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Testimonials from training participants in the civic engagement / democracy / immigration arenas

“This is seriously one of the best trainings I have ever received.”
Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
“I highly recommend this training.”
Jojo Annobil, Executive Director, Immigrant Justice Corps
“Every leader of a non-profit should take this training as it will dramatically improve their ability to talk about their organization.”
Eric Cohen, Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
“An approachable, interactive and energetic coaching style that made the training worthwhile and easy to apply!”
Nicole Melaku, Executive Director, National Partnership for New Americans
“My grantees loved the training.”
Geri Mannion, Managing Director, Carnegie Corporation of New York

“I had no idea so much could be done in just one hour, total game-changing work!”
Heather Ferguson, Executive Director, Common Cause New Mexico

“Marc provided specific and useful principles that can be used not only in my professional life, but my personal life. He provided useful and practical tools to be incorporated fairly easily. In addition, he made illustrated how simple concepts can be quite powerful in a few sentences.”
Quintilia Avila, California Director of Civic Engagement, NALEO Educational Fund

“I had a great experience working with Marc! We were able to really dive into an effective elevator speech in only one hour, thanks to the advance prep work that Marc completed and the knowledge and experience he brings to the session.”
Meghan Paulas, VP of Network Advancement , ACS

“Marc is very personal made me feel very comfortable. During my session, we achieved a lot. I left with plenty tools that I can use not only at work but in everyday social interction.”
Jannet Esparza, Innovations & Learning Manager, Immigration Legal Resource Center

“Marc is clearly very adept with language and its impact. It was really fun to combine the knowledge of my organization and its challenges with Marc’s talent for communication to come up with new ideas.”
Jill Dash, Vice President of Strategic Engagement, ACS

“Marc’s framework is extremely clear and effective — it translates to any context — and he comes prepared to help you get the most out of the time together. I’ve already recommended the training to colleagues.”
Julie Bosland, Associate Director, Living Cities

“Marc is highly personable, which makes those of us who are shyer feel at ease. He listens well, does his research on who you are beforehand, and has a fantastic ability to use themes that are relevant to you based on the research that he did before the session.”
Maisha Nelson, Director of Human Resources & Administration, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“Marc helped me take a big complicated story and tell it short, sweet, and to the point.”
Deirdre O’Shea, Senior Foundations Relations Manager, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“Marc is fantastic. In just one hour I became more confident, articulate, and persuasive. Everyone should take this training.”
Christopher Zoia, Communications Manager, Immigrant Justice Corps

“Elevator Speech Training is a game changer.”
Alec Rieger, Founder, Civic Stage

“In just an hour Marc showed me practical ways I could be more effective and persuasive as a presenter and more visible as a leader at my organization.”
Medha Chandra, Associate Director, ILRC

“In one hour, I gave my three-minute elevator speech and received real-time feedback on how to improve it. We watched my speech and reviewed the sections that could be improved and Marc shared tips and insights on how I could improve them. I will use the follow-up email with the oral feedback to create a solid elevator speech.”
Rosamaria Carrillo, PolicyLink, PolicyLink

“In just one hour, I learned to effectively speak about my work in a way that is simple, yet compelling. It challenged me to think about what makes our work unique and how to boil that down to its essence.”
Jamila Henderson, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

“Marc helped me prepare for an upcoming important meeting with the White House to advocate for resources to make affordable rental housing energy efficient and climate resilient. Marc’s insights and suggestions were incredibly helpful to make my presentation more effective, dynamic, and resonant. Thank you for this extremely valuable hour of training!”
Ellen Lurie Hoffman, Senior Director of Federal Policy, National Housing Trust

“One hour with Marc was like turning on a light in a dark room: our way forward is much clearer.”
Mike Shesterkin, Exec. Director, SMSBF

“This hour of training was more of a treat than a mani-pedi. Intense pandemic work doesn’t leave much left over for refreshing our stories, but I’m glad I made time for a skillfully guided reset.”
Sabrina Roach, Program Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

“These sorts of trainings always make me nervous but Marc was able to instantly put me at ease, workshop things with me, and share smart suggestions that I could start implementing immediately.”
Sarah Treuhaft, Vice President for Research, PolicyLink

“In one hour, I had a clear, concise and powerful message to share with future donors. Marc helped tighten up my messaging for the most impact.”
Heena Khatri, VP of Board, OneAmerica Votes

“I’ve been an advocate for almost 20 years–I wish I had this training in the beginning! The hour flew by. Not only is the elevator speech framework highly adaptable and useful, the real-time coaching helped me apply it. I’m excited to try it out.”
Michelle Rodriguez, Chief of Programs, NELP

“I gained a lot of helpful insights from the training. It was a highly productive use of just one hour — I highly recommend it.”
Richard Dubois, Executive Director, National Consumer Law Center

“A simple yet effective and engaging format”
Sydney Céspedes, Green for All, Campaign Manager, Dream Corps

“I couldn’t believe how much I was able to learn about public speaking and delivering a pitch in just one hour. Marc really analyzed me quickly as a person and honed in on specific things about my personality that I can highlight in any interview. Will definitely be recommending to my friends!”
Rebecca Charles, Racial Justice Research Coordinator, Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy

“Marc was very well prepared, a friendly instructor, and covered a lot of ground in the one-hour session. Already, I feel better able to prepare a range of formal and informal scenarios. Thank you!”
Megan Curran, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy

“I wish every community organizer in America could have this one hour training. We would go a long way toward changing this country.”
Madeline Janis, Executive Director, Jobs to Move America

“Marc’s training was super helpful; His framework will now be a go-to resource!”
April Hewko, Program Manager, Equal Justice Works

