It’s hard to be good at public speaking when we don’t have any idea what it really is, or what goes into making us great at it. That’s the primary reason we’re naturally horrible and fearful of it, assuming we’re not merely ignorant of what we’re doing when we open our mouths.
If you want a way out of that, feel free to contact me as soon as you can, as I get booked up pretty quickly. I’ve helped countless people that likely started off far worse than you, and worked with them until they were being far better than anyone can ever hope to be on their own — all in far less time than anyone ever expects, particularly if they’ve wasted a lot of their time elsewhere trying things that simply don’t work. If you’re interested in understanding your issues better, feel free to read on.
Despite rarely taking the time to appreciate it, we’re affected by public speaking constantly. Someone speaking to a large group of people is an emblematic example of it, but public speaking is at work any time we talk to one another, whatever venue that might take. What makes us either nervous or courageous when we stand formally in front of a group isn’t that we’re doing anything we don’t already do all the time, but that we can’t help but be fully aware of it when we’re given the floor. How we casually or formally communicate, negotiate, and mediate are all public speaking just as much as anything on a stage is, and typically just as impactful, albeit in different ways.
Any inventory we take of how we spend our time and attention always reveals that the majority of it is spent communicating with one another in any of various forms for most of our waking hours, only to dream of doing it in our sleep. Public speaking is now most what we do when we go to work, take time off with friends, or sit alone by ourselves with commoditized forms of it in film, print, radio, television and the internet. Most of what we know now comes to us second hand, through those very forms. In very real ways, public speaking both forms our view of the world beyond what we ourselves can narrowly see, as well as most of what we now do in it.
Public speaking is how we affect each other in the world around us, and our ability to do it effectively has become the determining factor in how our lives will play out. Not a single one of us can or has succeeded to our full potential in anything we do if we don’t take the time and effort to excel in it. The longer we wait, the worse off we are, the worst of us being those that simply don’t know what they’re neglecting, nor that they’re neglecting it.
Table of Contents
- The Public Speaking Predicament
- The Public Speaking Solution
- What That Looks Like In Practice
- Drop Me a Line
- In Brief
- Novel and Proven Methods with Real Results
- Fellow Speaker and Learner
- Wonderful Communicator
- Thoroughly Enjoyable and Fun to Work With
- Enthusiastic Clientele
- Small Assortment of Uses and Examples of Public Speaking
The Public Speaking Predicament
We’re all familiar with public speaking, and how it governs and negotiates our lives together. But we’re not at all familiar with the nature of it, or what doing it well entails.
When we’re aware of its importance, we make all manner of efforts to get better at it, many of which make us far worse. We try to improve by spending time with good examples of it, but that isn’t any different than learning how to cook by eating good food — it doesn’t work. If it did, we’d all be master chefs, and walk away from every oration more eloquent than before. We sometimes gather together in hopeful groups like Toastmasters, hoping that if we all ‘hope’ enough together we’ll be saved, but only end up more confidently entrenched in our own poor habits, picking up that of others like a grade-school flu. Or we do our best to avoid speaking in public whenever possible, limiting ourselves by missing out on countless opportunities, letting others dictate how our lives turn out, and making due with less than any of us deserve.
That leaves us in an unfortunate predicament that we can all relate to, particularly when we decide to take efforts to pull ourselves out of it:
There’s this ‘thing’ we all do, and it’s deeply impactful to every facet of our lives. Unfortunately, none of us seems to understand it, and we have no idea how to improve. That doesn’t keep us all from being judged and condemned on our ability to do it well at the drop of a hat, however. We begin to notice that more as we pay attention to how much we could stand to improve, and how much benefit there would be if we could. Then we head out, knowing where we want to go, but not how anyone gets there. Having no idea who to turn to for help, we flock to others searching for answers just the same, and end up making each other more confident in our poor practices as we bumble about together not only lost, but unknowingly turned around in the wrong direction. Eventually we’re bound to consult an expert in the form of buying a book on the topic, only to be told to stand up straight, not to mumble, and other trivial things a moment’s pondering could have taught ourselves — assuming it isn’t self-help nonsense that doesn’t leave us more neurotic and confused than when we started. Not only are we not told how to go about improving on the most minor of things, we’re opened up to an even greater awareness of how many things we’re not very good at. We know some of us are clearly better at public speaking than others, but it’s all made mystical when the more we search for why and how they became that way, the more magical and out of reach it becomes — until we either give up or resign ourselves to being bad at it.
