LIVINGSTON, NJ — A breakfast program entitled “Your Voice Matters: Polish Your Vocal Image” welcomed women from a range of industries including engineering, law, banking and more to accounting firm Sobel & Co.’s Livingston headquarters for its quarterly Young Professional Women’s Roundtable event.

Roundtable hosts Jamie Herman and Christina Casaburi, both Sobel & Co. CPAs, invited guest speaker Sharlene Vichness, president of Language Directions, LLC, to encourage the working women to strengthen their presentational speaking skills.

According to Herman and Casaburi, the Young Professional Women’s Roundtable invites young workingwomen, ranging from 25 to 35 years old, to discuss the obstacles that arise in the workplace. The previous Roundtable, entitled “Balancing and Juggling Life’s Demands” featured master juggler and TV personality Jen Slaw.

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According to Vichness, this month’s speaker, all professionals, especially young women, are judged by the way they look, dress and speak. She informed the panel that women often damage their professional reputations simply by speaking in the wrong tone or displaying distracting behavior during meetings.

“Women can sabotage themselves without even realizing it,” said Vichness.

Mary Fackino, a senior tax accountant, noted after the event that she and her female coworkers are not entirely conscious of the messages their actions send.

“When we speak, we do things that hold us back from getting what we want,” said Fackino. “We might not even be aware of it.”

Fackino acknowledged that in the future she will question whether her coworkers understand her and if she successfully gets her point across.

Christa Fisher, a district engineer, feels frustrated by women in her workplace that speak in hushed tones and mumble.

“I’m like, ‘Can you speak up? Can you emphasize?’” said Fisher. “It makes them seem like they’re not qualified for what they’re doing.”

Vichness encouraged her audience to speak clearly and with confidence at work, owning the room when they enter it. For these women looking to advance their positions in their current careers, she emphasized the impression they make in their office.

“You want to produce that feeling that this is a person of substance, of gravitas,” said Vichness. “This is someone I want to listen to.”

The date of the next Young Professional Women’s Roundtable is yet to be determined. For more information, contact Jamie Herman, CPA, at