Facilitation feedback from October 13, 2023 UMaine “Practical Public Speaking for Business” session:
100% stated the program provided valuable information that is applicable to their profession/life (80% strongly agreed).
Comments on the benefits/”a-ha moments”:
“This was one of the most practical, applicable, and well-done
continuing education programs that I have ever attended. Excellent!”
“Tom explained well the different aspects of public speaking, analyzing components that go beyond what people think about public speaking, like the speaker’s feelings and what the audience is thinking and expecting.”
“We summarized some text as an exercise to present concise information to an audience. It really helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses better when speaking to an audience.” – attendees October 13, 2023, UMaine “Practical Public Speaking for Business”
“Hi Tom, Thanks for all your help! It was great working with you. I really found it useful to understand how to take a scenario and tie it more clearly to bigger themes and strengths, not to mention talking through and helping clarify my career goals.” – Mike G. (May 1, 2023)
“Hi Tom, I wanted to follow up with you and say thank you ! After leaving my job 12/30 I am thrilled to let you know I accepted a position with another company as a Vice President. It is remote, great pay and benefits. I used the matrix you gave me which helped me prepare for the interviews. I was up against people from the same industry but was able to show how my skills would benefit the organization, Thank you so much!” – Patti M. (January 24, 2023)
“Thank you for setting aside time to speak to us and teach us very valuable skills. Effective Communication (Part I and 2). The topics were relevant to many of us on a professional and personal level. I really enjoyed listening to you as you shared all the great tips and your personal stories. You made it so practical that it resonated with me. If I could pick a couple of take-aways:
- I liked the unprofessional day idea
- I also appreciated all those tips including how helping someone else succeed ultimately helps in one’s own success.
- The importance of sending appreciation to people regularly and timely.
- The emotional intelligence tips.” – H.M. (August 25, 2021)
“Tom – thanks so much for the help and guidance! You provided very helpful strategies on how to organize my thoughts and be better prepared before, during, and after the interview. I look forward to trying these techniques as I move forward with my search – and to get serious about my networking.” – Maeve D. (September 15, 201)
“Hi Tom, I wanted to say thank you for your incredible presentation on Communication (Part 1 and 2). I know it resonated with me for a long time as I ponder all the great practical ways I can apply your advice. I particularly appreciated your sharing your personal challenges and growth. It helped me feel less alone and connect to the concept that it takes effort to communicate better–even with people I’d prefer not to work with. I realize it is for me and up to me if I want the communication to improve. So thank you, thank you, thank you!!! (Redundant I know, but one didn’t seem enough).” – Jennifer C. (August 17, 2021)
“Hi Tom, It was an absolute pleasure to speak with you. Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your experience and insights with me. Your input and the flow of activities during the sessions were very effective and I got so much more out of them than I thought was possible in just two hours. I can honestly say that I am inspired and I appreciate it more than I can express, especially in this pivotal career moment. Many thanks again and I look forward to the next steps in the process. Kind Regards. ” – D. G. (June 10, 2021)
“Thank you so much, Tom! I deeply appreciated all of the pearls of wisdom and guidance you shared. I’m feeling so much more empowered and confident to embark upon a new chapter in my career!” – Veronica T.
“Hi Tom, Thank you very much for providing so much information in both of our interactive sessions. I learned quite a myriad of useful tools to use in this current employment market. To that point, I look forward to utilizing the SWOT and some of the other approaches we discussed! Thank you.” – Michael R. (January 25, 2021, individual coaching session)
“Thank you very much for running the [financial institution] Communications Seminars [virtual presentation, networking]. I dialed into all three sessions and received feedback from other attendees. We all thought they were great! Your advice was simple and practical. Your delivery was engaging and relatable. I learned new things in every session. The networking seminar stood out for me because you clarified for our analysts what it really means to network and what good networking practices look like.” – Ai O. (January 22, 2021, financial institution seminars on virtual presentations and networking)
“Tom, Thank YOU! I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and have received a lot of positive feedback already. Your presentation was equally entertaining and informative. I felt so validated when you were encouraging everyone to talk with our hands, as it is something I tend to do and try to constantly be aware of.” – Dana R. (Virtual Presentations, January 14, 2021)
“Hi Tom, Thank you SO MUCH! I really, really enjoyed the session today and could tell from the [attendee’s] faces alone that they were getting a lot out of it. Public speaking and leading meetings is a topic they have brought up several times, so your session could not have been more on point. As always, you were funny, engaging, and encouraging.” – Casey G. (Virtual Public Speaking for Business, January 13, 2021)
“I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you for taking the time to talk to us about public speaking. The session today was informative and truly inspiring. I look forward to inserting your tips and tricks into my daily conversations. I look at the girl I was in high school who refused to speak in a crowd, to who I have transformed to become now. You can never have enough practice on your public speaking skills. Thanks again!” – Amina W. (Virtual Public Speaking for Business, January 13, 2021)
“Thank you for making me look in the mirror.” – Sally W. (January 10, 2020)
“Thank you for taking the time to speak to myself and my fellow analysts earlier today about networking, your words of advice and wisdom were incredibly helpful. As a fellow shy kid navigating the business world, it is genuinely inspiring to hear your story. I appreciate your presentation and I hope to continue to learn from you in the future.” – M.M. (November 10, 2020)
“Tom, thank you for the very informative presentation today on the Westford Job Seekers call. I really appreciate the information and stories you shared. And I very much appreciated your energy level as I had been on back-to-back calls and webinars all day.” – M.W. (September 30, 2020)