It isn’t fair, but that is how it is, and we’re all subject to it just the same. We all start off at different points on the path, and are drawn in different directions, but it’s fundamentally a dead-end endeavor, made no less tragic by being in ample company.
The Public Speaking Solution
We don’t speak in a vacuum. What happens when we speak in public is the end result of what we’ve done before we decide to open our mouths. Addressing that is our only means of affecting what flies out, not lamenting it together in groups, or making better eye contact when we do it.
The one thing we’re never told, but would most benefit from hearing, is that public speaking is public thinking. That’s the last thing any of us address as we go about our business trying to stand up straight and lead in with bad jokes or Wikipedia quotes to anything we say or do. We can’t know how to speak well when we don’t know how to think well. Speaking and thinking are different instances of the same thing.
That’s why we value public speaking the more natural and spontaneous it appears, and loath anything remotely ‘inauthentic’. To be inauthentic in public speaking is to say anything that doesn’t appear to be thought out loud, which is what we’re actually doing when we do things ‘off the cuff’ or extemporaneously. It’s also why it’s awkward at best when we stumble through memorized lines, despite making every effort to conceal it. We’re speaking poorly not because of what we’re saying, but because we’re not saying it correctly.
Speaking well requires four basic things:
- Developing clear and coherent thinking about anything relevant
- Being able to clearly and effectively articulate that thinking authentically on the spot in a way people care about, in whatever form that may take
- Putting together and following a plan of action to systematically address our weak points in a prioritized way, which we iterate based on our interests, progress, and response to it
- Getting expert feedback on everything we do, engaging with us every step of the way, towards whatever it is we’re after
What That Looks Like In Practice
How we go about doing that is what I get paid so much to teach, but being great at public speaking is a lot like being an athlete. We need to develop a deep, intuitive understanding of the rules of the games we play to be any good at them. We need to be able to exercise our knowledge and skills in whatever we play, when we’re called upon to play it — not when we feel like it, but when opportunities arise, all of the time. No matter how talented we are to start, we don’t get to greatness alone, the best of us always hiring the best trainers, coaches, and help we can get. And we all work together to continually improve, train, track, plan, challenge, and apply ourselves to not only stay at the top of our game, but fundamentally change the way we think and act so that we can play in leagues we otherwise couldn’t. Holistic problems can’t be tackled any other way.
Unlike athletics, however, public speaking is something we’re called up to practice at all times, and in infinitely more varied ways. It also isn’t as straightforward to excel at, because the rules of it are far more complex than any sport, vary wildly in whatever form they may take, and change with whoever is involved — including how well everyone is performing. That’s also why it’s difficult to teach, and most of us tend to preach simpler things in place of it, like developing better posture.
When well taught, however, it’s the most useful thing we can learn. I’ve worked with people from all manner of professions, to all manner of ends, and I’ve yet to find someone that doesn’t benefit from being able to effectively interact with others and themselves. If all of life were a game, public speaking is how we play it, for better or worse.
Because of that, public speaking is also more fun to learn. Since most of us don’t even know where to begin when we want to improve, let alone what it is we’re to go about improving, we see results immediately once we’re on a proper path. We benefit from them just as readily, as we’re never off the Rhetorical playing field. And though it’s important to stay in practice, even if we were to quit improving, we’re still better equipped in everything we say or do thereafter, as the knowledge, skills, and understanding we develop affect every aspect of our lives in ways that can’t ever be taken away. Most of my clients inevitably describe the way I teach public speaking as having been let in on The Matrix, and having Rhetorical superpowers thereafter.
It’s also something that’s significantly hard to train and teach, and that isn’t only because so few attempt to. We all have different problems, issues, strengths, and temperaments, as well as backgrounds, intentions, and interests. All of that needs to be taken into account if we’re to play better the role of ourselves, and not end up speaking like a phony that projects their voice in situations where it’s not necessary, or gives presentations like a drunken toast. It’s a very personal thing we couldn’t standardize if we tried.
I’ve left the specifics of this vague because teaching it is what I’m paid to do, and what we end up doing depends who it’s being done with, and to what ends.
