Over 150 Years of Combined Experience

 

 

 

 

 Over 150 Years of Combined Experience

 Spoken with Authority is a Washington D.C.-based presentation skills consultancy that elevates the presence and expands the influence of professionals, and promotes inclusion in organizations.
 Our clients are leaders, emerging leaders, and subject-matter experts in law firms, consulting firms, associations, and nonprofits.

Spoken with Authority is a values-driven organization.

Our efforts and engagements reflect our unwavering commitment to authenticity, empathy, and diversity. 

01

Authenticity

While we use proven and proprietary methods, techniques, and tools in our work, we do not take a generic one-size-fits-all approach. We focus on bringing out each individual professional’s authentic voice and developing their unique strengths — including gifts and talents that they may not realize they have — so they can deliver clear, convincing, and compelling presentations every time: whether they are on stage in front of thousands of peers, in a virtual meeting with clients, or having an important one-on-one conversation with a colleague.  

02

Empathy

We understand that emotions and feelings about public speaking — in both formal and informal settings — run the gamut. Some people are energized by the idea. Some people have mixed feelings. And some people outright dread it. Our approach is empathetic, compassionate, and respectful. We meet our clients exactly where they are on the journey, and give them the tools, support, guidance, and encouragement they need to achieve their full potential — even when they are busy or stressed.  

03

Diversity

We actively embrace and demonstrate diversity throughout our organization, from our own hiring and work-allocation procedures, to our commitment to using inclusive and respectful language and practices in our training programs and coaching engagements. We also help organizations promote and celebrate diversity by upgrading the presentation and public speaking skills of under-represented and historically marginalized groups in their workforce. 

To learn more about our commitment to authenticity, empathy, and diversity, and discover how these core values guide our organization and benefit our clients — contact us today.     

Christine Clapp

Founder and President

Lynne Adrine

Presentation Skills Coach

David Henderson

Presentation Skills Coach + Workshop Facilitator

Christina McLean

Presentation Skills Coach

Jean Costanza Miller

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Michele Morrissey

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Lisa Richard

Presentation Skills Coach 

Bjørn Stillion Southard

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Amanda Pruden

Executive Assistant and Manager

Stephanie Baylor

Client Care Specialist

Meet Our Team

Christine Clapp is the Founder & President of Spoken with Authority

Christine Clapp

Founder & President

In 2008, Christine Clapp founded Spoken with Authority, a Washington, D.C.-based presentation skills consultancy that elevates the presence and expands the influence of professionals, and promotes inclusion in their organizations. Since then, Christine and her diverse team of presentation skills experts have provided online and in-person training programs and coaching engagements to hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders, emerging leaders, and subject-matter experts.

Christine is the co-author of Presenting Virtually: A Guide to Public Speaking in Online Contexts (2020) as well as Presenting at Work: A Guide to Public Speaking in Professional Contexts (2014), and a collaborator on Let ‘Em Speak, a podcast launched in 2020 that explores the intersection of presentation skills and inclusion. She holds two degrees in communication: a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also taught public speaking to undergraduate and graduate students at The George Washington University for thirteen years.

MY STORY

In 2008, Christine Clapp founded Spoken with Authority, a Washington, D.C.-based presentation skills consultancy that elevates the presence and expands the influence of professionals, and promotes inclusion in their organizations. Since then, Christine and her diverse team of presentation skills experts have provided online and in-person training programs and coaching engagements to hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders, emerging leaders, and subject-matter experts.

Christine is the co-author of Presenting Virtually: A Guide to Public Speaking in Online Contexts (2020) as well as Presenting at Work: A Guide to Public Speaking in Professional Contexts (2014), and a collaborator on Let ‘Em Speak, a podcast launched in 2020 that explores the intersection of presentation skills and inclusion. She holds two degrees in communication: a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also taught public speaking to undergraduate and graduate students at The George Washington University for thirteen years.

Lynne Adrine is a Presentation Skills Coach with Spoken with Authority

Lynne Adrine

Presentation Skills Coach

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Delivering authentic communication
  • Spoken, written, and visual communication
  • Public presentation
  • Media interviews and off-the-cuff speaking

Lynne is passionate about building an alliance with her clients, and working together towards greater balance, elevated performance, and expanded opportunities.

Lynne has more than 30 years of experience as a broadcast journalist and senior producer with multiple television networks, including CNN, PBS Newshour, NBC News, CBS News and ABC News. She also serves as the director of a graduate program in broadcast and digital journalism for the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. She serves on the board of directors of Journal-isms Inc., a nonprofit corporation supporting diversity issues in U.S. news media. She also sits on the advisory boards for the Freedom Forum’s Power Shift Project and The Press Forward, organization dedicated to civility, inclusion and equity in newsrooms and other work environments.

Lynne has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University, and went on to graduate work in Broadcast Journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She also holds certification in training in journalism ethics and coverage of race relations from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida and certification in executive leadership coaching from the Georgetown University Center for Professional Development.

“I believe in supporting people in sharing information – their personal truth and knowledge – to audiences in a respectful presentation which enhances understanding.”

David Henderson is a Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

David henderson

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Public speaking for lawyers
  • Trial advocacy and witness preparation
  • Media relations
  • Leadership development
  • High-stakes presentations

David is passionate about helping ambitious professionals and especially attorneys reach their ultimate goals by strategizing how to be persuasive, engaging, and informative in high-stakes situations. He deeply understands that great ideas must be expressed effectively to have an impact and make a difference. 

David has more than two decades of experience in high-profile communication-based roles, including 20 years as a trial attorney during which he tried over 70 jury cases to a verdict. Previously, he served as an associate at Vinson & Elkins, LLP, an international law firm with approximately 700 lawyers worldwide, and then as a prosecutor in the Special Crimes Division of the Bexar County’s District Attorney’s office. Currently, he serves as a civil rights attorney at Ellwanger Law PLLC, specializing in civil rights, discrimination in the workplace, and fighting for sexual assault survivors. 

Due in large part to his exceptional communication skills, David was invited by the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association (TDCAA) to provide continuing education courses for other attorneys across the state. He also joined Toastmasters International in 2007, and in 2010 he was named World Champion of Public Speaking in a competition of more than 30,000 elite speakers from 113 countries. 

As part of his longstanding commitment to ending systemic injustice, David has written op-eds regarding anti-riot laws and qualified immunity, which have been published by the Washington Post and Newsweek. He has also been featured on CNN and MSNBC providing legal analyses of high-profile cases involving police shootings. David holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors from the University of Texas, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.    

“I am inspired and drive to develop, coach, and empower my clients to be persuasive, engaging, and information in front of an audience of any size, and in any situation – from informational gatherings to high-stakes presentations.”

Christina McLean is a Presentation Skills Coach with Spoken with Authority

Christina McLean

Presentation Skills Coach

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Business development
  • Engaging diverse audiences
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Communications, PR, and media outreach

Christina is passionate about giving voice to businesses, brands and people. She knows that when a message is effectively communicated and resonates with its audience, it stays with people in a way that inspires change and makes a lasting impact.

For nearly two decades, Christina has provided communications and marketing expertise to clients around the world across the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has also worked closely with leading enterprises such as Capital One, Microsoft, Target, FedEx and many others to design and spearhead high-yield regional and national philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns.

Driven to influence positive change in the community, Christina serves as an advisory board member for various local non-profit organizations and commission groups in the Washington, D.C. area. She has also partnered with the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Office to advocate civil advancement for residents, and expansion opportunities for small businesses and grassroots organizations.

Christina holds a B.B.A. in International Business from George Washington University. She has also completed graduate work at Georgetown University, delivered guest lectures at several universities in marketing leadership and strategic communications outreach, and is a 10-year member of the American Marketing Association.

“For years, my client mantra has been, ‘support the profession, connect with the person.’ So much of what I do is about connecting with people and understanding who they are — which automatically feeds into what they need, and how I can make an impact.”

Jean Costanza Miller is a Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Jean Costanza Miller

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Leadership communication
  • Women in leadership
  • Argumentation and rhetorical strategy
  • Message design
  • Education and training

Jean’s passion is collaborating with clients to develop impactful presentations on issues of significance. She focuses on developing genuine engagement with audiences, honing messages for superior clarity and conciseness, and fostering confidence in her clients.

Jean has three decades of experience in higher education and presentation skills training. Currently on the faculty of The George Washington University, she has taught courses in public speaking, leadership, intercultural communication, professional communication, and rhetoric. She has also spent over 25 years as presentation skills instructor for the Capital Speakers Class, a private public speaking course for women, and as consultant to the Capital Speakers Club of Washington, D.C. Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes understanding through effective communication.

Jean has a doctorate and master’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Towson University, where she competed in debate, was a national finalist in public speaking competition, and was the commencement speaker for her graduating class.

“My goal is to help clients anticipate their speaking engagements with calm confidence, knowing that they can make a genuine connection with any audience.”

Michele Morrissey is a Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Michele Morrissey

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Interpersonal communication and difficult conversations
  • Effective use of voice, vocal health, and accent modification
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Supporting professionals with learning differences

Michele is passionate about helping her clients uncover and navigate complex interpersonal dynamics, which is accomplished when they use research-based methods to understand their personality and motivations, as well as their communication partners and audiences. The result is delivering messages of impact and influence.

