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In 2020, JPB Foundation began offering Elevator Speech Training to all its grantees to help them sharpen their pitches about their work and mission. One advantage of the training is that it only requires on hour via Zoom. Below are testimonials from some of the participants.

“This training was both highly efficient and highly impactful. I came away with great ideas for how to make my pitches more succinct and persuasive.”
Stephanie Toti, Senior Counsel & Project Director
Lawyering Project

“I appreciate that Marc took time to get to know about me and helped me start on a better ground, before jumping into more technical part of the training.”
Mel Lee, Executive Director
Woori Center

“Marc helped me think differently about some of our toughest communications challenges.”
Anna Wadia, Executive Director
Care for All with Respect and Equity (CARE) Fund

“Marc and I worked closely together over multiple sessions to zero in on how to tell the story of our new organization succinctly. He took time to think alongside me and put a lot of effort into understanding my organization’s vision. A bonus– I had an unexpected podcast recording and he helped me think through how to use my newfound tools in the interview.”
Johanna Bozuwa, Executive Director
Climate and Community Project, a project of the Tides Center

“My team regularly talks about the elevator speech training with Marc as one of the most effective and immediately applicable professional development opportunities we’ve had in our careers.”
Marisa Jones, Interim Executive Director
Safe Routes Partnership

“One hour of communications training with Marc Fest at Elevator Speech Training is more useful than hundreds of hours with other trainers. I was able to immediately put to work the strategies and tips he taught me.”
Heidi Binko, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Just Transition Fund

“I can’t believe how exceptional Marc’s training is. I learn more from him in 10 minutes than I have from hours of working with other communication coaches!”
Heidi Binko, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Just Transition Fund

“The urgency of climate change demands effective and persuasive communication with friends, allies, and allies-to-be. I have been thinking constantly about how to put Marc’s advice into practice since our session.”
Daniel Bresette, Executive Director
Environmental and Energy Study Institute

“Oftentimes we get bogged down in the mechanics of what we’re doing, and we forget to take a step back and reflect on the why. That “why” is critical to authentically articulate so that people you’re connecting with are moved by the aspirational message of how you’re changing the game. I loved having the chance to re-articulate the why and ground myself in the dream and hope of what we’re building.”
Iara Peng, Founder and CEO

“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

“Marc is a brilliant teacher. He broke down what always feels daunting, breaking down your complex organization to a 2 minute rap, into its component parts. The tools he provided I will return to again and again.”
Lauren Jacobs, Executive Director
Partnership For Working Families

“I can’t think of a more streamlined, to-the-point, and helpful one-hour training session I have ever experienced.”
Ben Strauss, CEO and Chief Scientist
Climate Central

“Marc quickly brought into focus how I could be more effective in delivering the importance of my work. It was a joy to work with him.”
Ruth Ann Norton, President & CEO
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

“In one short session, Marc was able to get me to explain in plain terms the importance of my medical research for the future of young people in our country.”
Cynthia Harper, Professor
University of California, San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

“Marc packs a lot in his session — from technical tweaks to ensure that the focus is on your message to helping you make your work come alive in the mind of your audience. Marc’s focus on the cognitive underpinnings of credibility and connection is especially valuable at a time when trust is fragile and attention is short.”
LoriJeane Moody, Managing Director
New City Parks

“Marc made the hour both engaging and effective, helping me to think about my role and my work in new ways and to become a better advocate for my organization.”
Aoife Toomey, Vice President for Development
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

“I have the highest praise for Marc program. I have already started using the tips and pointers that allow me to communicate more effectively to achieve important and meaningful outcomes in all my professional endeavors.”
Ted Dawson, Professor
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

“We all know what it’s like to be constantly bombarded with information. Marc gave me an entirely new perspective on how to deliver a message that people will remember.”
Chris McCahill, Managing Director, SSTI
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Marc’s training helped me become a more effective communicator and manager of a team. I learned how to engage with others at a personal level. Awesome!”
Lisa Campbell-Thornton, Vice President, Human Resources & Administration
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC

“One of the most valuable ways to invest in and build the capacity of busy and overwhelmed nonprofit leaders is by making training with Marc available. In just two hours, he provided tools and insights that helped me become even more focused and effective. “
Jane Norman, Chief of Staff
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

“The best 60 minutes I have ever spent on professional-skills development.”
Karen Florini, VP – Programs
Climate Central

“I found Marc Fest’s elevator speech training very useful. In my role as Vice President of Communications at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, I am working to improve the effectiveness of our messaging and storytelling to internal and external audiences. Marc provides great templates and tips for distiling and refining key talking points. These are especially critical tools at a time when quality journalism at shrinking newsrooms is behind paywalls but bad narratives and misinformation are rampant and free.”
Dawn Raftery, VP of Communications
Shriver Center on Poverty Law