More broadly, I teach Rhetoric in any of its various forms, public speaking easily being the primary one it takes for all of us. Rhetoric’s the art and science of how things affect people, as well as how to make use of that effectively. It concerns how we go about informing, persuading, and motivating one another in ways that affect our thoughts, actions, and beliefs. If there’s a trick or a secret to public speaking, developing an understanding and appreciation for Rhetoric is at the root of it, and how robust of an art and science Rhetoric really is. Our progress and prowess in public speaking both begin and end there, and it isn’t something we can learn alone. It is something all of us can learn, however, provided we have the right teacher. That’s likely why I tend to get booked up so quickly, and come highly recommended.
Drop Me a Line
- Wide ranging high-profile and more relatable clientele
- 100% client satisfaction rate, giving real people real results every day
- I work with people of all skill levels and ages, whether native speakers or ESL
- Highly recommended
- Unique, novel, proven methods
- More than 10 years of experience teaching this
- Certified educator
- Industry speaker myself
- Top grad from UC Berkeley on the topic
- I work locally, remotely, or in combination, so you’re never too far away to improve
I’m a firm believer in the quality of our work speaking for itself, but I’ve got all the dog tags and accolades expected of someone that produces great results:
- More than 10 years of experience teaching the Rhetoric of public speaking to business owners, professionals, academics, students of all levels, artists, and everyone in between
- Top grad from and teaches regular out at UC Berkeley
- Diverse base of experience in both clients and intended applications of Rhetoric
- Certified educator
I’ve been doing this for a while, I’m good at it, and make a living cultivating that in others. I’ve no shortage of ability to leverage against whatever obstacles are in our way, or achieve whatever results we’re after.
My clients make more progress in less time than they’re used to with any other methods, instruction, or knowledge available to them openly or in private. I hit the ground running with them, quickly identifying their problems and concerns, prioritizing them, forming a personalized lesson plan to get them up to speed, and then quickly iterate the program based on their feedback and results. They acquire knowledge and develop skills that are practical and valuable, immediately applicable to their present circumstances, and intuitive to employ.
As someone that’s been in business for years, I appreciate the value of only doing good business, as well as have a thorough understanding of how it’s conducted. There will be no ambiguity between us, we will be in consistent contact the entire time, the terms are all laid out in clear and concise ways in impeccable contracts giving us both peace of mind, and every professional courtesy will be made along the way.
A quality base of relevant experience is indispensable in public speaking, which I give everyone I work with direct access to, as well as teaching them how to develop their own. Rhetoric is always unique in application, but rarely in why we’re looking to apply it or what’s holding us back from that, so I’ve typically already helped someone achieve similar goals as anyone presently chasing them. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with leading authorities in a plethora of fields, worked on a variety of projects towards many intents, as well as having made extensive study myself in dialogue with qualified experts over the years. I leverage all of that towards anything you’re after, meaning the only chance of failure is if one of us gives up.
Novel and Proven Methods with Real Results
There are a lot of things out there that claim to help us with public speaking but miss the deeper reasons we’re poor at it, have little practical value, simply don’t work, and at best make us feel better long enough to not regret having paid for them. I don’t offer any of that, but I do offer methods that have been proven to work in everyone I’ve encountered, have been honed over time through trial, error, and testing, are highly adaptable, and really are the most we can do. I myself use these methods, and regularly develop new ones designed to work with specific individuals and their unique circumstances and temperaments in a completely personalized way. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach–which is why it works.
You’ll certainly feel more confident and content after working with me, but it’ll be because you’re making meaningful improvements to your Rhetorical abilities, not because I smiled big and bright while selling you snake oil.
Fellow Speaker and Learner
I do what I help people with, as well as teach it, so I know where you’re coming from. I know how difficult this can be on your own, and how obtuse it is to even know where to begin when seeking to improve. I likely started off in public speaking as bad or worse than anyone else, which is why I became so interested in this. I’m not an 8 foot tall basketball player claiming the secrets to success are things I myself never did, I’m someone that worked hard so you don’t have to so I can save you a lot of time and torment by helping you with methods that never fail to work.
I teach public speaking and specialize in the discipline that started it, so we’re never going to be at a loss for words or understanding while working together–no matter how much of a second language English may be for who I’m working with.
Thoroughly Enjoyable and Fun to Work With
I’m in a rare position in teaching public speaking to practice what I preach, which I take advantage of at every opportunity. Learning has to be relevant, enjoyable, and personal to at all take place. I make every effort to achieve that when working with clients, which makes a big difference.
