Cynthia Zhai influences those interested from a business sense to make more impact with their voice.
What’s your story?
I am a voice coach, speaker, trainer and author of the upcoming book Influence through Voice to be published by McGraw Hill. I help senior executives and professionals develop an influential voice that speaks with impact and conviction, and inspires people to embrace change and take action. I’m lucky enough to have worked with clients from 28 countries across 5 continents over the past 6 years.
I was a news broadcaster at a school radio station during college and was personally trained by actress and former New York’s number one radio personality, Valerie Smaldone. Hailed from China, I’ve been in Singapore for almost ten years and started my own voice consulting business six years ago.
What excites you most about your industry?
Voice development for business is a young industry. It’s exciting for the fact that it’s young. There are a lot of potentials to develop and a lot of room to educate people.
Voice has been marginalized since the rise of technologies that made human beings start to write more than speaking. Voice as a channel of expressing ideas, emotions and individual identity has been overlooked. More importantly, voice as a tool for transforming our lives has been forgotten.
It has become my mission to revive the recognition of voice in our society and have everyone realise and experience the power of voice. There’s nothing more exciting than this.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Chinese, born and raised in Asia. I’ve studied in the United States, making a good balance between east and west.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. The process for setting up a business is transparent, easy and fast. English as the official language makes communication and doing business easy, which has attracted people from all around the world. The government is supportive for setting up and running businesses and provides all sorts of grants. People here are friendly and acceptive.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Charlie Tremendous Jones
Who inspires you?
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Anita Moorjani: Dying to Be Me
Caroline Myss: Anatomy of the Spirit
Christiane Northrup: Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Be more aggressive, haha. If you know Enneagram, a profound profiling system, you’ll understand. My type is not the goal-oriented type. If I had been more aggressive, I would have probably achieved my goals sooner.
How do you unwind?
Playing piano, reading books, travelling.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It may be unbelievable to many people, Hong Kong. I feel it’s a great way to get lost in the bustling and hustling when you are not working in that city! There’s a Chinese saying, “The best way to feel like a hermit is to live in the most bustling place.” (“大隐隐于市。”)
Everyone in business should read this book:
Made to Stick. Everyone of us in business is telling a story and doing presentations. This book will tell you how to make your message stick in people’s mind.
Shameless plug for your business:
Visit my website: www.PowerfulExecutiveVoice.com and you can get many FREE resources there.
How can people connect with you?
Visit my website: www.PowerfulExecutiveVoice.com
I’m on all social media platforms, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Search Cynthia Zhai and you’ll find me there.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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