What I Learned from Nancy Pelosi

nancy pelosiWhat I Learned from Nancy Pelosi

NOTE: This post is not about politics. This post is about professional self-presentation.

I was stunned the other day when I saw in the news that Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had turned 70 years old. Seventy! And arguably one of the most powerful women in the world, now claiming a fresh professional triumph.

I’ve always been impressed by the Speaker’s utter poise and professionalism. Regardless of politics, here is what I’ve learned from Pelosi about self-presentation:

Never raise your voice. An evenly modulated voice is a powerful sign of control and authority. It suggests that you are thoughtful and even-handed rather than reactive and erratic.

Don’t shoot back. Refusing to enter the fray is another sign of credibility and self-possession. It tells the world that you decide and control your own agenda.

Focus, focus, focus. Mediocrity thrives on distraction. There’s something compelling about the singleminded woman who concentrates on her goals.

Keep it simple. Pelosi’s tailored suits, classic accessories, and sleek hairstyle never upstage her talent and accomplishments. Style is the frame, not the picture.

Keep it fresh. She may be a 70-year-old granny, but her look is completely contemporary. Don’t let people think you’re last year’s model.

nancy pelosi and sarkozy

6 Responses to What I Learned from Nancy Pelosi

  1. christinecox April 2, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Excellent points, Anne. I need to remember the first one, because I tend to get ‘louder’ when I’m passionate or think I’m ‘right’ about something.

    And Ms. Pelosi, even at 70, continues to be stunning. Wow.

  2. Ann Daly April 2, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    I suffer the same “excitable” factor, Christine. That’s why I make a much better keynote speaker than Speaker of the House!

  3. Linda Jay July 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Nancy’s terrific at 70, yes. But then, so am I! I’m actually 71 now, decided at 66 that working with authors as a book manuscript copyeditor was what I wanted to do. Result: I’ve edited more than 60 book manuscripts in the past two years — business, novels, memoirs, spirituality, sci-fi — for authors all over the U.S. and in other countries. I’m a writer, too. No limits — the new mantra of some of us over-70 women!

  4. Ann Daly July 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    OK, so “what I learned from Linda Jay”: no limits! (I can grab that for us over-50 women, yes?)

  5. Joanne Wakelin March 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    A marvelous woman. Also love Linda Jay’s comment. I turn 50 this year and have to get past the ‘my life is almost over and so there is no tije to achieve anything else’ blues. I was surprised to feel this way as I found turning 40 liberating.

    However, have now embarked on a do over and fell much better 🙂

  6. Ann Daly March 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Only 50, Joanne? You’re but a youngin! And with every Do-Over! we embark upon, we get even younger.