Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

How more confident public speaking can transform our people and communities

EY Presents is a program which helps EY people and the wider community to develop confidence and skills in public speaking.

Related topics Purpose Workforce
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The better the question

How could consultants help a city communicate?

Public speaking is a crucial skill for our communities.

Public speaking is an important skill for all of our people, whether it’s at a client or team meeting, or if they are representing EY at an event. But our people also know that public speaking is an important skill for the communities we serve. It can help them better communicate with each other, develop confidence, reach their potential and seize opportunities.

So Jason Lipschultz, Sara Schneider and Matt Saccomanno asked: “How could consultants help a city communicate?”

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The better the answer

Coaching confidence

EY Presents is an organization which runs training for public speaking, networking and presentation skills, inside and outside of EY.

Founded in 2013 at the EY member firm office in Chicago by a small, diverse group of committed and passionate people, EY Presents meets once a month to give EY people the opportunity to practice their speaking skills without the pressure of a high-stakes environment.

Through about three prepared and five impromptu speeches per meeting, EY people and corporate sponsors can engage with each other, provide support and receive helpful feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. Even attendees who never get up to speak learn valuable lessons from those brave enough to get on stage.

The team has used its popular teaching methods to reach out to the greater Chicago community, working with groups ranging from female entrepreneurs to valedictorians of inner-city schools to help them improve their speaking skills. Through their work with various organizations, the team is also helping the unemployed build their networking and presentation skills to empower them in their job search.

It absolutely has been life changing. The EY team helped me to find that push that I needed, that motivation. I’m really looking forward to my future now.
EY Presents participant from the Chicago Urban League
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The better the world works

Leaders of the future

EY presents has transformed the lives and careers of EY people and the Chicago Urban league.

Since its inception, the program has made an incredible, lasting impact. Our Chicago office has already had more than 500 speakers and more than 3,000 attendees, becoming a staple of workplace culture for the office’s many employees. The program is run with a budget of less than US$1,000 per year and all attendees receive an hour of CPE credit at each meeting.

Speakers and attendees alike have seen significant growth and development in their speaking abilities, are more comfortable in public speaking environments and are inspired to share what they’ve learned with other EY people who haven’t attended.

EY Present’s original charter was designed to apply to all EY offices. Expansion to other cities has happened through word of mouth. The program has already launched in Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Philadelphia with further expansion planned in St. Louis, New York and London.

And outside of EY, our work with the Chicago Urban league on interview and networking skills, has enabled them “to take workforce enablement, and turbo-charge that with the ability to communicate, and with the ability to interview effectively,” says EY’s David Nichols, Chicago Urban League board of directors.

One of the participants used the skills she gained in the public speaking sessions with EY in a job interview, and within four days she was placed. She said “it absolutely has been life changing. The EY team helped me to find that push that I needed, that motivation. I’m really looking forward to my future now.”