About Learn To Present


Dr. Portnoy,

I was a student of Effective Managerial Communication course in Spring 2016. I was thinking about all the techniques you taught while preparing and delivering my speech. I was consistently thinking of  “Connecting people with a purpose” and “Why should they listen to me”.

Today, I presented in front of more than 1000 people in my organization and I felt proud that it all went smoothly. I also received several appreciations.

I wanted to send a note of thanks for all the knowledge you imparted upon us.

Anand Mallepally

Senior Director, Identity Solutions | Enterprise Security Solutions, MasterCard

American Society of Training & Development


Thank you again for your Feb 27th presentation Speech Coaching Guidelines for Learning Professionals for the St. Louis Chapter of ASTD. I thought you might like a summary of the responses from the survey sent after the event. There were a total of 15 respondents, with very high marks for agree/strongly agree throughout the survey. I’ve also included comments where present.

  • Program met expectations: 100%, agree/strongly agree
  • Felt program will help with future success: 100%, agree/strongly agree
  • Felt they were engaged during the program: 100%, agree/strongly agree
  • Activities and exercises helped their learning: 100%, agree/strongly agree
  • Specifically what did you like?– Talking to people at my table– Giving and receiving feedback with neighbor– Teaming with a partner and using The V-Deck to critique various speakers– Practical examples of what to do and what not to do– Observing and evaluating the speeches
American Society of Training & Development (ASTD)

(now Association for Talent Development)

St. Louis Zoo

In a short period of time, I learned a key concept to making an effective presentation: instead of considering myself, present from the listener’s point of view; add value to their lives. That calms my nerves from the get go – it’s not about me!

Today’s workshop changed my perspective on presentations: “What’s the Point?”, and driving home the point IS the point. THANK YOU!

Cassandra Ray

Director of Finance, St. Louis Zoo

This class was great at not only refreshing my skills, but also finding areas for improvement by focusing on how to draw in and engage an audience.

Eli Baskir

Research Technician, St. Louis Zoo

Captivating, insightful, engaging, effective, helpful, fun! The class taught me to focus “the point” of my story from beginning to end and how to get that point across to the listener with many useful and easy to understand techniques. This will change how I view my communications in any formal and informal settings.

Zoo Volunteer

St. Louis Zoo


[This workshop] really helps break down the presentation process to make you a more engaging, mindful presenter who truly captures the audience. It really eases the stress and anxiety of presenting. Sarah Thalmann

Private Event Manager, St. Louis Zoo

If you want to experience a well-planned and thoughtful seminar in a short amount of time, this is for you! You will take away a better understanding of presentation skills.

This workshop could help someone land their dream job!


St. Louis Zoo

Thought Provoking!

[This workshop] is a way to help one organize and construct a presentation that is meaningful to the listener and hopefully memorable and interesting. [It could help] build confidence in creating a presentation. Debra A. Schmidt

St. Louis Zoo

This workshop makes you think about how you are presenting yourself and in some ways takes the focus off yourself and makes you think about the audience.

Leah Bronstein

Business Development Coordinator, St. Louis Zoo


I would say this workshop provided useful tips and guidelines that anyone could use when giving a presentation. It would be useful for college students and professionals, no matter what career field they were in. Having these techniques will help make a presenter more confident, which could help [them] obtain their dream job by giving a better interview or impress co-workers or supervisors with presentations.

Mary Parker

Financial Accounting and Reporting Specialist, St. Louis Zoo

This is an engaging presentation and concept that, with effort and practice, someone can adapt and apply to their everyday life.

Jennifer Poindexter

Director, Sales & Catering, St. Louis Zoo

Washington University College Advising Corps

 “Everything I learned can help me in my job and in general.”

“I’ll be a more engaging public speaker, but I can apply this when communicating with administrators as well.”

“I loved the presentation from the content and way it was presented. Great dynamic between this duo.”

“They were very knowledgeable and engaging. Easy to talk to and to ask questions.”

“I will really be practicing using The V-Deck Model because I want my students and parents to stay engaged.”

These are some of the quotes that the college advisers shared about their experience. I really appreciate you and Benjy taking time to come and share your Presentation Skills Learning System with us. You are both so personable and it is evident that you love helping people and what you present.

Your presentation was refreshing and a highlight of our summer training. I will keep in touch with you. Best wishes to you all as you engage other groups and help individuals feel more empowered and confident communicators. Thanks again.

Angela Brooks

Director, Washington University College Advising Corps



Wow, I didn’t realize how helpful having a presentation skills class would be in making me much more comfortable speaking to my groups/teams. By using the V-Deck, I will be able to communicate my message much more efficiently and [be] engaging. It will provide [other professionals] the formula to give presentations that will be remembered.

Hans Brosbol

General Manager, Aramark


The V-Deck is an awesome reminder for all the necessary aspects of presenting. The [presenters] were very engaging and made us feel comfortable when it came time to communicate.

