Public speaking may seem daunting—but with the help of a professional development coach like Marianna, it doesn’t have to be.


  • Former actress and graduate of Second City

  • Storyteller active in Chicago’s lit scene

  • Workshop leader and facilitator since 1997

  • Public speaking coach since 2004

  • Former founder and director of a non-profit

  • Makes learning fun, public speaking comfortable

  • Horrible ukulele player


Marianna has dedicated her career to teaching people how to squash their fears of public speaking by building confidence and speaking skills. Outgoing and enthusiastic, Marianna has trained more than 25,000 individuals to communicate more effectively with her inspired coaching style. Leading group workshops, conference courses, and coaching sessions, she draws on her improv background to create a fun, engaging atmosphere to share strategies for minimizing the stress of public speaking. Working in professional development as a workshops leader since 1997, Marianna has been a public speaking coach and presentation skills instructor since 2004.

Through interactive exercises, real life examples, and accessible tools, Marianna can help anyone improve their public speaking ability—and have fun doing it! Her passion for her work shines through in her coaching, as she connects with clients to form strategies for speech preparation and delivery that are unique and natural to each individual.

Marianna’s background outside of the speaking sector further strengthens her role as a coach. In addition to founding the Chicago Writers Conference, which brought community and opportunity to many aspiring writers in Chicago, she is an author and actor. Her unique ability to communicate effectively across numerous platforms truly puts her in a category of her own as a public speaking coach. She has a knack for bringing people together through storytelling and interactive exercises and activities. Her diverse background offers a wealth of experience to draw from when working with various clients, whether in academia, corporations, or the non-profit sector. At the heart of it, Marianna loves what she does—and her number one goal is to help her clients be more comfortable, developed speakers.

Author of 21 Ways to Engage Your Audience, Marianna holds a BA in English from Northern Illinois University, an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College, and is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory. When she’s not working on professional development with her clients or buried in a book, Marianna can be found telling stories on Chicago’s Live Lit scene, riding her bike along Chicago’s lakefront, or playing the ukulele.