“In just an hour, Marc’s expertise and specific suggestions and practices helped me become not just a better communicator, but a more authentic and vulnerable leader.”
Jane Norman, Chief of Staff
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

“Building trust takes time and any tips to help make connections more efficiently serves us all well in today’s environment. Marc has some great tips and insights to help accelerate the process of building trust and credibility.”
Alicia Cramer, Sr. Vice President
The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities

“Marc offers an efficient and effective training with concrete tools that apply to so many aspects of work and life.”
Vina Kay, Vice President, Movement Capacity Building
Race Forward

“Best two hours of training I could ask for.”
Peter Stangel, COO
US Endowment

“This training was very helpful and I greatly appreciate Marc’s patience, guidance, and most of all knowledge in helping to put together a succinct and impactful elevator speech.”
Cheryl Cato Blakemore, VP, Strategic Communications & Public Engagement
Race Forward

“Marc is a master of communications! In a few short sessions, he has greatly improved my ability to effectively advocate for our non-profit to funders, government officials and local residents. Thank you!”
Scott Kratz, Senior Vice President
Building Bridges Across the River

“I sell complex ideas constantly–to my boss and colleagues, to partners, to donors, and to the public. In today’s world, people expect a Twitter to TikTok length explanation. If I can’t pitch my idea concisely and convincingly, I run the risk of losing the listener. Marc’s format is intuitive and helps create a compelling story. He has numerous hints and examples that make it easier to understand how to more effective communicating my ideas. He can draw from many experiences to help create a pitch, even if he’s not 100% familiar with your specific situation. I sure wish I’d had this training at the start of my career.”
Peter Stangel, COO
US Endowment

“Marc did his research and came to our meeting full prepared. I got so much out of our one hour together. Can’t wait to try out my new elevator pitch!”
Scott Kratz, Senior Vice President
Building Bridges Across the River

“I appreciate they way you quickly walked me through the framework.”
Kant Desai, Senior Principal
Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

“Marc Was able to quickly see and plainly explain ways that my words were not helping me get through to my audiences. In my role, it’s important to make quick and meaningful/memorable connections, and Marc’s tips and strategies will positively influence the way I do that going forward.”
Katya Spear, Senior Outreach Specialist/Managing Director
COWS/ The Mayors Innovation Project

“Great guy, great personality. Puts you on the spot in a good way. Makes it fun and easy to learn from.”
Faron Mclurkin, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Race Forward

“Marc is himself a great communicator and the session was enormously useful. Effective communication that resonates with the audience couldn’t be more important”
Andrew Scherer, Professor
New York Law School

“Marc was super flexible when dealing with me, which I appreciated. My schedule and work has been a bit hectic so I wasn’t able to fully dive into the training but he pushed through and found ways to be as helpful to me as possible.”
Carolyn Smith, VP Strat Comms
Low Income Investment Fund

“Marc Fest provided a great, efficient training with personality, genuine interest and background preparation.”
Ian Leahy, Vice President of Urban Forestry
American Forests

“I really enjoyed Marc’s training and consider this experience as an important part of my professional growth. Knowing how to speak persuasively and succinctly is more important than ever when folks have so many distractions and demands on their time.”
Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed, Development Officer
Environmental Law & Policy Center

“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

“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

“It was quite amazing that we achieved what we did in an hour.”
Kiryn Hoffman, Chief Advancement Officer
New York Hall of Science

“Marc made me feel at ease at the start of our session, which allowed me to be more open to his observations and recommendations. The time flew by.”
Patricia Watson, Chief Philanthropy Officer
The Trust for Public Land

“Marc had done his homework before we talked and was able to jump right in with insights that made our time together really valuable. His approach of highlighting successes by using detailed, vivid examples is a terrific way to engage people. .”
Tom Salyers, Director of Communications
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

“I really enjoy and appreciate working with Marc. In the one hour, I learned so much and have a lot more to work with as I continued to craft my elevator pitch for various events. Communicating effectively is crucial in allowing people to support the work we do. Many thanks, Marc!!!”
Billy Taing, Co- Director
Asian Pacific Islander Reentry and Inclusion through Support and Empowerment (API RISE)

“The ability to communicate succinctly with memorable language is more effective. Marc helped me to focus the message.”
Debbie Chen, Civic Engagement Programs Director
OCA-Greater Houston

“I’ve worked with several communications consultants over my career, and Marc is exceptional. He gets right to the heart of the matter and is an amazing wordsmith.”
Laura Johns, Director of Philanthropic Engagement
The Partnership Fund

“Mark is a master at getting you to craft a compelling and powerful elevator speech!”
Dina Burstein, Project Director
Tufts Medical Center

“We can spend years on projects that we understand extremely well, but we usually don’t know how to talk about it effectively. Marc will help you to do just that and in a split second!”
marc flajolet, Associate Professor
the rockefeller University

