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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.

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

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

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

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

– Norwegian proverb

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation that indicate opportunities for success.”

– Peter F. Drucker

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

– Audre Lorde

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

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

– Mary Oliver

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

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

Letting go of expectations is a ticket to peace. It allows us to ride over every crisis—small or large—like a beach ball on water.”

– Martha Beck

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

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

– Victor Kiam

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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

– Nelson Mandela

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams