Our clients choose us

Success Stories

Some of the clients achieving results

Microsoft logo
Royal Opera House
J.P. Morgan
Girl Scouts
WealthStream Advisors, Inc.
iDIA Computing
Fresh Air Fund
C.H.E.K. Europe
Arc Jefferson

Our clients say

While President of the American College of Sports Medicine, I met a lot of interesting and
accomplished people; everyone from the elite in sports medicine and exercise science to the US
Surgeon General. Surprisingly, the most interesting person I met was Ilene Bergelson.
Ilene brought a new dimension to how I think about presenting my data... a dimension
that vastly improved my ability to communicate.
Carl Foster, Ph.D., FASCSM, FAACVPR
Professor of Exercise and Sport Science / University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Working with Ilene has been a great experience. We contracted Ilene for a project that depended
on high creativity and brand consciousness.

Ilene really got to know us and our vision for our brand.
She was extremely patient and generous with her time. Ilene would pick up the phone at virtually any hour of the day to
answer our questions, explain concepts and where her thoughts were coming from.

We are very happy with the results, and I would highly recommend Ilene's services to
anyone who is considering working with her.
Joshua Sakhai
Co-founder / Ephemeral
Working with Ilene has been a life-changing experience. She has helped me to focus on what needs
to get done, the steps I need to take to reach my goals, and she gave me the tools I need to
continue on my journey.
Danielle Swaby
Coach and Founder / Swaby Way
I have attended and organized countless workshops on four continents. Without hesitation, I can say that EmpowerSpeak is one of the most relevant and illuminating training programs you can attend.

From the first moment in the room, the atmosphere is very supportive and enriching, even for the most timid or apprehensive of attendees.
Ilene has a gift for getting people to go beyond their comfort zone, take risks and make huge gains--all while having fun.

We have hosted multiple EmpowerSpeak trainings and witnessed everyone in the room at the end of each event feeling much more confident in their ability to connect with and lead their audience. This has been true for the highly skilled and new speakers alike. Every single attendee made significant changes and took their public speaking to the next level.
Penny Crozier
CEO / C.H.E.K Institute
As an introvert, I have trouble connecting with some audiences. Ilene helped me make a better
connection in a particularly sticky situation.
The customer was unhappy with
my first class and I had more to deliver to them.

I could not believe how effectively she could observe and coach me over the phone. The
benefits of those emergency sessions help me again and again.
George Dinwiddie
Consultant, Coach and Trainer / iDIA Computing, LLC
Working with Ilene has been the most eye-opening experience. Ilene is not a student of
communication, but the master of it.
Her ability to see the verbal and non-verbal strengths and weaknesses in each and every
person is uncanny.
Her persistent optimism and bright smile combine to allow for our team to continuously improve
the way we communicate with our clients.

Ilene's tools, practices and training have made a substantial impact in the relationships we enjoy with our clients.
Michael Goodman, CPA/PFS, CFP
President / Wealthstream Advisors, Inc.
When our firm had a high-stakes presentation, we chose Ilene to coach our speakers. It was
critical that our speakers deliver an impactful message in an authentic and credible way. Some
of the content was particularly delicate, and the timeframe to finalize it was tight.

Ilene cleared her schedule and worked tirelessly with our team to help them to formulate and then
deliver a message that would strike the right balance of confidence and humility.
The results were excellent.

There was a lot at stake for our firm.
To me, hiring Ilene was like buying insurance – she was the risk mitigator we needed.
Rebecca Bales
Director of Global Marketing / at a leading financial services organization
Ilene is a phenomenal instructor and coach. Her eyes and ears are unlike any other, and her
coaching style is very reassuring.
Her experience, knowledge, skill and passion shine through in everything she does.
Shayne Kohn Silver
Speaker and Owner / Live Well Naturally
Working with Ilene made our business realize that investing in this kind of training pays
enormous dividends
and has become a core component of how we prepare our professionals.
Ilene has had a profound impact on our team and we continue to reap the benefits
of working with her.
Anne Sylvester
Managing Director, Sales for Securities Services / JP Morgan
EmpowerSpeak is fun, interactive and gets results...
Ilene's extensive knowledge in developing content for speeches, speech preparation, voice and
speech basics, connecting with the audience, and how to deal with your
nerves is outstanding.

Her tips and tricks immediately made me not only a better presenter, but a more connected and
confident speaker all around.

I would highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to work with Ilene do so.
Karin Lindner
Author, Speaker and Owner / KARICO Performance Solutions
Ilene, I can't thank you enough for your superior coaching approach.
I absolutely know that it was your words, technique and all of the practice that gave me the ability to
deliver this intro.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Maureen Duff
Managing Director, Head of Global Marketing and Communications / at a leading financial services organization
EmpowerSpeak teaches you to release your personal fears of judgment and failure and to
make the most out of any given opportunity,
whether at a job interview, a business meeting,
or speaking in front of a packed auditorium...

Ilene is an example of what she teaches. She puts people at ease so that they feel
free to risk and put themselves out there.

During the workshop, I saw many people make great strides in overcoming
their issues with public speaking.
And, most importantly, I saw those same people enjoy themselves while doing it.
Airrion Doss
Office Manager, Actor / Capital Market Risk Advisors
I've gotten nothing but very positive feedback today!
THANK YOU for your commitment to us in working together to pull this off!
We couldn't have done it without you!
[Regarding a customized simultaneously live/webcast/telecast, interactive, multi-location program]
Margaret Blouch
Vice-President, Senior Product Analyst / at a leading financial services organization
The event exceeded our expectations!
I think the presentation was engaging, fun, and extremely productive.
You also did a great job involving all locations and making them feel a part of the "playground".
We can't say thank you enough for your participation.
Bill Sullivan
Vice President, Relationship Management Institutional Banking / The Bancorp

Story 1*

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Financial planning firm invests in their people…
and reaches unprecendented growth.

Maxwell, the president of an exclusive boutique financial planning firm specializing in high net-worth clientele, wanted to take his firm to the next level and elevate clients’ experience above his competitors. He knew his team needed superlative communication skills and strategies to make that possible.

His team of talented wealth managers included:

(1) June, a rising star

(2) Tim, a newly hired and highly accomplished veteran with a reputation beyond reproach

3) Theo, a whiz who had an eye and mind for the especially complex, technical aspects of financial planning.

The challenge?

Long time clients had complete confidence in the company’s president but were reluctant to entrust their portfolio to a younger, newer (albeit qualified and skilled) wealth manager. How could June present herself so she is recognized for her expertise?

Tim was new to the company, but a seasoned pro in the business. How could he make a name for himself in his new firm?

Theo was a rock star behind the scenes, and crunching numbers came far more easily than communicating with clients. How could he explain complex concepts so they are easily digestible to clients?

How could email and spoken communication come across personable as well as professional?

Over the months I spent with each of them, providing ongoing coaching and customizing in-house group trainings, this dedicated team invested in their own development and showed me a great deal about the heart of financial planning.

Outcomes of our collaboration:
June learned how she can use body language and her voice to put clients at ease and win their trust.

We coached on how to reach out to, build an emotional connection and bond with clients. In doing so, she has transformed her relationship with one of the firm’s “trickiest” clients. Maxwell and I worked together on communicating to clients his trust in June’s abilities. June now takes the lead in many client and team meetings.

Tim developed a better job of vetting his prospects and executing on a follow-up strategy with his most qualified leads. He now initiates more conversations with potential clients in informal settings. Several of these conversations have led to meetings and/or signing on new clients.

We coached on seeing the world from the other person’s point of view and utilizing meaningful, impactful wording. Tim uses those skills to engage and intrigue his listeners. Originally he saw himself as more of a low key personality, rather than front and center. In preparing for our Speakers Labs, Tim re-discovered his innate talent and savvy risk-taking ability, which set him apart as a speaker. He is developing presentations with the mission of capturing his audience.

Theo learned how to use mirroring to build better rapport, even in emails. Once anxious about taking the lead in meetings, he now has a solid plan to prepare key points in sequence and tailor the level of detail for the client.

We coached on how  spot and diffuse potentially hot-button moments to win back disengaged parties. Theo has used all these skills and his newfound experience to focus on putting the client at ease. In addition to clients turning to him more and more, Theo has begun creating a series of in-house tutorials for team members to learn some of the more intricate areas of financial planning.

Maxwell and his team continue to spearhead newfound success.

The outlook is that they’ll have their best year yet.

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Story 2*

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

Danielle breaks free and blazes her own trail

Danielle, a passionate trainer and coach, wanted to leave her current position and develop a brand of her own. Having attended, “Make Your Mark,” with our powerhouse guest panel, she came away full of excitement. She knew she had a calling, but was not sure what to do with it. She reached out to me and decided on a short-term coaching package. Her unbridled enthusiasm and positivity proved to be an amazing combination.

In just over a month of coaching, Danielle:

  1. Got clear on what she saw for herself
  2. Shaped her message and tailored her target audience
  3. Rehearsed and fine tuned her instruction style
  4. Created a networking plan
  5. Began outreach to key contacts who could affect her career path

In less than a year, Danielle launched her coaching services brand with a new website and pioneered a training program for one of the largest luxury brand health club companies in the US.

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Story 3*

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

Ed, Lane, Mike and Andrea regain client trust

Having missed several deadlines for releasing enhancements to their technical platform, a global financial services company wanted their next client update, via webcast, to address the recent issues and to reignite client confidence, which had started to dip. The messaging was extremely delicate and the marketing and technology departments struggled with integrating the messages requested by the client-facing teams.

After working on the script for several weeks and with less than one week until broadcast, their marketing team lead for the webcast, Andrea, reached out to us. Thanks to several understanding clients, I cleared my calendar and spent the next four days and several evenings collaborating with Andrea via phone and email. She had been working closely with all stakeholders on the messaging and was instrumental in our revisions.

I arrived onsite on Monday to continue preparing both content and coaching the speakers, Ed, Lane and Mike, for their mid-week broadcast.

Everyone banded together to co-create an extremely successful broadcast.

Ed, Lane and Mike:

  1. Took the coaching on their delivery to heart
  2. Responded like champions under high-pressure circumstances
  3. Supported each other’s best performance
  4. Handled extremely delicate messaging with charisma and elegance
  5. Refueled their clients’ trust

Feedback from webcast attendees’ and the in-house business partners were excellent. Clients reported back that they understood the explanations given and were enthusiastic about the road ahead. It was a turning point that set up several more successful webcasts to follow for the rest of the year. The speakers continue to use the best practices taught to warm-up for their webcasts and coach each other for other speaking engagements.

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Story 4*

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

Jerry took his audience from Tuned Out to Totally Engaged

A premier voice in Agile software development and project management, Jerry often packed the room on his reputation alone. He was contracted by a leading, UK based training company to deliver their content to their US based client. Upon giving the first of what would be many, multi-day trainings, the client indicated to Jerry that many attendees did not recognize the value of the course. The contract between the UK training firm and their client was substantial. Dozens of intended trainings faced an uncertain future.

Jerry knew he needed to win over his audience.

With just over 48 hours before his next course, Jerry emailed me and we coached via phone.

Over the next two days, we:

  1. Honed the content and delivery
  2. Re-tailored everything to be audience driven
  3. Reviewed techniques to engage and win back disengaged audience members
  4. Re-engineered his opening to encourage participation and shift the audience’s perspective of the content toward recognizing its value

And perhaps most impressively, Jerry rehearsed his introduction over the phone for close to an hour. That rehearsal enabled him to nail the opening WITHOUT scripting it.

While already a giant in his field, Jerry dove into changing his focus from the subject matter to his audience. He overcame the hurdles of rehearsing over the phone (not easy!) and dedicated his efforts to serving the course attendees. Jerry never gave up on making the information meaningful for his audience. Even on the final day of the training, people came up to him to tell him that they “got” his message.

Result? The client was very happy and there are many more trainings scheduled for 2016.

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