Public Speaking

Eliza is a wonderful coach. She is dynamic, resourceful and empathetic. She identifies problems quickly and focuses on one thing that can be fixed right away. She observes you carefully and tries to understand who you are as a person. When you are working with her, you do not feel that she is trying to change you. You truly feel like she is simply trying to bring out the best of you, and yet you are transformed completely in the process.

Hirokazu Miyazaki
Director, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Cornell University

Eliza was a stellar instructor for our Public Speaking Communications workshop, and was able to connect with and challenge our STEM postdocs straight into working on their presentation skills. She displays clear expertise in the field and is a highly engaging facilitator…the workshop led by Eliza was among the highest rated of our skills training and networking initiatives; with 100% of attendees ranking her as an excellent speaker and multiple requests for working with her further. Our program was highly satisfied with her work and I am confident in recommending her highly for peer institutions and organizations

Sahar Kazemini
Program Coordinator, NYC ASCENT
Advancing Computer Science Careers through Enhanced Networking and Training

Eliza is a fantastic teacher. She individualizes for each student, delivering clear, direct feedback with humor and compassion. I do a lot of public speaking, including testifying on immigration law before Congress as an expert witness. I can now walk into a high pressure public speaking situation, with all eyes on me, and effectively deliver my message with clarity and confidence.

Steve Yale-Loehr
Immigration Attorney
Author, Green Card Stories

Public Speaking/Interview Skills/Leadership
and Workplace Communication

As Deputy Provost for Cornell University, I frequently refer Eliza to departments, centers and individual faculty facing a variety of communication challenges. Her reception as an individual coach, seminar leader and speaker has been universally positive and, in many cases, transformative. She brings both an art and a science to improving the ability of individuals and groups to communicate clearly and productively across all sorts of personal and institutional barriers. She teaches with a level of precision, clarity and effectiveness that I have not previously seen. She is a tremendous resource for the university.

John Siliciano
Deputy Provost Cornell University

Public Speaking/Interview Skills/Mentoring

I have a unique lens relative to Eliza’s work. My first experience with her was as a conference participant at a women’s STEM Conference at Cornell University in spring 2016.  Eliza gave an excellent session on presentation and communication skills to a large group of graduate students, faculty, and administrators in STEM. The session was engaging, powerful, and inspiring. Her dynamic presentation style is confident and effective without being intimidating. This aspect is very important particularly when dealing with different personality types and learning styles.

I consider myself to be a fairly good speaker; however, that day I learned some new tips and strategies within the first 30 minutes of her session. I was sold. In fact, I was so impressed that I invited her to MIT to do sessions with our mentors and undergraduate students.

Since then, Eliza has presented to three different groups at MIT -- faculty and staff members who mentor first-year students; undergraduate first and second year students in a hands-on STEM course (these students were giving their first technical talks and poster presentations); as well as, undergraduates with an interest in going to graduate school. Eliza’s sessions on Effective Mentoring and Public Speaking were vibrant, hands-on, and insightful. She did a fantastic job engaging our staff and faculty mentors. For the two different undergraduate groups, she possessed the unique ability to tailor her sessions to the different audiences while still offering timely and effective communication skills and strategies. We have received excellent feedback from our participants.

I highly recommend Eliza VanCort. You will not be disappointed. 

DiOnetta Jones Crayton, Associate Dean and Director
Deolinda Branch, Assistant Dean
Lilen Uchima, Assistant Dean
Office of Minority Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Speaking/Speech Writing

Eliza is an exceptional coach. She helped me hone the language of a critical keynote speech I was presenting to fellow CEOs and to present it compellingly and authentically. She never tries to fit you into a mold but instead capitalizes on your unique strengths, the strengths that got you up in front of a crowd to begin with, and simply augments them. She’s a pro. I can’t recommend her enough.

Joe De Sena
CEO/Founder, Spartan Race

Eliza dives feet first into her projects and delivers compelling, powerful work. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Eliza the past two years on our Cornell Alliance for Science training courses in science communication. Our trainees find it thrilling and fascinating to work with her as a coach. Eliza pairs her keen understanding of people and social trends in general with her ability to astutely assess an individual’s personal strengths and style very quickly. I’ve witnessed sessions where Eliza vastly improves her trainees’ public speaking skills within minutes. And within a few meetings with her trainees, she can customize complex issues and personal stories into eloquent and succinct speeches that are true to the voice of the speaker(s). 

For example, Eliza worked creatively with eight of our international Global Leadership Fellows last fall to write and choreograph a performance piece that showcased a unified message told from the perspective of eight intersecting stories. Each of the Fellows came from unique and varied backgrounds, yet Eliza found their common voice. Despite a time-limited schedule for rehearsals at the end of our program, these Fellows’ performance put our VIP audience on their feet. We love working with Eliza and look forward to many more projects together.

Polly Endreny Holmberg
Training Lead, Alliance for Science

Public Speaking/Media Training

Eliza's work was exceptional. We hired her initially to give a seminar on public speaker to our Global Leadership Fellows, 30 exceptional men and women from a diverse array of countries who had been handpicked to study at Cornell and become communications champions. A key part of this training was to learn how to better advocate for the people of their countries. Once we saw the potential that her training could bring to our fellows, both in public speaking and media training, we extended our work with her, asking Eliza to work one-on-one with our most promising and talented fellows in preparation for a public engagement at UN headquarters. Eliza’s work with the fellows, and the event itself were a big success. Eliza’s biggest asset is her ability to help her students expose their strongest talents and convey powerful messages through their words, appearance and demeanor. We feel fortunate that Eliza will be working with our new group of Fellows this year.

Atu Darko
Associate Director for Communications
Alliance for Science

Interview Skills

Before I worked with Eliza I interviewed with several universities. I found interviewing stressful and it showed. I was simply unable to land a tenure track position. After only three sessions with Eliza I acquired the tools needed to quell my nerves while authentically and confidently showcasing my strengths. I interviewed with four universities after working with Eliza. I received four offers. I recommend Eliza without hesitation to anyone facing a high stakes interview.

Mandy B. Esch, Ph.D.
Project Leader
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


I love my job, but pitching to clients when thousands of dollars are on the line can be stressful. This work, the kind they just don't teach you in school, is invaluable. Since Skyping with Eliza, my confidence presenting my pitches has soared and our Skyping has translated to closed deals. Recently, I was awarded Top Seller Of The Second Quarter! And I love Eliza's style. I always look forward to working with her. She's passionate, enthusiastic, fun, humorous, and always goes above and beyond. More importantly, she sees the individual and understands each professional needs specific, unique strategies to succeed

Carly Gresh
Beauty Director, Advertising
Women’s Wear Daily

I continue to reap the benefits from marketing advice Eliza gave me at the beginning of my career. She helped me to identify my strengths, capitalize on them, and market aggressively while at the same time doing so with integrity and honesty. She's a wonderful mentor and teacher.

Amanda Setton
SAG Actor
Series Regular: The Mindy Project, The Crazy Ones

Leadership/Workplace Communication/Networking

Eliza was amazing. She helped articulate so many things that I had been feeling but didn’t know how to express. And I really appreciated her discussion of body language, tone, etc. I found the workshop to be extremely helpful and informative about pitfalls and strategies for communicating as a woman of color. It was good to know what the research says about how we may be perceived by others ad how that affects our communication. I felt that I came away from the workshop with practical tips and strategies that will help me be a more effective communicator.

Shorna B. Allred, Ph.D.
Dean, Alice Cook House
Associate Director Human Dimensions Research Unit
Dept. of Natural Resources
Cornell University