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Dawnna St. Louis, Professional Public Speaker and Speaking Coach

COLUMN = PUBLIC SPEAKING

Professional Speaker and Coach Dawnna St. Louis began her career in 1990 as a technologist.

Hungry to learn, she dove into mastering computer hardware, enterprise networks, and software programming languages such as C++, Java, and C#.

Her knack for converting techno-babble into concepts that business leaders could understand caught the attention of executives, who soon asked her to help solve their communications problems. Her ability to speak confidently in public also landed Dawnna her first professional speaking engagement, at 25, before a Congressional Committee of the US District Court.

“One of my strongest skills is to help fellow professionals who are struggling to overcome challenging projects. I have a record of pulling projects from the brink of disaster. Although speaking is my first area of expertise, project acceleration is my second,” she explains, noting she identifies the common causes of project issues such as vision and project goal mismatch, resource misalignment, poor communications, complicated methodology implementation, indecisive leadership, and a lack of process implementation.

Armed with technical knowledge, excellent communications skills, and project foundation solutions, she moved from programming to project management to business leadership. As a consultant charged with the toughest clients and the most critical enterprise initiatives, she had the opportunity to learn business strategies from C-Level executives across organizations in various industries, including banking, technology, finance, insurance, and the government sector.

Her success propelled her to C-level positions in several US corporations, but her passion was coaching, speaking, and project acceleration strategy.

Leadership. Success. Motivation.

Dawnna’s desire to share her expert knowledge and professional skills with other entrepreneurs and business leaders led her to branch out on her own and form what has become a highly successful Miami-based firm, Dawnna St. Louis.

Dawnna connects the dots from concept to project/product to sales through communication and business strategy. She now focuses on pulling critical projects from the brink of termination, finding the missing ROI, and educating professionals to become Certified Project Leaders, strategists, and managers. Recognizing that failure is imminent if communications is poor, she also helps her clients improve their communication skills. Her speaking clients include various professional athletes, public figures, and C-Level executives seeking to improve their speaking skills. Dawnna coaches executives to create memorable and powerful messages and public figures to answer those embarrassing impromptu questions fearlessly and flawlessly. Her project clients include Fortune 500 and 50 corporations seeking project acceleration and ROI recovery. As a speaker she motivates and inspires audiences to find personal and professional success.

Last, but not least, she coaches companies to create leaders out of managers by teaching employees to reach their potential in their professional and personal lives.

Says her client, Tina Gay-Pearson of the software and consulting firm Zensar Technologies: “Dawnna is one of the most dynamic leaders I have ever worked with. She is a prime example of what a leader should be; she truly walks the walk. There is no problem too small Dawnna won’t listen to, and she offers real solutions, not just promises. If there is an obstacle in the way of your success, Dawnna will get it moved. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing motivator and speaker. She has an eye for talent and recruiting good employees that she can turn into great employees. Her team members admire and respect her. I would gladly work with Dawnna anywhere.”

For more information, and to book Dawnna to speak or help you improve your public speaking skills, visit www.dawnna.com.

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

– Lord Chesterfield

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

– Brian Tracy

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead
and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good—on your mirror.”

– Susan Jeffers

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck