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About

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Public Speaking | Executive Presence | Career Achievement

I’m on a mission to help you and your organization

show up at your best.

Eileen Smith drives organizational success and career advancement by coaching business executives and policy experts in public speaking, executive presence, and career achievement.  Before founding Spokesmith in 2018, she led an accomplished career as a United States diplomat for over 20 years. 

 

Eileen​'s clients include Fortune-rated businesses​ and top policy think tanks.  She has coached over 1,500 clients, including C-Suites in media, banking, and technology companies.  She was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, is a contributor to Business Insider and Fast Company, and has been featured by the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

Whether her client is preparing to stand before an audience, give a media interview, sit on a panel, speak to the board, or make a presentation, Eileen provides tailored, confidential coaching for groups and individuals in public speaking and executive presence.  She also coaches on behavioral style and emotional intelligence.  

 

In addition to preparing senior leaders for key policy speeches, Eileen has spoken to a broad range of audiences, including the United Nations, members of Congress, and the press.  She understands firsthand the challenges of preparing to give a speech or presentation under the time constraints of a demanding schedule and last-minute inputs.

Eileen has a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College, a Master of Arts in International Politics and International Business from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emory University.  She earned the Distinguished Achievement Award and numerous Superior Honor Awards from the State Department.  She is also a DISC Flow Certified Trainer and earned a certificate in meteorology from HarvardX.

What Clients Say:

"When I was Deputy Secretary of State, Eileen helped me prepare for speeches at the state Department, United Nations and the White House. She has a natural eye for details in public speaking and executive presence, a warm and engaging approach, and a clear focus on empowering the delivery of my message."

 Heather Higginbottom, President, JPMorgan Chase Policy Center 

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What clients say

Client Testimonials

Heather Higginbottom

President, JPMorgan Chase Policy Center

"When I was Deputy Secretary of State, Eileen helped me prepare for speeches at the State Department, United Nations and the White House.  She has a natural eye for details in public speaking and executive presence, a warm and engaging approach, and a clear focus on empowering the delivery of my message."

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Borislava Marcheva

VP of Marketplace Intelligence, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"I really enjoyed it! You are such a gifted public speaker and it is motivational just listening to you. Can't wait for the next session!"

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Cherie Wilson

Director, Federal Affairs, General Motors

"Eileen is very easy to connect with and makes the public speaking process fun and manageable. Thank you, Eileen, for giving us the tools to be more confident and capable!"

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Laura Koepsell

Program Manager, Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

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Jennifer Gordon

Managing Editor and Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council

Individual coaching: "Eileen is a fabulous public speaking coach! Through her career at the State Department, Eileen has been in the same public speaking situations that most people in the DC policy community have experienced, and she was able to relate immediately to my specific concerns and desired areas of improvement. Eileen is entirely kind, helpful, and constructive in her feedback, and I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again!"

Group coaching: "Thank you so very much for a phenomenal public speaking session this evening! Even though the Zoom format would be challenging for most presenters, your warmth and enthusiasm came right through everyone’s screens, and you held everyone’s attention throughout! You especially helped the group establish camaraderie and have fun in the second half of the session (no small task, since our group has never met in person)!"

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Meaghan Fulco

Director, Meetings and Term Member Program, Council aon Foreign Relations

"It was such a pleasure to work with Eileen! She ran two public speaking and executive presence workshops for CFR term members and I continue to receive high-praise from those who participated. Eileen practices what she preaches, so her presentation is fun and easy to listen and relate to throughout the workshop. She engages with her audience, gives them practical tips and constructive feedback, and everyone left the workshop with something tangible they could implement immediately in their daily lives. The skills Eileen teaches truly are the difference maker in careers and anyone who takes part in one will walk away feeling that they have made a positive step toward career advancement."

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Erica Brand

Chief of Staff, Applied Science, Google Research

"My panel event was positive and productive. Thank you so much for your time, attention, and encouragement.  Your ability to ask good questions about my intent and my fears was super valuable. Of course the good advice on clothing and camera position helped, but the game changer was the question and answer prep. The result was that I felt I did right by my audience and feel proud of myself. Marvelously helpful. Thank you!"

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Eben Kaplan

Manager, CrowdStrike

"Our team of consultants works with clients in many high-stakes or high-pressure situations and the messages we deliver are just as important as the manner in which we deliver them. Eileen’s workshop with our team was exceptional.  She tailored it to the specific challenges we face and highlighted ways to improve our delivery and presence in these scenarios.  Everyone who participated was clearly energized by the presentation and workshop, and afterwards the team was buzzing about lessons that could immediately apply to our work.  Even a week later we still had people power-posing around the office."

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Ashley Wilscon

Vice President of Congressional and Public Affairs and Head of Women Taking Lead, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"It seems everyone I talk to wants me to express appreciation for your inspiring presentation on Tuesday. Your years of experience, your depth of understanding of people, and your ability to present in such an interesting way produced one of the most memorable evenings in our group's history. I personally appreciated your approach to the three points we need to remember for an impactful elevator speech."

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Ali Corwin

Program Manager, Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

“Eileen’s public speaking training sessions were a highlight of our curriculum.  All of our students said they would recommend Eileen's course to a colleague.  Her individual encouragement and personalized feedback made every single student feel more prepared for public speaking engagements.  Her thoughtful guidance and warm personality created a comfortable practice environment, and I already feel a marked improvement in my public speaking abilities. Thank you, Eileen!”

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Amber McAuliffe, CPA

Director of Learning Engagement, Ohio Society of CPAs

"Eileen's approach to public speaking and executive presence training was welcomed with open arms by the accounting profession. She takes an intimidating topic and makes it relatable with a clear focus on building the confidence of every attendee regardless of where they are at in their skill sets. Her attention to details with the handouts and exercises allows attendees to walk away with tangible guidelines and next steps. And I can say with confidence, every CPS walked away from the session with an understanding and appreciation for how public speaking and executive presence can advance the trajectory of their career. Thank you Eileen for your commitment and partnership!"

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Courtney Doggart

President, Network 20/20

“Thanks to Eileen's coaching, I was able to save critical time on writing an important speech. While speechwriting is an area I have always prided myself on, I quickly noticed how her suggestions for the contours of the speech and tweaks to phrasing made my writing and delivery have a greater impact on the audience. The feedback from practice sessions helped build my readiness and confidence, making me feel fully prepared for the big event. And she is lovely to work with as well!”

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Julie McGhee Howard

Managing Partner, NowackHoward

"Eileen is an invaluable resource for both general public speaking skills and specific program development and presentation.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, my law firm retained Eileen for both a group virtual public speaking class and one-on-one virtual speech preparation and coaching for our attorneys.  Both were a total success.  Eileen provides practical, specific feedback and tools to build presentation skills and make specific presentations successful.  Eileen listens to your specific goals to help you achieve them.  For one-on-one coaching, she dives deep to understand the subject matter so she can help with every aspect of the presentation:  slides, professional look, posture, pacing, set up- the entire virtual show!  Eileen is kind, committed and professional and truly a pleasure to work with.  I highly recommend Eileen for both building and polishing public speaking and presentation skills and look forward to working with her in the future!"

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Brian Gaudet

Director of Communications, Battelle National Biodefense Institute

"We retained Eileen to instruct a two-day public speaking class for a cross-section of our employees.  A post class survey gave it an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.  All of the participants would recommend the training to a colleague.  Those who took the class very much appreciated how Eileen really connected with the group.  They walked away with several tools to assist them in delivering presentations.  Eileen’s polite critique and encouraging feedback honed in on the issue and was immediately applicable."

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Caren A. Pauley, Ph.D.

Executive Director of the Harvard Club of Washington, DC

"Eileen's program, hosted by the Harvard Club of Washington, DC and co-sponsored by the Columbia Alumni Association of Washington, DC, was the most highly subscribed of all the weekly programs we have done over Zoom since the pandemic began seven months ago!  The presentation on How to Project Executive Presence on Zoom was marvelous and received nothing but high praise.  The content was extremely practical and artfully delivered.  Participants stayed long after the presentation to ask questions and talk with Eileen.  The program was highly rewarding and we are very grateful for the time you spent with us."

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Maria Kasperek

Director, Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University Law Center

"Loved my follow up session with Eileen. She came very prepared, had excellent feedback after reviewing some of my previous speaking engagements and gave me very actionable recommendations on what to do better.  She also compared my performance to previous sessions and told me what I had improved on. Practice recordings really helped me and I am taking away great homework from our session!"

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Tom Palaia

Visiting Associate Professor, George Washington University

"Great response from our communications class!  Eileen’s approach was pragmatic, engaging and focused on results.  She made the material accessible and fun, she gave great specific feedback, and our students appreciated the practical takeaways."

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Jeannette Wick

Assistant Director, Pharmacy Professional Development

"During this COVID-19 pandemic, we moved all classes online. Students still needed to deliver presentations covering their research topics. Eileen gave an exceptional training exercise that provided pointers for virtual presentation, demonstrated the techniques she advocates, and engaged the entire class.  We cannot thank her enough for this informative, educational lecture. Every single student in the class was able to list several ways that Eileen's presentation helped, and all of them gave her an "A"!"

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Adwoba Mograbi

Chief Talent Officer, Atlantic Council

"Atlantic Council experts are frequently called upon to provide media commentary and appear at public events.  Our staff constantly strives to exceed expectations of a polished presentation and skilled media presence.  Eileen analyzed the backgrounds of our staff, studied videos of their speaking events, and proposed a tailored package of training to meet our goals.  I got rave reviews of her coaching and our team is asking for more!"

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Jane Kato-Wallace

Director of Programs, Promundo

"Atlantic Council experts are frequently called upon to provide media commentary and appear at public events.  Our staff constantly strives to exceed expectations of a polished presentation and skilled media presence.  Eileen analyzed the backgrounds of our staff, studied videos of their speaking events, and proposed a tailored package of training to meet our goals.  I got rave reviews of her coaching and our team is asking for more!"

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Successful Job Seekers

"The interview training you conducted with me was spot-on! I really feel it made the difference! Thank you again for helping me in what has been a critical turning point in my career. I am so very excited about my political appointment!"

"Interviewing for an academic placement is an arduous process, but Eileen's confidence, enthusiasm, and expertise were a huge help at each step along the way. Working with her enabled me to present the best version of myself and take a big step forward in my career."

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Emerson Brooking

Resident Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Atlantic Council

"After just an hour's time, I'm thinking more critically than I ever have about stage presence, posture, and storytelling. I appreciated Eileen's attention to what I've been doing wrong, as well as the things I've been doing right!"

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Giovanna Lauro

Vice President of Programs and Research, Promundo

"This was my first public speaking coaching experience and I truly enjoyed it. The session was engaging, very well targeted to my needs, and I came out of it with concrete, actionable take-aways. I'll definitely recommend this to other colleagues."

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Ellen Scholl

Deputy Director (former), Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council

"Eileen is personable and warm, and makes you feel right at ease--which is hugely important when working on something that makes many of us nervous. She had helpful, simple, and implementable changes and tips that I can use the next time I have a speaking engagement, and she gave very constructive feedback and pointers, highly recommend!"

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Tuqa Nusairat

Deputy Director, Operations, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council

"Eileen was great to work with. We didn't waste any time and in just one hour (which flew by), we were able to fine tune my elevator pitch. I found it really useful to think about a modified elevator pitch depending on the audience and setting. I look forward to more opportunities to work with Eileen for future speaking engagements!"

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