2017 Annual Letter from Speak to Lead LLC

Dear Students, Parents and Professionals,

Speak to Lead LLC would like to wish each and everyone of you a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year (2018)! 

Our mission is to develop public speaking and leadership skills within the Chinese community (including children, parents and professionals), Speak to Lead has tirelessly worked on promoting soft skills development. Here are some of our accomplishments in 2017.

  1. Public Speaking Coaching

Coach Mo, Nick and Mike have coached over 20 students in different age groups in public speaking (both fundamental and intermediary level). Topics covered include the following:

Fundamental Public Speaking Skills Intermediate Speech Technique Coaching
1.       Self-introduction speech

2.       Speech structure

3.       Maintain a theme

4.       Word choice in the speech

5.       Vocal variety

6.       Body language

7.       Eye contact

8.       Visual aid

9.       Humorous speech

10.   Motivational speech

11.   Storytelling speech

12.  Informative speech

1.       Have a bang at the beginning

2.       Conclude your speech strongly

3.       Carry a main theme throughout the speech

4.       Five feelings in a speech

5.       Alliteration method and Echo method

6.       Analogy and Metaphor

7.       Pair or parallel method

8.       Express your emotions in a speech

9.       Comparison and contrast method

10.   Integrate humor into speech

11.   Impromptu speech

12.  Debate foundation


We are so excited to witness our student’s development, as they become more confident and proficient speakers in public.


  1. Workshops

We have developed various workshops to promote public speaking, leadership and character development.

  1. Stress management workshop by Kelly Hall, a nationally ranked yoga competitor and wellness coach. In the gadget-dominated era, we need to coach our youth how to deal with stress, game addiction, and sleep deprivation. Deep body breathing, meditation and mindfulness are useful tools to mitigate stress and combat depression.
  2. Boy Scouts workshop by David Steinfield, a NASA scientist and Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts USA. Boy Scouts is a proved effective program to cultivate manhood, brotherhood, grit, time management, faith building, surviving skills and leadership development.
  3. Public forum debate by Elisa Chen, head coach of Potomac Debate Academy, who has more than a decade of competitive debate and coaching experience.
  4. How to connect with audience with a powerful presentation by Ms. Sheryl Roush, DTM, CEO of Sparkle Presentations, Inc. and Professional Speaker. Sheryl introduced her famous “Presentation Worksheet” to enrich your speech script, including linguistic, mathematical/logical, visual/spatial, musical, kinesthetic/bodily/physical, inter-personal, and intra-personal/introspective.
  5. Asian American Coalition for Education initiatives by Dr. YuKong Zhao, a renowned Chinese American leader-promoting fair practice in Ivy League admission.


  1. Professionals Coaching

Coach Mike provided an interactive soft skills coaching session to over 100 scientists, researchers and professionals with the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, one of the largest Chinese American professional associations in the US.  The event can be found at http://www.cba-usa.org/content/cba-2017-2018-workshop-series-2. Specifically, Coach Mike recommended five books (called building blocks) to enhance communication skills and emotional intelligence. These five books-on-CD are further described below.


Book  Book Author Purpose
 1 Mindset Carol Dweck Growth mindset
 2 How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie Interpersonal skills
 3 Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi Social intelligence
 4 Verbal Advantage Charles Elster Master top 5% vocabulary level among American professionals
 5 American Accent Training Ann Cook Develop American English accent


  1. Community Outreach

Coach Mike has spoken to the Fairfax County School Board. Further details can be found at WeChat Speak to Lead WeChat group page under “跟随Coach Mike学演.” Topics covered include (1) set the right priority of education, (2) install school board budget discipline, (3) why my son’s trailer classroom is a disgrace to one of the richest counties in the US, (4) curtail building operational cost while reducing carbon footprint, and (5) enroll students into Advanced Academic program based on meritocracy instead of mediocrity.  Some speeches can be viewed at

Topic URL Link
1.      School bus audit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLMgHWv_3EI
2.      School name change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgV6Zn0p97M&t=30s
3.      My son’s trailer classroom

(Speak with my son Kevin)

4.      Virginia Department of Education Hearing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg2OjugQb_U&t=8s
5.      School board budget https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvmkbU9OEOA&t=3s
6.      School children human trafficking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqAGd7ddEpU


The purpose of the School Board presentation was to: (1) install checks and balances to ensure school board use tax payers’ money wisely, (2) awaken silent and reticent Asian parent community to be vigilant about county education policy shift, (3) act as a role model in that Asian Americans are often muted and muffled, (4) apply public speaking skills developed from the Toastmasters program to real-life situations, and (5) demonstrate to my two boys that speaking up takes courage and intrepidity, and it is a must-have skill for them to get ahead in their own life.

  1. Free Seminars

Since 105, coaches and volunteers at Speak to Lead LLC have conducted over 110 weekly public speaking workshops to the Chinese Community, co-hosted by Laura Luo, Distinguished Toastmaster (“DTM”), Mike Nie, DTM, and David Steinfield, Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts. In October 2017 we celebrated the 100th workshop.  In 2017, we covered a wide array of topics, such as (1) TED talk and other important speech analysis in grit, education, robot, Jack Ma, and Yao Ming, (2) famous movie speeches from Jane Eyre, Rocky, Scent of a Woman, and Any Given Sunday, (3) graduation commencement speeches by Mark Zuckerburg, John Robert, Jeff Bezos and Lloyd Blankfein. Through speech and accent analysis, we have constantly learned useful terms and expressions, generally accepted American accent and presentation techniques.


In addition, Coach Mike has coached graduate students, who went through job interview practice and professional communication coaching. Some of them have accepted job offers from leading companies in accounting and finance, with a commitment to H-1B visa sponsorship.  We prayed together before the final interview; we sensed the human nature dynamics in the interview; and we fine-tuned every word and expression to anticipated interview questions. One mentee told me how my coaching changes her view of life and opens a new door of self-mindfulness and social awareness.


On behalf of Speak to Lead, we would like to thank all who have inspired, motivated, and empowered everyone who have participated.  John Maxwell, a leadership guru, once said “a leader someone who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way.” Speak to Lead strives to be a leader in cultivating a life-long learning culture and a growth mindset.

We look forward to another successful year in 2018, and look forward to serving the community to become more articulate, emotionally intelligent and successful in your new academic or career endeavors.

Remember our motto: Speak today; Lead tomorrow.



Mike Nie, Distinguished Toastmaster

Head Coach



Nick Beaudoin, MA

Senior Coach


Mo Hamilton, Distinguished Toastmaster

Leadership Coach




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