Testimonials

When the big challenge of presenting my first session in a Microsoft conference came, I was blessed enough to find a speech coach named Duane Smith, who not only helped me understanding how to increase my self-confidence, but also coached me on how to be committed to preparation/readiness and how to win the respect of my audience! I strongly recommend Speech Coach Duane!

-- Anderson Gobbi
Senior Program Manager at Microsoft 

Only five weeks into a new assignment, I was tasked with communicating my strategic direction to a live audience of 4,500 plus an additional 2,000 watching remotely via the internet. I had some prior experience addressing conference-size audiences on familiar topics, but this event felt out of my league and prompted me to seek outside support. In a single session, Duane shared a collection of personal stories and presentation fundamentals that, along with an investment of time, enabled me to successfully and confidently deliver my message.

-- Doug Murtha
Vice President, Scion Division, for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc.

I initially hired Duane on less than 4 weeks’ notice. I had a major speech to deliver and I was frightened. In my first meeting with him I told him I had no desire to do public speaking in the future. With one week to go before my speech, I couldn’t wait to deliver it! I knew I had a great speech – with help from Duane – and I knew I had a great message. Duane’s teachings gave me the confidence I needed to successfully make a public speech. I ended up with a standing ovation and many comments from audience members who said they were profoundly affected by what I had said. I’m waiting for my next opportunity to speak!

-- Scott Warmuth PC
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth

Hi Duane – Hope all is well my friend! I just wanted to thank you again for the help/direction you provided last winter. I had my brothers wedding this past weekend where I was the best man and had to give a speech. Through a lot of the things I learned during our meeting, the speech couldn’t have gone better with multiple people telling me that it was the best ‘best man’ speech they have ever heard. This absolutely wouldn’t have been possible without your help and I am actually LOOKING FORWARD to the next time I have to talk again this summer for a work event. I just wanted to tell you thank you again.
All the best,

-- Conor
Life Marketing Director Exclusive Insurance Brokerage; Selected to Life Health Pro's 'Top 30 Under 30 - September 2015'

I had a lot of confidence speaking publicly for many years and this was my biggest mistake. Wanting to improve my craft, I jumped at the opportunity to work with Mr. Duane Smith. He taught me what I needed to do and maybe more importantly, what not do. Errors in public speaking have serious ramifications! However, a well-planned, engaging presentation is a breath of fresh air. I learned that public speaking is a practice. Mr. Smith’s expertise has helped me and his writing continues to help me to work on this very, very important skill!

-- Lance Moore, Principal
Vanalden Avenue Elementary
Los Angeles Unified School District 

Duane provided the highest quality of service. He knows his field exceptionally well and is a great teacher. Most importantly, he is interested in helping his student achieve his or her objective. I give him a five star rating (with five stars being the highest).

-- Attorney, Fred Cassity
Adjunct Professor and Trustee, The King’s College and Seminary
Former national President of the Christian Legal Society

I was thrilled with the quick turnaround and first class attention to detail with the speech writing service you provided. Thank you very much.

-- Steve Adler
President of Adler Tank Rentals

After suffering several decades with a severe case of public speaking phobia, it was such a relief to hear Duane say that it is completely normal and that your fear when channeled correctly can empower you and make you a better and more entertaining presenter. What an amazing way to turn a negative into a positive. As the CEO of a large company and a leader in the community the pressure to sound powerful, intelligent and informed when presenting is tremendous. We came away from the workshop with very tangible and concrete tools to create a presentation that works. More importantly, Duane’s workshop connected with everyone who attended. I had many of my folks say they can’t believe that sat still and listened for 3 hours straight. We all hung on to every word and connected with the content. Bravo Duane! Your life stories, candid humor and professionalism gave all of us hope that we can be public speaking champions in our own right.

--Maria Thompson
CEO, Agile Sourcing Partners
(Empowering Speech Workshop hosted for Agile, and the Southern California Gas Company)

Duane Smith offers an exceptional communications program that allows anyone to quickly and effectively master the art of public speaking. I have taken speech classes previously and his program is second to none! His manner of teaching and his directives to empower individuals to speak publically are outstanding.

-- Michael Ray
CEO, Orchid Insurance Brokers, Los Angeles, California

Duane Smith conducted an in-class public speaking workshop for my class of graduate students in the Master of Planning program at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. These students were tasked with creating design proposals and development recommendations for a client as part of their final project for the course. The course assignment consisted of a professional-grade written project document and a final presentation to their client explaining and defending their proposals. Because these students were at the graduate level, and many had not undergone formal public speaking training in the past, many of these students, though good speakers, had developed a number of habits and patterns in their speaking that had never been corrected before. Having Duane in the room to listen and critique their presentations and provide real-time feedback, made an incredible difference in their delivery, confidence and overall presence in front of their client. As part of the workshop, Duane gave a very effective and highly educational presentation himself where he not only taught the students skills they will use throughout their life, whether in front of a room or in everyday conversations; but, he also applied the skills and techniques he was teaching throughout his own presentation so the students could see and understand their application. Duane was a very critical part of the students’ success in front of their client, and later on when they presented in front of a graduate panel during their comprehensive exams prior to completing the program. We look forward to having him back next year when the class is offered again.

-- Jennifer Longabaugh, MPL
Environmental Planner, LEED AP ND at Dudek Adjunct Instructor of Urban Planning
USC, University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy

Duane offers an incredible package when it comes to sharpening your public speaking and presentation skills. Not only does he provide you with usable skills that you can put into immediate action, but his teaching approach is highly effective. Any amount of time spent with Duane is a great value both for your short and long term career. The skills and techniques he helps you unlock within yourself are applicable to so many environments from highly scrutinized business meetings to casual conversations over a cup of coffee.

-- Cameron Shimy
Manager, Software Engineering at Rovi Corporation

Testifying in court is not just a matter of answering questions. I need to be able to keep the jury engaged by telling a simple and effective “story.” It’s like giving a speech to a captive audience of 12 people. With nearly 25 years of experience, I thought I knew most everything there is to know about being an effective communicator. I was wrong. Professor Smith taught me some techniques that I would never have come up with on my own. I encourage anyone interested in becoming a better speaker to take his seminar. It was well worth the cost.

-- Lewis DesLauriers
California State Investigator

Duane’s relatable nature and captivating stories bring a uniqueness to his workshop. I plan to keep the workbook we reviewed during this course all throughout my career as a great reminder and reference. I look forward to practicing his directives for professional and personal challenges to come!
Thank you, Duane

-- Leda Nasardad
Senior Consultant, Comcast Assurance and Advisory Team

My brother in law was head of admissions for a major university. He urged me to find a speech coach for my three teenage daughters because he was amazed at how unprepared most students are when it comes to the college interview process. Initially, I called Duane after one of my daughters struggled delivering a speech at school. Within an hour of my phone call, Duane contacted me and took the time to explain about his workshop and what he does. He was kind enough to give me helpful tips that my daughter could use immediately. Duane is professional, organized and packs in information that is easy to understand and utilize in a fun and interesting manner. What better gift to give my children than to help prepare them not only college but for the time when they will enter the workforce. My daughter Bella went on to the Academic Decathlon State competition a month later and received a near perfect score! It was a one of the best decisions I made for their future.

-- Christina Hsu
Mother of triplet 16 year old girls who attended an Empower Speech Workshop

We worked closely with Duane to prepare our son for an oratorical contest.  Duane had an intensive session with our son and the improvement from just this one session was very dramatic. He was able to get our son comfortable with the presentation material and gave him invaluable assistance in raising his skills to the next level. Our son went on to win this contest, and we know that would not have been the outcome without Duane’s help. We recommend him highly.

