STORY TO SPEECH - ONLINE Speaker Platform development

Before I became a speaker, I was a storyteller and an aspiring entrepreneur. I loved being part of a community of performers, change makers, creative writers, solo performers, academics and others who used their experiences, knowledge and unique voice to connect with others. There was something about being in front of a live audience that always seemed magical. But what I didn’t know was if there was a way to make an income or even a career with my stories.

I would watch great speakers online at sites like, and marvel at stories told live at shows like The Moth, and started to realize the connection - the foundation of a memorable and noteworthy speech is one’s story. I wanted to find a way to connect my stories into a speech, and turn my speech into income. But I had no idea where to start. I found myself asking:

  • How do I get started?
  • What stories would be best to tell for a speech?
  • Who would I contact to get paid for my speech?
  • How much can I expect to earn in the industry?
  • How do I stand out from all the other speakers who already speak on my topic?
  • How do decision makers choose speakers?
  • How do I make truly memorable presentations?

But thru trial and error, finding a mentor, learning from others in the industry, and finally jumping into the field, I’ve built a steady side income as a speaker over the past 5 years. Some of my proudest accomplishments include:

  • Starting from nothing to being paid 4 to 5 figures per speaking engagement
  • Being invited as a Graduation Speaker at Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame
  • Fulfilling a lifelong dream to do a TED talk
  • Speaking in more than 20 states and countries including Kenya and Brazil
  • Coaching thousands of people from around the globe to tell their stories
  • Hiring a coaching team for select engagements
  • Starting a new line of business in speech coaching  
  • Making tens of thousands of dollars in 6 years speaking part time

I don’t mention these accomplishments as a pat on the back, but rather as a way to show you that I’ve learned how to turn a story into a speech, and a speech into a sale.

I often get inquiries from friends about how they can get started as a speaker, or how they can do a TED talk. Perhaps you’re part of this crew? Some people are at the beginning of their careers, others are ready to go pro. Regardless of where you may be fall on that spectrum, I want to teach you EXACTLY what to do.

I’ve developed an online course called Story to Speech. In it, I’m going to show you:

  • How to stand out from the pack of other speakers in your industry
  • Tips and tricks on marketing your message to the right buyer
  • Actual emails and scripts I use to connect with decision makers
  • How much you can charge when starting, and when to increase your fees
  • How to find the stories that are most meaningful for your message
  • How to understand the business side of speaking, including contracts and taxes
  • Ways to leverage your current material into your career
  • The tools and technology I use to keep the business in order - from nuts to bolts
  • How to include products like books and related services as part of your program

I’ll be giving you a blueprint of how to take your speaking career to the next level. It’s basically a wish list of what I wanted when getting started, wrapped up online in an all inclusive bundle.

Here’s a rough outline of what will be covered in each module:  

1) Why Speak? The 5 Step Process to Establish a Platform

  • You are your message
  • Opportunities for Speakers
  • Uncover your signature topic using the 3P’s
  • Who to speak to
  • The significance of transformation

2) Your Story - The Core of Your Message

  • Uncovering you story/ stories of transformation
  • Storytelling fundamentals & narrative structure
  • The role of core and supporting stories
  • How to expand upon significance/ explore new perspectives
  • Determining which content sticks and what stinks

3) Crafting Your Speech for Maximum Engagement

  • The Difference Between a Story and a Speech
  • Your Call to Action - 1 Step at a Time
  • The use of expertise and evidence
  • Where your stories fit in your speech
  • Structural options for your presentation

4) Personal Branding – Where Business in Personal

  • Personal Branding as a Speaker
  • Demo videos – creating a movie trailer version of your speech
  • Websites - how to build them and what to include
  • Social Media – leveraging social for your business

5) Finding Ideal Gigs and Leveraging Value

  • Identifying your ideal audience/ buyer
  • Knowing how much to charge
  • Maximizing the value of each engagement
  • Top 10 places online to find paid gigs
  • Ways of promoting services

6) Develop a System for Booking Gigs

  • Finding places to speak
  • When and how to contact prospects
  • Creating a marketing calendar
  • You as your own best agent
  • Understanding the sales process

Bonus Module: Going Pro

  • Finding and working with a speakers bureau
  • TED Application: Tips and Tricks


My goal is to SLASH the time needed to launch your career as a speaker, and to provide a blueprint to SUPERCHARGE your potential and opportunities to speak within the next 90 days. This is everything that I wish I had when I was kicking off my career.

What you will get with the program:

  • Six Online Coaching Modules – Choose to start from the beginning or jump straight into a section that covers the area where you need the most support. Consists of 40 + lessons in video format, as well as swipe files, to assist you for every step of your journey.  

  • Private Story to Speech Facebook Group – This is where you’ll be able to network with other like minded speakers and have your questions and concerns answered as we build, connect and provide guidance for others who are growing in the field of public speaking.

  • Six Weeks of Email support from Dawn  - Stuck with a question and not sure if you can make the office hours? Feel free to email Dawn your question at any time during the 6 week activation period, and she will respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

  • *Add On Coaching Options - For those who want private coaching to specifically work with Dawn on content development, there is an Exclusive Plan which include (one) 90 minute training, as well as a VIP Plan which will include (three) 90 minute training. Please note that additional costs apply for these plans.     

Of course there are plenty of people who figure out how to make a career out of speaking on their own. However, if you would like to bypass the mistakes I made and want to kick off your year and speaking career with a bang, I have a special invitation for you…

The ‘Story to Speech’ program is currently OPEN for enrollment. As a member, you will get:

  • Lifetime access to every resource ever developed for the course
  • Exclusive input and feedback on the course and your speaking career material
  • Video downloads of all of the lesson
  • Swipe files of sample contracts, invoices, query letters, etc.
  • A list of all of the tools I use to run a speaking business 

You can register for VIP Story to Speech Member by clicking on the button below. 

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you there!   

Dawn’s workshop was incredibly helpful to me as I start transitioning from an underpaid storyteller to a workshop leader and public speaker. I especially appreciated her insight on the components of a professional, effective website, and her detailed guidance on what to charge and how to find speaking gigs
— Tracey Segerra, Now Your Talking
I would tell someone interested in story to speech that they have an amazing opportunity to embark on a career in simply sharing their story with people. Dawn walked us step by step through her entry into storytelling, which later developed into her role as Storyteller instructor for the Moth, TED speaker, and keynote speaker earning top dollars. Dawn is brilliant, candid and funny. You leave the experience with action steps and confidence in your ability to be a Storyteller and speaker too
— Natasha Boyce, Small Business Specialist
Story to Speech was valuable in ways I hadn’t imagined. Within a week of my participation in Dawn’s workshop, I created a website, procured work I had only fantasized would happen, and finally got the courage to declare myself, a professional storyteller. It’s like a little imperceptible “shift” has occurred. Subtle but important. I am excited about the future and I really can’t thank her enough. Her ability to cover a multitude of topics and distill her years of experience is a game changer. Run, don’t saunter, and sign up for Story to Speech
— Sandi Marx, Moth Grand Slam Performer