Michele has over two decades of experience as an educational and corporate speech-language pathologist, and has collaborated with educators, executives, and industry leaders to develop their own communication styles and voices infused with intentionality and influence. Michele’s areas of expertise also include interpersonal skills and social communication. Her approach focuses on the primary purposes of communication -to connect, relate, and influence- and how clients can maximize their impact through increasing self-awareness and social awareness.

She earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Hampton University. She is also a P-ESL certified accent modification trainer, and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

“I ensure that my clients are equipped with core competencies in self-awareness and interpersonal communications, which facilitates their ability to relate, connect, and influence across settings and situations.”

Lisa Richard is a Presentation Skills Coach with Spoken with Authority

Lisa Richard

Presentation Skills Coach

Areas of Interest Include:

  • Critical thinking and audience analysis
  • Pronunciation and clear communication
  • Interpersonal communication and influence
  • Workplace presentation and briefing skills

Lisa is driven by a desire to make a difference in her clients’ lives and careers by helping them unlock their potential to communicate effectively. Skilled communicators hold the key to connecting with others and exercising positive influence in the world around them.

Lisa has more than 25 years of professional experience teaching presentation and interpersonal communication skills to corporate, government and non-profit clients, including non-native speakers of English. She has also developed and delivered comprehensive communication skills training courses for leadership development programs, performance evaluation programs, and teams undergoing institutional change. Lisa particularly enjoys one-on-one engagements with clients who want to refine the impact and professionalism of their spoken communication.

Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in teaching from the School for International Training.

“I am committed to helping each client speak with an authentic voice, polish a professional delivery, and craft presentations that meet the audience’s needs and achieve the presenter’s goals.”

Bjørn Stillion Southard is a Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator with Spoken with Authority

Bjørn Stillion Southard

Presentation Skills Coach and Workshop Facilitator

Areas of Interest Include:
  • Public speaking and keynote presentations
  • Pitches and high-stakes presentations
  • Field-specific communication
  • Speaker brand development
Bjørn is inspired by helping clients realize that they have something compelling to share with an audience. He is the co-author (with Spoken with Authority’s founder Christine Clapp) of Presenting Virtually: A Guide to Public Speaking in Online Contexts (2020) as well as Presenting at Work: A Guide to Public Speaking in Professional Contexts (2014), and a collaborator on Let ‘Em Speak, a podcast launched in 2020 that explores the intersection of presentation skills and inclusion.

Bjørn has more than 15 years of experience delivering public speaking instruction and seminars across the country. He has developed numerous presentation skills development programs, for both individuals and small groups, and for short and long-term engagements. He is especially proud of his involvement in various prison communication programs. Bjørn has a doctorate and master’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and media studies from Willamette University.

Bjørn is also author of the award-winning academic book Peculiar Rhetoric: Slavery, Freedom, and the African Colonization Movement, and numerous articles about the history of public address in the United States. He is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of Debate at the University of Georgia.

“Confidence comes from preparation, practice, performance, and reflection. My goal is to partner with speakers to do the work to gain that confidence.”

Amanda Pruden is a Executive Assistant and Manager with Spoken with Authority

Amanda Pruden

Executive Assistant and Manager

Amanda spent over 13 years working at large corporations in a variety of roles that focused on project management, business analysis, and team effectiveness. Amanda knew she could transfer her skillset beyond the corporate skyscrapers and decided she wanted to support people who support people. With a focus on the big-picture and connecting all the small details, while focusing on the humans involved, Amanda provides clarity while optimizing business operations. Amanda studied project management at Mount Royal University and leadership at the University of Calgary.

Stephanie Baylor is a Client Care Specialist with Spoken with Authority

Stephanie Baylor

Client Care Specialist

Stephanie has a degree in Psychology from Depauw University. Her passion is to create an elevated customer experience by fostering an environment where the client’s needs are not only heard, but met. She has helped her clients successfully grow their businesses by providing proactive solutions and innovative thinking.

Our Books

Spoken with Authority team members Christine Clapp and Bjørn Stillion Southard have co-authored two books on workplace presentation skills with insightful, practical, and immediately useful tools, strategies, and advice.

Presenting at Work Book from Spoken with Authority
Presenting Virtually from Spoken with Authority

Our Books

Spoken with Authority team members Christine Clapp and Bjørn Stillion Southard have co-authored two books on workplace presentation skills with insightful, practical, and immediately useful tools, strategies, and advice.

Let 'Em Speak Podcast from Spoken with Authority

Let ‘Em Speak Podcast

Spoken with Authority team members Christine Clapp, David Henderson, and Bjørn Stillion Southard are collaborators on the Let ‘Em Speak podcast, which explores the intersection of presentations skills / public speaking and diversity / inclusion. It’s about the risks and rewards of real talk, by real people, in the real world.