Most of my clients are referrals, and I come highly recommended:
- “Eye-opening. It’s like finding out about The Matrix, and it’s real!” — Walter C.
- “I really enjoyed the course! Can’t thank you enough, this is exactly what I needed.” — Tim U.
- “Learning from you is the best decision I could have made for my career.” — David F.
- “I couldn’t be more satisfied. I’ve read many books and attended many seminars on the topic, but you’re the only one I’ve ever encountered that isn’t full of it when it comes to actually improving someone’s public speaking ability, let alone all else. I also thoroughly enjoyed our meetings. They quickly became the highlight of my week.” — Pavan C.
- “I just wanted to give better presentations, and ended up being able to do everything better. What you teach has such far reaching implications that it’s fundamentally changed the way I think and act in the world.” — Alon N.
- “Steven taught me to be slick! I didn’t know that was something you could learn.” — Kim C.
- “This has been an unexpectedly life-changing.” — Katie K.
- “I could have skipped grade school and most of college if I’d simply found you earlier.” — Chen C.
- “Insightful, fun, and immediate results.” — T. Y.
- “I’m a notoriously poor learner, but you whipped me into shape. I now feel like I can box people with my mind.” — Agnes C.
- “This is great, thanks so much for doing all it is that you do. I’m so glad I took advantage of this opportunity.” — Bill H.
- “Any single session was worth all of what I paid you over the many months.” — Rohan A.
- “I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve learned more practical knowledge for dealing with others from you during our short time together than I have in my entire life. Thank you so much for what you’ve taught me.” — Adrian A.
- “Finding you was the best thing I ever did for my career, and even my marriage!” Jason R.
- “You taught me to be smarter. My time with you was the most useful learning experience I’ve ever had.” — Wei L.
- “Steven has an appealing, no BS approach to learning that makes him a joy to work with. Everything he does is entirely personalized and innovative. It felt more like a game than a class, or coaching, or whatever you want to call it. I got better every time we met, and recommend him to all my friends.” Stuart T.
- “I’m that girl that sat at the back of the class to avoid being called on through grammar school, college, and then managed to stay there throughout most of my adult life. It wasn’t that I didn’t know any of the answers, but I was absolutely terrified of being put on the spot and being judged for my inability to communicate as well as everyone else seemed to. When I was passed up for a promotion for the 3rd time, I decided to do something about. And when I did, I was still very bad at speaking in public, and just as afraid as ever. Then I found Steven through a friend. That changed everything. He changed the way I looked at my problems. He clearly defined each one as if he’d known me forever, and worked with me through them in turn. Everyone in my office has noticed a difference in me, as has my family. When that next promotion opportunity comes around, I’m going to be ready, and talk circles around anyone else that dares stand in my way!” — Yuki N.
- “I’m a student at one of the top business schools in the nation. My program is very challenging and competitive, even to get into. I hired Steven for help with applying, and went on to work with him to give myself an edge over the other students. “Rhetoric’s the better part of business, and the rest is also Rhetoric” as Steven’s told me, and he was right. He was my secret weapon that allowed me to get into the program, and my ace in the hole while I’m still in it. I didn’t even know what Rhetoric honestly meant before I met him. Now I can’t stop thinking about it in everything I do.” — Matt R.
- “By nature, I’m kind of an ass. I’m a programmer that completely fits the stereotype of being a wiz with computers, but relatively deficient with interfacing in meat-space with my fellow flesh-bags. A friend of mine took a cram course with Steven to prepare for a conference, and continued on with him after that. I’m always looking to improve my skills to further my career, and he suggested I give Steven a try since I was worse at talking to others than he was. I’m a tough sell, but from the beginning I was hooked, and I don’t even think he was trying. From the moment I met him, he broke everything down like a science and made it entirely comprehensible to me in relatable ways. Steven’s refreshingly results-oriented. It was clear without him ever saying it that his entire focus was improving my own public speaking and general Rhetorical abilities, and that he genuinely cared about that, me, my BS problems, all of it. My time with him is always well spent, he’s helped me address the gaping hole in my skill set in my personal and professional life, I really can’t see myself ever stopping so long as I’m still able to work with him, and I have no complaints.” — Raj A.
