Levar Smith and Jabali Sawicki
Wedding Toast
Ana Baires
Katherine’s techniques helped me reach a level of self-reflection I had never experienced. With every draft I wrote, it was like I was peeling back the onion layers of my soul. Without her help, I would not have been able to convey such a deep, emotional, and honest speech in front of a community I admire and care so much about.
— Ana Baires, Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, Alameda County

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Katherine’s approach is the opposite of clichéd, cookie-cutter advice. Through casual conversation and asking questions, Katherine skillfully teases out what is most important and true to you as an individual and makes sure that comes across in your particular speech or presentation. She is incredibly easy and fun to work with and will accommodate your schedule. I don’t ever want to give another speech in my life without getting the support and partnership that Katherine provides.
Emily Brakebill, Managing Director, COO & CCO, HMI Capital

Katherine provides rich insight and feedback on delivering a clear, natural story arch. She forces you to dig deep, honing in on talking points that resonate deeply with an audience emotionally. While presenting, I noticed several listeners visibly affected by the story - a testament to Katherine’s storytelling prowess. She’s also just a pleasure to work with.
Eric Stone, Co-Founder and CEO, Velano Vascular, Stanford Medicine X

Katherine changes an intimidating experience—presenting your story to an audience of 300 strangers—into an experience of empowerment, insight, and control.  She is so much more than a performance coach; Katherine helps people understand that their stories are important and that their voice is unique and powerful.
Ann Alpers, President, SH Cowell Foundation

Katherine was just the ticket in improving a presentation I had given many times before. She was able to reorganize my topics and add spice to it in a snap. And she did so while really valuing how little time I had available to prepare. Spot on and time efficient, two values I appreciate.
Tom Hale, Founder, Backroads

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I wanted to thank you for the triumph that was my presentation at the Women’s Leadership Forum in New York! Thanks to our work, it was everything and more!

Your deep understanding of story arc, the importance of cadence, and how to craft and order the beats of the story ensured that the everything flowed beautifully.

As you well know, we had a lot of material to cover in a short time. If you hadn’t been so savvy, there could have been competing narratives in that presentation. And because you knew how to declaratively find what needed to be edited or clarified, the talk became a jewel.

I learned so much working with you! I learned how my story, not the facts or content, is what connects me to my audience. And I learned that you have to know and love your story in order to be articulate and productive in presenting. You have given me a new perspective on how our stories connect us and teach us all.
Eleanor Scott, Presentation Coach, Artist & Teacher

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Working with Katherine was a true joy. She created a very safe space where I felt comfortable to explore what I wanted to say…and helped me craft my message in a way that allowed me to more fully connect with everyone in the room.
Jane Saccaro, CEO, Kesem National

I was asked to officiate at my goddaughter’s wedding, and I wanted it to be a heartfelt reflection of their love and values. I had so much great raw material, both from them and their families and a good framework, but I needed it to really sing.

Katherine was the one call I made. After 20 years of developing presentations for executives and coaching them on presentation delivery, I needed an expert myself, one with both head and heart. Katherine was able to edit my ceremony notes and make them come to life, and, in doing so, build my confidence and enthusiasm for this new role.

The ceremony was what we’d all hoped for—personal and powerful.
Tricia Stone, Founding Partner of Stone Communications

I was recently thrilled to hear that I would receive an award and yet stymied by the assignment to prepare a 15 minute acceptance speech. How could I enjoy the thrill of the night without the high anxiety of crafting and delivering a talk that was supposed to be ‘personal and inspiring’?

After meeting with Katherine, I knew it was going to be a good experience. We broke my remarks into segments and, with her help, we created something that had her expertise of what needed to be conveyed but my voice in writing it.

I also learned how to deliver the speech with confidence and a lightness that made the night one of the best moments of my life. Thank you, Katherine, for turning anxiety into a momentous occasion!
Robin Richards Donohoe, Founder, DRK Foundation

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For over twenty years, I have watched Katherine zero in on that unique kernel of honesty and vulnerability in young people and adults and help them bring it to the surface as it develops into a profound strength. In the largest sense of the word, this is called ‘finding your voice.’
Linda Mornell, Founder, Summer Search

Katherine took the time to get to know me as a person, to understand my relationship with my now husband, and to help articulate my goals for the wedding and exchange of vows. She helped me get all of my thoughts outs and gave me basic structure to work from.

She then provided the right amount of space and guidance to have the words be my own but also asked questions to help draw out insights that I wouldn’t have included otherwise. Most importantly, Katherine never tried to have me be something that I am not. Once the vows were written, Katherine listened to me practice and gave pointers which built up my confidence. She also provided so much love and encouragement along the way.
— Laura Gardner, Bride, August, 2016

When I approached Katherine to help me for a short-notice speaking engagement, she cleared her calendar and was ready to roll up her sleeves. Interviewing me, I spewed stream of consciousness, and she peeled back the layers to help me get to the core of what was meaningful for me. We (well she) organized my thoughts and put them in an outline form — all the while laughing and keeping on track. Her follow-up was sincere and timely.  I’ve referred her already and would work with her again in a heartbeat.
Bettina Stiewe, Art Consultant & Founder of Upstart Modern

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I had to give three different speeches over the course of two weeks and I was completely stressed. Speaking in front of an audience has always made my hands shake, my heart race and my knees weak.

Katherine masterfully taught me how to outline what I wanted to say. She encouraged me to not memorize something canned from a piece of paper. With a bunch of Katherine’s coaching, and practicing my presentations in front of my dog and a mirror, I began to realize I have the ability to deliver a meaningful presentation—and actually enjoy myself.

I received a ton of positive feedback. In fact, one person said, “Susan, I appreciated your remarks at the new families event last Saturday. I’ve been through so many of those and know how awkward it can be teeing people up to donate, especially when they’ve barely set foot in door. But I really appreciated what you said and thought it came off as really genuine.”

Katherine has a true gift of helping folks speak from their heart.
Susan Masto, Board Co-Chair, Gateway Pubic Schools & Development Chair, The Urban School

Working with Katherine helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and allowed me to articulate my story.

What I loved about working with Katherine was that I felt confident about my speaking abilities for the first time. She was a role model, a personal cheerleading team, a teacher and a friend and with her guidance and support I felt powerful and unstoppable. No one has done that for me. Ever. I can not thank her enough.

If you have any resistance to working with Katherine, what you need to understand about her is that she is more of a friend than a teacher. She is open, kind, and has a sense of humor coming from a place of caring and expertise. It may not seem incredibly formal, and she doesn’t do the work for you. She shows you how to become yourself and articulate what you want to articulate with the eloquence and wisdom that she draws out of you. No one, and I mean no one, is as incredible as Katherine at what she does. With Katherine you are in ridiculously credible, able, and expert hands.
— Eloise S., Lick Wilmerding Student

Katherine helped me feel confidence in my writing and piece together the story I wanted to tell. She never told me what to write. She was there to listen and bounce back thoughts to help me go deeper. Thanks to her help, I was able to write and deliver a speech that perfectly embodied what I wanted my final words to be at my high school graduation.
— Sam M., Urban School & Brown University

Your guidance helped me be more vulnerable, which I think helped people to connect.
Dr. Ari Johnson, Founder, Muso

Working with Katherine helped me find a better balance between delivering facts and telling my story. She really helped me think through how much of the science behind my message was necessary, making more room for building a personal connection with the audience.

As I crafted my speech, having Katherine listen and encourage me to go deeper and make it more personal helped me create a more engaging and authentic talk.
Jennifer Calihan, Founder, Eat the Butter

Working with Katherine was one of the best business investments I ever made. From the very beginning, she totally got me. With her vast experience and upbeat energy, she listened to all my ramblings and then brilliantly pulled out what was important to convey.

Together, we created content for my website and helped me build my brand. Most importantly, Katherine gave me the confidence I needed to successfully pivot from one career to another.
Marcy Maloy, Portrait Photographer

Katherine’s coaching enabled me to gain the courage to share my personal story in a way that was purposeful and enriching for myself and the audience. I had never shared the core drive behind my mission before; Katherine respectfully pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone while providing practical guidance along the way. I hope to work with her again!
Manmeet Kaur, Founder, City Health Works

It was a dream to work with Katherine on preparing for a speech I had to give before a large audience.

Katherine helped me build a powerful story that wove together my key messages. She made sure we had plenty of time so the process felt natural, manageable, and stress-free. I was ready to roll weeks before I had to give the speech and felt much more relaxed as the big day arrived. She even attended the event, helped me set up at the podium before the audience arrived, and calmed my nerves.

With her wind in my sails, I aced the speech! It was a gift to have Katherine’s support, humor, and encouragement through this process. I wish everyone could have a cheerleader like Katherine!
— Raleigh Zwerin, Assistant Director, Bay Area Teacher Training Institute