Photo by Brian Kraft Photography
About me

I'm Denise Graveline, a public speaking coach and communications consultant based in Washington, DC. I call my consultancy don't get caught--as in don't get caught unprepared, speechless or without a message. My background is in journalism and in directing communications for some of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. and a federal agency. (You can find out more specifics about me here, and see a list of my clients here.) I work with clients all over the U.S. and around the world.

As a speaker coach and trainer, I have prepared speakers to testify before the U.S. Congress, appear on national television, and deliver industry keynotes and talks featured on the TEDMED and TEDx stages and on TED.com. I've coached more than 140 speakers for TEDMED or TEDx talks, and many more for talks in the style of TED. I offer 1:1 coaching and group workshops in public speaking, presentation and media interview skills to both men and women. I can work remotely or in person. I help speakers craft messages they can use again and again, and write speeches and remarks as well.

I'm an active speaker myself, giving me a first-hand understanding of what speakers face. I've testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken in the British Parliament; moderated many panels and spoken as a panelist; delivered industry keynotes, lectures, and informal talks; and led hundreds of workshops. I've keynoted the UK Speechwriters Guild conference in London and chaired the European Speechwriter Network conference in Brussels.

Over the course of my career, I have coached and trained thousands of people--from CEOs, public officials and scientists to newbie public speakers--to give smarter presentations, translate technical topics to reach public audiences effectively, or deliver speeches with impact. I have a specialty in working with scientists and engineers in every discipline, an unusual skill, but I work with people in many professions. I train individuals as well as groups, and from time to time, offer workshops for which anyone can register. I also work onsite at major conferences like TEDMED, or with speakers in advance of their presentations at major conferences. Speakers hire me directly, as do conference organizers and curators, employers, managers and team leaders.

About The Eloquent Woman blog

One day, I fielded a call from a potential client, an established professional woman with poise, a great track record in her field, and a wonderful reputation.  She wanted to get some coaching to develop her presentation skills, she said, because she'd been told her presentations "weren't sexy enough"--and it was an issue that might affect her advancement, according to the all-male team to which she reported.

Those first conversations you have with a speaker coach usually involve some back-and-forth about what's expected and what can be delivered in the course of a training.  We both knew I wasn't going to teach her how to be sexy while presenting, but we decided we could find a solution that she could be proud of -- and one that would pass muster with her tough, all-male audience. When we put together a more dynamic delivery style and message for her next presentation, she burst into tears. They turned out to be tears of relief, I'm happy to say.

I walked away from that training feeling that her experience wasn't isolated, based on my own experiences in the workplace and in observing women speakers.  So I built The Eloquent Woman blog, and later, its presence on Facebook, and found that everywhere I went, women--and men--were reading it and relating to the content.  The more I plunge into the topic, the more I find to share with my readers.

Here are a few more basics about the blog that most readers want to know:
  • While some cunning colleagues have started calling me "The Eloquent Woman," the blog's title isn't about me. Instead, I named it after that seemingly elusive target women speakers are aiming for, in hopes that I've captured your aspirations as a speaker.
  • The information on the blog is intended for both men and women.  I hope the speaking and presenting information is useful to all--and who'd say we don't need men to be aware of the challenges women face?  Some of the blog's best and most active readers are men, and I'm glad to have their observations and participation.
  • I aim for three kinds of content:  Ideas, the new thoughts, angles or approaches you might take to make your speaking and presenting more dynamic or thoughtful...Information, the news, facts, tips and basic step-by-step advice any speaker can use, whether beginner or experienced...and Inspiration, through real-life examples of women speakers today and those from days gone by, whether they're famous, accomplished or just like you.
  • Reader participation is vital to this blog, and I'm happy that readers post questions in the comments or on The Eloquent Woman on Facebook.  They get answered right on the blog, so we can all share in what's being learned.  Please do comment, question and share your own experiences.
Since the blog began, I've started developing other tools to help women with public speaking, including special workshops, ebooks and more.  You can sign up for my free monthly newsletter, Speakers & Communicators, and sign up to get more information about individual and group coaching, ebooks and workshops here:

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No one pays me to write this blog, either in general or for a specific post. I don't accept posts from marketers, and do not wished to be pitched with story ideas. My intent is to share with my clients and prospective clients the ideas and products I think they’ll find useful in pursuit of improving public speaking. Links to books and products in my posts, or in the store for this site, often are affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product through that link directly, but not otherwise. When I review products, I buy them myself; on occasion, I receive review copies of books, although I actually prefer electronic access to them. None of that changes what I write, or whether I write about a particular product or book. I do blog about my clients and the work I do with many of them, where that’s permissible. However, none of my clients compensate me for their mentions here, and I like it that way.