2017 New Year Letter to Students and Parents

2017 Open Letter

Dear young speakers, parents, professionals and supporters,

We, the Speak to Lead coaches and founders, are grateful for your trust and support over the past year. As we conclude 2016 and embrace the new year, 2017, we reflect the journey we have travelled and set our eyes to the new horizon. The ultimate mission of Speak to Lead is to cultivate future leaders, speakers, thinkers and writers.  All the “soft skills” are critical for our young generation: they must be resilient, empathetic, self-disciplined and self-motivated. By observing successful and happy people around us, we can see the power of self-improvement and drive. Public speaking is a doorway through which you discover your energy and a tool that unleashes your potential.

Through our public speaking coaching, teaching and evaluating,‎ we have seen our young speakers transform themselves: some have overcome stage fright. Some are now comfortable to talk to adults, strangers, even disruptive audience. Some have learned how to listen attentively. We also have tested and implemented an online coaching platform. This has been a new venue, but we have become better at it week by week. Thanks for your patience and tolerance. With a virtual classroom, we are able to retain the most experienced and most compassionate coaches around the country, and we have students from many states. We have even invited a TEDx speaker, Patrick Schwerdtfeger, and Toastmasters World Champion, Ed Tate, to speak to us at home! Thank you, zoom.us, for making virtual interactive learning a reality.

During our classes, we have demonstrated and analyzed over 60 great speeches, from Steve Jobs to Toastmasters World Champions, from TED talk to presidential speeches, and presented to audiences that range from school boards to the United Nations. We have learned how a great idea evolves, how to write a great script, and how to deliver a great speech. We observe them, we emulate them, and then we surpass them!

We have been fortunate to have a core coaching team with diverse backgrounds and experience. Coach Juliette has extensive experience in communication, leadership of women, conflict management, finance and accounting. Coach Nick has strong imaginative powers and engages the students immensely. Coach Margret Ann brings her professional writing skills, loving attitude and her lovely cat to the class. Looking forward, we continue to growing and expand this exciting and worthwhile venture. We realize that speaking powerfully depends on writing clearly, and writing clearly depends on critical, careful thinking. We are exploring new classes beyond our current Speaking 101, 201, 301 and 401. We will roll out “Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence” coaching, we will focus on critical thinking and clear writing, and we will nurture a cultured social manner. We will coach adults and professionals in “Business Writing and Corporate Communications for Professionals.” I welcome your feedback to our program, and I want to hear your suggestions as to what skillsets our children need most that are not often offered elsewhere.

Head Coach Mike Nie, DTM

Senior Coach Nick Beaudoin, MA

Coach Juliette Brown, DTM

Coach Mo Hamilton, DTM

Coach Margret Ann Williams, ACS

Coach Angela Wang

Coach Junlan Lu