Speaking in public wasn’t always comfortable for Carmie. As a child, she panicked at the very thought of it. Her heart raced.
Her breathing accelerated. And sometimes she actually felt nauseous. Rather than raise her hand in class when teachers asked questions, she pretended she didn’t know the answer. When asked to read aloud from a book in camp, she said she had a sore throat. Instead of working up the courage to ask people in ticket booths for passes to a movie, a carnival ride, or swimming pool, she often chose to not go.
One day her sixth-grade teacher sat down beside her after class and gently smiled. “Carmie, I know that you know the answers to the classroom questions. But if you don’t speak up no one else will ever know how amazing you are.” The words stuck and that was a moment she never forgot.
As the years passed, she watched people she admired speak. She learned what engaged listeners. She practiced. She gained the courage to speak up more. She got positive feedback. Her confidence grew. Years later, public speaking – the same skill that had terrified her as a child – not only became the field of work she pursued but a talent in which she excelled!
To pay for her university education, Carmie faced cameras working as an actress in numerous TV commercials. Earning a degree in broadcast communications, she became a TV reporter. Being more interested in working behind the camera, she became a writer/producer/director of TV commercials and corporate image films. This led to being hired as Corporate Communications Manager and Olympic Communications Manager for UPS, a position she held for almost ten years. In all of these roles, she was constantly told she had a natural gift for helping others look and sound their best when speaking to different audiences.
Whether for staff meetings, sales pitches, fundraising, board meetings, keynote addresses, or TV cameras, Carmie teaches others that you don’t have to be famous to be an outstanding public speaker.
Carmie McCook is an internationally respected public speaking and media interview expert. She has taught thousands of business professionals and other individuals how to become more dynamic, engaging, and persuasive speakers for any media interview, B2B presentation, or public speaking event.
Using her techniques, Carmie’s clients have won major competitive contracts, launched new products globally, received promotions, secured funding, handled tough questions from TV reporters, appeared on news programs, responded credibly in crisis situations, and enjoyed standing ovations after giving a speech.
Carmie has taught executives, company spokespersons, and other prominent individuals how to confidently handle interviews with prominent U.S. and international media outlet, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, BBC, NPR, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Times of London, Le Monde, Al Jazeera, Business Week, Washington Post, and numerous trade and business publications.
As a highly sought-after public speaking coach and presentation trainer, she has been called upon to prepare high-profile professionals from around the world for a broad spectrum of speeches, business presentations, and appearances at international conferences. Those include TED Talks, ICANN’s annual conference in Seoul, Korea and the Global Climate Conferences in Copenhagen and Paris. She was also called upon by Samsung to prepare the company’s president for his live, global announcement to 150 countries, of the Galaxy Smartphones.
Recognized for her expertise in leadership communications, Carmie’s advice, as well as her opinions on high-profile newsmakers, has been featured in interviews with numerous U.S. and foreign news and business publications. Interviews with her have appeared in the Washington Post, Slate Magazine, Smart CEO, Atlanta Journal, Atlanta Business Chronicle, AM New York, Radio France International, and Jyllands-Posten (Denmark). She is also a regular contributor to The Business Matchmaker, an international business publication dedicated to developing commercial trade opportunities between the U.S. and Asia.
Based in Washington, D.C., Carmie is a magna cum laude and Phi Kappa Phi graduate of Georgia State University’s School of Journalism and completed a special advanced studies program at the University of London and the BBC. She serves on the Board of Directors of the British-American Business Association (BABA) and is an active member of BABA’s Energy and Environmental Business Committee. Carmie is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, which explains the southern accent.
Carmie has strategic partnerships with a network of high-powered training colleagues, all very successful in their fields. When there is a requirement to bring in additional instructors for any client’s communication training needs, she assembles just the right team.
With Carmie McCook & Associates, you always get expert training and coaching that delivers real results.
"Carmie gave our team the tools to both prepare our message properly and to execute it with conviction. Since then, each speaking opportunity has been better than the one before. It took my abilities to a new level."
Rabbi Phil KareshDirector of Education and Alumni Coordinator, Midwest National Conference of Synagogue Youth
"Carmie was incredible. I learned how to organize my speeches in a way they will be most impactful. I am now less reliant on my notes and am a more confident and poised speaker. I have received incredible feedback from my talks since the training. It was worth every dollar!"
Meira SpivakDirector, Oregon National Conference of Synagogue Youth
"Carmie, you were a major contributor to the success of our conference. Evaluations from all 300 attendees were consistently in the 'excellent' category."
Allen R. Brinkman llFormer Regional Senior Vice President, Wachovia Bank (Now Wells Fargo)
"Carmie gains the confidence and trust of the audience and connects them with the subject matter in a very effective way. We are still getting rave reviews of the presentations she gave at our Business Expo."
Berta W. MaginnissExecutive Director, Manchester Vermont Regional Chamber of Commerce
"I have attended other media training workshops at national meetings and this was by far the best and the best instructor. Carmie was fantastic!"
Linda TillyExecutive Director, VOICES for Alabama Children
"Your program, 'You're Talking but is Anyone Listening?' was a big hit. Immediately following your presentation we were flooded with e-mails regarding how much the attendees enjoyed themselves. We look forward to seeing you again."
Lori DerkaySr. Vice President, American Society of Association Executives
"Carmie helped me understand that a presentation is not just providing information, but how the message is delivered is equally important. I saw a marked, and almost immediate, improvement in my public speaking and how to package a message. I highly recommend her training to anyone that is looking to become a more influential and powerful presenter and speaker."
Dan LeFeversVice President Federal Affairs, Waste Management
"Carmie's interactive and thoughtful training to key members of our staff really made a positive impact. She reminded us of the value of having a structured, strategic approach to handling the media. Her energetic, personable program helped us build a successful plan and her interview training allowed us a unique way to evaluate our personal skill sets."
Keith LaughlinPresident, Rails to Trails Conservancy
"The research Carmie had done on my company and the industry was painstaking and proved quite useful. The difference she made between the before and after was remarkable. Her style is engaging and personalized. I highly recommend her services."
Alexa RaadCEO, .ORG, The Public Interest Registry
"Your approach to communications training has proven invaluable to me. I know I will be a more dynamic speaker in the future. I look forward to our future sessions. Thanks so much!"
Linda Mae SoutherlandVice President, ALLTEL
"Anyone who has to speak to a crowd-whether it's a crowd of 5 or a crowd of 500-should call Carmie. She is funny, puts you right at ease and gets results quickly."
Jada Keye HebraDirector of Admissions, St. Paul School
"Carmie's focused approached to communications training insures success. Her professional style and attention to the details creates the difference in achieving a positive outcome. I would highly recommend her program."
Sam SchreiberWashington, DC Regional Executive, Wells Fargo
"You provide insight into the workings of the media that is dead-on, not an academic view…in a word, you were excellent."
Susan MoorePast Director, Georgia Medical Care Foundation
"Carmie's presentation on public speaking and communication is perfect for undergraduates headed into professional settings ranging from job interviews to work-related presentations. The audience loved her engaging, warm style, and sharp insights. We look forward to having her back every year!"
Meng Jia YangWomen's Leadership Initiative Speakers and Workshops Chair, Yale University
"Carmie's techniques are very subtle yet extremely effective. The instruction was very precise for each person. Most important is the results were evident in practice when presented with the opportunities."
Robert HiltonVice President, Power Technology, Alstom Power Corporation
"This was a tremendously valuable experience. Carmie has given me the skills and knowledge to be a much more effective public speaker. I would recommend her to anyone seeking to improve their communication skills. She's great!"
Michael G. HirshfeldVice Rector for External Affairs, St. Pauls School
"If you have a key audience to reach and want to make sure you do so effectively, call Carmie McCook.. She can teach you how to communicate with real impact. She helped us tremendously at UPS and I know she can do the same for others."
Oz NelsonFormer Chairman and CEO, UPS
"Carmie strikes tremendous balance in her approach to media coaching. She pushes trainees to their limits in the all-important 'worst-case scenario' while keeping them actively engaged with her charisma and enthusiasm. To the surprise of many, even our most apprehensive senior executives walked away feeling far more confident and better prepared to meet the media. To make that big of an impact on members of our senior management speaks volumes about her abilities."
Nicole AndersonDirector, Public Relations, Ciena Corporation
"Before I met Carmie, I had no idea how much I didn't know about preparing for interviews with the media. Carmie showed me how to simultaneously answer questions with effective sound bites that speak to the viewer. Her advice definitely helped face the press with confidence and get my book sold."
David RossAuthor, "The Engagement Ring Secrets"
"Carmie is fabulous. Enthusiastic and well-prepared, she works easily and effectively with everyone, from the CEO, to scientists, to policy types. We were particularly impressed with her aptitude for helping us develop strong messages. We look forward to having her back for refresher courses in the future."
Katie MandesDirector of Communications, Center on Climate & Energy Solutions
"Carmie is by far one of the best media trainers in D.C. Her individualized training techniques help both novice and experienced spokespeople enhance their media interview skills and comfort level. I recommend her highly."
Carole RoperPublic Affairs Manager, National Apartment Association
"Your presentation training program was informative and extremely beneficial for our executive management team. As a matter of fact, the conference evaluations rated you as the overwhelming favorite aspect of the conference."
Joseph Persichini, Jr.Former Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation
"Excellent at teaching what you really need to know when meeting the media! Carmie has really done her homework on our subject!"
"Carmie is an absolute pleasure to work with and her public speaking training goes far beyond what most expect…Among other things, she helped me methodically think, and in much greater detail, what different audiences want to get out of my speeches or business presentations, then crafted my content and delivery to suit. I would have told you I was doing this already, but she helped me see there was significant room for improvement!"
James RepenningPartner, ShiftGear, Hartford CT
"Carmie is absolutely fantastic. Some instructors are experts in their field but cannot convey their knowledge effectively and produce results. Carmie has the special talent of being able to apply her wealth of experience in presenting/public speaking to make her students successful. One session with Carmie gave me more insights into my personal speaking and presenting style than years of experience in school and at work. Thanks so much Carmie!"
Jim LiuYale University
"Asking Carmie to train and coach EXFO’s executive leadership team in preparation for our global sales kick-off conference, was a great investment we made. She helped each of them convert fact and data-based content into attention-holding stories, and turned the speakers engaging storytellers! The skills learned from Carmie will reflect well on them, their teams, and EXFO for years to come."
Philippe MorinCEO, EXFO
"Carmie is the Jedi Master of public speaking training and coaching! I have given presentations for years, but she took my skills to a level I never thought about before. Her amazing creativity and excellent insights about the psychology of the audience taught me how to take ordinary information and turn it into extraordinary stories. As we rehearsed, Carmie masterfully orchestrated and coached me on every detail to ensure I didn’t just give a presentation; I gave a memorable performance!"
Louis AdamCorporate Director, Marketing, EXFO
"Carmie, the public speaking tips and coaching you gave me really upped my skills! I’ve been through a few presentation classes before, and while they helped some, I definitely gained the most improvement from your coaching. I look forward to next time. I will absolutely recommend you to anyone looking to improve their presentation skills."
Michael ScheppkeVP Sales, Asia Pacific Region, EXFO