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Smart, Not Loud

How to Get Noticed at Work for All the Right Reasons

Read by Jessica Chen
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Ever wonder why the “loud” people at work get noticed, rewarded, and promoted? Do you worry that you need to be loud to succeed at work, too?

When Jessica Chen entered the workforce, she felt like everything she had been taught growing up in a Quiet Culture household—where deference, humility, harmony, and dogged hard work were praisedfailed to set her up for success in the “real world.” Her ingrained values were in direct contrast with what was actually needed to stand out in a Loud Culture workplace. The result? Feeling underappreciated, passed over for opportunities and promotions, and completely stuck.

Building on the lessons she learned as an award-winning TV news journalist, Chenwho now speaks at Fortune 100 companies and whose LinkedIn Learning courses have been watched by over 2 million peopleintroduces a new way of getting noticed at work, without being loud, aggressive, or boastful. In Smart, Not Loud, Chen teaches readers how they can look within, to the values they already hold, to more effectively show up. Through instructive anecdotes and research-backed principles, readers will learn to:
  • speak up at meetings using the 4A Sequence (active listening, acknowledging, anchoring, and answering); 
  • advocate for themselves with tact;
  • build strategic relationships to enhance credibility and get picked for the best projects;
  • and master the five elements of voice—pitch, rate, intensity, inflection, and quality—to be the kind of communicator others want to listen to.

Packed with actionable tips, Smart, Not Loud unveils a new path to getting noticed and getting ahead at work. This is the road map readers need to authentically show up in the workplace and truly feel seen.
*A Next Big Idea Club Must-Read of 2024*

“I believe this is one of the very best books on communication I’ve ever read. A must read for anyone and everyone in business today!”
Bob Burg, bestselling coauthor of The Go-Giver

“A master guide for how to thrive at work. Chen shows us the way to be heard without having to be loud.”
Vanessa Van Edwards, national bestselling author of Cues and Captivate

Smart, Not Loud is great for anyone who wants to get better at understanding their quiet coworkers, and it helps those who are naturally quiet find ways to speak up and stand up for themselves effectively.”
Matt Abrahams, lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, author of Think Faster, Talk Smarter, and host of Think Fast, Talk Smart: The Podcast

“If you’ve struggled to be heard in the workplace, thought your work would speak for itself, or refrained from voicing your opinion because you didn’t want to rock the boat, Smart, Not Loud will teach you that even the quietest among us can wield power in an astute, strategic way.”
Laura Huang, author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage

“This book truly resonates with those from Quiet Cultures, offering relatable examples and practical tips that will have you nodding in recognition and laughing at the shared experiences.”
Lung Nien Lee, chairman of Citi Private Bank, South Asia

“A helpful, step-by-step blueprint to becoming a confident communicator and a strong self-advocate, and to getting the attention you deserve—all while staying true to yourself.”
Ximena Vengoechea, author of Listen Like You Mean It and Rest Easy

"Smart, Not Loud offers a clear diagnosis as to why so many talented people feel unseen and undervalued at work. Chen not only empathizes with those raised with 'quiet culture traits,' she lives it as well. An essential read for anyone looking for practical ways to accelerate their career."
Elaine Lin Hering, author of Unlearning Silence
 
"Smart, Not Loud provides thoughtful strategies for sharing your work with pride, especially when that might be foreign to what you were taught. It's not about adopting a brand-new personality; it's about shining and becoming visible at work with all the wonderful things you already have."
Meredith Fineman, author of Brag Better, speaker, and entrepreneur
 
"Smart, Not Loud powerfully reminds us that we don’t need to change who we are to get the recognition and rewards we deserve—we just need to sharpen some of our communication skills. And Jessica Chen will show you how with expert advice and clarifying examples. Though I was raised in a Quiet Culture, I now know how to thrive in a Loud one."
Therese Huston, Faculty Development Consultant at Seattle University and author of Let’s Talk
 
“Jessica Chen's book weaves her own experiences with that of others to create a narrative that is completely relatable. Her clear frameworks support personal growth as soon as applied. This is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to amplify their voice without losing what makes them unique.”
Angela Cheng-Cimini, SVP, Talent & CHRO, Harvard Business Publishing

"Introverts will appreciate the guidance on standing out."
Publishers Weekly
© Van Vo
Jessica Chen is an Emmy-Award winner, top virtual keynote speaker, and CEO of Soulcast Media, a global business communication training agency. Her client list includes Google, LinkedIn, the CDC, Medtronic, Mattel, HP, DraftKings, and many more. Prior to starting Soulcast Media, Jessica was a broadcast television journalist. She is also an internationally recognized top LinkedIn Learning Instructor where her communication courses have been watched by over 2 million learners and featured in Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur. She lives in Los Angeles. View titles by Jessica Chen

About

Ever wonder why the “loud” people at work get noticed, rewarded, and promoted? Do you worry that you need to be loud to succeed at work, too?

