Category Archives: Jennifer Kahnweiler

Connecting Down Under



Friends told me that when you go to Australia, you need to listen carefully.  “Even though you THINK you speak English it is American English. You are sure to miss things”, they said.  And they were right.

Sitting at my first session of the National Speakers Association of Australia in Melbourne, I found myself straining to acclimate to the new dialect, the humor and the slang. Learning to order coffee (“long black”) and having “brekky”( breakfast) with my new friends took some concentration. So did remembering to enter the left side of the car and walk down the street without crashing into people. They walk on the left – go figure:). Continue reading

“I’m Told My Listening is Intoxicating! “

I am so pleased that Pearl Alexander decided to speak from her heart and write this wonderful piece about her experience as an introverted HR leader. Called “Leveraging Diversity of Temperament,”  Pearl fully embraces who she is and calls for extroverts to let her speak. Continue reading

Exceptional Speaker Shares Secrets

The Exceptional Speaker 3D


I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague, Alan Stevens about his latest book co-written with Paul DuToit,  The Exceptional Speaker.  It is a practical, treasure trove of speaking tips for presenters of all levels.  Alan is an expert on building and protecting your reputation. He is also an international speaker, author, MC and media commentator. His clients include high-profile individuals and companies such as Virgin, BP, The Dorchester, Sony Ericsson, BMW and Mumm Champagne. Contact Alan at  or visit his site at

Listen to our interview and learn why:

*You shouldn’t tell jokes

*Why you much prepare “well, alert and long.”

*Almost anyone can raise their game

*What British CEO is tongue tied off the stage?

And finally, the preview to his three tips to combat anxiety:

Practice and Rehearse, Slow Down and Enjoy the Experience!

Hope you enjoy and learn from the interview as much as I did conducting it.



Are Introverts Mad As Hell?


I am often asked why we are hearing so much about introverts. “They are everywhere”, someone told me recently. No, they have always been everywhere but now you are noticing their existence.

I stopped into to talk with Dave Summers who, among his other digital duties runs the Edgewise podcast at The American Management Association  near Times Square in New York City. Dave always keeps me on my toes with his provocative questions. This time he asked me about this new spotlight on introverts.  Dave said he sees introverts “stepping up and being who they are, whether it’s a book or show or a business network.  What do you attribute this new discovery to?” he asked.  Is it just that the introverts are mad as hell, and they’re just not gonna take it anymore???” 

Here is what I said in response to his question:

” I call it the “rise of the introverts”.  Part of it is the influence of the new wave of leadership where people are not command and control anymore. There’s more research coming out that says that people who are more humble, quiet and calm tend to get more results without a lot of noise, with those loud rattling of the sabers.” I shared some other factors as well.  “You know global organizations now require us to flex in many different ways and not just have one way of leading, particularly in areas like Asia where an extroverted leader doesn’t always get it done. ” 

Listen to the entire podcast here.

Why do you think there is more attention to introverts now? Why are we experiencing the “Rise of the Introverts.”?

Quiet Influence Podcast with the American Management Association

Or read the transcript draft here:


Thank you Pico Iyer


I was scanning through the video choices on my recent plane ride to Seattle.
This TED talk by Pico Iyer
about a new way to look at home is my favorite ever. It blew me away and I actually watched it three times so I could absorb his profound messages.  Mr. Iyer captured so much of what I feel when I travel to foreign countries. Here are a few:

“The beauty of being a foreigner is it slaps you around. Travel is like being in love..all your senses are marked on.”

“Movement only has meaning if you have a home to go back to.”

“Where you come from now is less important than where you are going.”

He also emphasizes the importance of stillness, of being quiet and presence. Iyer’s quotes below reinforce the introvert strength of taking quiet time.

“Movement is only as good as the stillness you put into it.”

“Silence wasn’t an absence of noise but a quickening of energy.”

“It is only by stopping movement that you can see where to go.”

Here is a bit more about this man who shows us the beauty of stopping to consider where we are. Thank you for your eloquence and for sharing it with us.


Quiet Chief Execs Speak Up With Impact


Bernardino Portillo, General Manager of Medalla (holding the mike) at El Lider Introvertido workshop this Wed. at the Universidad Americana in Asuncian, Paraguay.

One of my introverted leaders heroes is leadership guru and former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Doug Conant. He share how he eliminates the guesswork in getting to know him by offering up a document that lays out his beliefs, values and even his favorite books and quotes.

I profiled Doug’s examples and those of two other chiefs in a piece I wrote for Chief Executive called How CEO’s Can Use Quiet Influence to Get Results. 

This past week on my trip to Asuncion, Paraguay to speak on the El Lider Introvertido (more on that in my next blog post!) I met a wonderful man named Bernardino Portillo Marin, General Manager of a company called Medalla. He is well respected by his employees as being a man of few words but great impact. Bernardino strongly believes in leadership development and his advocacy for growing his people is evident everywhere.  Bernardino was fully engaged in the programs we had over the few days and his presentations were beautifully crafted. He put effort into flexing his style and the respect he has earned his palpable. I also found it refreshing to connect with him on Facebook and see that he interacts with many of his employees thoughtfully through this social media platform.

Quiet Influence is combination of art and science and these Chiefs are great models to observe and learn from. They are also really nice people.

After Childbirth, Is Anything Possible?

My daughter recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was a long labor and stressful delivery but thankfully all came out well in the end. She said it was the hardest but most incredible thing she ever accomplished.

Her experience brought me back to the birth of my own two daughters. Though being a new mom was challenging I can still feel the euphoria and kickass confidence that made me feel I could do anything.

On that same theme, I received an email from Charlotte, an introverted new mom in the Netherlands who told me how her own birth experience bridged to more confidence in the workplace. She wrote:

“Our group was split for many years between the sales team (typically extroverted individuals) and my team (more introverted) who do the actual compliance work. Very recently the two teams have merged. It is really interesting watching it unfold. Since I have had kids I find myself far more inclined to speak up and be braver in our meetings. Perhaps once you have been through child birth and exposed yourself to complete strangers and not caring because you are in so much pain, speaking up in a meeting does not seem so bad!!!”

It is all about perspective. Surviving those tough experiences does build confidence. In the 4 P’s Process in The Introverted Leader the third P is Push. Every successful introverted leader moves through challenges and develops their leadership strengths. They all say this is what helped them the most as their leadership careers progressed.

So maybe it wasn’t childbirth for you; but was there a pivotal life experience that was your confidence tipping point? You can email me at or tweet me at jennkahnweiler.