- “While changing careers I needed to work on my interview skills. Steven was just the ticket, exactly what I was looking for, I even got the job! Couldn’t have done it any other way. What I learned was a big help after too in dealing with clients. I even use what I’ve learned when dealing with my husband and family.” — Diana H.
- “My father passed away, bless his soul, and I was tasked with giving the eulogy. I nearly put everyone else in their coffin. I then gave a reportedly bad toast at my first daughter’s wedding, after which I was told bluntly that I was very poor at public speaking, as well asked somewhat seriously not to attempt it again–by my own daughter no less. It hurt! I couldn’t live with that. I had no idea where to begin, so I started with Steven. Thankfully, he was just what the doctor ordered. Working with him was like hitting the gym, and he helped melt all my problems away. I hadn’t expected it, but the skills I built working with him deeply impacted my career as well. I went on to give a toast at my second daughter’s wedding, blowing everyone away. When my mother finally goes, heaven forbid, I’ll be giving her the eulogy she deserves too. This is the most practical set of skills I’ve ever built. I only wish I’d sought him out sooner. I shudder to think of the many opportunities I probably missed over the years because of how bad I once was at this.” — Benjamin J.
- “I’m a blogger with a fairly sizeable online presence. I had all my marketing down, and I’d like to think I’m well-spoken on paper, but what was holding me back from reaching the next level in my career was my justifiable fear of speaking at conferences. I was ok with networking in casual settings, but I knew I would get up on stage and everyone’s image of me would unravel, assuming I could muster the courage to say anything at all. A big event was coming up, I was invited to speak, and I needed to crush it. I’d already read all the books I could on the topic and they didn’t help in the slightest, so I thought maybe I could hire an acting coach as a last resort before pulling out of the event by feigning illness, which at this point I’d shamefully done more than a few times. During that time I came across Steven, not realizing there was anyone out there that actually taught this kind of thing directly. I didn’t have much time left before the event, so I took an intensive cram course version of what he usually does in the 2 weeks available to me. I improved a lot in that short period and my talk went great. I didn’t expect to come back to him after that, but what he teaches ended up being equally applicable to my writing, marketing, and negotiating skills, so I got a triple whammy in additional study. I’m a continued client, and this is about the only thing I’ve ever stuck with. There’s no one else like Steven, he practices what he preaches, he’s the real deal, his methods work.” — Pat
- “I went on a binge reading every single book I could find, and I joined every group there is about public speaking. Nothing ever worked. I made some friends, but that was it. All I really learned was that people get paid a lot to communicate because most of us are horrible at it. But when I met Steven, I met the master. I honestly felt kinda like Luke finding a buff version of Yoda hidden out at Berkeley. You can tell immediately that he’s spent years helping people improve their public speaking from all walks of life. He explained to me what my problems were, how to deal with them, and then we went at each of them in order together. It was all very practical, even fun. If I hadn’t met Steven, I’d still be falling through the rabbit hole of figuring out how to be better at all of this, and wondering if we all weren’t stuck with what we were born with. Instead, I actually got better at it. I know I’m not the only one that was in the situation I was in because I met so many other lost, frustrated folks along the way. If you consider yourself one of them, Steven’s what you’ve been looking for, he’s the real deal, worth every penny.” — Jun P.
- “I was already very good at public speaking before I came to Steven. I guess I have a knack for it, or maybe it’s because my father and grandfather were salesmen, but it always came naturally to me and I never really had to think about it. I give talks all over the world, and I knew I was at least good enough, but wanted to invest whatever time and energy I had into becoming truly great at it. I knew if I got even one worthwhile tip from Steven it would be worth the investment, but I hadn’t expected to get so many week after week! I now completely understand what I was good at and why when I would get up in front of a crowd, as well as all the other things I hadn’t even been able to see I was bad at or neglecting before having an expert weigh in on them. I’m a lifelong learner, but what I learned from Steven I’ll surely make use of for the rest of my life. I guarantee you’ll not regret what Steven has to offer, whether you’re a natural like me, or a hopeful like so many others. He took me from good to great. He’ll at least get you somewhere well ahead of where you are now if you follow his lead.” — Bradley W.
- “As one young member of our church put it, I was “the priest that puts everyone to sleep.” And she was right! I wasn’t nervous, I didn’t stutter, I was rarely at a loss for what to say. What I was is best described as boring. At least during my sermons and conversations with those around me. I’ve always found The Bible and Jesus Christ deeply inspiring in and of themselves, but never managed to get that across to others when I spoke. Maybe it’s all the movies and video games nowadays, but people just don’t seem as interested in it on the face of it as I was, or at least don’t find it as entertaining as what else is on offer all around us. After hearing that young girl’s comment in passing to her mother, I really wanted to make things come alive for people just like they did in Biblical times, to make them seem inspiring and relevant, but seemed like the last person that had the skills to do it. It seemed far out of reach at the time, but I didn’t want to people to avoid coming to church because of me. I would have been satisfied if people kept from nodding off while I spoke, but Steven taught me to do so much more than that. I’m also convinced there isn’t a thing he doesn’t know a lot about, which I say having endlessly picked his brain myself. He taught me both how to prepare as well as how to engage people on any topic you could imagine. And what a difference it has made! People actually look forward to hearing what I have to say now. As that young girl now puts it, I’ve become “the priest that wakes everyone up!” If you at all speak for a living — which most of us now seem to in one way or another I’ve come to realize — do yourself a favor and invest the time and effort in yourself by enlisting Steven’s services. You won’t regret it. And everyone around you will be thankful for it.” — Matthew F.
- “I’ve had the joy of seeing Steven teach regularly first hand, having found him by overhearing him time and again at a local cafe I frequent. I’m a writer, so I like to ease drop on folks in their natural habitat for inspiration. Steven’s conversations were too good to resist. We saw each other regularly enough that we got to talking, and I inquired further as to what it is he was doing that involved him talking to such a wide variety of people seemingly coming from all over just to see him, on such a wide array of topics that he would regularly take either side of. In an already interesting area I’ve lived in for decades now, it was still quite a sight. I saw everyone he worked with change over time for the better, so I was sold before he even opened his mouth. He changed the way I thought about oral and written communication, which I quickly learned extended far beyond just the words themselves. I didn’t listen in thinking I would end up becoming one of his success stories, but I did. I feel far more able in my own public speaking ability, as well as learning to apply his techniques to my own writing, particularly in character dialogue and descriptions. I actually put his teachings to great use when negotiating with my publisher on my next book, so that more than paid for my time with him! Everything far exceeded my expectations, and his insights as to how learning and development actually occur were spot on, resonating very deeply with me. I can recommend him without hesitation.” — Paul S.
- “I was invited to be a board member for a nonprofit organization in San Francisco. I passionately support the cause, but I was completely out of my depth in that environment. English is not my specialty, yet I would now be relying on it in my day to day practice to influence policy decisions at a grand scale. My husband recommended Steven after having worked regularly with him with great results. My English is still improving, but even being limited on the finer points of the language, I now speak significantly more effectively in my new position. He also taught me to be much more persuasive, as well as how to think about things in such a way as to avoid potential pitfalls, manipulation, and misunderstandings common to my station and its somewhat political nature. I still don’t know if being a member on a board suits me, but it’s no longer because I’m not any good at it. We plan on having Steven work with our son and daughter as well when they finish their university studies to help further their own careers. If I do change my mind about my current position, I will surely make use of what I’ve learned with Steven no matter what I choose to do from here on. It’s hard to find the words for it, but he has taught me things that go beyond the issues I have with the English language itself, and has changed the way I think as well as act with other people for the better in every respect. He convinced me that my English was not in fact what was holding me back, which freed me up to tackle what in fact were my real issues.” — Olga K.
- “I’m a salesman that’s always looking to improve my skillset. There was always something missing though that I was after and could never quite find. Working my ass off got me far, but it wasn’t enough. I heard about Steven through a friend that had worked with him, which I found out about after I noticed how much better he began handling clients than when we last teamed up, and how many more sales he closed the year he began receiving Steven’s coaching. Rhetoric is what was missing in my life, which Steven has since equipped me with. My income went up 50% the first year, largely thanks to working with him, and the sales that earned me. It’s gone up every year ever since. If there was one thing worth learning to be successful, it’s Rhetoric. If there was one person that best teaches it, it’s got to be Steven.” — Bart B.
