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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.

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

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

– Lord Chesterfield

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

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

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

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

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

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

– Winston Churchill

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

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

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

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

– President Calvin Coolidge

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

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

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

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

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

– Albert Einstein

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

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

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

– Albert Einstein

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

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

– Napoleon

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

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

– E.B. White