When Something Goes WRONG…

  For more than 25 years, I’ve both told and heard some very inspirational stories. Some were born of deep pain, some from the joyous celebrations, and some from the humorous side of life. As is my custom, I ask my speech coaching clients to unearth the poignant personal stories from their own lives, because […]

Mundane, or MAGNIFICENT?

 Over the years, I’ve met thousands of interesting people; royalty, celebrities, politicians, pioneers, and more. Some have no specific claim to fame, and they represent diversity in age, ethnicity, religious belief, political affiliation, and background. Many have life stories that most people would consider fascinating and full of adventure. Many don’t. But there is one […]


Our stories are personal; our stories are powerful; sometimes our stories are PAINFUL. Some time ago, while discussing storytelling during a panel discussion, I made a comment about telling stories from THE DARK PLACE…a place of deep pain and raw emotions. My good friend the 1999 World Champ Craig Valentine says, “A message is really just […]


We start Tuesday! Will you join us? Ready…to get booked more? Want to make more of an audience impact EVERY TIME you present? You DON’T need more information. You NEED a proven process…and experts to walk you through it. Join world-class experts! Be transformed in our 6-Week Master Class…and never be the same. Get recordings […]

Will They Remember?

      “You came to my school about 7 years ago and gave your Words Count speech. And I just wanted you to know that I’ve never forgotten it.” Those were the words that opened an e-mail that I received some time ago. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it until I […]

A Lesson from the Champions

  August 25, 2018 was a historic day for Toastmasters International! For the past 80 years, Toastmasters has held the annual International Speech Contest which culminates in the World Championship of Public of Speaking. For the first time in the organization’s 94-year history, three women emerged as the cream of the crop, finishing in the […]


    Stories have the power to move people in many ways. That emotional connection can be increased exponentially when you have clearly defined characters, who provide their own perspective of what’s happening in your story. They may not be the MAIN character, but they can play a significant role in unleashing the power of […]

Don’t Tell us…TAKE us

For more than 25 years, I’ve enjoyed telling stories, but all my life I’ve enjoyed hearing them, from many people all over the world. Stories give us the glorious opportunity to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds, and also to expose them them to both the differences and the similarities of our life […]

What I Learned From my Coach

Ever notice how seemingly gifted speakers make it look so easy?

How do they do that? What if you could?
Most speakers take the stage, but they don’t own it. They don’t keep their audiences on the edge of their seats, leaning on their every word. They don’t energize their audiences and keep them wanting more. They don’t seduce and transform them with emotionally gripping stories. And they don’t leave them with a message that sticks.

When I began speaking in 1994, I had no idea how much I had to learn. Then I met my coach, David Brooks, whom I call ‘The Master Mentor.’ David helped me first to believe that I had the potential to be memorable…as long as I was COACHABLE. David taught me about the power of a well-written speech, how to use words to create experiences, and how to present with passion and energy. More importantly, his mentorship helped me to GROW as a presenter. He taught me ‘little’ things like the effectiveness of a simple pause, and ‘deeper’ things like how to craft a speech that connects with the 7 Common Emotions. His coaching not only helped me to win the Toastmasters International 1995 World Championship of Public Speaking, but it started me on a journey that has led to over 3,500 presentations to 1.8 million people on five continents. In addition, I’ve been able to meet and collaborate with other world-class coaches whose advice and expertise helps me to continually improve.

Over the years I’ve helped coaching clients from Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas, and I’ve worked with some of the best coaches in the business.

Now, I’ve locked arms with Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, and Michael Hauge, Hollywood script consultant to stars like Will Smith, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise, to present the 2-day workshop ‘GET COACHED TO SPEAK!’

This week! June 20 & 21. * LAST CHANCE *
Join World Champion Darren LaCroix, Story Coach, Michael Hauge, and ME!

Don’t have much time? Perfect. You’ll get invaluable insights in just 2 days.
Can’t travel? No problem. We have Virtual Seats AND you get the recordings.
You’ll be amazed watching the VIPs’ presentations transform literally overnight.
You’ll walk away with the specific insights on HOW they transformed. You’ll even get our invaluable Own the Stage coaching checklist (which took DECADES to develop!)

Working with Darren & Michael is a blast! We all laugh a lot.

Join us! Get Workshop Details – See the Virtual Seat!



What is a Virtual Seat?


Mark your calendar for UPCOMING MASTER WORKSHOPS from Stage Time University!

Get Coached to Speak – June 20-21, 2018 

Do you know the specific difference between a average speech and an awesome one? Come watch master coaches in action and walk away with amazing insights.

NEW! Unforgettable Presentations – July 27-28, 2018

Do you know how to create an unforgettable presentation step-by-step? Don’t just learn how, actually create your own with master coaches and leave with one in two days.

Details on these and other LIVE events are here:


Let me help you to achieve platform EXCELLENCE!


Whose Story Is It?

Some years ago, I received a disturbing private message from a fellow speaker ‘Sam’, in another country. They were attending a weekend seminar by a very prominent, highly paid professional speaker, but they admitted that they were inclined to leave immediately. When I asked “Why?” they said, “I can’t believe this person just told Val’s […]