Catoya Liner

Conference Planning Manager, Aramark


This would give other professionals an opportunity to look at presentations from both sides of the fence. It allowed me to realize that we are talking to the audience and the presentation is for them and not to worry what you think.

Nolan Matarazzi

Conference Services Manager, Aramark

[The workshop] helped me realize there is more to public speaking than just talking. Anyone uneasy about speaking in public could benefit by applying just one of the V-Deck components. I won’t be a public speaker overnight, but some of the skills learned helped me feel more “at ease” when speaking. Robert Bucy

Director of Housekeeping, Aramark

Clear, concise direction. Clear examples of before/after results.

Jonathan Watt

Grounds Supervisor, Aramark

The workshop provided a modern, up-to-date way of presenting to the audience of today! Your corporation NEEDS the V-Deck to drive business results and keep your audience engaged.

Felicia Edwards

Senior Guest Services Manager, Aramark

This workshop helped me pinpoint my flaws to see any blind spots in presenting. [It] could give others a platform or guidelines to build from when presenting.

Byron Weston

Conference Aide Supervisor, Aramark

[The workshop] provided useful tools and examples that will enable me to have greater confidence during my next presentation. The simplicity of the V-Deck can be used by anyone in any setting to better communicate a point. The presenter did an awesome job with the information and made it very clear and understandable. John Garcia

Security Manager, Aramark


I [now] understand what has to be done to engage the listener. The V-Deck system is invaluable. It will help other professionals build on speaking skills and how to present to an audience. Dr. Portnoy and Benjamin are worth listening to.

Jim LaFaver

Controller, Aramark


[I now know] how to add variety as a speaker while making sure I focus on the main point. This was great value added to my role. Mandy Reese

Registration Manager, Aramark

Humane Society of Missouri

I encourage this type of active workshop because it helped to hone in on the strongest communication skills and taught me how to enforce them in my interaction with others. [The workshop] definitely ignites personality into communication!

Suzanne Gassner

Director of Education, Humane Society of Missouri


Rob and Benjy created this program for presenters that could be used to enhance any educator’s skills. Easy to follow and powerful, simple and profound — experience it to believe it. Communication skills are the key to success.

Gail Velten

Humane Educator, Humane Society of Missouri

Today’s workshop could make the difference between success and failure to meet personal and professional goals! Thanks so much! Great for anybody’s life or career.

Diane Woepke

Humane Educator, Humane Society of Missouri

The Learn To Present workshop was informative, interesting, engaging and provided useful tools and resources that I can apply to my life, career and daily interactions with others. It helped rejuvenate my passion for communicating with others and will help me represent the animals and the organization I work for more effectively!

JoEllyn Klepacki

Assistant Director of Education, Humane Society of Missouri

In 2 short hours, I’ve learned a great deal to help me better communicate my passion for animal welfare. Good communication is the key to success in all walks of life.

Laurie Livingston

Humane Educator, Humane Society of Missouri


A powerhouse of presenters with passion, persuasion and pithy points. Don’t miss this titan team if you value your career, ideas and want to discover how to advance both.

Time is the most endangered element on the planet. To get your ideas across in the most concise way, this is the tool you need.

Patti Gaizat

Volunteer, Humane Society of Missouri

This workshop teaches a structured approach to presenting a point to an individual, small or large group. It provides examples and opportunities to practice what is taught. It’s awesome!

Jan McMichael

Humane Society of Missouri

[This workshop] can improve [anyone’s] speaking ability. They won’t be afraid or shy to speak out. Katelyn Evans

Humane Society of Missouri

This workshop is helpful for anyone tasked with communicating the needs of their organization. By practicing the V-Deck, someone could improve their career by effectively communicating not only the employer’s message, but also their own.

Angela Smith

Marketing Manager/Media Spokesperson, Humane Society of Missouri


Rules to speak by.

Julie Hundman

Volunteer Humane Educator, Humane Society of Missouri

Ungerboeck Software International

The V-Deck™ is the GPS for an effective presentation. I would recommend this workshop because it helped me assess myself by watching a recording of myself while presenting. Rob is a great teacher! I plan to use the feedback on my presentation at our User Conference in September!

Archit Singh

Technical Consultant, Ungerboeck Software International, Inc.

I would recommend this workshop because it will help you become a better presenter.

Eric Lowe

Product Manager, Ungerboeck Software International, Inc.


The V-Deck™ was a new way of thinking about presentations! The workshop had a really good flow.

Lauren C.

Financial Consultant, Ungerboeck Software International, Inc.

This workshop had a lot of FANTASTIC INFORMATION and you can see immediate results through viewing the presentation. Thanks, Rob!

Lea B. Harring

Consultant, Ungerboeck Software International, Inc.