About Saskia, The Keynote Coach

"A good consultant will often tell you what you need and help you acquire it; a good coach will elicit from you what you desire and help you achieve it."

About Saskia

I started out on Madison Avenue; I ended up on Wall Street. I intended to consult in advertising; I ended up coaching financial wizards. I shunned Economics; I then found myself teaching Ph.D. economists to drop their jargon in favor of Plain English; I never studied Law; but found myself training lawyers to construct a good story and persuade through their passion.

My career has taught me two things: Expect the unexpected; and go with the flow.

My fascinating clients have taught me as much as I've taught them.

Among the insights I've gained are: I came to see that experts in any field are often too close to their material to see the forest for the trees. In the words of a favorite client, “We are now so embroiled in the trees, we can’t even see the leaves!”

I have learned...

  • that we convey as much through our presence as we do through our words

  • that our authenticity is far more persuasive than what we utter

  • that our humanity, not our perfection, is what connects us to others

  • that perfection intimidates; humanity draws people to us

And so, my mission has become to show you that when you connect to yourself, you have something to offer others. And to convince you that ALL speaking is public speaking … unless you are in a closet muttering to yourself!
Saskia Shakin - THE Keynote Coach

Are you thinking of working with a keynote coach? Wondering what I offer?

Put simply, I know how to listen. It is the essence of my work. And when I listen, clients tell me they feel validated. They feel free to express the truest part of themselves without embarrassment … without fear. 

I can offer you objectivity ... the objectivity that helps you see your message through the eyes — and ears — of your audience. Most often, an expert is too close to his material. A seasoned coach can create a bridge between what you know and how best to convey it.

How can this help you?

Many mistakenly think that public speaking is about what we say; in fact, it is about who we are. If you are being true to yourself, the audience will be with you. If you are not, they may not know why, but they begin to fidget … or daydream … or sleep.

If you ALWAYS do what you ALWAYS did...

...you always get what you always got. Old habits die hard. A coach can help you build new habits that serve you better than the old. I see my job as a cheerleader, and fairy godmother ... because there is always magic in the air when transformation occurs.

About The Keynote Coach

Having worked for many years as both a Coach and a Consultant, I have come to appreciate the subtle distinction between the two. A good consultant will often tell you what you need and help you acquire it; a good coach will elicit from you what you desire and help you achieve it. Coaching is subtle and very, very interactive.

Speaking Truth to Power

You might think that someone of keynote stature would not need guidance. But they do. Even a seasoned speaker needs to hear constructive feedback.

Even a polished CEO needs to hit the right tone ... needs to find the right voice.

No matter what their style, good speakers always connect with their audience. Without that connection, the speech is just a bunch of words. In reality, you must be having a conversation even if you are the only one speaking.

Finding Your Voice

Your voice is not to be found in your intellect. Your voice must be a marriage of heart and mind. When you have found your voice, you will not only lose the fear of speaking, you will embrace it, and it will embrace you ... and enhance your life ... more than words can say.

Above all, my message is: “If you can speak to one, you can speak to 100!” It matters less how many people are listening. What matters is whether you have found your own voice.

That is what keynote coaching is all about. Your voice. Your truth. No one else’s.