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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 world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

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

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

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

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

– Oscar Wilde

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

– John D. Rockefeller

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

An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.“


– Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

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

– Eckhart Tolle

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

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

– Thomas Edison

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

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

– General Omar Bradley

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

My goal was to tell the life side of the story. We have become a nation of voyeurs that expect sensationalism, and that offends me.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

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

– Marcel Proust

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

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

– Andrew Carnegie

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

– African Proverb

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

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

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

– William James

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

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

– J.G. Holland, novelist

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

– Peter F. Drucker

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

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

– Zig Ziglar

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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

– Christopher Morley

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

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

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

– Thomas Dunn

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

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

– Voltaire

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

– Victor Kiam

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan