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Keynote Testimonials

“Wow! I’ve had emails, phone calls, hugs and congratulations from just about everybody who attended your storytelling program. They are all feeling energized and excited.  You breathed new life into us and validated our skills and deep experience as storytellers; exactly what we needed to go forth, listen and tell.”

     Patty Perkins, Internal Communications Solutions—Wells Fargo

“Doug gave an outstanding keynote at our 2011 national conference in New Orleans. CMMA (Communications Media Management Association) is an organization of media and communications leaders in corporate, government and education. Our group of mostly fortune 500 companies gave Doug our highest presenter rating and felt that he provided very practical tips with specific usage that they could put into action. Storytelling is vital for effective communications and Doug certainly delivers that message in a targeted, enthusiastic and engaging presentation! If you’re looking for a storytelling in business speaker, Doug Stevenson should be your first call.

     Steve Tingley, President, CMMA

“On behalf of Caterpillar Inc. and the nearly 300 Operations, HR and Communications managers who attended our May 2006 Global Engagement Conference, thank you for a truly awesome session. Your delivery was engaging, enlightening, and entertaining. Your presentations were the two highest scoring sessions in our entire conference. Your breakout session was also the only standing room only one of the entire conference. As we continue our engagement journey, we must take the next step in communications and generate understanding. Your storytelling methodology and engaging delivery were a great first step. Thank you again for your passionate and persuasive message.”

     Brian R. Gareau, OE + E Manager, Caterpillar

“We brought Doug Stevenson in to teach his Story Theater Method to both our senior trainers and our senior management here at Oracle University. He was a huge success. Since that time, I’ve personally used what I learned from Doug and have found it to be practical, valuable and fun. I’ve also hired him two more times to work with other groups. His workshop is both inspirational and very practical, with easy-to-use tools and techniques. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to bring Doug back into Oracle and I highly recommend him. Doug Stevenson delivers!”

     Elizabeth Wiseman, VP, Oracle University

“In short – you were wonderful. Your style is open, honest, fun and thorough. You demonstrated an understanding of the issues we face as a company, including the competitive nature of our business. You listened to our needs and incorporated each one into your presentation. Honestly, this was the first training seminar I’ve put together where no one fell asleep! The evaluation forms enclosed say it all.”

     Patricia Pigoni – Assistant VP, Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange

“I want to thank you for your major contribution to the 2006 University of Texas Medical Branch Office/Administrative Support Staff Conference.  Your keynote address, ‘Creating Legends and Legacies with Stories’, was incredible.  What a powerful and profound message.  Your breakout session, ‘Tell a Story – Change a Life’, added the perfect dimension necessary for the conference to be a tremendous success.  You delivered a high quality program that gave people tangible information and you have a creative way of making your programs fun and memorable. I applaud you for sharing your professional talents, skills and expertise, which are such rare gifts, with others.”

LaDona Landry, Conference Coordinator, Sr. HR Consultant – ODT&R, UTMB-Galveston

“Your program was inspiring, funny and one of the most entertaining that I ever heard. I have received numerous comments about the program from attendees and they seem to agree that it was one of the best ever. Again, thank you for helping make our annual seminar a success”

     Donna Schroeder, Staff Support Manager – Southwestern Bell

“We would like to thank you for speaking at the U.P.S.’s North Central Region Managers Conference in Chicago. Your humor as well as motivational speaking captivated audience attention. The audience participation made for an up-beat afternoon session. It was a great success!”

     Michael G. Johnson, Human Resources Manager – UPS

“You were a hit! The feedback to your program for our Management Club Meeting at Maytag has been overwhelmingly positive. You definitely made a positive impact here at Maytag.

“Your style and content were just right. You also personalized the program for us, which made your points on change really hit home. The LIMO story made me think about change in a different way. You managed to make the subject thought provoking and entertaining at the same time.

“Thanks again for making me look so good. You were a pleasure to work with and a real pro. You can use me as a reference any time.”

     Amy Doerring, Program Co-Chair – Maytag Management Club

“Thank you Doug for making our PubCo Bash a success, actually the best ever is what many noted on their evaluations.”

     Diana Heinemann, Senior Manager – McLeod USA Publishing

“Your keynote address at our National Sales Meeting was well received by our entire organization. Not only did our sales and marketing team benefit, operations did as well. Your presentation format, practical examples and consistent humor were contributors to that crossover success.”

     Ben J. Tensing, General Manager – Harter Furniture

“Your contribution to our management conference at the Regal Biltmore Hotel was nothing short of outstanding. We asked for something humorous, knowledgeable, upbeat and positive for our 500 plus managers in the midst of the tremendous changes they are experiencing…and you delivered in 5-star fashion. The tailoring of your speech specifically to address the issues and experiences facing our managers was right on target. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, appreciation and statements of praise for your presentation at the conference. Numerous ‘best ever’ comments continue to be received.”

     Ann Jankowski – County of Los Angeles Department of Social Services

“It was a pleasure having you with us at our workshop in Newport Beach….your session was quite well received. (Some of the comments were): ‘He could not have been better,’ ‘Bring him back next year,’ ‘Super presentation – humorous and informative. I loved it.’ ”

     Garfield Tyson – National Education Association

“On behalf of the Individual Division of Life Investors Insurance Company of America, Louise and I want to thank you for the fantastic presentation you gave for our employees on Wednesday.

“When we were previewing speaker videos, we were looking for someone who could accomplish three objectives:

  • Provide humor
  • Provide a strong and meaningful message about the importance of adapting to change
  • Provide the “how to” of mastering the change process

“Just a few seconds into the program, I knew we had made the right choice. From the beginning of the show to your sincere closing remarks, employees were connecting with you.

“Following the program our Chief Administrative Officer received unsolicited e-mails from employees, thanking him for the superb speaker. Our employees enjoyed your energy level, enthusiasm, humor, animation and intimate knowledge of the topic.

“We hope our paths will cross again some day. Until then, we wish you well as you travel the country, making a difference in people’s lives.”

     Cindy Maher and Louise White – Bankers United Life Assurance Company

“I admit I’m always a little anxious prior to our retreat, fearful we won’t deliver an important message to our top agents and their guests. However, you had our attention captured from the moment you began. Thank you for making me look like such a brilliant broker for choosing such an exceptional speaker for our President’s Club Retreat.”

     Susan Joslyn, Broker/Owner – C21 Professional, Inc.

“Doug Stevenson received rave reviews at our recent User Group conference and I’d have to say our crowd of mortgage bankers is not the easiest crowd to please. He has a great balance of intellect, humor and compassion. I would not hesitate to recommend him to any group in need of an inspirational and motivating speaker.”

     Claudia McCormack, Marketing Specialist and Event Planner -Interlinq Software

“Your dedication to perfection ensured your presentation was definitely tailored to our audience. Unquestionably, you lived up to your guarantee. I was most impressed by your interest in addressing our issues in a gentle, humorous manner. You made a lasting, positive impression on our organization.”

     Colonel Michael Gebhardt – United States Air Force Reserve

“In my work managing meetings, I see a lot of keynotes. I’m probably a nightmare participant – easily bored, impatient with fluff, and dissatisfied with the most entertaining keynote if there’s no useful content. I thought your keynote on change was remarkable. Yes, you were entertaining, funny and all of the good things that we want from a keynote, but you also delivered real, memorable content that we could use right away. You’re also easy to work with. You came to our meeting and presented without the big-ego related problems that can come with some speakers. We’d love to have you back. Thank you.”

     Marge Anderson, Board of Directors – MPI Wisconsin Chapter

Private Coaching Testimonials

Click to view private coaching video testimonials

“The presentations are over and things went well. One man came up to me the following day and said he’d heard me speak before and I was a ‘much more dynamic speaker now.’ I am amazed at how much better I feel about speaking now after only a few hours with you. You really know your stuff.”

     John Nepute, President, Monaco Coach Corporation

“Doug, I gave the speech we worked on this past Friday and I nailed it. It was a miracle. I was not nervous anymore – all the words started flowing- I used my hands, and was just myself. It was a personal breakthrough for me and it was fun! I was overwhelmed with the comments and compliments.  Thank you!”

      Pat Pigoni, VP of Operations, Fortress Insurance Company

Doug is truly a master in teaching the art and science of public speaking and storytelling.  I took Doug’s 3-day storytelling retreat in 2010 and saw tremendous results immediately.   Over 15 months later, I found myself teaching Doug’s method to the CEO of Qwiki, a San Francisco-based technology startup, the night before a major startup contest.  Doug’s system transformed the CEO’s speech dramatically and we WON the contest.  Winning increased Qwiki’s profile (NY Times, etc.) significantly and, as a result, we accelerated our fundraising process and raised $8 million in Series A financing. Doug’s system had a direct, measureable, and substantial impact on our company.”

     Navin Thukkaram, Managing Director, NT Capital Partners, Chief Operating Officer, Qwiki Inc.

“When I went out on my own and started my new business, I knew I wanted to give speeches, but I had no direction. Doug guided me. He helped me find my voice and my message. Without his experience and focus, I would just be another generic speaker. Today however, I have a specialty (branding) and deliver my content using the personal stories that Doug taught me how to develop. In a short three years, my speaking career is at the level it takes most speakers ten years to accomplish. I credit Doug’s coaching, support and friendship for dramatically accelerating my career”.

     Karen Post, The Branding Diva, Author of Brain Tattoos and Brand Turnaround, Fast Company contributor

“My objective in hiring the gifted Doug Stevenson for additional private coaching was to refine my skills as a storyteller following the retreat. My objectives were more than fulfilled. I was able to receive one on one attention from Doug and again marvel at how he drew out in me the gifts of telling my stories. I have gone on to present stories in everything from op-ed pieces to speeches to workshops. The audiences are rapt with attention and my message gets through thanks to Doug’s private coaching. I return in my mind again and again to his energy and enthusiasm but most of all his deep interest in his students as he spreads the word – “story” is the message!

     Sylvia Lovely, CEO, Kentucky League of Cities

“I just had to share this with you. I spoke last Wednesday to 1200 people. I nailed it. It was the storytelling, humor and staging that you’ve taught me. The content was the same except for this. I had people lined up and the meeting planner said I was the best speaker they’d ever had. Thanks for your coaching and ongoing support. You’ve got a gift.”

     Elaine Allison, President, Presentations Plus, Vancouver, BC

“I’ve been speaking since 1970 when I was a governor’s press secretary right out of college. I’ve given a lot of workshops over the years as a corporate communications expert and now as a management consultant. But whenever I heard a really good speaker, I wondered why my presentations didn’t sound as good as theirs.

My first step was to attend the Story Theater Retreat. Doug showed us what perfection looks like, then stepped back and let us present. He gave each of us very specific, personalized guidance that considered our content, personalities, objectives and sensitivities.

My next step was post-retreat private coaching sessions. In those sessions, Doug helped me create a clear outline for a major presentation I had coming up in NY. I emailed him my script based on that outline. We went through three iterations over the phone. During those discussions, it was obvious Doug had carefully read my script prior to the call. He gave me very specific coaching about the words, cadence, vocal delivery and blocking on stage.

Doug’s coaching makes sense. It’s thoughtful, to the point and very creative. It also considers my personal style and objectives. Doug is sensitive of others’ feelings and learning preferences. But, because he’s so damned good, I always told him not to hold back. I wanted to capture every bit of brilliance Doug has. Not to do so would have been a waste.

Before any major presentation, I go back to my workshop and post-workshop notes just as an airline pilot goes to her checklist before takeoff. As a result, my presentations are more interesting, get much higher reviews and are definitely more fun to deliver.

If you want to be a good presenter, no matter how good you are now, Doug Stevenson will help you get to a place that I’m confident you never dreamed of.”

     Jim Shaffer, Author of The Leadership Solution (McGraw-Hill)

“Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method is outstanding! As an author and business coach, I knew that I needed to make my speeches come to life in order to convey my message and stimulate audiences to action. The question was how to go from being a very good speaker to being a great speaker, especially in high-profile keynote addresses. Through Doug’s Story Theater Retreat, I discovered the path. What really translated the new skills and concepts I learned into bottom line results was Doug’s masterful private coaching in the weeks following the retreat.

“I sent him my outline and a practice tape of my whole speech. He gave critically valuable guidance on how to structure my speech overall, incorporate story elements, use other highly effective speaking techniques, and get ready for the final presentation. The results have been fantastic. After delivering a recent address to over 200 applauding Silicon Valley managers, people thronged around me and gave glowing reviews. People specifically mentioned how much they enjoyed the use of stories.

“Doug Stevenson has an extraordinary gift for helping speakers bring stories to life. I have benefited from the phenomenal power of his work in the transformation it has made in my speaking and the overwhelming enthusiasm of audience responses. This is an investment with hugely positive payoffs for both my speaking and business coaching activities.”

     Don Maruska, Author of How Great Decisions Get Made, AMACOM Books

“Doug Stevenson is a superb speaking coach. He will find ways to bring out your natural talents in order to have the maximum desired effect on the audience. My efforts to excel as an ‘edutainment’ speaker have accelerated by light years as a result of working with Doug for just a short period of time. He really is that good.

“At the heart of Doug’s coaching, of course, is his mastery of all aspects of storytelling. What especially amazes me is working with Doug on stories that audiences, at first glance, might not find particularly interesting. Well Doug’s got the remedies for that. His coaching techniques truly ensure that you will, as Doug likes to say, ‘never be boring’.

“Finally, Doug’s coaching has made an ever-increasing difference in my bottom line. By applying his techniques, the size of my customer base has quadrupled in just one year’s time.”

     Thomas A. Rogers, Ph.D., President, The Rogers Group

“After my complimentary coaching call with you, I have realized the amazing value that I received. There are many Golden Nuggets that I took away. To name the top three… you helped me come up with my phrase that pays, “Let go of your illusion”…and the call to action “Make magic happen”. I also realized how very important it is to give clear and concise instructions when implementing group exercises. The last and most important lesson I learned was how I could plant subconscious seeds very early in my presentation to create an emotional response for my client to want more of my services. Doug you are the expert and your expertise is worth its weight in gold. Thank you.”

     Wayne Lee, Wayne Lee Enterprises Inc.

“I speak and consult on leadership. I spent ten years in the Marines and ten years in corporate America before “turning pro” as a speaker. What I discovered along the way however was that I was a “professional talker,” Doug made me a professional speaker.

Doug first helped me develop a keynote to support a book I had written. I had a good 3-hour workshop on the book – but the keynote was like a fast, highly compressed workshop. It wasn’t right. Doug and I worked together to craft the keynote that has become an important part of my revenue.

That keynote led to requests for less content driven keynotes. They wanted something more motivational. Again, Doug and I worked together to craft the theme, structure and flow of this new keynote. Of course, we worked together to refine the stories to incorporate Story Theater techniques to make them have real impact.

Collaborating with Doug to develop the outline of the keynotes was most important to me. He helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to say and then helped me put it all together. His coaching of my delivery is always worthwhile and worth the investment.

I have successfully used both new keynotes and have gotten referral work because of them. Doug has a flexible, caring and forgiving approach. He is in the room with you. I make it a point to see him every year to work on something related to becoming a better speaker. I don’t think you can truly call yourself a professional speaker unless you have gotten some world class professional coaching. Doug is one of the best coaches you can get.”

     Wally Adamchick, CSP, President, FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

Story Theater Retreat Testimonials – Business Storytelling Retreat

Click to View Retreat Video Testimonials

“Doug’s Story Theater Method is a completely unique product.  He has invented a new genre for professional keynoters and story-tellers of any kind.  The blending of “in” and “out” moments creates an immersion experience for the audience that works in both small and large venues.  Used correctly, it will leave your audience with the lessons you wanted them to learn without feeling like they’ve been “taught.”  The “in”s and “out”s create a vividness that acts like glue to make the “lessons” stick in their memory.”

      Cory Bouck, Director of Organizational Development and Learning, Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

So much about the retreat worked. The size of the group was ideal for giving us enough one on one time with Doug and also to develop trust among each other. The studio in your home was warm and welcoming. It provided a safe, comfortable space to do our work.  The videotaping of our stories and your coaching was helpful in doing the homework. I would not have been able to remembered Doug’s excellent and specific coaching without that video tape.

     Val Littlefield, HR Executive

“You are an insightful, helpful coach. What I liked best was that you helped us discover the best in ourselves. You made suggestions, not commands. To be honest, this is the best I’ve ever felt about my gifts and talents in this area. It was a true blessing.”

Dr. Pat Gangi – Past President International Coach Federation, Phoenix, AZ

“If you want to grow as a speaker, I can think of no better way, no faster way, and no more fun way than to attend a Doug Stevenson Story Theater Retreat.”

Sam Silverstein, Past President National Speakers Association – St. Louis, MO

“I left the class with a renewed confidence in my ability to deliver material and make it more entertaining than it’s been in the past. I finally understand the block I’ve had with conveying my humor through storytelling to an audience. This retreat is an absolute must for anyone who wants to improve their ability to captivate and audience with a story. I will recommend it to anyone who will listen!”

Dan Maddux – Executive Director, American Payroll Association, San Antonio, TX

“The retreat worked because of your constant pushing us to the edge. The book can never do that. I believe the book will be a resource to help us remember what we learned from you. The exercises, and your feedback are tremendous. Seeing you work with others and seeing how your advice to them is so dead on, makes it easier to trust the advice you give us. Because inevitably, your advice takes us to places that we don’t really trust. The video is absolutely priceless. After watching the video, I could not believe how much I had already forgotten. “By the way, I used the ‘new and improved’ keynote and got rave reviews. I had several people tell me they’d never seen anything like it and that the “IN” parts were the most powerful and memorable. I’m going back through the book and CD’s to pick up and implement everything I can. Thanks again!”

Ruben Gonzales, Three-time Olympian Luge Racer, Katy, TX

“Doug Stevenson has to be experienced. Words can’t convey the uncanny ability he has to reach in and capture one’s natural talent and masterfully stretch that talent to a new level. I was absolutely thrilled with the progress I was able to make and the tools I now have at my disposal.”

     Karyn Buxman, CSP, CPAE – St. Louis, MO

“The retreat worked for me because there was space for each person to be him/herself. This gave me full permission to be myself. In a nutshell, there was no judgment in the room, either from Doug or from the other students. There was really no space for judgment to enter the process, which made it safe. I particularly appreciated how Doug was able to work with each person at the level of that person. It was amazing to watch Doug coach each person right past his/her comfort zone. Also, because Doug is so committed to the process, we become committed to the process.”

     Dana Lightman, Tucson, AZ

“This retreat made me see the difference between amateur and professional speaking. It allowed me to compare my Toastmasters speaking against members of a professional speakers association. I learned that if I work hard I will be able to become a professional speaker. I also learned that my timing and my deadpan humour are a strength which can be exploited in the future. In my mind, it was the best value for money course that I have been on in the last five years.”

     Ciaran Blair – Dublin, Ireland

“This is the best coaching I have had. Doug has designed a program that pushes the participant in both technique and authenticity. He creates an atmosphere to take risks. He models the behaviors. This is worth three times the cost. It is a must investment for any speaker.”

     Marjorie Brody, CPAE, CSP – Philadelphia, PA

“In the retreat I learned that I am my worst self-critic. Watching myself on video was amazing…..I was not at all what I envisioned. I have spent a lifetime, using negative self-talk. In the first taping, I watched body language that I was totally unaware of. It was a gesture that demonstrated that inner, negative self-talk. During the second taping, I caught myself the first time I did it and amazingly enough, I was able to NOT repeat the gesture. I actually had to say ‘Who is that amazing woman? This can’t be me!’”

     Mary Morgan, Phoenix, AZ

“Thanks to you for helping me to tell my story more effectively. When I told it recently, it was well received. I was shocked, however. I got emotional. So did they. In the middle of the day when I shared it, they gave me a standing ovation. Couldn’t believe it.”

     Lois Creamer, St Louis, MO

“I arrived at the Story Theater Retreat without significant speaking skills. Less than two days later I delivered a powerful speech that connected with and moved my audience. I was shocked! I’m already preparing to tell the most powerful stories that are inside me in a way that my audiences will connect with me, get the real message, and respond. I learned that people need the stories I have…and I can now give it to them like they’ll want! I learned to tell MY stories…for myself and others. How about you? What powerful stories and messages are bottled up inside of you? What are your stories that can change lives…yours and others…when you tell them powerfully? Commit the time and money it takes and fully participate in a Story Theater Retreat. Learn how to really tell your stories…for yourself and others.”

     Phil Hamilton, Austin, TX

“Your workshop and book have truly provided the push in the right direction. My feedback has been huge and I’m booking gigs like crazy. It’s a total blast to ride the wave when telling my favorite stories, especially my Bank Bag Story. Thanks for making a positive impact.”

     Rob Bell, Lancaster, WI

“You cannot get this anywhere else! Unique!”

     Stephen Head – London

“It’s not an easy thing to commit one full weekend out of our busy lives, in addition to the financial investment. However, the opportunity to absorb yourself in intense work on your skills and craft is crucial to stretching and growing. It’s not an easy thing to expose yourself to coaching in front of people you may not have met before and open yourself up to the possibility that you don’t have all the answers and your favorite approach may not be working as well as something new and different. But we’re not in this business because it’s easy…we’re in it to have an impact on others through the spoken word and through who we are as people. It’s up to us to use a vehicle that helps others ‘get’ who we are, what we’ve been through, and what we’ve learned from the process. Doug’s Story Theater workshop is the perfect vehicle.”

     Laura Benjamin, Colorado Springs, CO

“People from diverse backgrounds were able to come together and sincerely work as a team to help each person reach their potential as a speaker. A unique bonding took place. We were encouraged to find our inner truth and this freed us to allow everyone else to do so. People often hide behind masks and try to be socially correct. We were supported and rewarded for being “real.” Doug set the tone by modeling the behavior. The various improvisations forced us to “get out of the box.” Also, the presentations followed by intense feedback helped everyone learn more about the Art of Storytelling.”

     Sandra Sowell-Scott – Norfolk, VA

“Story telling is a dance between connecting and theater and Doug is the best choreographer! He doesn’t change you – he stretches you. I had only 8 days between two international engagements but something in my gut said you can’t afford to miss this. Three weeks later, I got that fantastic telephone call inviting me to do a general session at NSA. Timing is everything. Be prepared. Sign up now!”

     Marcia Steele – Atlanta, GA

“Story Theater was unlike anything I have ever been through. It took me a day to let it all sink in. When people asked me on Sunday how it was, all I could do was say “good/fine/different.” Today, I am saying, ‘The best learning experience I have had in over a decade. Doug is in his element and is so totally immersed in the experience it is energizing.’ This isn’t just about the mechanics of telling a good story, it is about becoming a better human (of course, better humans are better speakers). One who is more aware, more alive, and more aligned with the future God put here for them – if they go for it. Be prepared to be taken out of your comfort zone. Be prepared for the unexpected, but it is all good. Be prepared to take your craft to a new level.”

     Wally Adamchick, Raleigh, NC

“Doug has a terrific way of positively affirming each and every member of the group while still making suggestions for significant improvement. Now that I know my performance is up to me and not in relation to a particular audience’s response, the roller coaster of emotion after each program will be minimized.”

     Bill Karlson, Nashville, TN

“I have always considered myself a good and frequent storyteller, but Doug’s presentation showed me that there are myriad things I can do to make my good stories great! While I learned what I was doing was intuitively right, most importantly Doug taught me the technical aspects of telling a tale-the components, the mechanics, and format in order to make sure each of my stories is the best it can be. Doug’s information and enthusiasm sparked my imagination. With just the limited time we spent together, I’m excited to get going improving my old stories, developing new ones and most importantly crafting my signature story.”

     Karen Rowinsky, Kansas City, MO

“Doug is a master at making a simple story a masterpiece that will live on after we have left the stage. He clearly took my stories and me to the next level. I wanted to work on one story and had the time to improve four. I’ll be more clear, concise, visual, entertaining and memorable.”

     Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP, Denver, CO

“I very much appreciated your sense of organization, well thought out exercises, and excellent feedback and presence. I loved your coaching. It was very positive, very helpful and empowering. This class is for any kind of speaker, beginner or advanced. It will support you in really honing in on what you can transmit to an audience through voice, body and movement.”

     Peggy O’Neill-Laise, Los Angeles, CA

“Doug is totally engaged and engaging. He has the ability to remain present and ‘laser beam’ each speakers strengths and weak spots. You’ll learn to replicate your spontaneity so every audience experiences the brilliant diamond in you.”

     Carolyn Martin, Happy Valley, OR

“What I learned about myself is how much deeper I must look to be authentic. When you get still and ask, your wonderful mind will respond and show you pictures you have forgotten, hurts that have been hidden and dreams that have been forgotten. That is the message of a good speaker, to show you how to take the garbage and make gourmet. Doug, you have provided the road for my travel. I won’t forget this time. It was transformational.”

     Nancy McMillon, Greenville, SC

“I want to thank you for the quality, intensity and insights of your Story Theater Retreat, not to mention the effectiveness of your hands-on coaching. It has done more for my speaking ability than any other coaching I have ever received. Not only do I not know anyone better than you, I cannot imagine anyone better at this than you. We will work together again.”

    David McIlhenny, Carlisle, MA

“Wow! I knew this would be an exceptional weekend, but it exceeded those expectations. It was phenomenal! In 48 hours you have provided more insightful, constructive and useful feedback than I have received in twenty years in the speaking arena. You are a master at this and your passion is evident. I will be the first in line for your advanced workshops and for your audio series.”

     David Dempsey, Atlanta, GA

“I must say that my investment in your two-day Story Theater Retreat was the best investment I’ve made in the three years I’ve been in NSA. I spoke to the Georgia Speakers Association in December and received my first standing ovation! What a thrill. I had it taped and edited into a demo. As a result, I’ve booked six speeches in the next 60 days. So, it’s fair to say that my investment has been returned at least ten times over.”

     Marilynn Mobley – Atlanta, GA

“I have just gotten a taste of the outrageous person I can be on the platform. I learned that I can be brilliant and hilarious. Doug helps you find your stories and yourself. I really appreciated Doug’s loose style, very relaxed but also very attentive to each speaker. This is an unbelievable opportunity to practice, learn, develop and create your stories.”

     Diane Seig – Denver, CO

“If you’re willing to use your mind, your body, your face, your memory and your emotions, you will learn from Doug how to be authentic on the platform, no matter what your audience and what your topic. Doug’s full concentration on each person is wonderful, as is the way he had us work on a few sections of our stories right then and there, and captured it on tape.”

     Susan Trivers – Washington, D.C.

“If you really want to improve your storytelling ability, and your keynoting skills, if you really want to take your professional speaking to a much higher level, if you really want to see IMMEDIATE and SIGNIFICANT improvement, you MUST attend this. I learned that I can cut loose up there, have a good time, and be funny. This will push me to work hard to perfect my delivery, and will allow me to connect with audiences. The course was well worth the investment because it showed immediate results in improved storytelling and it taught me a process to use in the future. It would have literally taken years to develop this on my own through research and experience.”

Terry Wall – Philadelphia, PA

“Doug’s coaching opened a new door for me. This is a ‘to die for retreat.’ If you have to choose between Doug’s coaching and an NSA workshop, choose Doug.”

Karla Brandau, CSP – Atlanta, GA

Corporate Training Testimonials

Click to view Corporate Training video testimonials

“As someone who is responsible for leadership development I’m always looking for speakers and topics that will bring value to my organization. Doug helped us realize that it’s much more about the emotional connection with our audiences than the content of a presentation or what’s on a PowerPoint slide. I’ve used Doug Stevenson in many leadership development programs and he always delivers. He finds a way to balance good solid content, with storytelling and entertainment and getting people involved. If you’re looking for something different as I was, give Doug a call.”

Mike Patterson – National Training Manager – TAP Pharmaceuticals

“On behalf of Caterpillar Inc. and the nearly 300 Operations, HR and Communications managers who attended our May 2006 Global Engagement Conference, thank you for a truly awesome session. Your delivery was engaging, enlightening, and entertaining. Your presentations were the two highest scoring sessions in our entire conference. Your breakout session was also the only standing room only one of the entire conference. As we continue our engagement journey, we must take the next step in communications and generate understanding. Your storytelling methodology and engaging delivery were a great first step. Thank you again for your passionate and persuasive message.”

Brian R. Gareau, OE + E Manager, Caterpillar

“We brought Doug Stevenson in to teach his Story Theater Method to both our senior trainers and our senior management here at Oracle University. He was a huge success. Since that time, I’ve personally used what I learned from Doug and have found it to be practical, valuable and fun. I’ve also hired him two more times to work with other groups. His workshop is both inspirational and very practical, with easy-to-use tools and techniques. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to bring Doug back into Oracle and I highly recommend him. Doug Stevenson delivers!”

Elizabeth Wiseman, VP, Oracle University

“In short – you were wonderful. Your style is open, honest, fun and thorough. You demonstrated an understanding of the issues we face as a company, including the competitive nature of our business. You listened to our needs and incorporated each one into your presentation. Honestly, this was the first training seminar I’ve put together where no one fell asleep! The evaluation forms enclosed say it all.”

Patricia Pigoni – Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange

Public Workshop Testimonials

“First about the workshop. It was SUPER! I’ve told lots of folks about you and it. Specifically, the “formula” for the nine parts of the story is soooo clear and easy to use. I was doing an “executive seminar” the evening of our class. I had only about 30 minutes to collect my thoughts between the story workshop and my seminar. The workshop had made me aware that one of my “best” stories for that topic was totally inside out. So, I decided that even without proper scripting and practice, it would still come out better if I told it according to your formula. So, in about 20 minutes, I re-organized the story totally. Made a quick pages of notes as bullet points, ran through it in my head once. Off to the seminar! It was about ten times better than the old form, just using the nine steps. I’ve since used that outline to write a script and practice. It’s beginning to get really good! So, I wanted to thank you for all the great material you delivered and to let you know that it had an immediate payback for me!”

Linda Ford, Ph.D. – Austin, Texas One-Day Workshop

“Doug ‘spun me.’ It was so refreshing to work with a professional who was willing to share his expertise and the benefit of his many years of experience. A great value. Don’t miss the opportunity to work with Doug.”

Betty Jo Summers

“Dear Doug,

I had the pleasure of attending your Story Theater workshop in Ft. Lauderdale last summer, and I loved it. I recently had a chance to perform my story for a very tough audience – about 500 inner-city high school students from the local vo-tech school, half of them with serious discipline problems. These kids have seen it all, let me tell you, so I pretty much expected to bomb. Why in the world they would respond to me, an old white lady, telling a sailing story to teach them how to set goals? Well, those kids were hanging off their seats, waiting breathlessly for the next line, laughing at every point where I expected them to laugh, and even calling out the Phrase that Pays at the right places. Since I had practiced the whole performance so often, I could really relax and focus on the delivery. You can imagine how much I enjoyed myself, and it got even better when half the audience came up to me afterwards saying, “I want to be like YOU!” What a great experience!

“Just thought you’d like to know that I got my money’s worth (and then some) from working with you.”

Ellen Bristol, Bristol Strategy Group – Miami, Florida One-Day Workshop

“Doug was easygoing, yet right on target and very helpful. He helped me bring out more funny stuff and I got farther along with the story than I thought I would.”

Claudia Machell

“To anyone debating whether to ‘invest’ in this workshop for the construction of your first few speeches or not, I speak from ‘hindsight’- now that I’ve taken it in saying that I highly recommend that you take this course because it is phenomenal!… I got 1000% ROI, ‘Return on Investment’. It’s packed and overflowing with so many practical steps and tips, that I couldn’t think of anything else to ask for— other than time to write my first perfect speech. Thanks, Doug!”

Anita Hermesch – Charlotte, North Carolina One-Day Workshop


“You are remarkable..wonderful…AWESOME! You not only changed the way I think and feel about training, you’ve transformed me and impacted my business!

“I attended the Story Theater training in Tempe on Tuesday. It was great fun and tremendously helpful. It laid the foundation for using story telling in business training. You may remember me, at the end of class I mentioned that I have difficulty speaking in front of a group, because with all of my uncontrolled anxiety–my mind becomes a blank slate. You gave me a couple of pointers.

“So, I purchased the 6-pack, started reading Never Be Boring Again, and listened to the teleseminar yesterday– I GOT IT!!!!! They provided the framework I needed to create a DYNAMIC presentation and solidified what I learned on Tuesday. Today, I am a new woman! Can you sense the excitement?

“I woke up this morning and wrote 2 incredible stories and a complete outline for a training I’m giving in November! I was in a state of flow! And I can’t believe the transformation. For years, I’ve been uncomfortable presenting my own material because I didn’t think it was good enough. I didn’t like presenting other peoples material because it wasn’t memorable enough…OK I can be a perfectionists. That flaw aside…I GET IT NOW! Tell stories about myself…(I didn’t think I had many stories…but, now I know I’m full of —–them) …My stories are memorable…they’re fresh…and using your story theater techniques, they will be EXCITING!

“Now, I know my training material is GREAT! Comedy is funergy. I am FUNNY. Thanks to you…for bringing it out!”

Carole Thomas – Tempe, AZ One-Day Workshop

“Thank you on behalf of our members in general and me in particular for a spectacular, breathtaking presentation, last night. The fun and education you brought to the meeting with your own brand of humor and presentation techniques gave a world of benefit to the members attending. You could no doubt recognize as the evening went on that you owned the audience, your storytelling and coaching was of immense value. The two members of the audience you worked with were thrilled to have the opportunity to enhance their own particular story with your guidance, and the telling of their story in the future will give greater pleasure to their audiences, as a result. Once again thank you for a spectacular presentation.”

Kevin J Hartley, President, NW Chapter, PSA, Manchester, UK

“I just returned from a conference where I did 3 presentations to the same crowd. After taking your Story Theater One Day Workshop, I re-scripted every story so this was the test run. WOW! I have had several revelations as a result of the process:

I really enjoyed re-writing and practicing the stories because I was able to re-live those experiences and continue to repeat and relearn the lessons for myself.

The material (or surfboard as Doug called it) was far more enjoyable to practice as it was a closer tie to my emotions (the wave).

The presentations were a blast. They always are but this was different.

I felt more congruent, alive and energetic performing rather than narrating the stories. The flow was easier and smoother.

There was much more emotion in the crowd than before. More tears, more laughter, more energy.

I received very positive comments in person and on Participant Satisfaction Reports about really touching people, hitting some personal tough spots, providing tools for hope, being inspirational, and about the fun.

I feel that the quality of my presentations have jumped forward for the best. And I thank you for sharing your guidance, wisdom and expertise. You have changed my life, which affects every life that I speak to. Keep tossing pebbles in the pond my friend!”

Dan Ohler, Thinkin’Outside the Barn – Calgary One-Day Workshop

“Doug’s WEBinar on How To Write A Dynamite Speech had an immediate impact on my speech success rate. I won “Best Speaker” at my Toastmasters meeting the next day having incorporated some of the tips I learned the night before. I am new to the speech world and a new member of Toastmasters and learned some useful new techniques. I already knew the way to connect with an audience was to connect with their emotions – Doug just taught me HOW to do that. My confidence in speech-writing is growing now that I know the methods I need to use to make any kind of content interesting and powerful. I look forward to the Story Theater One-Day Workshop in Tempe, AZ – should be fun.”

Paige Donnelly, Arizona

“Every time I come in contact with Doug Stevenson (his book, lectures, webinar) I get motivated to do something more with my speaking and desire to speak. He’s like a healthy shot in the arm. I’m writing again, planning and looking at all my options to get out there with my message! I can’t thank you enough!”

Jennifer Wilde, Colorado

“Dear Doug,

“I’m not sure you’ll remember me or not but I was at the NSA-NC chapter meeting last weekend. I was one of the volunteers you coached for 15 minutes. I did the story about weight loss.

“I wanted to take a moment to say that I’m putting into action much of what I learned (give me time and more will be in) and how much you touched me. In addition, although (in all modesty) my Weight Watchers meetings are usually strong and I get a great reaction, I have reached new heights in my meetings this week. I am usually animated and open but something inside me clicked this week and I am (quite frankly) surprised about how strong I have become. It’s because of what you showed me about me.

“You have a gift. I think you know it. I still felt it was important to let you know how much you touched me. I look forward to our paths crossing again. (I am on your mailing list now and hope to attend a story theater workshop later.)

“My very best to you. And thank you again.”

Scott “Q” Marcus, THINspirational Speaker – Charlotte, North Carolina

“I attended your breakout session at the NSA Winter Workshop this morning in Norfolk (I’m writing this from my laptop in my room). Your session was THE best I’ve ever attended at ANY conference, not just NSA!! Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance, your techniques and most of all your obvious enthusiasm. You are a gifted storyteller and clearly a wonderful actor.

“I’ve always been rated pretty high but you can bet after attending your session today, I’ll be making many ongoing changes that will hopefully make me irresistible. You gave me some great ideas!

“Thanks for generosity and commitment to help your fellow speakers. From now on, every time I see an NSA program, I’ll look for your name. I could see you over and over and over. Wow!”

Marilynn Mobley, The Acorn Group – Marietta, GA

“Your talk, Doug, had a huge impact on my speaking. Before I left I could see the huge potential in adopting your ideas and although I have only worked my way through a little of the Story Theatre set, I have been busy since. Your point about telling your learning points in story seemed so powerful I had a conference to do last week and I re-wrote all my notes before then to use stories to illustrate all my points. It was very well received, which was amazing given the short time it took to re-write everything. But there was also a huge benefit to me because I instinctively knew all the material as they were my stories, so there was no material to learn. I just looked at the list of stories and I knew where I was in the material. So that was an instant success!”

Bob Ferguson – London, UK

“Doug, thank you for an informative, educational, inspiring WEBinar. You provided tools to help my speeches reach a higher level of success. I look forward to implementing many of the techniques you presented to provide a more effective presentation for the individuals I am striving to help. Thank you!”

Terry Lubotsky

“Doug pulled off the near-impossible – he channeled his in-person energy and appeal to the challenging venue of live Web training. From now on, in my own web presentations I will shamelessly emulate his techniques and ratchet up my voice energy.”

David Fink, Director of Training, Fujitsu General America, Inc.