“Marc has a way of channeling your strengths and focusing on how to better utilize that through your training to elevate the weaker points. Marc is kind, confident and endearing. His energy makes the room comfortable enough to want to be helped, taught and ultimately want to change or adjust bad habits.”
Michael Gonzales, Director of Program Administration
Central Park Conservancy

“I really appreciate Marc’s investment of and efficient use of time. In just one hour, he is able to digest your message and help you transform it into an effective representation of your work and goals. His confidence in you is infectious, and I now feel much more prepared to pitch my project !!”
Falon Smith, Managing Director of Research Dissemination
Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group

“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

“I now have the tools that allow me to confidently frame a quick speech about myself. Confidence is everything, so this training is great for that.”
Jeffrey Ferguson, Associate Training
Living Cities

“I went into the training thinking that I already had a great pitch. It amazed me at how much the pitch improved after just one hour with Marc.”
Falon Smith, Managing Director of Research Dissemination
Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group

“Any fundraiser would benefit from spending some time with Marc and learning about his approach. Absolutely one of the most valuable coaching sessions I’ve ever experienced.”
David Emery-Peck, Principal Gifts Officer
Trust for Public Land

“The man has no fear, and it was inspiring.”
Rod Judd, Director of Membership + Industry Engagement

“Marc’s training was exceptional and far exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend it and I felt like I received way more than an hour of training, and I will use the techniques and structure that he taught me in a multitude of ways.”
Brooks Rainwater, Senior Executive
National League of Cities

“An empathetic, sharp listener with practical ideas and feedback to offer within the first 10 minutes of our session! He helped me figure out how to deliver more substance without having to say more words.”
Jackson Darling-Palacios, Senior Partner, Head of Progressive Sector and Partnerships
The Management Center

“Marc is effective and here’s why; he practices what he preaches. He was able to create a rapport and a vulnerability with me during my session. He gave me practical, insightful feedback and tips on how to build trust, be vulnerable in a conversation, and prepare for meetings. I had several “AHA” moments during our session. Marc also gave me great tips on connecting and maintaining engagement with my audience during conferences and speaking engagements. When it all comes down to it, practical interpersonal and communication skills are needed more than ever to help build face-to-face connections.”
Ashley McBride, Director of Policy
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)

“Communicating effectively matters more than ever because that’s how people are connected to the resources and services we provide. This is particularly more impactful to clients who may not have taken the next step without interpersonal connection through warm and effective verbal communication. In just one short hour, Marc gave me very deep and insightful takeaways that I could apply both in my personal and professional life.”
Hope Broecker, Energy Associate
Mountain Association

“I’ve worked in nonprofit fundraising for most of my career. It was refreshing to see opportunities for improvement in my communication skills. I feel like I leveled up my communication skills after one meeting with Marc.”
Jonathan Peebles, Development Manager
Local Progress

“I’m really impressed that in such a short amount of time I was able to learn strategies I can immediately put into action to approve my approach. I also really appreciated how easy it was to talk to Marc and his clear passion for wanting to support people to do their best. In my area of work on immigration policy, being a clear and compelling communicator is critical to getting policy wins.”
Wendy Cervantes, Director, Immigration
Center for Law and Social Policy

“Having hosted and participated in countless communications trainings over the last 15 years, I can confidently say that Marc is one of the most skilled communicators I have had the privilege of working with. He is able to quickly find each person’s strengths and areas for growth, creating easily understood and applied lessons that ensure your message breaks through the ever-evolving media and communications environments.”
Megan Cagle, Senior Director of Communications and Research
New American Leaders

“Marc is incredibly insightful and a wonderful listener, which allows him to hit the exact points that can be improved and shares very concrete strategies and insights to address these.”
Jessica Cohen, Director of Communications
The Miami Foundation

“In an era where “communicating at” has muffled the ability of an audience to hear you, it is becoming more important than ever to communicate effectively. One of the many ways Marc helped me was understanding the difference between communicating the information that mattered versus the information that did not.”
Norris Williams, Business Starts and Growth
Living Cities, Inc.

“It was so valuable to have one hour with Marc. We quickly improved how I explain a proposal, and I learned how to apply Marc’s basic strategies to different situations.”
Jehan Laner, Community Lawyer / Staff Attorney
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

“Marc was responsive to my goals and we had a great session workshopping some strategies to connect better with colleagues and to grow my network. I would recommend this training for everyone.”
Liz Taufa, Policy Attorney and Strategist
Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“I am excited to share what I learned with my colleagues. Marc helped highlight how to use persuasive techniques meaningfully, and I will incorporate his tips into my work. Marc is so engaging, the hour went by too quickly. I only wish I had more time to receive more tips.”
Priscilla Olivarez, Policy Attorney & Strategist
Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“To be a lawyer, lobby effectively for legislation, or obtain grants for your organization, you must communicate effectively. Having credibility is everythng. Even though I know it’s important to be clear and back what you say with statistics and evidence, it was helpful to have Marc explain the psychology as to how individuals make decision and how to best persuade them to either donate money or vote for your bill.”
Carla Gomez, Senior Staff Attorney

“This training demonstrated to me how just a few minutes of time dedicated to your pitch can make a meaningful difference in achieving my organization’s goals.”
Alex Cabral, Director of Lending
National Housing Trust

“Marc helped me refine my presentation and communication skills when presenting myself, my role, and my organization with a focus on clarity, conciseness, and relevance.”
Andriana Adamou, Donor Organizing Officer
Youth Engagement Fund

“One hour with Marc helped me to focus on why our work matters, and more important, how to frame it in ways that make people care.”
Peter Girard, Director of Communications
Climate Central

“Marc is great at what he does and it was a pleasure connecting with him to brainstorm ways to show up as my best self in the office. Thank you!”
Angel Harris, Director, Communications
Housing Partnership Network

“An organization’s ability to foster effective communication from within is directly tied to its success in fulfilling its mission – I will be carrying what I learned from Marc with me for the rest of my professional life.”
Emily LaDouceur, Business Support Specialist
Mountain Association

“Marc helped me get to the point in my communication. He’s quick on his feet and kicked up my pace as well, modeling key principles, time-saving use of AI for editing, and strategic anticipation of what an audience cares about. An hour of Elevator Speech Training is illuminating and worthwhile.”
Priya Cook, Director, Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities
Children & Nature Network

“Being able to communicate effectively is an essential aspect of my job. Our funding, partnerships and marketing depend on it. It is one of the key aspects of my role that decides the growth and well-being of the CityParks Learn’s programs and Marc’s training has helped me to understand ways in which I can consistently communicate effectively.”
Chrissy Word, Director of Education
City Parks Foundation

“Maybe this is useful, maybe not. Cut and condense as you see fit. It would be difficult to overstate the gulf between “helps you prepare an elevator speech” and the deeply personal, reflexive, and co-created experience of working with Marc. Weeks after our second one-hour session, I’m still reflecting on how he managed to tip the scales of ‘efficient yet intentional’ and ‘impactful but not overwhelming’ so drastically in our favor. Marc and I worked together to identify specific skills, habits, and techniques – tailored to my personal and professional experiences – valuable to nurture thriving personal and professional relationships. Perhaps more importantly, he worked with me to reconsider, reframe, and reimagine some aspects of my professional worldview, which will undoubtedly lead to more positive professional relationships for the remainder of my career. As an advocate for democratizing energy decision-making, I’m thankful Marc and I had the opportunity to further the development of my professional voice, which I use to join and support the pursuit of energy equity and environmental justice.”
Will Collier, Project Manager

“Because we honed in on some of my attributes, I was asked to create a statement about myself. This was somewhat difficult as I’m usually the person lifting others, but I’m very humble. We brainstormed and I was able to create a mantra that I will use daily. I learned some ways to combat my nervousness as I tend to tense up before meetings where I know I’m going to speak. I feel equipped now.”
Yvette McKenzie, Executive Coordinator, Office of the President
The JPB Foundation

“I have been engaged with the public my entire adult life and I have tried to incorporate certain elevator speeches. The one I had in my head for my current job was too formal and not necessarily understandable. Marc taught me how to slow down, emphasis key words and think more about what is meaningful to my audience.”
Robert Allen, Lending Director
Mountain Association

“Communicating successfully is the art of unlearning treacherous paths, and learning how to walk down new unknown paths while bringing others along. No matter who you are, or where you are in your path, this training will be useful! Marc makes sure to tailor the experience to just you, so you are sure to learn at least the first steps to your new path forward.”
Juanita Monsalve, Senior Marketing & Creative Director
United We Dream

“My session with Marc was extraordinarily helpful in building my skills as a communicator, particularly in this new world of virtual interactions. The training was engaging, and entirely tailored to my individual needs, and I was amazed by how much I learned in just one hour. Most significantly, the skills I built (and tips I picked up regarding simple things like camera positioning and mic setup) were ones I could immediately put into action. I can’t imagine a better use of professional development time and resources for staff across industries.”
elissa gelber, Senior Associate

“Marc works with you to find and hone the story within your pitch. Absolutely transformational!”
Grey Elam, Director of NYC Programs
Central Park Conservancy

“Marc controls the room very confidently and calmly. He allows you to find your own solutions which then transitions to great breakthroughs in speech performance. Communication is very necessary at a time where emotions and thoughts are often bottled up creating tension that bleeds onto all aspects. Communicating effectively, especially at work can and will ultimately create a better environment for all.”
Michael Gonzales, Director of Program Administration
Central Park Conservancy

“Marc has a super efficient and practical training that helped improve my communication skills, both for the elevator pitch and for other settings.”
Megan Essaheb, Director of Federal Affairs
People’s Action

“As I begin to perform more in-person public speaking, it’s more important than ever that I relearn how to communicate effectively and efficiently. Marc’s training helps with both, making sure your presentation is targeted, informational, and concise for maximum effect on your audience.”
Kentiya Orange, Policy & Legal Advocacy Manager
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

“Marc emphasized straightforward techniques that anyone can incorporate. He helps clean up your message and delivery so that you can inspire action.”
Maria Roumiantseva, Coordinator
National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

“Marc is a Swiss army knife for improving presentation of one’s mission / position”
Katie Fallon, Senior Policy Program Manager, Housing Matters Initiative
Urban Institute

“Marc was a fantastic guide and coach in our session. He was very easygoing, yet structured. In my role, it is imperative that I am able to speak concisely, yet compellingly, to current and prospective donors. Marc gave me a number of excellent tips on how to take my pitch to the next level.”
Mia Briones, Director of Major Gifts
Harlem Children’s Zone

“Marc is great at zeroing in on key points – even in the midst of brainstorming – and guiding you how to build on these to succinctly but powerfully share a message with a targeted audience.”
Eugene Patron, Communications Manager
Fund for Public Health NYC

“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

“Thank you for an hour well spent! Marc came incredibly prepared for the session and did his best to tailor the techniques to be relevant to my organization and the work that I do. It was a very productive session. I look forward to applying what I learned.”
Amanda Nguyen, Program Officer
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

“Just one hour drastically improved the effectiveness of my pitch. The improvements suggested were immediately actionable and amounted to a big difference.”
Jorge Gonzalez, Digital Access Director
The Miami Foundation

“Marc convinced me in an hour that public speaking is something I can actually learn to enjoy!”
Rachael Young, Director of Grantmaking
Just Transition Fund

“As Marc said, improvement comes through practice and application; this is not a silver bullet. But what a great component to the journey it was. I’m looking forward now to practicing the valuable insights from just a short session.”
Adam Meier, Director: Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Products
Housing Partnership Network

“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

“In just one hour, Marc was able to help me think more strategically about how I communicate with others, especially with those who can be particularly difficult to work with. He taught me how to be disarming and show just enough emotion to make for a more compelling argument. I also loved how Marc tailored my training to my most specific and pressing communication needs.”
Chad Eric Smith, Director of Communications and Brand Management
Mural Arts Philadelphia

“Marc helped me think through how I can better communicate and show up from an authentic place. I appreciated his empathetic style of coaching. He also advised me on my strengths (encouraging me to use my softness as a strength) and didn’t force suggestions that would feel out of character/outside my personality!”
Jessica Nguyen, Senior Program Associate
Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, Borealis Philanthropy

“Marc’s has a great way of guiding you through the training. I like that he gives you time to think about what you want to say, but also provides helpful nudges along the way to help you formulate a great elevator speech. As someone who fundraises for a living, the way I talk to potential funders MATTERS!”
Jose Socarras Ramos, Development Associate
Mountain Association

“Marc was amazing at helping me be very direct with my communication.”
John Hollow Horn, Project Coordinator
SAGE Development Authority

“Marc was great to work with as someone who had already had a good amount of speech training; training with him put the proverbial cherry on top.”
Megan Rivera, Senior Policy Analyst
Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality

“Marc and his elevator speech training are more than a training on how to give an elevator speech. Marc asks pointed questions that helped me discover areas where I excel, that I had not fully considered in the past.”
Kayla Morin, Program Manager
Yale School of the Environment

“Elevator pitches are an underestimated skill that will take anywhere. Marc’s process was great and relevant. I encourage people to take advantage when possible.”
Justin Brightharp, Senior Program Manager
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

“Marc helps me understand my “why” and the work that I do better which will help me with creating a minute speech pitch.”
Sutisha Simluang, Development Manager
National Domestic Workers Alliance

“Marc maintained an engaging and entertaining energy through out the training and was a pleasure to work with, after only a hour of training I feel far more comfortable with my ability to discuss my organization’s work in an effective manner.”
Cameron Mott, Commercial Energy Associate
Mountain Association

“Marc’s training was very valuable to me as a policy professional. It’s easy for me to get bogged down in the details of my policy work, but Marc helped me learn how to communicate about the work in a way that will help others visualize what I’m trying to do and will encourage them to implement our recommendations.”
Jenna Hampton, Policy and Program Manager
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF)

“Marc is very generous with his time and invested in helping you tell the best story possible. I encourage everyone to take the elevator speech training!”
Michelle Munjanattu, Development Manager
New American Leaders

