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Vocally enraptured A captivating presence is a game-changer, but what exactly does such a presence entail and how do we go about getting one? Presence is being able to captivate and enrapture your audience, whether they are business colleagues, competitors, the media or even a ‘real’ audience at the theatre, as Laura Baxter, the founder of The Voice for Leadership, knows only too well. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Lending years of international stage experience as a professional opera singer to her Germany-based company The Voice for Leadership, Laura Baxter provides executive coaching, seminars and keynote speeches that focus not just on honing your presentation skills, but on owning the room.

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“When you’re on an operatic stage,” explains the convivial American,“you have to be in your centre, acutely aware of everything surrounding you and in command of the stage.” This, in her eyes, is where the similarities with leadership positions arise. Her extensive experience of music and busi-

ness inspired her to set up her leadershiporiented firm that focuses on bolstering the mind-set of executives when representing their company and leading their teams. Since childhood, the Mezzo Soprano has been fascinated by the effect of the voice and body language on non-verbal communication. After specialising as an operatic singer in the States and teaching at the faculty at Duke University, she headed to Germany to continue pursuing her career. She interjects: “My goal was never about being famous; it was about understanding everything about the voice and