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Keys for Women to Become More Assertive in the Workplace

Communications Expert Kimberly Gerber Offers Valuable Strategies for Women to Advance in Their Careers and Thrive in Leadership Positions

IRVINE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/05/13 -- Kimberly Gerber, a renowned communications expert and president/CEO of Excelerate, a communication training and coaching firm delivering innovative strategies and leadership development, has valuable advice for women who need to better assert themselves in the workplace.

Men and women in most cultures are socialized differently when it comes to asserting themselves while communicating with others, and the results in the boardroom can be staggering. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg faced a powerful backlash when she drew attention to these disparities in her recent book, Lean In, but the main premise is difficult to refute.

"Men tend to benefit from the training and social acceptance of behaviors that are closely aligned with assertiveness," says Gerber. "Women have traditionally been discouraged from those same behaviors, and they suffer from the likelihood of being labeled 'abrasive' for speaking up or 'weak' for seeming overly passive. As women climb up the corporate ladder, however, many are learning to better assert themselves and get comfortable with a more active and visible leadership roles."

Those women are reaping the rewards of speaking up and behaving confidently. Here are some easy body language tips for women who want to achieve that same level of success:

  • Change your posture. A confident stance sends a powerful message -- and even helps you to feel more confident. Square your shoulders and bend slightly forward from the waist. Face an audience head-on.

  • Look them in the eye. Eye contact communicates trustworthiness, interest, sincerity, recognition and connection. Hold people's gaze and smile confidently. During a presentation, connect with your audience by holding their gaze for three or four seconds at a time.

  • Project your voice. Soft-spoken women must practice speaking loudly enough to be heard in a crowded conference room. Stand still or sit up straight when you speak and practice projecting until it feels natural.

  • Change your focus. Instead of focusing on the fact that all eyes are on you, remind yourself that what matters to the audience is the message you're delivering and the impact it can have.

For more information about assertiveness training and Excelerate's full portfolio of communication training programs, visit www.exceleratecomm.com.

ABOUT KIMBERLY GERBER: For the past two decades, Gerber's focused approach to communication strategies has successfully led Fortune 500 companies such as Starbucks and Fleetwood Enterprises toward real results. Her innovative ideas, breakthrough programs and proven techniques have served as a catalyst, helping countless C-level executives, entrepreneurs, millennials and high-potential employees reach their goals. Organizations such as Allergan, Starbucks Coffee and Verizon rely on Excelerate, Gerber's communication training and coaching firm, for highly specialized communications guidance and training to help them succeed. Gerber also brings the power of effective communication to podiums across the country as a motivating and empowering public speaker. With the ability to speak on a variety of topics related to transformational communication, Kimberly is among the region's most sought-after and acclaimed keynote speakers, consistently leaving attendees feeling energized and inspired. Gerber holds a B.A. in Marketing and Public Communications from SUNY Buffalo. Committed to lifelong learning, she's completed graduate studies at San Diego State University; is a graduate of Newfield, an ICF-certified executive coaching program, and has earned mediation certification from the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

ABOUT EXCELERATE: Excelerate is a communication training and coaching firm delivering innovative strategies and leadership development. For more than two decades, Excelerate has made an extraordinary difference for organizations of all sizes, giving CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, high-potential employees and millennials the power tools to become effective communicators through interactive workshops, executive coaching, group coaching, mediation and laser coaching to focus on specific issues. Excelerate's mission is to empower individuals and organizations to make holistic, transformational changes in the way they communicate. The firm's 360-degree approach to communication helps clients increase productivity, raise morale, improve satisfaction and boost profitability. For more information, visit www.exceleratecomm.com.

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