“Hi Tom! Thank you so much for your time today. I found you not only incredibly engaging and relevant but inspiring as well. I have many great takeaways and created a list of things to put in action. Thank you for making a difference for our team and myself today.” – Crystal B. (Networking presentation, August 27, 2020)
“Thank you again for taking the time to prepare and present today (“Maneuvering Through The New Virtual Norm”). I loved the commentary you made about lighting – so good to know! Also, you gave me a lot of food for thought about how to start and end meetings strong. It is so easy to fall into those apology spirals at the beginning of a conversation, or into the dragged-out conversation at the end of a discussion. I lead lots of meetings in my role so this was great advice.” – Casey G. (June 11, 2020)
“Tom – That was a wonderful presentation today “Maneuvering Through The New Virtual Norm”. I really enjoyed that material you shared and I am excited to try out some of the new tactics you provided while hosting a virtual meeting. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this topic with everyone. ” – Kendra M. (June 11, 2020)
“Hi Tom, I just wanted to say thank you again for meeting with me yesterday. It was really helpful to talk through networking strategies and how to be persistent without being too pushy. It is definitely going to be stretching my comfort zone a bit, but I agree that it is necessary if I want to find a job in the current market.” – Krista W. (May 7, 2020)
“Thanks Tom. I really enjoyed our conversations which were very insightful. I will definitely leverage it as I begin this journey. The objective of getting me thinking (and thinking differently sometimes) accomplished.” – Rick T. (May 4, 2020)
Professional Development workshop (financial institution): “Hi Tom, Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the workshops. The exercises and all the speakers that you brought in throughout the series have been great. Today’s speakers were incredibly on-point with what is going on right now, how that impacts us, and how we can be better position ourselves to meet the demands during and post-COVID-19. It’s also a testament to your skills that despite the sudden change to virtual sessions, you didn’t skip a beat! Thank you so much.” – Emilie W. (April 29, 2020)
Public Speaking Workshop (financial institution): “I am writing in to thank you for an amazing session last afternoon. It was both, thoroughly enjoyable and insightful at the same time. Your method of delivery is definitely amongst the most unique styles I’ve comes across, more so when you consider the setting. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about some of the points you made.” – Nakul N. (Decmber 4, 2019)
Effective Communication Workshop/Managing Up, Down, and Around (financial institution): “Thank you so much for the presentation today! I found it really useful for someone in risk management like myself as I have to communicate with different stakeholders and audiences. You provided us with a lot of good, sound advice and I will make sure to start taking action on what I learned from you. Again, thank you so much!” – Larson C. (December 5, 2019)
Public Speaking Workshop (financial institution) “I personally got so much out of the event – how to use humor effectively, remembering that you are harder on yourself than anybody else and that whenever you have the opportunity to publicly speak the answer should always be yes! As I was walking back to my desk after the session, I passed several participants [in the hall] who all stopped me to say how engaging and informative the event was.” – Casey H. (September 20, 2019)
“Thank you, Tom, for your insightful guidance and thoughtful counseling. You inspired me to look at my job search in a new way and have provided me with an excellent framework upon which to build a powerful resume and LinkedIn profile.” – Janis W. (March 23, 2019)
“I found the conversation with Tom very high opening in introducing new ways and opportunities for me to build my network and hopefully create new career opportunities. Most importantly, all the conversations we had were really applied at some point on my personal situation which makes it definitely more relevant and allowed me to define practical ways to take it forward.” – JML (March 21, 2019)
“Tom – Thank you for providing me with two, well-crafted career coaching sessions. I found the sessions engaging, thorough, and focused on the areas I requested guidance on. Having actual tools and takeaways from the sessions, was unexpected and continues to assist me, as I further my career refinement and job search. Most importantly, you listened and responded to my questions and concerns very well, making the sessions both enjoyable and effective.” – Christine N. (January 31, 2019)
“Tom, your public speaking course at UMaine Hutchinson Center was top notch and on behalf of the University of Maine, I look forward to future collaboration. I am so grateful that you are willing to share your field-level expertise, life/professional journey, and time with those seeking to further develop their public speaking and overall communication skills. You are a hidden asset in mid-coast Maine! Your 1-day program was one of the most impactful professional development experiences of my lifetime.” – Patricia Libby Assistant Dean, University of Maine, November 30, 2018
“I worked with Tom on a 2-hour resume session a few weeks ago, and appropriate follow-through work, and its been monumental for me as I have increased my effort and have received more callbacks for interviews, and best of all, with interest from employers that are better framed around my interests and skills. Tom’s forward-looking resume advice has been a true asset to me that I’ve appreciated, and I feel my resume went from something I didn’t like to something I’m excited about sharing.
I also worked with Tom on networking habits and strategy, and this has made me more organized, effective, and friendly in building my network for my career pivot.
I’ve already shared some of my insights learned with friends and would recommend working with Tom, in a career search, or even to just update one’s resume and strategy towards a forward-looking and comprehensive perspective” – Chris D
“I particularly appreciate the following:
- Your responsiveness and flexibility around my scheduling request and requirements, and the ease of your contracting process.
- How you were able to support me by weaving in first-hand experiences which paralleled mine.
- The way that you launched me toward success by obtaining my commitment that after our coaching session I would respond what I learned by executing a specific, milestone-based action plan.” – B.H.
“Hi Tom, Thank you so much for the session today. No words to express my gratitude for sharing your experience, which helps me to take the right approach to run my job search. Donna was absolutely right when she said you were the perfect Coach I needed to speak with. I will start putting some of the great advice in practice this evening.
Dear Tom, I want to thank you ‘so much’ for the great Coaching session today, going through some mock-ups; amazing experience. Your guidance means a lot and certainly ‘gives me wings to fly’, thinking beyond my comfort zone getting ready for the next professional journey. I’m buying your book ‘Displacement Day’ to continue learning from a great Coach who masters the art of personal development! BIG thank you!” – Sonia T. (May 24, 2017, and June 2, 2017, sessions)
“I had the privilege of working with Tom on several occasions. As someone who has not conducted a job search recently, I felt I needed a good refresher on the right strategy and what resources should be used to maximize my time. Tom was able to walk me through a process that I could easily implement. In addition, he helped me update documentation that I was using for my interview, namely the business plan I put together to show prospective employers how I plan to get up and running. In addition, he showed me some additional documentation to assemble that will further help me during the interview process.
I would recommend Tom for anyone conducting a job search. For the inexperienced job seeker, he can quickly get you up to speed on the tactics you will need to do. For the more experienced job seeker, he will be able to further help you differentiate yourself from other candidates during the interview process.” – Bill Hesnan (March 2017)
“I first met Thomas Dowd when he was a Vice President at Bank of America. He was leading the internal mentorship program and I was one of the employees with the least tenure in the program. I found Thomas’ training and coaching to be beneficial, within the Bank of America setting as well as carrying on in my professional career after leaving the bank. Thomas takes the role of mentor very seriously and expects the same from those he mentors and coaches. Thomas is a highly skilled speaker having been involved with Toastmasters for many years. He presents well and encourages practice to develop confidence. His books have helped both the newly graduated as well as those seasoned in their careers. I have been lucky to count Thomas amongst my coaches and would recommend him for any role he might be seeking.” -Polly E. Hall, Consultant
“It’s my absolute pleasure to write this recommendation of Tom Dowd’s performance and endorse his effective writing-coaching service which played a major role in my recent career transition. In mid-December 2016 I finalized my decision to leave my Boston-based senior-level position and career-long employer to relocate my family back to our home state of Maine. My goal was to secure a Maine-based senior-level career path outside my background industry. While I was confident in my abilities I had not been a job seeker since college graduation in 1998 and quickly discovered how much the game had changed over the past 18+ years. The power of networking connected Tom and I the first week of 2017 which proved to be the best New Year’s surprise I could have hoped for. During our first conversation Tom listened to my story then shared his personal experience, career coaching services, and overall value proposition with helping me gain the right position in a timely manner. I felt immediate trust in Tom’s ability to help me execute my new career search mission so hired him to re-write my career packet and provide interview coaching. Within a few days, Tom provided a strategically written set of career search documents and provided a very effective interview coaching session with areas of focus that helped me centralize my approach. Fast forward 3 weeks of family relocation efforts and multiple interview rounds I received and accepted a Senior Management job offer from my number 1 target company! Tom’s amazing writing and coaching service is for sure the game changer I needed to land the right position in a very timely manner. I strongly endorse Tom’s service and thank him for helping my family transition back home in a seamless manner.” -Andrew B. Market Manager, Dead River Company (February 2017)
“Tom’s presentation on letting your network work for you was a fascinating glimpse into his personal journey of transition, forward momentum, and the power of human relationships. He clearly demonstrated his passion, business acumen, and desire to help others maximize their networking efforts for personal success.” – Peter A. Osborne, University of Maine Farmington, Career Counselor/Employment Specialist, Center for Student Development (June 6, 2014)
“Tom Dowd is a charismatic and engaging speaker. At the District 31 2014 Spring Conference, I had the pleasure of seeing Tom’s educational session. He guided the audience through “Impromptu-to-Success” with professional eloquence and a personal touch. Using examples from his book “From Fear to Success” I was delighted to find fodder for the developing speaker. His ability to pair stories with ideas and advice hit home. “ -Christine Lewis, Toastmasters International, District 31 Division A Governor (Eastern MA/RI) (May 17, 2014) Audience Survey Results (40 responders): How prepared was the presenter? Average Score: 3.00 out of 3. How likely are you to recommend this session to others: Average score 2.9 out of 3.
“It was a pleasure to have Tom join us at our recent CGA Saint John Chapter dinner. It was enjoyable to both personally speaking with Tom and hearing first hand his wonderful ability to connect his personal life experiences in such a manner to connect your life to his. I particularly enjoyed his stories involving “Jack” and made a personal connection with have a cousin with CF. “Jack” was all about living life to the fullest and was a wonderful reminder to do just that. I want to thank Tom for taking the time to travel to our dinner.” – Faye Whalen, CGA – CGA Saint John, NB chapter-representative – Saint John, NB, Canada (May 14, 2014)
“Thank You”. Your words, message, and the journey is inspiring to me. I am lifted by your insight, communication, and story. Thank you. ” – Bruce Pullens, District 8 Toastmasters, St. Louis (November 23, 2013)
“Tom was hired by Merck to conduct a group training session on Effective Interactions and Communication Skills at a Northeastern Sales Meeting. The feedback from the sales reps was outstanding! They felt they learned a great deal from his instruction and are very motivated to start using their new tools for improving their communication skills! We highly recommend Tom Dowd !! “- Rhonda S. (Merck), May 25, 2016
“You gave me some practical advice for responding to loaded questions meant to put other people on the spot. A few days after our call, I had my first chance to put your advice into practice, and it couldn’t have gone better. More than just deflecting the negative intent of the questioner, I was able to turn the question around (graciously) in a way that ultimately gained me some respect and verbalized appreciation from my boss. Score!”- Individual Coaching Client, August 2014
“The job is great and the money spent learning from you how to negotiate salaries has been returned many, many times over.” – Individual Coaching Client, May 2015
“Dear Tom, words cannot express my gratitude to you for providing a great education session at the District 45 fall conference in Saint John. Many delegates expressed delight in your session and were thrilled about the ideas you shared. I spoke with many and read the evaluations – all extremely positive. The topic was current and relevant to everyone in the audience and many expressed that they would now use “PREP” when speaking “off the cuff” and in table topics. I noted that many are anxious to read your new book too! You have a talent that continues to blossom each step you take inside and outside of Toastmasters. Thank you for taking the time to attend our conference and to deliver an excellent session to our members. ” – Patricia MacNevin, DTM, Lieutenant Governor – Education & Training, District 45 (November 6, 2013)
“Transformation Time with Transformation Tom: Techniques to achieve greater personal and professional self-transformation…Tom was a wonderful speaker to end our nursing conference. His ability to use his personal stories to motivate and encourage a group of nurses from various disciplines was impressive. Tom’s presentation was a combination of; funny, serious, emotional, motivating, and thought-provoking. Even though Tom’s background and experience is in the corporate world, his words and message can be applied to any profession. My favorite part of the presentation was “Jack”. Tom’s story of Jack brought tears to my eyes. It was so lovely to hear Tom explain how the life of someone living with Cystic Fibrosis is exactly that- it’s about living! I want to personally thank Tom for all the time and energy he put towards; preparing, traveling, speaking, and following up after the conference. It is safe to say Tom is committed to his work.”- Laura Smith MSN, RN – Conference by the Bay committee member and Faculty at Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Medical Center–Lewes DE
District Governor Maine Lions Letterhead 2012- 13 Tom Dowd “Dear Thomas, I thank you for being our guest speaker on January 13, 2013 at our Informational District Meeting, Believing in Yourself & Presenting Your product. Your presentation was inspirational and motivating. I have had many comments on how you related your Transformation to becoming a more proficient professional by relating your own personal experiences. This made it possible for us to relate and connect your past experiences with our present ones. I liked the way you got out in front of the podium and walked around the floor presenting your message to all present. You not only motivated us but touched our hearts with some of your stories.” Bruce Jellison, District Governor Maine Lions
“I had the pleasure of doing a combined session (May 5, 2012, University of Maine Hutchinson Center) where I learned about Networking, Interviewing, Resume writing, and Time Management.
The class was 4 hours, and I could have stayed for an 8-hour course. One of the things I liked about Tom’s style was how in the beginning he started by getting to know the people who were attending. This showed to me that he cared about the audience’s expectations and wanted to address the things important to us. Throughout the class, Tom made sure to use diverse examples that were pertinent to each person learning. I appreciated his pace, it wasn’t too fast, and when needed, he slowed down to answer questions, even when something brought us on a tangent.
Regarding resume writing, I have used sophisticated online programs, that I’ve paid lots of money for, to write my resume. I thought it was pretty solid. However, after this segment, I learned that I had a HUGE waste of space, and really minimized many of my accomplishments. I also learned that I needed to visit my resume quarterly. Then in a moment’s notice, I would be able to send it to anybody, possibly putting myself ahead of the competition. I learned some different ways to improve my resume that would normally be considered unconventional. These improvements not only made sense but would also help put me ahead of the competition. I appreciated Tom’s long history of resume writing and reading, and he was able to point out the do’s and don’ts easily.
Regarding Interviewing, I thought that I was fairly good at interviewing. However, Tom’s approach using the SWOT method made the whole concept of interviewing change for me. In the past, I would have spent hours trying to anticipate countless questions that may or may not come up in an interview. His methods help to prepare you conceptually for what you want to say and the important things that you want to address so that the interview is no longer a Q&A, but rather an open dialogue. I can’t tell you how much stress that eliminates.
Regarding Networking, before this class I knew next to nothing about networking. Tom had some incredible insight into the process. With his advice, I realized that you don’t need to be a New York socialite to be able to network effectively. If anything his methods are easy and don’t require a lot of time each month.
Time Management is something I’m generally good at. The tips that he gave on “touching your emails only once” were especially helpful. In addition, I realized that I don’t always account for the interruptions that can derail even the most well-thought-out day. I’m sure that now I’ll not only be able to use his tips to find more time, but I will be better able to keep the schedules that I put together. Another thing I appreciated about this piece of the day was how useful the information will be in my own personal day-to-day life, and not just my professional life.
I would encourage anybody to attend a session that Tom’s having. Any one of these topics could easily benefit a person, whether they are satisfied with their current positions/careers, or if they’re looking for new horizons. There are benefits in both professional and personal capacities. Even if you think that you’re an expert on a topic, I would encourage you to attend a session, or purchase Tom’s materials.
I look forward to continuing my own transformation and feel that I’m better prepared through the things that I’ve learned thus far and thank Tom for his impact.” – Gary Boynton, Collections
“I just wanted to reach out to you and say, thank you! I wanted to express my gratitude, specifically around the interviewing seminar. My mother recently applied for a new position as a Head Start teacher. She has currently been an assistant teacher for several years. After completing her associate’s degree, (working on bachelors) I’ve encouraged her to seek out new opportunities. Hesitantly, she applied for a headteacher position. Preparing for the position, I offered my mom several pointers from your seminar, focusing on the “30:60:90 day” plan. She just got an offer today, with some exceptional feedback. The center supervisor called specifically to tell my mom that, she was not only the best interview of the 15 qualified candidates, but she was one of the most prepared candidates she’s interviewed in the last 10 years. The supervisor also went on to say, she was also going to incorporate the “30:60:90 day” idea into her very own resume/interview preparation. Thank you again for your inspiration. It reaches far beyond the doors (of where I work).” – Brian J. Osborne, Credit Analyst, Banking
“Tom is a very dynamic speaker. His presentation style and his communication skills engaged our diverse audience. Tom filled the two hours with many practical time management tips and examples. There was something in his talk that everyone could relate to and use immediately in their job. I was impressed with Tom’s ability to connect with the audience and use their input to adapt his program. He also provided a written summary of his time-saving approaches to emails, meetings, calendars, checklists, and more, to serve as a great reference. As our company’s liaison for this training, I received many positive comments about Tom and the workshop from those who attended. I would recommend this session to any organization who wants to improve staff productivity.” -Cynthia Ocel, Education Coordinator, Acadia National Park
“Our interactions were limited-but the knowledge I gained was limitless. From the first time I heard you speak in Orono (Maine) in regards to resumes, and interviewing, I was captivated and loved every moment of it. The power you hold over an audience is awe-inspiring. Here in Belfast (Maine), working with you in Toastmasters has been an absolute pleasure, and I thank you for all that you’ve done, and all of your help.”- Jean Gamperle, 8/8/13, Dirigo Toastmasters, banker
– “I wanted to send you a note and just say thank you! I was on the call this morning (December 19, 2012- Transformation Time with Transformation Tom), and as someone who has been with the company for 12 years, I listened to your story and really appreciated your words. I related to so many of your stories talking about getting feedback and being “demoted” and wondering why my career hasn’t taken off to where I thought it would have by now. My career started off similar to yours, being a top performer “a rising star” and then at the point of the acquisition it stalled. My peers were getting promoted to officer positions within the new organization and I found myself back on the phones. In 2009 I got another opportunity in the Credit Ops space. Since then I joined Toastmasters (I’ve only completed two speeches) finished up my MBA and I’m in a role where I feel comfortable BUT feel I can be doing so much more. I never really had that “catalyst” moment though-until today! The attitude and honesty you spoke with really did inspire me. I enjoyed your story and I would love the chance to give you a call -meet you over the phone and maybe get some additional insight. I wrote down some of your quotes as I listened and some of my favorites I listed below.”
“Change is inevitable….Growth Is Optional (John C. Maxwell)”; “I’m not perfect…the fact that I’m ok with it, is”; “Do you have the luxury to look back..so you can look forward?”; “Stop hoping…start taking action” Thank you!!” – Russell Mazzola, Operation Strategies, Unsecured Credit & Underwriting
“I thoroughly enjoyed your words of motivation and encouragement on yesterday’s call. I refuse to refer to it as just a “presentation” because you did not deliver it as such. Instead, we were treated to a truly motivational speech with the added bonus of interacting with you for real-time responses to the questions. I was definitely able to tell that you have a passion for others to really glean from your lessons learned. I, personally, walked away with some nuggets that I can certainly apply to my life.” – Celena Smith, Project Manager, Banking Industry
Anonymous Comments from “Transformation” presentation (February 27, 2013):
What did the speaker do well: “Related with his audience…Providing personal experience…Very open and honest… Great message…clear and precise…Presentation and speaking about personal experiences…Engaged the audience… Connected well with the audience…He was extremely passionate about his experience…Enthusiastic, well-paced, interesting…Answered questions with his experience and what we can do…Great tone! Kept me interested!…He showed much passion for his transformation. I could relate to his experiences…Related to my own personal struggles and situation…He was very articulate and provided great suggestions…Motivated me to take control of my career…He had a wealth of experience stories that I could relate to…Personable, engaging session! Lots of great stories and experiences that will allow me to remember and connect with his key points…Interact with the audience…He was unbelievable. I thought I was attending church service…Conveyed information with excitement…loved the jokes…Getting the message across and provide real-life examples along with ideas to overcome obstacles…He was easy to relate to and gave great examples of his life…Gave life examples and answered the questions thoroughly…He was very transparent and provided real-life examples of both personal successes and lessons learned…Shared both positive and negative making it easy to relate to the overall presentation…All the great tips and I also appreciated the advice regarding building a network and how to start. Tom is a very inspirational speaker…related how he changed adversity to success.”
“Tom is very efficient and responsive. Very knowledgeable and proficient. Would definitely use again.” – Jason M. (September 30, 2017)
“Tom, Thank you for the professional conversation about risk management and the personal conversation about your own turning points. Since talking to you at 8:00 this morning, I did three things:
* I Googled Toastmasters to find one closer than Worcester and put the next meeting on my calendar.
* I listed the titles of the next three articles I want to write.
* I cried in a very cleansing, “this is significant to your path” kind of way.
I’ve already referred your website to our neighbor, who has a daughter at the University of Delaware, and my niece who I feel is on the fringe of being an inspiring coach. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going from here (who is?) but I’ll be sure to let you know where I land. For now, I choose happiness, defining and creating my own success, and being even more selfless and vulnerable. I am casting a broader net and I can’t wait to see what gets caught! (yes, you can quote me). Very sincerely, Donna C.”
“Tom has a different approach that is interactive and engaging. I learned a lot about myself and my true potential. He encourages you to reach higher. It was a great experience and I love the finished product. My experience has been life-changing. I was forced to look at my experiences in a new light and really think about my accomplishments and how I can be of service to organizations outside of my industry. Tom also recommended different industries I may want to consider. Tom had a lot more value than working with a resume writer.” – Stacey L. 4/4/16
“Hi Tom, I just wanted to let you know that I accepted a job offer to be a hedge fund administrator at Stone Coast Fund Services in Portland. Thanks a lot for working with me. The interview tips and edited resume really paid off. I’m very excited about this opportunity. If I have friends who are looking for help in similar areas I’ll certainly recommend you. Thanks and take care!” – Christian 5/21/13
“I wanted to send you an update on my job search and a thank you for your advice re: salary negotiations. I’ve been offered a job I’m incredibly excited about (more so than the two that were in play at the time of our conversation, actually) and I used all of your advice to negotiate for an additional $3K in my base salary and 2 more vacation days!! Thank so much for all the help. I felt really confident and strategically sound going into negotiations because of our conversation, and it definitely paid off! Thank you!” – Kyley Caldwell
“You don’t know how much I thank my lucky stars that I reached out to you back in the spring for networking. Every time I talk about the decision process I went through of trying to find out what I wanted to do next, you always come up in the conversation. That half an hour you spent with me was truly remarkable and definitely made an impression on me. The knowledge you shared with me that day was invaluable. I just wanted to let you know that you have made a resounding impact on my life.” – Celeste Merritt, Business Control Manager, Banking
“Spending some time with Tom opened my eyes to subtle mistakes I had been making in my job search. I now have a better understanding of how to differentiate myself from my peers and network effectively. Tom has given me the proper guidance to move forward in my professional career.” – Christian Pieri, 2012 college graduate
“I recently asked Tom to speak to our students here at Thomas College as part of our Career Services programming. Tom addressed a group of 40 students on the importance of building a network and highlighted how students can make their network work for them. The group was engaged and followed up with many of the suggestions that Tom spoke of. I would highly recommend Tom as he is engaging, professional and a clear communicator.” – Corey Pelletier, Director of Alumni & Career Services, Thomas College
”I am taking some of your advice from today’s session… It made me think about where I would like to progress with my career and how to execute in order to achieve my goals. I’ve been told numerous times that my ability for public speaking is great and that this skill should be used more frequently. After hearing you speak today, I am more confident and will start applying this skill on a daily basis with direct reports, managers, colleagues and when I am meeting new people (networking). I have been with the bank for 10 years (in multiple areas). I just wanted to take 2 minutes and say thank you again for giving me that push.” Patrick Dussault- TD Bank Customer Service Manager
“Your presentation today…was insightful, inspiring, and really empowered the group to drive their own careers. Thanks, again!- Mary Tripp, President LEAD for Women
“Hi, Tom- I met you when you delivered your speech “Let Your Connections Work for YOU” in Richardson, Texas. Being a shy introvert like you, I felt galvanized by your speech. I’m a nervous wreck when speaking in front of a group. That nervousness is intensified by tenfold when speaking in front of senior management. So you can imagine, the thought of making a cold call to senior management for networking purposes has my stomach churned upside down! I was inspired by your stories and experiences. Most importantly, I appreciated your simple approach to networking and your call to action. I left the presentation thinking, “Yes, I can do it!” Thanks again for the inspiration and I look forward to talking to you soon.” – Melissa Moore, Senior Tech Manager, Banking
“Thank you so much for coming to speak to the students in my three classes about job interviewing. I could tell that the students were totally engaged and learned so many important things about job interviewing. I saw one of the students this morning and asked him what he thought about your presentation/talk. He said it was really interesting and helpful and that you were really funny (go figure!)! The examples of interview questions you asked students were perfect and really helped them think about how to answer interview questions with confidence. It was so helpful for them to learn about what interviewers are looking for, some of the pitfalls to avoid during an interview, and how to banish their nerves. It was a first-class presentation! Thanks so much for your time and presence!” -Pam Pleas, School to Career Coordinator, Mid-Coast School of Technology at Camden Hills Regional High School
“Great session….great speaker…stressed the importance to be proactive in networking…his expertise and experience in networking proved valuable…loved his personal stories….personal experiences directly related to theory and practice…great tips and encouragement to act…I loved the opening story (My Funeral) and the honesty”- Various comments from the Maine Career Development Association 2014 Spring Conference evaluations June 6, 2014, 4.7 cumulative ratings on a scale of 5 in quality of presentation, preparedness, and being well-informed on the subject
“I really liked the training. I have always had trouble budgeting my time and I liked the way he came back to a few critical points rather than trying to completely redo our lives. I feel like I can implement several of his points right away and then add on others. I liked his directness and eye contact, I often lose interest at pieces of training but he kept my attention throughout.” -Jane Boynton, Fee Collections Operations Oversight, Acadia National Park
“Time management had previously been an area of opportunity, but after attending the Time Management Professional Development Series, I found valuable tips to lead me to improve. After attending this module, I took advantage of the information and implemented utilizing my Outlook calendar to my benefit. I recently had the opportunity to share my story of improving my time management in an interview for a Team Leader role. I was proud to say, that while time management had been an opportunity in the past, it has improved. I now have more confidence in managing my time, not only for my associates but for my own development needs as well. Thank you, Tom, for allowing me the opportunity to share my story, and for all of the valuable lessons I have learned throughout the Series. Have a great day.” -Erin V. Hume, Assistant Manager, Banking
“This seminar was extremely valuable in assisting me with organizing my days. I had never put routine items on my calendar before. At first, it felt strange to see “read email” or “walk the floor” but as time went on I found this was very helpful. By blocking out periods of time to read my email or walk the floor, I suddenly had more time in my day which has allowed me to take on additional responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. The most helpful thing was reviewing tomorrow’s appointments today. Now I am always prepared for my appointments right down to the little things like remembering to bring in something for a food day. These may sound like small things, but when put into practice they become huge time savers. This is a seminar that I could attend again and again and I am sure that each time I would learn a new technique that would make my days more productive.”- Patricia Osborne, Assistant Manager, Banking
“The Time Management module I participated in, designed and facilitated by Tom Dowd, provided layers of insight, ranging from tactical tips to more strategic time management philosophy. What I’ve found in the weeks since the module is that incorporating the “little” things – such as the way Tom suggests arranging Outlook windows on the desktop and scheduling time to plan the next day, week, or month – make the “bigger” time management decisions easier to make. I was excited to utilize these tips as soon as the module was over and the excitement hasn’t waned since. Taking control over one’s time is an empowering experience and Tom’s Time Management module is proving to be a valuable tool in doing so.” -Josh Reitzes, Process Design Manager, Banking
“The Time Management Series assisted me not only professionally but personally. Tom did an excellent job of understanding (and explaining) how time management is a crucial part of our daily activities. He took the time to understand each attendee’s perspective and goals to direct the relevance of his agenda. Attending this series helped me gain a better understanding of how time management is not just about efficiency, it encompasses prioritization, leadership, and communication. Being able to prioritize, show leadership and communicate effectively assist with successful time management and this series gave us the resources/techniques needed to accomplish more on a daily basis. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who just wants to get more out of their day, whether it’s professionally or personally.” – Donna Morse, Administrative Professional
“Since attending Tom Dowd’s module on Time Management and Organization I have gained a sense of structure to my workday. I was able to understand how to control your email, office communicator, and calendars. One of my largest opportunities prior to this module was my email. I have adapted the method of reading the email once and then either deleting, replying, or saving that individual email in the proper folder. This was one of many procedures that Tom taught, and this simple procedure has saved me hours throughout the working month.” – Craig Mitchell, Senior Collector
“Tom was very prompt at getting in touch with me and did a very thorough job crafting my resume. I would highly recommend Tom to anyone looking to update their resume.” – Dan Ham, January 2017
“Tom made strategic design changes to my resume and adding wording that brought my past accomplishments to life and helped me truly define what I have to offer a company. He also provided interview coaching tips that allowed me to tell my story with intent and confidence. Thank you Tom for your time and patience!”- Lisa Mullins, February 2016
“I wanted to thank you first for the amount of time you have dedicated to the Professional Development Series. I can only speak for myself when I say that I have gained a lot by attending these sessions. Secondly, I wanted to thank you for taking so much time from your day to help me with my résumé. I cannot tell you how many times I have reached out to only hear, “It looks great!” If it looked “great” my success rate for interview offers would be higher. You were the first person to take the personal out of the request and really help me focus to improve the language format and content. Truly, I appreciate it and think I now have a much stronger résumé reflecting my accomplishments over the past 20 years.” -Polly Hall, Financial Analyst
“Hi Tom, several years ago I participated in a resume-improving session you gave while I was on a task force during the company merger. It was your advice that got me started on a long road to professional improvement. While I am still working on getting into my dream job, I am a LOT closer than I ever was before. Thank you so much!” – J.C.S., Application Analyst at Tech Mahindra for AT&T
“I can’t thank you enough for your professionalism and thoroughness… This is absolutely amazing! I feel re-energized and excited thanks to your efforts!- Thanks,Peter”
Effective Business Communications:
Thank you for facilitating the Effective Business Communication session for the Credit Business Control Team. Through your efforts, you are helping further the job knowledge…as we work together to constantly raise the bar. Thanks again!” – Lindsay Ferrante, Administrative Assistant, Credit Business Control
Surveys from an Effective Business Communications session held on February 14, 2012:
“That was a fantastic and refreshing session. It was good to go back to the basics of effective communication and felt he provided great tips on all fronts. Thanks”
“GREAT information – very helpful! Will definitely incorporate these lessons into my day-to-day. Really enjoyed the opportunity to think differently and hear a different perspective about effective communication. Wish more people could have attended!”
“Just a note to say today’s training was one of the best webinars I’ve ever been on in my four years at the company: LEAD for Women Virtual Chapter Mentoring Committee (LEAD Author Series – Tom Keynote Event – Command and Influence – Better Business Communications). I was not only entertained but I took a lot of notes! I told my manager about it and she said that if it’s ever offered again (or if the deck is able to be shared) she’d love to receive it as well. Thanks, Stephanie” – Stephanie, BAC, Philanthropy Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility 8/6/13
“Thank you for a wonderful presentation yesterday. The communication tools I learned from your presentation will help me take my personal brand and my communicating skills to a higher standard.” – Pam, BAC, Retail/Consumer Compliance Specialist
Written comments from Mid-Maine Breakfast Series (November 2014): “Quite inspirational, thanks!; Excellent job, I learned a lot!; Well done-thanks!; Personal stories were great; Nice job- people look at your shoes! 😉 ; very inspirational!; Excellent at engaging audience; great as usual; Nice body/story telling in your presentation. Suggest repeating; Excellent!; Great job!; Thank you”
“Good afternoon, Tom, Thank you for speaking to our Rotary Club last Friday in preparation for your Toastmasters International contest. Your topic titled, Unconditionally Nice, was presented in an easy, flowing, and uncumbered way drawing the audience into your story. You related your experiential events and people with your unconditionally nice topic applying the rules of effective communication and personal accountability. You mentioned that we all have a choice to be role models for niceness and your presentation pointed to that choice several times. Excellent program! We wish you much success in your Toastmasters competition and in all your personal and professional endeavors.” – Doris Vertz, Rockland Rotary member, Rockland, Maine (March 2014)
“Dear Tom, Wow, those performances in my Public Speaking classes were great! Thank you so much for coming to class and sharing your remarkable expertise in both the performances and the discussions afterward. You were terrific in every respect. The best thing for me was to have someone of your caliber show the students all of the techniques we’ve been working on, with the hand gestures and vocal variety and volume control and emphasis and pauses and—well, everything. The hand gestures were particularly useful for the class to see because people realized right away that you didn’t have any empty gestures. Even the small stuff that came out in the discussion sessions hit home with the students, such as your citing a source (the “Never Eat Alone” book you mentioned) and being truthful (your “98% truth” figure and the two tiny areas which you modified—the time sequence and the wording of the lady from St. Louis). The D-Day speech was strong, and the Frank speech was stunning, and both of them were in your real voice, too. Thank you once again for your generosity in coming to Thomas College.” – Dog Wallace, Public Speaking Professor, Thomas College 3/14/14
Anonymous Survey results from April 10, 20133 Webinar: 10 of 11 surveys with 5 out of 5 overall satisfaction scores.
Verbatim Comments: “He incorporated his personal memories and situations into his speech; was honest about journey; He drew from his own experiences and had personalized stories on how to improve—it was one of the best presentations I’ve heard in a long time; he gave real practical tips that we can implement (i.e., write it out, repetition, stage time, and being a student of yourself); Dynamic speaker and kept my attention; I loved the advice on having your elevator speech ready at all times, also enjoyed hearing Tom’s personal triumphs and most defeating moments, really has given me a different perspective on negative feedback I’ve received; Tom was very personable; it was a fresh perspective and applied to everyone; this was an in-depth presentation with a fresh and honest perspective; kudos to the person who invited Tom; Very energetic, influential and motivating; it was very motivational to listen to the presenter and made me feel that I am not alone in my fear of public speaking and gave me confidence that I CAN do it. Overall —well worth my time to attend.”
“You were terrific! You showed the students the power that a speech can have and you showed them how you worked on the speech to get it to achieve that power. Your presentation felt like a master class in how to speak well.” – Dog Wallace, Thomas College Public-speaking professor (2/15/13)
“Three cheers for you, Tom! I am / We are so very grateful to you for sharing your expertise and experiences with us this afternoon. Your willingness to make an example of yourself allowed our students to experiment with public speaking without feeling threatened which is very important – especially for teenagers. I was a little concerned that you might not be able to hold them for two hours, but hold them you did, and with great success. Please see below for the first three comments I got back from my Rotary Youth Exchange students after your presentation…
Tom Dowd’s presentation was very useful and I did notice everything he talked about when I was doing my elevator speech. I ended up just staring at the floor, speaking very fast with my voice quavering and I even ended the speech with “and so… yea.” I have a LOT to work on based on confidence and precision even if I don’t have time to prepare.
Tom Dowd’s presentation was definitely valuable. I feel that I am now more aware of habits and techniques to use while public speaking. His examples and stories of overcoming his shyness were inspiring and definitely inspire me to work at practicing my own public speaking. His presentation seemed concise and highly organized, as he split the main points into subcategories that are easy to remember. This was very helpful!
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Dowd’s presentation and found it very informative. I was enthralled and compelled by his first speech. Additionally, I found his instruction very helpful. He broke down the daunting “art of communication” into small, easily digestible tidbits. I found his emphasis on taking away a few small points very helpful.
Most gratefully,” – Su Wood, Belfast Rotary Youth Program Outbound Coordinator
Comment from the February 8-10, 2013 US National Toboggan Championship Event (announcing): “Congratulations on your terrific work hosting the Toboggan Championships this weekend. The length of the event, time to kill between 9-second runs, and lack of variability in runs makes that a very tough job. Both your play-by-play and color were right on and really made the day.”- Scott Kessell, Maine resident
Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks for coming to those Public Speaking classes last week! You were great, and you showed the students everything that they’ve been hearing about and practicing all semester. It was especially fine to hear your vocal variety—the students often forget to do it during their real speeches, and they could tell how much it added to yours. I also appreciated the nuggets you offered us, particularly about professional-personal bleed, about keeping a pad by the bed, and about being more active and less reactive. They have reinforced and clarified some of my thinking on these issues and will help me live better. Thanks again for everything!- D. Wallace, Professor of Public Speaking, Thomas College
Impromptu Speaking (Impromp-to-Success):
“Tom presented the “Imprompt-to-Success” session during the Toastmasters International District 36 Fall 2013 conference held on November 16, 2013, in a Maryland hotel. Tom has clearly demonstrated his master-level experience and knowledge in table topics, an impromptu speaking format. He used his real-life examples to convey his message – for example, formulate a story, use what/where/when/why/how approach to telling a story, and convey your message. The climax of the session was that the audience asked Tom to give an impromptus speech on “Can money buy happiness?” The same topic was used in the district-level table topic contest the night before. Tom masterfully applied the theories and tips he presented on the topic. He used his story – high school prom, job search, etc., and conveyed his message – happiness is that a person lives his or her life in the way he or she wants. His speech touched the heart of the audience.” -Mike Nie, Advanced Communicator Gold, and Advanced Leadership Bronze, Area 31 Governor (November 18, 2013)
“Tom, I liked the simplicity of your presentation. It was refreshing! 99% of PowerPoint presentations have each slide extremely overloaded with so much data that the viewer cannot understand the materials, the slides do not coincide with the speaker, or I just get frustrated and give up trying to follow along. Short and sweet – my college professor would have given you an ‘A’.” – Maureen Nicols, Executive Assistant