- “I went to an Ivy League school, received my MBA from an equally prestigious institution, and did pretty well for myself with the connections I made after. There was always a clear gap in my ability to communicate with others, however, both in public and private, that held me back. I’m an intelligent guy, but the way some people could speak more persuasively and eloquently, getting out of jams and making key connections with the right people, was all magic to me, which I clearly didn’t possess. I was browsing Craigslist one morning looking for contractors and came across an ad for his services. It seemed like fate, so I figured I’d email him, not having known what any of it would entail. He changed the way I thought about my problems, as well as a lot else. We worked together every week, and I started seeing improvement immediately. He gave words to issues I didn’t even know I had, and provided pragmatic solutions, working with me as I worked through them, all in a very entertaining manner that I would have paid for even if I hadn’t gotten anything out of it. I even learned how to talk to my wife!” — Lam N.
- “I worked my way through college at a leading world University to get my PhD in a competitive STEM program, but I never really learned how to do something as simple as speak effectively to other people. I’ve always been shy, and was terrified of defending my dissertation after years of hard work in front of a group only there to criticize me. Even if I wasn’t afraid, my words never seem to convey what I have in mind when I say them. I feared I would sound like an undergrad, not someone that was coming to the end of a 7 year journey of research and understanding that was being evaluated for being granted the right to contribute to her field. I buckled down with Steven to prepare in the months leading up to the big day. It made all the difference. I was confident, clear, and I’d like to think even a little bit entertaining in front of my advisers, which is all thanks to him. I felt like a super version of me that day. He worked with me thereafter when applying to programs in my field. I don’t think I could have gotten through any of that into the wonderful program I’m in today without his help. I’m eternally grateful for what he helped me do!” — Nancy C.
- “I’ve worked as an artist for about 13 years, doing contract work on the side to get by. I did modestly well for myself considering I love what I do, but as my career began to take off finally, I was quickly overwhelmed with interviews, public appearances, and selling my work through my very presence and interactions with others. I grew up on a farm, I came to California as a dream after art school, and I have–or rather had–no idea how you’re supposed to act in these situations. Steven taught me how to play the game I now find myself in, how to respond to questions, potential buyers, even how to do little things everyone else but me seems born knowing how to do like mingle at parties or make small talk during lunches. He was a pleasure to work with, highly professional, and I couldn’t be happier with the results he’s gotten me in my career. I’m really glad there’s someone out there like him that teaches this stuff. I still meet with him from time to time to improve my skills.” — Paul T.
- “I’m a business man that decided to change gears and get into public service. I can close a deal–let me tell ya! But when I decided to run for local office, I quickly found that my usual bag of tricks didn’t work. People thought of me as a used car salesman, and no one wanted to elect one of those! I’ve had a lot of success being very aggressive in terms of selling, but that’s all I knew. Steven had worked with an associate of mine who recommended him highly. I figured I could hire him briefly to consult and give me some pointers — which he did — but I was so impressed with what he had to say that first meeting that I stayed on for the duration of the campaign to do my best to deal with my biggest weakness — my big mouth! I couldn’t have won without Steven’s help. If I ever run for president, I’m hiring him to be on-call!” M. T.
- “My son was (and is) on the high school debate team. He tried hard, but had a lot of trouble with it. None of it came naturally to him, and there was little in the way of instruction he was being given by his teachers that was going to change that. I came across one of Steven’s ads on Craigslist while I was looking to sell services myself. We met with him together, me sitting somewhat aloof to the sides trying to give them their space, and over time my son learned to wipe the floor with the other teens. I’m a teacher myself at my son’s school, and having overhead some of what him and my son were doing, and seeing the results first hand myself, I later came back to work with Steven personally to help with my own public speaking skills, which I fear my son inherited enough to have needed help to begin with. I soon found why my son took to him so quickly. I couldn’t be happier myself with what I’ve learned and developed in so short a time thanks to Steven’s help. I feel my lessons are now far more effective, as well as my ability to communicate with other faculty members, friends, and even my own son. It was also a nice bonding experience for us. Being a public school teacher, and having gone to a public school and public college myself, I know they don’t teach this kind of stuff anywhere else, which means everyone’s in a position to need this kind of instruction, even if they think they have a knack for it. Steven certainly helped us!” Bill and George C.
Small Assortment of Uses and Examples of Public Speaking
- Oral Exams and Proficiency Tests
- Voice Acting
- Small Talk
- Casual Conversation
- Legal Defense and Prosecution
- Business Proposals
- Public Relations (PR)