Get speaker coaching

I've coached individual speakers and trained groups of speakers for a variety of high-stakes talks and presentations, including more than 200 speakers featured on the TEDMED stage, at TEDx conferences around the world, and on, as well as many more speakers giving keynotes, informal remarks, legislative testimony, and more.

My blog The Eloquent Woman includes practical tips and speech examples, with an emphasis on the issues women face as public speakers and presenters. You'll find more there about how I work with speakers, and what coaching can include, on these pages:
Below are examples of my speaker coaching and training projects for clients, along with their feedback:

On-site as backstage coach for the TEDMED conference since 2011, where I work with speakers whose talks are largely developed, as well as coach some speakers in advance of the conference. We work on every kind of  delivery coaching, run through talks and refine them, and get the speakers focused and ready. And yes, it's possible to achieve significant and real progress, even this close to the actual talk. 
  • Christine McNab, senior consultant in global health and development, said "As my speaking coach at TEDMED, Denise made me feel comfortable, confident and helped me to hone in on areas that needed a tweak. She's perceptive, encouraging, and knows how to give advice that sticks, and works. It was a pleasure working with Denise at TEDMED!"
  • Pam Belluck, TEDMED co-host and New York Times reporter, said, "I was lucky enough to be able to get a chance to work with Denise at TEDMED 2015, where she served as coach to the speakers and cohosts at this wonderful event. Denise was perceptive, wise, warm, encouraging and very effective. Her suggestions were innovative, tailored to the individual speaker, and she even let me try out a last-minute idea on her moments before I went on stage. Denise is a pro in every way!"
  • Jeff Karp, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said my pre-talk feedback was "critical to maximizing clarity and impact."
  • Resa Lewiss, MD, of the University of Colorado Medical Center, said, "the work we did together less than 24 hours before my go live was transformative. You offered content to cut, pace to slow and pointed directions for my walk." 
  • Sigrid Fry-Revere, CEO of the American Living Organ Donor Fund, said, "I don't mind speaking to small groups or teaching, but the idea of performing -- what a horror. I'm the valedictorian who skipped town and missed her graduation because she didn't want to explain why she wouldn't / couldn't give the class graduation speech. How was this basket case of a speaker supposed to do a TEDMED talk in front of a thousand people? -- Denise helped me make it happen!" 
  • Marcus Webb, chief storytelling officer for TEDMED, said, "Denise's wise counsel and calming presence (not to mention her delightfully sly sense of humor) were invaluable assets in keeping our presenters on-keel and on track despite a high-profile, high-pressure setting that can unnerve even an experienced speaker. Equally impressive are Denise's specific skills and experience in dealing with scientists, policy wonks and government officials. She knows how to speak their language, how to talk in terms of their values, and how to help them communicate effectively with diverse audiences far outside of their own subcultures. As an added bonus, she's really fun to work with. We look forward to working with Denise for a very long time to come."
For a wide variety of individual speakers giving keynotes and TEDx talks all over the world.
  • Caroline Goyder, speaker coach and speaker at TEDx Brixton, said, "It’s essential with a TED talk, key presentation or conference speech, or big pitch to have an editor to bounce ideas off. In my case this was the very eloquent and wise Denise Graveline. Working with her on Skype week each week allowed me to really get to the heart of the message and then shape it. I felt like I had a wise mentor and confidante on my lonely TEDx path."
  • Megan Moynahan, executive director of the Institute for Functional Restoration at Case Western Reserve University and TEDxBrussels speaker, said, "Denise helped me immensely with my TEDx talk, providing edits to the content and expert coaching on my delivery, stage presence, and tone. She also had lots of very practical advice and tricks-of-the-trade that I'll be able to use for future presentations."
  • Cate Huston, former Google engineer and speaker at a variety of tech industry conferences, said, "Denise helped me clarify my overall narrative, developed parts of my script, and convinced me I was capable of a number of things that I was extremely apprehensive about. Outside of our calls, she provided support and advice. My talks were extremely well received, something which I attribute significantly to Denise’s help...I recommend Denise wholeheartedly, not just on LinkedIn, but in person to all the people I meet who are nervous about getting up on stage."
For Shark Tank-style five-minute pitches of innovative ideas, often in a competition for grant funds. I've coached several cadres of university leaders to do these pitches on behalf of their projects for two initiatives of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities: its Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities and Urban Universities for Health, among others. We used conference calls to bring all the speakers up to speed with persuasive pitching techniques and the "shark" format for their pitches, followed by 1:1 remote coaching.

For a group of 16 five-minute "spotlight talks" at the annual conference of Aligning Forces for Quality, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This organization asked me to work with their cadre of speakers from the time these TED-quality talks were conceived and created through the on-stage delivery. In this case, we mixed group and 1:1 approaches, starting with a workshop for all 16 speakers, then 1:1 remote coaching over a two-month period, followed by backstage coaching on the day of the event. Read more about coaching a cadre of speakers to give TED-quality talks, including a link to all 16 videos of the talks.
  • Nathan Hunkins, business development manager at Minnesota Community Measurement, said, "Denise gave me critical advice on how to craft and deliver a compelling story that also offers a meaningful message. She provided tactical advice related to preparation, timing, and delivery along with strategic insight like audience analysis and how to use slides/props to maximize the impact on your audience. Denise is a passionate and caring individual who is an expert at her craft."
  • Allison Kozeliski, Clinical Quality Improvement Manager at HealthInsight New Mexico, said, "Denise provides extensive knowledge, skills and ability to guide and inspire one to 'shine' in public speaking. A real professional, Denise knows when to push you to get the best from your 'inner self', and always has wonderful tidbits of new and important information to show how you can go beyond what you thought you could do. If you want to excel and grow in public speaking or really add and improve on your presentation skills, Denise gives her all in assisting YOU to succeed."
As the developer and facilitator of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's popular Communicating Science workshops for academic scientists and engineers all over the United States. I have the rare experience of having worked with scientists, engineers and medical professionals in every discipline, and these workshops drew on that experience to serve thousands of scientific experts. We worked on audience considerations and message development for reaching public, non-technical audiences with research information; practiced delivery skills; and conducted video recording, playback and feedback. Read more about these workshops in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Often distant from policy making, scientists try to find a public voice. Ginger Pinholster, director of the AAAS Office of Public Programs, said, "Denise has provided a high level of science communications services for AAAS. In particular, she facilitates daylong training workshops for scientists and engineers who want to hone their communication skills. This task requires developing programmatic content, public speaking, program facilitation, and moderation of all activities throughout the day. Denise is a dynamic, effective media trainer, and also extremely reliable and well-prepared at all times. We are pleased to recommend her."