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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.

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

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

– J.K. Rowling

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

– Erica Jong

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

– Joseph Cambell

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

– Albert Einstein

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

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

– President Calvin Coolidge

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

– Muhammad Yunus

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”

– Anna Pavlova

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

– Magical

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

– Maureen Cook

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

– Edgar W. Howe

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

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

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

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

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

– Carl Rogers

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

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

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

– Eckhart Tolle

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

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

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

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

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

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

– Martha Beck

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

– Mary Oliver

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

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

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

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

– Victor Kiam

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

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

– Oscar Wilde

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"

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

– Noela Evans

Why am I whispering when I have something to say?”

– Eve Ensler

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

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"