When Jessica Chen entered the workforce, she felt like everything she had been taught growing up in a Quiet Culture household—where deference, humility, harmony, and dogged hard work were praisedfailed to set her up for success in the “real world.” Her ingrained values were in direct contrast with what was actually needed to stand out in a Loud Culture workplace. The result? Feeling underappreciated, passed over for opportunities and promotions, and completely stuck.

Building on the lessons she learned as an award-winning TV news journalist, Chenwho now speaks at Fortune 100 companies and whose LinkedIn Learning courses have been watched by over 2 million peopleintroduces a new way of getting noticed at work, without being loud, aggressive, or boastful. In Smart, Not Loud, Chen teaches readers how they can look within, to the values they already hold, to more effectively show up. Through instructive anecdotes and research-backed principles, readers will learn to:
  • speak up at meetings using the 4A Sequence (active listening, acknowledging, anchoring, and answering); 
  • advocate for themselves with tact;
  • build strategic relationships to enhance credibility and get picked for the best projects;
  • and master the five elements of voice—pitch, rate, intensity, inflection, and quality—to be the kind of communicator others want to listen to.

Packed with actionable tips, Smart, Not Loud unveils a new path to getting noticed and getting ahead at work. This is the road map readers need to authentically show up in the workplace and truly feel seen.

Reviews

*A Next Big Idea Club Must-Read of 2024*

“I believe this is one of the very best books on communication I’ve ever read. A must read for anyone and everyone in business today!”
Bob Burg, bestselling coauthor of The Go-Giver

“A master guide for how to thrive at work. Chen shows us the way to be heard without having to be loud.”
Vanessa Van Edwards, national bestselling author of Cues and Captivate

Smart, Not Loud is great for anyone who wants to get better at understanding their quiet coworkers, and it helps those who are naturally quiet find ways to speak up and stand up for themselves effectively.”
Matt Abrahams, lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, author of Think Faster, Talk Smarter, and host of Think Fast, Talk Smart: The Podcast

“If you’ve struggled to be heard in the workplace, thought your work would speak for itself, or refrained from voicing your opinion because you didn’t want to rock the boat, Smart, Not Loud will teach you that even the quietest among us can wield power in an astute, strategic way.”
Laura Huang, author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage

“This book truly resonates with those from Quiet Cultures, offering relatable examples and practical tips that will have you nodding in recognition and laughing at the shared experiences.”
Lung Nien Lee, chairman of Citi Private Bank, South Asia

“A helpful, step-by-step blueprint to becoming a confident communicator and a strong self-advocate, and to getting the attention you deserve—all while staying true to yourself.”
Ximena Vengoechea, author of Listen Like You Mean It and Rest Easy

"Smart, Not Loud offers a clear diagnosis as to why so many talented people feel unseen and undervalued at work. Chen not only empathizes with those raised with 'quiet culture traits,' she lives it as well. An essential read for anyone looking for practical ways to accelerate their career."
Elaine Lin Hering, author of Unlearning Silence
 
"Smart, Not Loud provides thoughtful strategies for sharing your work with pride, especially when that might be foreign to what you were taught. It's not about adopting a brand-new personality; it's about shining and becoming visible at work with all the wonderful things you already have."
Meredith Fineman, author of Brag Better, speaker, and entrepreneur
 
"Smart, Not Loud powerfully reminds us that we don’t need to change who we are to get the recognition and rewards we deserve—we just need to sharpen some of our communication skills. And Jessica Chen will show you how with expert advice and clarifying examples. Though I was raised in a Quiet Culture, I now know how to thrive in a Loud one."
Therese Huston, Faculty Development Consultant at Seattle University and author of Let’s Talk
 
“Jessica Chen's book weaves her own experiences with that of others to create a narrative that is completely relatable. Her clear frameworks support personal growth as soon as applied. This is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to amplify their voice without losing what makes them unique.”
Angela Cheng-Cimini, SVP, Talent & CHRO, Harvard Business Publishing

"Introverts will appreciate the guidance on standing out."
Publishers Weekly

Author

© Van Vo
Jessica Chen is an Emmy-Award winner, top virtual keynote speaker, and CEO of Soulcast Media, a global business communication training agency. Her client list includes Google, LinkedIn, the CDC, Medtronic, Mattel, HP, DraftKings, and many more. Prior to starting Soulcast Media, Jessica was a broadcast television journalist. She is also an internationally recognized top LinkedIn Learning Instructor where her communication courses have been watched by over 2 million learners and featured in Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur. She lives in Los Angeles. View titles by Jessica Chen