You give informal presentations every day: the impromptu meeting in the hallway, the toast at your friend’s wedding, the story you tell the cashier when you return the cat food—these are all examples of everyday presentations.

So the good news is that you’re probably a better presenter than you realize. Gigi helps you take the skills you already have and teaches you how to use them in more formal settings in her public speaking trainings.

To Start shaping your talk, define your audience

The most important thing to remember is that the presentation you’re about to give is not about you. Even if it includes a story from your life, the purpose of your talk is to teach, entertain, persuade or inspire the audience. 

To help you shape your talk, answer these questions:

  • Who’s your audience? Be specific.

  • Are they peers and colleagues? Or are they completely new to your topic?

  • Why are they gathering to hear your message?

  • Imagine this audience sitting in front of you. How would you like them to be changed when they leave today?

  • What’s the one takeaway message?

  • What’s the overarching purpose of this talk?

Boil the reason for your talk down to one sentence. That sentence will become your “true north” and will help you decide what to include and what to leave out as you build your talk. You may never even say this one sentence during your presentation. That’s OK.

EXPERT TIP: If you want to know more about your audience, survey them either on the registration form or at the open of your talk. Asking your audience questions is a great way to help them feel heard and gives you immediate feedback on how your message is landing.

To help clarify your message and connect with the audience, I’ve broken the process of writing and rehearsing a presentation into small, doable steps in the workbook 5 Steps to Nail Your Next Presentation.

Download your Workbook 5 steps to Nail your presentation.

Do you have a presentation looming that you’d like to deliver with confidence and ease? For details on how coaching works visit

Whether it's for a talk, speech, pitch or any other type of presentation, I'm here to help you calm those nerves and find your story. To start with a free consult, email me


WHAT public speakers ARE SAYING ABOUT

Gigi was extremely professional, attentive and flexible in coaching team members overseas. All reports back highlighted Gigi’s efficiency during sessions and her ability to quickly pinpoint areas for speakers to improve while offering practical and helpful solutions to speakers to optimize right away. Gigi’s work far exceeded our expectations.
— Myriam Khoury, Vice President - Innovation, Mercy Corps
Thank you for the work you did with me individually to prepare me for my session AND the collective work you did with all of the speakers you worked with. It really paid off. Not only was your advice really valuable but you also lit a fire under those who were less prepared to get ready. By the end we were strong and coherent! We really appreciate it.
— Nonprofit director, Portland, Oregon
We have consulted with Gigi for group training and individual coaching with excellent results. With her innate good humor, she quickly zeros in on a presenter’s strengths, offering practical insights to build confidence and keep audiences engaged. She’s become our secret weapon!
— Fidelma McGinn, Vice-President, Philanthropic Services, Seattle Foundation
Gigi brought insight and knowledge to my staff at MSN that dramatically enhanced their communication skills. She listened, observed, coached individuals to understand unique skills suited to their specific needs. She has an instructional mastery that I have rarely seen.
— Stephen Cvengros, former Senior Director at Microsoft's MSN
Gigi gave me several actionable ideas that I incorporated into my remarks which greatly improved my presentation. She also asked me to send her a self-critique of my performance and then followed up with several more ideas for next time. I was impressed at how substantive her suggestions were. She clearly knows her stuff.
— Nonprofit manager, Washington, DC
I reached out to Gigi for some quick help for a talk I was preparing. This isn’t something I do very often. I was having some amazing bouts of nerves as the day drew closer. We chatted for a while and Gigi asked a lot of great questions and made several suggestions, including “take a walk!” And that did the trick. Walking is my thing. On Gigi’s advice, I planned (and took) a big long walk at my favorite place in Seattle, Seward Park. Set the tone for the whole day and evening. No nerves! Thanks Gigi.
— Richard Pelletier,
When I came to Gigi I had a lot of little ‘stories’ disorganized in bits and pieces and I struggled to get through them both because I was trying to remember the order and because it was boring. Gigi helped me separate my talk into three distinct sections, with a flashback to the beginning, and organized it in a clear, compelling, and surprising way. When I tell my story this way my listeners seem much more engaged and I don’t get bored telling it so my delivery is better.
— Mickey Trescott, author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness
Gigi observed me teaching at Portland State University, then we met for feedback. She gave multi-faceted observations and recommendations on content, body language, using tools (PowerPoint/whiteboards), storytelling. Since our coaching session her feedback on my storytelling is having a positive impact not only on my teaching but my daily interactions and even writing.
— Michael Wells, formerly of Grants Northwest
In just one hour of coaching with Gigi, I was well-informed about how to prepare physically, emotionally, and logistically for a successful presentation. Her supportive and insightful feedback about my style gave me clarity about my opportunities for improvement and confidence about my capacity to connect with an audience.
— Sage Cohen, Author, Poet, Communications Consultant,

Photo by Christian Columbres