My day job requires me to speak to a wide variety of audiences, either educating people about the non-profit
program I represent or trying to persuade grant funders to give us financial support. I leapt at the chance to
experience Voice of a Leader, which promises to teach anyone how to become a more effective speaker.
The cover copy for this 3 CD course asserts that Joseph’s program "has helped thousands of people, including
Arnold Schwarzenegger." While this may not be the most persuasive endorsement, we must remember that Arnold
speaks well enough to persuade a majority of Californians to elect him governor of that state. Twice.
Joseph himself is not a particularly compelling advertisement, either. His voice is clear and confident, but
the plodding delivery falls somewhere between a cheesy New Age guru and Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher.
Nevertheless, Voice of a Leader is well worth a listen. After a lengthy and repetitive introduction,
Joseph lays out his holistic system for vocal awareness with simple clarity. Explaining that only 8 % of
information is conveyed through language, Joseph goes on to provide a guide that details how to use words,
emphasis, mannerisms, and even the spaces between words to enhance speaking ability.
The 7 Vocal Awareness Rituals are also carefully explained and reinforced by the accompanying workbook. This
process combines physical exercises with mental and emotional exploration to help the learner convey honest and
Exhorting us to "own your voice," Joseph provides all-encompassing motivation and inspiration, built on a
foundation of mindfulness. Much of his system serves as a guide not just for public speaking, but for all of
life’s endeavors; as such, this course is not a one-two-three-go list of instructions, but rather it is the
impetus for the paradigm shift that Joseph aims to achieve in his students.