headshot2_Oct_2015_BMMHi There. I’m Michelle.

I’m a speaking and story coach for people who want to light up the world and make a big impact with their ideas and stories.

My clients are coaches, doctors and holistic health experts, executives and thought leaders in a huge range of industries. They all have one thing in common: they are committed to sharing their ideas with the kind of clarity and conviction that changes things for people.

I am also the founder, CEO and lead facilitator at Brilliance at Work LLC, a boutique communication training company. You can learn more about our corporate and non-profit training here.

Here is what I know for sure: speaking is a powerful way to make a meaningful difference for a lot of people all at once. 

When we share our stories, our hard-earned life experience and the expertise we have gathered from solving very real, often difficult life struggles with others, we give them one of the greatest gifts possible. We offer them a shortcut, a path to their own healing and growth.

No, of course we can’t fix their lives for them. They have to do the work. But oh what we wouldn’t have done to have someone come along and show us the door to the path to the other side of struggle. Am I right?

This is what we can do for others when we share our story and our solution. And this is why I am so committed to opening the door to speaking to as many people who are in the business of helping others as possible.

My Professional Background

I started speaking in high school as an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). In college I traded in those gory car crash scenes for a banana and a binder full of the many textures and flavors of condoms as a Peer Educator teaching my fellow classmates how to protect themselves from the HIV virus. Since then, I have used my speaking and communication skills to support causes I care about that range from sexual assault to community mediation to advocacy for children caught in the court system. (You can see me speaking here.)

Along the way, I worked day jobs in a large variety of fields from insurance to technology (dot com bubble at the height) to banking. When I finished my Master’s Degree in Speech Communication in 2000 and began teaching college students basic public speaking skills I began to notice something shocking: many of my students were better speakers than my Ivy League educated co-workers in high tech. What?! Even as my career started taking me into the entrepreneurial realm, I saw that the essentials of authentic, powerful communication were horribly, sadly lacking in the business world.

I started my communication coaching and consulting business because I was tired of watching brilliant, otherwise charismatic people in business morph into boring, uninspired presenters when the walked to the front of the room.

My business has taken many (many) turns along the way. What started as a more traditional communication consulting studio has shifted and grown into what you see here – a place to come for coaching, education, inspiration and time-tested speaking and messaging strategies that change people’s lives.

I work with business owners, coaches, wellness experts, creatives – as well as CEOs and other content area leaders in their industries. They work in industries from financial services, technology, energy management to health care and coaching. My clients speak at conferences all over the country, their local networking groups, on webinars and other online forums as well. I also help coaches, wellness experts and others who are in the personal development world clarify their Distinctive Core Message and their Story of Transformation.

I still teach communication courses at two community colleges – College of Marin and Santa Rosa Junior College. Teaching community college students is a hi-light of my life. I love it.

This is a heck of a lot about me. My hope is that it helps you learn enough to decide if my experience will serve you and your beautiful important work in the world. That is my deepest desire in my own work – to serve you in sharing your story and your message.

A couple of other little tidbits about me:

EC_workshop_speakingMy favorite place to be (professionally) is in front of a small group of people facilitating their beautiful work. I love live workshops in a sunlit room with tons of engagement and rich conversation. I’m creating a calendar of these experiences for 2016. I hope you can come to one of them.




me_Jim_girls_background_beachI’m ridiculously happy in my marriage (but not every minute of every day). My husband, Jim, is hilarious, immensely kind and the kind of smart I’ll never be (makes us a fine match that way). We have three daughters (you can see them there at the shoreline at Drakes Beach about 45 minutes from where we live in West Marin County, California), two in elementary school and one in middle school. They are hilarious, strong-willed and super fun. I’d say more but we both know that people think their own kids are brilliant and awesome and ridiculously talented in various ways, so you don’t need me to go into all that.



I love to bake – especially with my daughters. Since one of them is egg-free, one is gluten & dairy free and the other is gluten, dairy and egg-free – we do a lot of creative baking experimentation at our house. Luckily, we are sufficiently motivated by our huge sweet tooths (teeth?) and we always find a way to make sweet, tender, yummy goodies.

Walking contradiction that I am, I am also a freak for healthy and conscious eating. Veggies, fermented foods, supplements and responsible farming and animal care. Speaking of, I have a huge farm fantasy. I’m thinking 2016 may just be our year of chickens and goats.


timber_scout_screenroom_smallWe have two dogs – Timber (the black one) and Scout (the smaller, white and tan one). They are unruly, poorly trained and they delight my days. Except when they drive me batty. I adore them.

I love the idea of exercising and have a cool stand-up desk setup – but often I get so absorbed in writing and email that I don’t do either of them nearly enough.

I’m a proud introvert. I love to be alone. (You’d be surprised how many speakers are actually introverts.)

I love to have written but struggle to write. Writing is very very hard for me (I prefer to speak), but I do it a lot. (Like right now. Thank goodness I’m done for today. xo to you for reading!)

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