Former opera singer and internationally-recognized public speaking expert Allison Shapira talks about the challenges women around the world face when they move into positions of leadership, with 5 tips for tackling those challenges. Filmed for inspiration in front of a statue of Joan of Arc in Washington, DC.
While everyone needs to speak with impact, when women lack these skills it disproportionately holds them back in their career. Allison’s program helps women of all backgrounds overcome the specific challenges they face when speaking in public and shows them how to speak with confidence every day. She has worked with some of the world’s foremost experts in women’s leadership and empowerment, such as Vital Voices Global Partnership, and has developed executive communication programs for women at Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Allison Shapira is a former opera singer turned entrepreneur, best-selling author, and world-renowned expert on public speaking and presentation skills. She is the Founder/CEO of Global Public Speaking LLC, a communication training firm that helps emerging and established leaders speak clearly, concisely, and confidently. She is an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and has spent over 15 years working with Fortune 50 companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world.
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I heard Allison speak at an event for women business owners sponsored by Bank of America’s Private Bank. She was amazingly engaging and effective at imparting her wisdom and building our skills, even in such a short period of time. I can see why she is such a huge success; she is an inspiration!
Not only did you give our high performing women confidence, direction, and great tools for speaking, but you inspired us all by showing us that life can take blunt turns, sending us into new adventures. Thank you for realizing that your gifts must be shared and for doing all you do for women AND men that cross your path.
Senior Vice President
Southeast Regional Executive, Multinational Fortune 50 Bank
I wished I had met her years ago. She prods us to ask tough questions: what do we want to accomplish, who is our audience, why should they listen to us. And then, she makes us critique ourselves and test our messages with the audience. I have seen Shapira at work with a roomful of reserved yet talented young women. At the end of the two-day workshop, she had compelling speeches coming forth.
Media Entrepreneur, First President, Nickelodeon, Co-founder, Oxygen
As part of our Global Ambassador’s Program, Allison provided excellent training for our women mentees in both Belfast and Johannesburg. Her tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and thoughtful approach resulted in impactful takeaways for the attendees. She was a driving force in improving their overall presentation skills. Allison significantly increased their confidence, which will serve each participant well into the future. I was so impressed by Allison’s training that we have brought her in to train our Bank leaders.
Multinational Fortune 50 Bank
I had the pleasure of meeting Allison at a recent WIT event in Washington, DC, where she talked about Speaking with Impact. Her passion and energy filled the room as soon as she started to speak. Through her powerful and authentic message, paired with simple yet engaging activities, she explained the key elements of impactful verbal communication and how we can strive to achieve it with understanding and practice. I left the session inspired and empowered; her speech gave me a new perspective. I have no doubt I share this feeling with many others who have heard her speak.
Engineering Lead, Nuance
Our team had planned a special gender training program for women in the Latin America and Caribbean Region, where Allison’s training occurred on the last day. Her full-day workshop was truly top-notch, with many reporting that it was the best training they had ever taken in our organization! Allison was excellent, and her exercises, tips, and tricks on breathing, hands, voice, and ways to handle Q&A sessions were extremely useful and practical. The opportunity to practice short speeches in front of each other and film ourselves was also very useful and not only gave us a chance to practice but also to build our confidence. Participants left energized, refreshed, and confident to begin implementing their new skills. We are extremely satisfied with Allison’s services. She truly offers a unique, high-quality program, leveraging her background in voice training.
We look forward to working with her again in the near future.
Strategy Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean, International Bank in Washington, DC
At The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), we are over the moon about Allison Shapira. On July 11, Bank of America sponsored Allison’s workshop, ‘Speaking with Confidence.’ Her audience was the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) Leadership Development delegation of women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda. Confidence is exactly what came out in these twenty-four initially soft-spoken, sometimes shy business owners. Two days later, observing the women working in teams on the difference between leadership and management, it was difficult to guess which participants were students and who were coaches. Because of Allison’s work with the women, they grew to be more confident and returned to their home countries, buzzing with new ideas! Quite a transformation and a lot of fun too.
Director of Operations, Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women
Thank you so much for taking the time to lead the Women’s Initiative in Leadership’s public speaking workshop. The workshop was flawless, and I was so pleased with the discussion you were able to facilitate and the tangible skills and best practices that you left all of the participants with. Excellent public speaking skills are a requisite for any successful leader, so your workshop is a fundamental component of what makes our program worthwhile for everyone involved. Your candidness and capability to teach by example, truly enhanced the tone of the workshop, and I cannot thank you enough for your time and efforts.
Women’s Initiative in Leadership, Harvard University Institute of Politics
I’m a recovering opera singer …’ What a fabulous self-introduction, and from that moment forward, all the way through to her closing remarks in each training workshop, Allison skillfully commands and navigates the attention of her audience with professionalism, grace, humour, and insight. She provides tips, tools, and tricks that can be immediately applied to almost any public speaking activity. Having observed Allison sharing this expertise with numerous audiences from diverse cultures, sectors, and geographies around the world since we started working with her in 2014, I have witnessed the shyest person in the room, positively squirming in the corner of the room just at the very thought of speaking in front of an audience of trusted colleagues, transform into a confident speaker raising their hand to be the first volunteer to practice their speech.
Vice President, Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, Vital Voices Global Partnership