-- Lisa S.
Mother of a southern California high school honor student

Professor – the audience loved my speech. My agent said it was the best speech I have ever given! Thank you!

-- Todd Bridges
TV Star, and Motivational Speaker, commenting on a speech presented at the Screen Actors Guild

Duane advised me on techniques and strategies with regards to my speaking career. I recommend anyone who has the passion and drive to become an amazing speaker to work with Duane.   His proven insight and knowledge will do wonders for your success

-- Kory Minor
NFL Alumni: Carolina Panthers 99'-02'
Speaker, Author, Coach
Restaurateur

We enjoyed Duane’s workshop very much.  He provided great tips and useful tools.  It’s easy to be a speaker but not easy to be a speaker capable of capturing the audience with an effective, strong and structured presentation.  Duane did a fabulous job coaching my team.

-- Betty Young
Business Development Officer
HKTDC: Hong Kong Trade Development Council

One of the many challenges of a command officer is to persuade the public to get organized, get involved and take action to improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods. Duane Smith’s ‘Practical Platforming Skills for Successful Communication’ workshop was valuable in assisting our command officers in meeting this challenge. I extend my heartfelt thanks for a job well done.

-- Mark A. Kroeker
Former Deputy Chief, LAPD, and Chief of the Portland Police Department
Currently Vice President of crisis management for Walt Disney Co.

“The Los Angeles City Fire Department is one of the most desired job positions in the country. There are thousands of extremely qualified applicants with minimal available positions. The oral interview is the most important part of the hiring process. Excellent public speaking skills are essential to standing above the rest. Duane Smith, Empowering Speech helped me achieve a perfect score on my oral interview.

-- Brandon Smith
Los Angeles City Fire Department

“Every preacher should spend time developing and perfecting his public speaking skills. I have attended every major seminar but none have given me the personal attention that Empowering Speech provides. Duane Smith catered to my specific public speaking goals and has given me the tools to communicate effectively with my ministry, parenting, coaching and my marriage. The word of God remains as powerful as ever but its the messengers who have failed to sharpen their craft.”

-- Tony Jaime
Masters Seminary Graduate

I was gripped with fear and trepidation over being presented with a new challenge of preparing a weekly lecture. Duane Smith quickly helped me overcome these fears by teaching me to assemble my thoughts into a clear outline structure. I particularly liked the way he assisted me in creating a cohesive flow between lecture points through the use of transitional elements so important in successful public speaking. He emphasized the importance of ‘carrying’ an audience through the lecture. Duane relates very well and connects very personally with his audience. Thank you, Duane, for helping me to calm my fears of public speaking and, instead, turning it into a joy.

-- Jeff Voorheis
President Voorheis & Voorheis Inc. Land Surveyors

“Thanks to your class I got a speaking role in Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Your public speaking course set me apart in the audition. I was selected from over 6000 aspiring actors. Thanks to Empowering Speech I became a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) over night. Everything you taught me, worked like magic. What you taught me about persuasive and informative speaking, and performance were key in my successful script auditioning. Now, I will be filming August 9 – December 9, 2010. I have no words to say how happy I am to have taken your public speaking course.”

-- Salomon S Passariello
Actor, Screen Actors Guild

“Duane Smith’s public speaking class has made an enormous impact on our junior high (home school) class. He’s brought professionalism, expertise, and quality character to every class session. Duane Smith has exceeded my expectations as a teacher in every way.”

-- Lisa Sullivan
PSP Director, Grace Community School

“Duane Smith’s public speaking workshop empowered our staff to deliver effective presentations about our organization with ease, clarity and passion.”

-- Maggie Torres
MEND Program Director

“Duane’s Empowering Speech presentation was very captivating. Students were blown away by his success stories of how public speaking was a huge milestone that transformed every aspect of his and his colleagues’ lives.”

-- Diana Ismail
Business Honors Association, California State University Northridge
Public speaking skills are empowering academically,socially, professionally, financially, and politically.