“This was a very helpful session and Marc is a great trainer. He listens carefully and provides valuable insights into how to communicate a compelling message effectively and succinctly. In a time when every word matters — and you often get only a few seconds of someone’s time — this is more important than ever! I would highly recommend the training to anyone who is looking to boost their communication skills.”
Julia Appel, Senior Program Manager
Tufts University

“Marc is fantastic he makes a connection immediately and couple that with no boring slides, jargon or cookie cuter training material made for an amazing but short experience.”
Teria Powell, Events and Program Manager
11th Street Bridge Park

“Marc Fest’s Elevator Speech Training is one of the most important training your employees can take advantage of. After attending, my outreach to getting individuals involved in our pro bono opportunities has been 5X better. With more students and lawyer leaders involved, we can reach a wider group of our local communities.”
Robert Williams, Associate Director of Chapters
American Constitution Society

“Very clear communicator!”
Meghan McCormick, Senior Research Associate

“Marc did a great job with this training, and showed me characteristics of effective communication that applied to more scenarios than I thought especially in a hybrid world!”
Alex Peffer, Coordinator

“I promote and research communications/messaging tactics on specific issues, in my policy work. To apply the same principles to myself is a luxury, indeed, but also a form of care and “practicing what we preach.” It deepens those implications for my work, and reminds me that I am also worth this investment and attention. Stay tuned for ROI!”
Sara Bartel, sr atty
ChangeLab Solutions

“Marc has perfected the balance between being an extremely good listener and graciously pushing the client to dig deeper for clarity. The fisherman story/metaphor is so effective. A good way of reminding yourself that showing is as important as telling when it comes to building trust with the audience.”
Santiago Carrillo, Assistant Director
Living Cities

“Communicating effectively matters because it can open up opportunities, promptly and in a memorable way.”
Chantal Bannerman, Research Staff Associate
Columbia Population Research Center

“Marc taught me invaluable tips and tricks to enhance my ability to meaningfully engage with others!”
Courtney Bagans, Collective Impact Assistant
The Miami Foundation

“This felt like magic and boosted my confidence”
LaTysa Flowers-Jackson, Community Support Services JEDI Director
YMCA of San Diego County

“I found the training to be helpful to learning about selling both myself and the work that I do, and what I would say if I had 30 seconds to make an impression.”
Faith Pensinger, Assistant Director of Chapters
American Constitution Society

“In one hour, Marc helped refresh my pitch so that it gets people excited to work together rather than getting lost in the wave of information and calls to action that bombard us day to day.”
Natasha Riveron, Healthy Parks and Places Manager
Safe Routes Partnership

“Marc walked with me through real-world scenarios from my work life, offering constructive feedback to help me be more personable and relatable. I still think about our role play scenarios whenever I write a critical email.”
Jimmy Owsley, Business Support Specialist
Mountain Association

“Marc provided me with concrete next steps and what I needed to focus on in an elevator speech. Working with him helps improve the way I formulate and communicate ideas with funders!”
Stephanie Kalele, Development Manager for Movement Building

“What I enjoyed best was that Marc took a real life example and showed me step by step on how to improve my communication skills. It was very beneficial.”
Josy Dussek, Director, Arts Operations
City Parks Foundation

“Marc knows his stuff. He quickly targeted in on my concerns and reminded me of what I bring to the table. Having awareness of how you come across, with honest and fair criticism, is extremely important in regards to effective communication. The entire hour was rich with information and great insight. I would highly recommend this training. Everyone could learn something from Marc.”
Jennifer Martin, Lending Specialist
Mountain Association

“Marc was amazing coach that instantly made me (a novice in this space) instantly comfortable. I found his template driven approach, with real-time collaboration and feedback, extremely useful and will recommend this training to current and future colleagues.”
Joshua Perrin, Communications Manager
Center for the Study of Social Policy

“My work relies on my ability to network and communicate. Working with Marc gave me new communication tools that will make sharing the Island Press story more effective and powerful. He’s helping me to get people to listen.”
Jen Hawse, Partnership Manager
Island Press

“Marc was very engaging and attentive. He helped me turn my ramblings into an impactful and meaningful elevator speech.”
Caliste Chong, Senior Program and Policy Analyst
Nemours Children’s Health1

“I’ve struggled with how to effectively communicate the more technical work that we do in an accessible way that can capture the attention of a diverse array of individuals – Marc helped me reflect on what we are really trying to get at and provided helpful tools to successfully do this.”
Courtney Cooper, Science Associate
UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment

“Marc is really great at empowering the skills you have and capitalizing on them. He adds without taking anything from you in the process. Great for confidence-building which is ultimately the only way to effectively communicate— you must have confidence. It’s integral.”
Tamila Kianfard, Manager, Development

“I thought I did a pretty good job communicating in plain language, but Marc helped me realize I could go a lot further and connect with our audience more effectively as a result.”
Tricia Embry, Marketing and Communications Manager
Southface Institute

“Marc’s Elevator Speech Training was impactful. Marc is personable, supportive, and offered a tailored coaching session unique to my own needs. I walked away from the training with new tools in my toolbox that I could immediately begin implementing to be a more effective communicator. Thank you, Marc!”
Paul Gels, Associate Director of the State & Community Health Advocacy Program
Community Catalyst

“Marc was very encouraging, enthusiastic, and focused!”
John Pollock, Coordinator
National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

“Training with Marc helped me identify what my pitch is missing and concrete steps to fill those gaps.”
Michele Crosby, Director, Foundation Relations
Equal Justice Works

“Marc helped me to speak more pointedly and powerfully without loosing my own voice. He helped to bolster my confidence in what I am saying and how I am saying it”
Tammy Thomas, Sr. Organizer
Community Change

“Marc dives right to the heart of whatever it is that trips you up during public speaking. He is extremely professional while addressing personal matters that touch work performance.”
Brittany Wienke, Senior Fellow
Natural Areas Conservancy

“In one hour we were able to dig into the details of how and why to create a compelling an elevator pitch and get into very productive live edits with a clear direction forward.”
Clara Pregitzer, Deputy Director of Conservation Science
Natural Areas Conservancy

“I really got a lot out of my hour of training with Marc, from how to improve my presence in the virtual space to advice for framing my organization’s work. The training felt like a productive conversation, and I left feeling more equipped for conversations with donors.”
Genevieve Oliver, Manager, U.S. Institutional Partnerships
Center for Reproductive Rights

“From a beginner’s perspective, I think I have gain some insights and knowledge on how to present myself accordingly. This one to one coaching really helps me. Thank you Marc.”
Shinn Yang, Finance Director
Solar One

“I’ve just wrapped up my first session with Marc and am excited by what we accomplished in just an hour – reframing my mindset on public speaking as a gift and refining our elevator pitch to make the proposal more accessible and enticing.”
Emily Sherrod, Dir. of Partnership Development
CIty Parks Foundation

“Marc was able to understand the importance of my work and frame it in a way that would speak to more people.”
Julia Raskin, Trails Program Manager
Natural Areas Conservancy

“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

“Working in a complex energy justice role, I always find it challenging to communicate about my work and why it’s important. Marc provided concrete strategies to overcome this obstacle. Useful for talking about your work casually, in professional settings, and for future interviews.”
Grace Parker, Research Associate
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

“Marc has been very attentive to my specific needs for the elevator speech training. He had lots of useful advice, tips, and resources that make me feel more calm and confident about my future job interviews.”
Meg Daupan, Program Manager
Yale University

“His training serves as a much-needed reminder that you have meaningful contributions to offer to peers in your field of work, and shows you how to convey that value. Marc himself was great– kind and optimistic, and great at leveraging the trainee’s strengths.”
Nicole Pouy, Policy Associate
Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

“Marc is an attentive listener and quick to understand how to best cater the training to your specific scenarios. Very useful training!”
Isabela Antonio, Policy and External Affairs Associate
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

“Marc is a rare sort of teacher. His approach to coaching is not only analytical and constructive, he almost demands you to operate in purpose when you pitch. I work in primarily remote environments. Often times, getting to a solution and proving how/why something is beneficial is the first priority. This experience really humanized and humbled my communication style and made me realize the importance of taking a step back to communicate with more pure intention.”
Maisha Billingsley, Client Operations Manager

“Marc is a very thoughtful and kind person who does not judge. He wants you to be able to express yourself how you want to. In today’s world, we have short attention spans, which means when we communicate with others we are trying to network with, we need to know how to express ourselves and our ideas succinctly. Marc certainly helps you do that.”
Daniel O’Brien, Senior Associate
Environmental and Energy Study Institute

“Marc started the session by asking me about my work history and my hobbies and it really allowed him to tailor the session to what he thought i would respond to. He listened as i listed my weaknesses/problem points and was able to give me tools to counter them. I was blown away by our session.”
Priscille Navas, Development Associate
Guttmacher Institute

“I learned so much in just 1 hour! Marc is very kind and personable and makes the training stress free and fun. I feel more confident with the communication tools Marc shared.”
Hazel Paguaga, Program Associate
The Funders Network

“Now with a short time span is more important than ever on how to convene your point, Marc helps you on how to be more concise improving communication skills and body language.”
Zaira Macegoza, Individual Giving Manager
National Domestic Workers Alliance

“Marc was phenomenal! Being a young professional in my line of work causes me anxiety about talking to people who have much more experience. However, Marc managed to assist in alleviating these feelings of my anxiety with his suggested talking points and general advice. 10/10 experience.”
Gabrielle Davis, Building Clean Program Associate
BlueGreen Alliance Foundation

“I highly recommend Marc’s Elevator Speech Training! Working with Marc increased my confidence and ability to communicate my work and values effectively.”
Rachel Hyatt, Fund Operations Manager

“Marc really knows how to extract key reflection questions that make it easy to communicate our message, value and mission with precision and clarity.”
Kimberly Ladd, Consultant
Aligned Hope

“Communication matters more than ever because it’s a way for people to understand your needs or asks and their way of expressing their interest or commenting on your thoughts.”
Karen Valdez, Community Organizer
Virginia Organizing

“This training really helped me to identify some of the shortcomings in my communication style and provided me with the tools to become a more effective communicator. Good, clear, and concise communication is more important than ever in this age of constant distraction. I look forward to testing out my new tools and learning more in my next session with Marc.”
Ulrike Nischan, Senior Associate
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

“Marc covered so much ground in the one hour we spent together — from talking about visioning and meditative exercises to prime for interactions, to helping think about how to be the most approachable and down to earth as possible. Really appreciated all of wisdom that Marc shared!”
Amanda Dameron, Community Organizer
Virginia Organizing

“A powerful session that will amplify your communication overall.”
Tennille Dowers, Manager of Youth Development & Education
Friends of the High Line

“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

“From the start of the training, with Marc coming on Zoom with music playing, I knew it was going to be a lively training. The worry on Zoom is always about the experience being so static but this was not the case. There was a dynamism to the training. We packed a whole lot into the one hour — and I felt that it was such a useful one hour. I’ve been two multi-hour trainings and haven’t walked away feeling I learned something. While I know there are some commonalities of public speaking, Marc really made these relevant for my own work experience so it felt like he knew the world I operated it. Highly recommend this training.”
Tamara Lindsay, Chief of Strategy
Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE)

“This one hour training gave me greater perspective on how to approach audiences–both familiar and unfamiliar–and how to frame my issue in a way that makes it personal to the listener and transformative for the wider world. Thank you, Marc!”
Kentiya Orange, Policy & Legal Advocacy Manager
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

“Within an hour Marc was able to dissect what I needed to focus on improving and provide real tools to build the confidence I was looking for! After the 60 minutes I was fully confident and very excited to get to work on building a script that works for me.”
Trisha Singh, Individual Giving Specialist
The WNET Group

“I appreciate Marc’s enthusiasm and positive, yet constructive tone. And mail is a really nice touch. In just an hour, I honed my key talking points to simultaneously provide maximum impact and broad appeal. Super helpful training.”
Sarah Anderson, Director of Career Pathways
American Forests

“I’ve had various communication feedback sessions in the past but this training with Marc felt fresh, actionable, and relevant in every way. It’s hard to believe how much we accomplished in one hour.”
Antonia Ornelas, Chief Program Officer

“Marc really has perfected how to guide others in speech-making in a succinct one hour session. The tools he provides and direct feedback truly can help sharpen one’s ability to communicate the important work one does. Much appreciation!”
Sondra Youdelman, Campaigns Director
People’s Action

“I almost canceled on this appointment last minute because of a unexpected work issue I wanted to deal with that seemed more pressing, but also was really curious about what training had to offer, and I am really glad I changed my mind and logged in. I came in with no expectations, and Marc was very helpful at providing insights and making suggestions to the way I spoke with possible donors to give better stickiness to the points I’m trying to get across. It was a really useful hour and am really thankful that JPB Foundation made it possible for me and other members of our team!”
Rebecca Lakhani, Director of Philanthropy
New York Hall Of Science

“Marc was able to understand our issues so quickly and expertly and guided us to an effective presentation so efficiently. I really enjoyed his workshop and would recommend to anyone!”
Christa Stewart, Deputy Director
Immigrant Justice Corps

“Marc has an amazing ability to quickly identify areas for improvement in your communication skills, and then just as quickly offer examples and suggestions on concrete steps you can take to reach that next level. Can’t recommend his training session enough.”
Michael Regan, Donor Research and Prospect Management Analyst
National Immigration Law Center

“I really needed this and didn’t even realize it. Marc’s approach was perfect for someone who does a fair amount of pitches/speaking. He provided tips and tactics to use immediately while also giving some good homework.”
David Rothstein, Senior Principal
CFE Fund

“Marc was very good. He took the time to get to know me and really hear my story and offered really great talking points.”
Carmera Thomas, Director of Urban Conservation Initiatives
The Conservation Fund

“I learned such amazing practical tactics that enhanced the projection of my leadership potential. Marc is a very effective coach!”
Medha Chandra, Associate Director
New Americans Campaign

“Marc sets a great tone and his approach to training helps to highlight key aspects of what can use improvement. These classes are a great help to boost confidence.”
Kamilah Wallen, Director of Grants Administration
The MIami Foundation