Speak Up with Substance

Episode 16
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Speak up with substance & get more assertive

In today’s episode of The Little Shot™, I want to share a strategy with you which can really empower you to advocate for yourself more effectively.

A healthy team is a comfortable habitat for most people. It’s usually full of trust and openness. 

But that doesn’t mean that everyone is speaking up enough, or appropriately. 

I hold the view that offering your opinion is essential to authentic communication.

In fact, competent communication relies on this.

speak up

(Steele & Plenty, 2015)

Failure to speak up can lead to tragic outcomes in some industries.

In fact, in the aviation industry, research shows that if a pilot pretends they’ve got this, their copilot will fail to take charge when needed.

25% of planes crashed according to one study of flight simulations because the co-pilot failed to take over control due to poor communication. Speaking up matters. 


So let’s upskill your assertiveness and apply a simple strategy model to give you more substance when you go to speak up.


The Little Shot is here to build your communication in lots of little shots until you become a Big Shot communicator (in the nicest possible way). Ready for some expressive fuel?


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Episode 16

This little shot is scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday the 25th of August. If you arrive here earlier, don’t forget to turn on notifications via the YouTube premiere button so you can be first to know once the mini-tutorial pushes live.

Being assertive is about advocating for your needs. But to do it effectively, you need to take it further. Give it more substance but integrating an inquiry about the other person’s perspective. This will make your interaction more conversational and build the relationship.

It’s so essential that when you advocate for your opinion, you also open the floor for your conversation partner to advocate for their opinion. 

Limiting the interaction to only your perspective is like playing tennis with a wall, rather than another person. That’s not a fair game, is it?


I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what to prepare for The Little Shot™ in recent weeks especially since the situation has really deteriorated for many people lately. 

I wanted to give you strategies that you can incorporate immediately if your work life or personal life has become tough.

I hope that this model can help you navigate difficult conversations more effectively. The structure may not reduce the fear around speaking up, but it will add substance to your message, which is what counts!

If you’re struggling to express yourself confidently and articulately, our High-Performance Communication Audit is a great fit.

This service will assess all aspects of your communication under pressure. We’ll investigate your voice tone, word choice, nonverbal communication and even speech pace and logical flow and what’s more, this is all done in a virtual video format. Make sure you check it out via the link below. 

Before you go make sure you share this post with anyone who you think needs to speak up more.

These weeks have been tough, but let’s use them to sharpen our communication skills and empathy. We can make the most of increased stress and change to build our resilience ability to adapt.  These are worthwhile goals, so why not shift your focus?

As I always say, communication is like string theory, it’s the foundation of everything, so go get them!

Assume the best of others, speak up, share perspectives patiently and keep that chin up.


Ciao for now!



Foushee HC, Helmreich RL. Group interactions and flight crew performance. In Wiener EL, Nagel DC, editors. Human Factors in Aviation: New York City: Academic Press Inc, 1988, 189–227.


Gallo, A. (2012). “How to be assertive without losing yourself.” Harvard Business Review


O’Connor, P., Byrne, D., O’Dea, A., McVeigh, T.R., Kerin, M.J. (2013). ‘Excuse Me:’ Teaching Interns to Speak Up. Joint Commission Journal on Quality & Patient Safety 39 (9), 426-431 426p. 


Steele, G.A., Plenty, D. (2015). Supervisor–Subordinate Communication Competence and Job and Communication Satisfaction. International Journal of Business Communication 52 (3), 294-318.

What Is The Little Shot™?

The Little Shot™ pops live every Tuesday at 10 am AEST in the form of mini shots for your communication that hit hard like a good espresso ☕️!

What do you Get?

Weekly expressive fuel to give your communication competitive advantage. The Little Shot™ episodes are so powerful they could even substitute for your morning coffee shot. And remember, lots of Little Shots, make A Big Shot! If you want to be a big shot communicator, these episodes will assist you in getting there.

Get Your Question featured on a future The Little Shot™ Episode.

If you have a question about communication, submit it via email direct to Sarah (hello@thevoicescience.com) and she will give you a tailored answer in a future episode.