“I felt more confident in myself and my pitch after just one hour!”
Linda Anderson Stanley, Senior Manager, Equal Justice Works

“Time is in short supply for all of us but this would be an hour well spent for anyone doing this work, regardless of their level of experience.”
Damien Filer, communications director, Progress Florida

“In just an hour, Marc helped me to identify the key elements of my proposed pitch that had the most power, see where I could amplify resonant messages, and distill points so I had fewer “items” to remember in the pitch; which made it feel more natural as I practiced afterward.”
Tiffanie Luckett, Sr. Officer, Individual Giving, National Immigration Law Center

“Appreciate Marc’s suggestions for how to make my speech more powerful and actionable.”
Julie Archer, Coordinator, WV Citizens for Clean Elections

“In just one hour with Marc, I was able to develop usable talking points that will increase my ability to fund raise, build awareness and call to action all those I interact with.”
Debra Cronmiller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin

“I feel I’m better prepared for that time when I run into a lawmaker in an elevator!”
Sulma Guzman, Policy Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

“Learning how to deliver a good speech is very related to my work. As a community organizer I have to talk to many people in order to motivate them to join our movement. Marc first allowed me to give a speech that came natural and then he gave me valuable tips to make it much better. I feel more comfortable now to speak in public with Marc’s advise.”
Miriam Garcia, Community Organizer, Chispa AZ

“Marc helped me present about my self and my organization in a more confident and organized way.”
Bruna Bouhid, Communications Director, United We Dream

“Marc Fest’s Elevator Speech training is what we all need – especially during this time of transition – to hone a pitch.”
Zerline Hughes Spruill, Managing Director of Communications, Advancement Project National Office

“This training was so helpful! Marc was great at giving very specific and actionable feedback. His advice on how to use emotions and examples to effectively connect with our audience is exceptionally valuable — especially now.”
Evy Pena, Communications and Development Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM)

“Marc Fest really helped me find my voice, it was already there, but it was lacking structure, emotion, and impact. Marc showed me how to craft my elevator speech to be more impactful with a logical flow, personalizing it more, using examples and facts, and by framing the urgency of the work that my non profit does in the context of the current pandemic.”
Rasha Mahmoud, donor relations specialist, MIRA Coalition

“I have always had a knack for public speaking, but this training got me out of my comfort zone and reinvigorated my creativity for storytelling in a new way that will now be woven into the thread of every communication opportunity I have going forward.”
Melissa Hernandez, Community Liaison, Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness

“In just an hour I left with concrete ways I can be more effective.”
Rachel Micah-Jones, Executive Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.

“Honest feedback is critical and I definitely got that! Thank you!”
Lindsay Harper, Executive Director, Georgia WAND

“Great way for a non-profit board member to structure and refine their convictions and thoughts about their cause to help others quickly understand why a cause is worth supporting. Direct and to the point and worth the time and effort.”
Roger Wu, Board Member, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“The session with Marc was transformational. It can be hard to talk about the work we do all day, every day, because we are so close to it. Marc showed me how to home in on what matters and share it in a way that resonates. He had concrete and spot-on ideas about how to describe what is most important. I appreciated the generosity and warm humor he brought to the coaching, as well as his earnest commitment to helping me improve. It was incredibly helpful!”
Melissa Rodgers, Director of Programs, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“A unique moment to focus on critical skills to further my work.”
Valerie Zukin, Lead Attorney Coordinator, Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco

“Marc was able to identify specific areas where I could improve and shared concrete examples/tactics for addressing the points I was stumbling on.”
Alycia Cheng, Program Manager, AAPI Civic Engagement Fund

“I actually had a meeting with a potential partner the same day of the training and it helped me to prepare. The meeting with the corporation went really well!”
Lindolfo Carballo, Director of Workforce Development, CASA de Maryland

“I like how after each iteration of my speech, we went over pluses and deltas and worked to improve my speech. It was a very focused activity that helped me think about not only how to structure my speech, but also to include elements of viscerality and urgency, so listeners are moved to support our work.”
Anni Leming, Co-President, Asian American Association of New Mexico

“It was a great training that provided me with concrete things on how improve my elevator speech. Watching myself, debriefing after to identify areas of improvement was incredibly helpful.Thank you Marc, truly appreciated your patience and support.”
Julieta Garibay, Director and Cofounder, United we Dream

“The training provided by Marc was exceptional in the way that it not only focuses on the technical aspects of speech but also the human element of how to impact and make the audience feel.”
Luis Aguilar, Virginia State Director, CASA

“This is seriously one of the best trainings I have ever received.”
Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center

“The modeling of story examples was so helpful.”
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

“At first I cringed at the idea of watching a recording of myself giving my elevator speech! But it turned out so helpful to watch and discuss with my trainer who gave me individualized, valuable feedback and tools for improvement.”
Moira Duvernay, Deputy Director , Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

“I would recommend Marc’s training to anyone who deals with the public. He has an ability to put you at ease and open up about the subject at hand. More importantly, he is able to guide you to sift through the information you are trying to convey and synthesize it in a meaningful and impactful way.”
Steve Love, Director of Development, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

“Marc is a great coach! I learned a lot and definitely walked away with a more impactful elevator speech.”
Nadia Tonova, Director, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services

“This was a quick, simple training. If you are a community organizer, this is a great exercise to learn to advocate for our projects!”
Xiomara Corpeno, Transborder Migrant Justice Fellow, Groundswell Fund

“The training gave me some really great tips on making a strong presentation of my organization!”
Ralph Williamson, President, Faith Organizing Alliance (FOA)