President Barack Obama."

Mrs. Obama understood that the purpose of the presentation was not to be a politician but to show the personal side of the president and gain the public's confidence in his leadership. She maintained that balance of confident public speaking with a personal passion and warmth.

The lessons for public speakers? Prepare and practice so that your presentation looks seamless. Connect with your eyes and let your warmth come through. Speak from the heart and tell your story. The rest is just technique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUpN6klYP9o

S.H.E. Summit Week-Speak Powerfully Sell More

It's the S.H.E. Summit Week in New York City. SHE stands for She Helps Empower. This week long event was organized by Claudia Chan. From June 18-to June 24 there are women's events to inspire and empower. In addition to  yoga, networking, a press breakfast and evening cocktail party there were several workshops. My presentation, Speak Powerfully, Sell More was part of the entrepreneurial track. Carolyn Herfurth presented Art of the Ask, Bryn Johnson talked about building online communities, and Jennifer Wilkov presented Your Book is Your Hook. It's been fun and inspiring and I've met some amazing women. For the complete schedule visit  S.H.E. Summit Week



Are You Seen But Not Heard?

Karen was newly appointed to her position in finance, where she was responsible for managing and keeping the department on budget. Soft-spoken and petite, Karen had a hard time making herself heard during meetings, as her aggressive team shouted over her and challenged her when she questioned their figures...