Permission to Speak: How to Change What Power Sounds Like, Starting with You (Hardcover)
Use your voice to lead us to a better future with this game-changing guide to redefining what power and authority sound like—from a speech expert who’s worked with Hollywood’s biggest stars, political powerhouses, and businesspeople shaking up the status quo.
“I love this book—funny, surprising, stirring, and so important! What a beautiful accomplishment and gift to put into the world.”—Rachel McAdams
Getting heard is a tricky business: It’s what you say and how you show up, filtered through your audience’s assumptions and biases—and maybe even your own. For women, people of color, immigrants, and queer folks, there’s often a dissonance between how you speak and how we collectively think powerful people should speak: like the wealthy white men who’ve historically been in charge. But, fortunately, the sound of power is changing.
Permission to Speak is your tool kit for making that change. In this revolutionary take on how to use your voice to get what you want, sought-after speech coach Samara Bay offers a fresh perspective on public speaking and a new definition of what power sounds like: namely, you. Blending anecdotes with eye-opening research in leadership, linguistics, and social science, Permission to Speak shows you how to strike the right balance of strength and warmth to land your message; exactly what to do before a high-stakes scenario so that your voice, your mind, and your spirit are ready; and how to turn habits like vocal fry and upspeak into tools. Most important, you’ll discover your voice story: why you talk the way you do, what’s wonderful about it, and what you’ve outgrown.
Fiery, fun, and truly profound, Permission to Speak is a personal and cultural reckoning with what speaking in public is and what it can be. This book meets the moment and offers this provocation: When we change what power sounds like, we change who has it.
About the Author
Samara Bay coaches rising business leaders, political hopefuls, and public figures who need to speak in a voice they recognize as their own to truly make waves. She runs workshops and speaks at organizations around the world to support a new, diverse sound of power. In Hollywood, she helps movie stars integrate good acting with good accents, and has coached clients including Gal Gadot, Pierce Brosnan, Penélope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Terry Crews, Rachel McAdams, Ruth Negga, and Anjelica Huston. She has a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from Brown University. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and dog, Moxie.
“Samara Bay—the speech coach who’s helped Ruth Negga, Gal Gadot, and others perfect dialects on film—offers an empowering take on public speaking.”—Vanity Fair
“A totally beguiling and richly informative primer for anyone who struggles to say out loud what they think.”—Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her
“Permission to Speak goes beyond the easy ‘use your voice’ platitudes that power hashtag-girlboss memes. . . .The book never shies away from frank talk about the ways systems of oppression have squelched and silenced some voices, and at every turn, [Samara] Bay offers practical and doable exercises. . . . Bay writes with humor and ease, sharing stories from her own experience and those of her clients.”—Mindful
“No one knows more about voice than Samara Bay. This is a brilliant, user-friendly guide to speaking up. I love it.”—Viv Groskop, author of How to Own the Room
“Women, people of color, and other historically excluded folks are taught not to be too big, too loud, too demanding, or too ambitious. This book gives them permission to speak up—and command the room.”—Rachel Rodgers, author of We Should All Be Millionaires
“Samara Bay’s brilliant expertise helps us understand that when we find our permission to speak, we are able to step into our full power as women. She encourages us to abandon our formed habits, which are almost always serving someone else, and shows us what it means to use our narratives to be heroes who change the way we are heard in the world.”—Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play
“Permission to Speak is bursting with charm and originality, clear-eyed critiques, and gentle nudges, like the greatest business bestie in your ear, whispering the courage you need to speak up and take over.”—Carolyn Childers, co-founder and CEO of Chief, and Lindsay Kaplan, co-founder and chief brand officer of Chief
“An encouraging, practical guide to public speaking . . . A generous companion for building confidence.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Bay’s tone is spirited and encouraging, and there’s no shortage of takeaways for curious readers. Anyone looking to sharpen their speaking skills will want to give this a go.”—Publishers Weekly