Sept 9, 2019 Speaker: Stephanie Bonte-Lebair (who, by the way, is a professional Opera singer).


Stephanie Bonte-Lebair, Presenter

The Vocal Empowerment method has three levels:

  • Energetic voice is the base of everything. Thoughts, feelings and mindset you have as a communicator.  Limiting beliefs.
  • Middle part of triangle: Physical voice, includes body, and it needs to function well to support the voice. Projection relies on breath.
  • Top of triangle: Mental voice, how you put together the outline of the talk and which words are used.  This is actually the least important part of the triangle.

Three questions to ask yourself before networking, speaking or 1:1 conversation, to tap into your energetic voice:

  • What do I want to have happen as a result of this interaction? Do I want to meet someone in an industry, have someone sign up for a workshop, etc.
  • How do I want to feel as I speak? Your voice is the physical manifestation of all you are feeling at that moment.  Set intentions
  • How do I want OTHERS to feel as I speak? Set the intention because you will show up differently for that person – it moves the focus from you to the audience or other person.

Three biggest vocal mistakes:

  • Speaking with a voice that contains vocal fry. Vocal fry is like a gargled sound, often purposefully used by college aged women. (GO TO: to understand what Vocal Fry is.) Women’s voices with vocal fry are perceived as less educated, when it sounds like the voice peters out, or morning voice. Hydration and sleep will take care of that.
  • Ending sentences with an upward inflection. Go down on the end of sentences to give you more authority and confidence.
  • Incorrect speaking pitch. Optimal speaking pitch is when the voice has the best resonance to cut through a room.  Use tone and resonance to cut through the space.  Can speak in a large room without a mic; eliminate vocal fry.

Top vocal technique is VOCAL Variety.  The sound of your voice is your music.  The sound is used to make an impact and has variety and communicates emotion.  They are made up of the four Ps:

  • Pitch – highs and lows vary your pitch. Get a children’s book and read it as if to a young child.
  • Pacing – how fast or slow are you speaking? Speed up and slow down. Try not to speak too fast, especially if you are speaking to seniors.
  • Punch – Can be loud to get attention or soft for intimacy.
  • Pause – need to put pauses in so that people can take it in. It makes for a better impact.


Stephanie answering Michele Miller’s question

Assessing your audience:

Use the BANK method for assessing your audience:  Blueprint, Action, Nurture, Knowledge.  This is specific to the buying decision and core value based. .

Communication types (B.A.N.K.)

Blueprint – Commodity:  Safety.  Values stability, structure, thinks inside the box, risk-averse.  They will not buy your service if it is outside their budget, unless it is riskier to not spend the money. Always be 15 minutes to 30 minutes early, call 3 minutes early.  They will often have an agenda and be clear about how much time they intend to spend in the buying situation.  Buying trigger is to stay in budget.

Action – Commodity: Lifestyle.  Values thinking outside the box, likes to have a lot of things going on at the same time, often overbooked and late.  Often very successful people, image is important.  They want the best package and often don’t have a budget. Buying trigger is local celebrity endorsement.

Nurture –Commodity: Relationships.  Values relationships and authenticity, significance and teamwork and are very well- connected.  Nurturers will be best referral sources because they want you to succeed.  Challenge with a nurturer – if you rub them the wrong way, they will turn nasty, and they don’t like confrontation.  Buying trigger:  Donate to a good cause. And if you do, make sure you post it on your website.

Myra Katz and Stephanie

Knowledge– Commodity: Information. Values learning, love to teach.  Love data and information and gets into the weeds of things.  Very long sales cycle because they don’t want to make a mistake.  Answer the questions they ask.  They will look through your website, download your attachments and research competitors.  Focus on what they still don’t know and help them fill in the gaps. Buying trigger is budget..

How to determine someone’s BANK code?  Ask icebreaker questions, or simply ask them to sort top to bottom for what matches them most to least.  The first two traits of the BANK code are triggers to a “yes”.  Last two traits are tripwires to a “no”.

Icebreakers to start to assess your potential client.  Ask:  What do you love about your job?  Where did you go on vacation last year?  What’s an important thing about your industry?

Free offer: Stephanie suggested we send her our elevator speech by email and she will critique and help you understand which of the communication styles you are reaching most.  Successful communication hits all of the communication types.

Structure of a presentation:

Presentations have five parts:  Intro – a bit about you; Outcomes – share the outcomes you deliver to your clients; Chunks 1, 2 – examples of what you do for your client; Close – call to action

Contact Stephanie:;


posted by Pat France, MSRN Member 9.12.19  Thanks to Rebecca Snyder for her notes on the presentation!