Speak Like a Leader Course

You’re on stage and people are breathless.

They’re leaning in and hanging on your every word. Your initial fear has turned to excitement and you’re fully present in the moment. The air crackles with electricity as the audience embraces your ideas. And now, as you say “thank you,” the audience leaps to their feet as one. The applause is deafening. You did it. You did the work and you have become the person you want to be. People are already lining up to talk to you. Congratulations!

The bar has gone up dramatically on public speaking. Over the last decade people have gotten used to TED talks and other great speeches. These days you are quite actually competing for people’s attention with the greatest speakers in the world. 

Over more than a decade I have developed my own take on the TED-like talk format. Success demands a very special blend of characteristics. Being succinct, vulnerable, personal, authentic, and ultra-clear are all necessary ingredients and they work no matter where you’re speaking. If you combine that with well-chosen, well-crafted, and well-delivered stories that flesh out your talk and illuminate your vision you’ll be not only one of the best speakers anywhere you go, you’ll be dramatically boosting your leadership, as well. I have found, for myself and my clients, that creating your communications in line with the TED-format is one of the most amazing and productive journeys a leader can take. 

Is This Course For You?

Available both as a self-paced, 12 unit course that takes approximately 4 hours to complete, or as an 8 person cohort-based 10 week course wherein you go on the journey of choosing, crafting, and delivering your TED-like talk with weekly guidance, accountability, and office hours. Both versions include excellent support material which guides you through the program. In these short, pithy videos, you will be introduced to principles that are immediately actionable, inherently memorable, and are easily applied to your unique style of speaking. You will discover and apply your superhero origin story, and other meaningful leadership stories to dramatically increase your influence, leadership, and fulfillment in life. 

You’ll also be invited to regular Ask Me Anything calls as Bonus (happening at least 2x monthly, times and dates TBD and which will take into account global time zones) where you can be supported, and you will be able to connect with other committed leaders in our community (launching on or before January 2022). 

Find out more and join us!

The Speak Like a Leader Experience 10 Week, Cohort-Based-Course

This is the Speak Like a Leader Self-Paced course combined with personalized instruction and support. Over the course of 10 weeks, with a cohort of 7 other leaders, you will go on one of the most important and useful leadership journeys possible as you conceive, create and deliver your TED-like talk. Since our cohort is a maximum of 8 people the experience is intimate and personal. There are weekly course sessions and regular, optional, office hours so you can get the support and personal assistance you need to craft the talk of your life.

Featured Clients and In the Media

Don’t Take My Word For it

Listen to Jack Canfield Creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Success Principles and one of the featured teachers in The Secret.

Michael Weiss

John’s innate ability to coach and give advice to speakers – which is always valuable. What makes him truly unique is that he coaches with passion, authenticity and without any kind of agenda. John is one of those rare human beings who wants to help people and share his wisdom simply because he can. Every time we hit the stage I learn something new from John – I recommend him highly!

Michael Weiss
Vice President Consulting Services & Solutions at Creative Circle

Abed J. Allaik

Honestly, John’s communication skills are out of this world. The way he presents himself and leads the conversation is just mind-blowing. One of the best communicators I have ever come across. Highly recommend looking into this brilliant person.

Abed J. Allaik
Founder | AJA Performance

Austin Knight

John taught a 3 day executive speaking course at my company that was extremely beneficial! He is extremely knowledgeable in how to connect with audiences and he has a relaxed approach that can be tailored to any group’s need. Although it was executive speaking, the class was also part sociology and part physiology. Amazing stuff! John is great and I’ve already given multiple presentations and talks using his tips!

Austin Knight
Air Liquide USA

Anthony Brock

The ability to communicate, coordinate and collaborate is a fundamental and powerful skill for executive leaders. John has groomed speakers for TED, TEDx, NASA and Fortune businesses. I learned so much from his books and videos — but more from our conversations. He can be game-changer at helping you more effectively communicate your vision into action.

Anthony Brock
Executive Coach | Advisor | Speaker

Simon Meadows

John was an outstanding guest on my Business Success & Coffee podcast recently and shared some great tips and lessons for my listeners. He shared some exceptional stories and inspiring lessons. John explained things in an understandable way that I am sure many of the business owners listening will value and easily be able to take action upon.

Thanks for being my guest and for sharing your knowledge and insights with me and my listeners.

I would strongly encourage everyone to connect with John on LinkedIn and other platforms and check out the other items of value that he offers.

Simon Meadows
Sterling Business Coaching

Satyabrata Dam

John and I met through Ted Fellows coaching program where I gleaned tips on public speaking, despite already being a successful motivational speaker. I already considered myself an expert speaker but John tutored me to a whole different level. And through that interaction we have now become more like siblings. He is one of my dearest friends in the world to whom I turn to whenever I face any dilemma. John is larger than life literally and metaphorically and his love of life along with the laughter will set your heart to ease and his coaching would seem rather like a conversation with a life long friend. I have myself coached many speakers globally and have interacted with many prominent life and speaking coaches around the world and I can vouch that John is pretty much at the top of his game.

Satyabrata Dam
Indian Mountain Guides

Trevor Kemp

John Bates understands communication on a very deep level. He knows how much importance it plays in being someone who has credibility and respect in the way that you want to convey your ideas.

Trevor Kemp
COO, Bitome

Dick Hackenberg

John is inter-disciplinary, cross-functional communications talent, a thought leader who understands the relationships of sales and marketing, advertising and public relations, promotions and customer service. Truly one of a kind.

Dick Hackenberg
Marketing and Advertising Consultant and Contractor

Peggy Kilburn

From the perspective of a conference director who has managed more than 10,000 speakers – John Bates is in my Top Ten Favorites, and for a number of reasons. I can *completely* depend on him to deliver an outstanding engagement, whether in a workshop, a plenary session, or a coaching circle. His audiences are always delighted with his insights (in fact, several people are repeat attendees at his sessions). The feedback from his attendees is not just uniformly positive, but uniformly 5 stars. Speakers of this caliber often let it go to their heads, becoming overly demanding and difficult for the conference director to deal with. Not so John Bates. He is ever a gentleman, a scholar, a complete professional, and a joy to work with.

Peggy Kilburn
Director, WITI Summit & Hall of Fame

Melinda Richter

He not only brings out the best in you when you talk, but he looks inside your soul when he does it. And he helps you see things you don’t want to see, you can’t see, but it’s things you need to see to make you the best that you can be. Watch more

Melinda Richter
Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs

Todd DeSantis

Love the “power tools” training John gave at Second Genome when we were preparing for external presentations. I hear his voice whenever I’m preparing a talk.

Todd DeSantis
Co-Founder and V.P. of Informatics | Second Genome, Inc.

Scott Harrison

John came to Surfrider-LA to train activists on effective public speaking – and blew us away with his enthusiastic approach, customized coaching, insider info and concern for what we needed. He wasted no time, got us “juiced” on his infectious energy and was supremely attentive and insightful.

Scott Harrison
Network Specialist at Leidos

James Malinchak

I have known John Bates for a number of years and have been a big fan of his! I have put on over 1,000+ of my own events over the past 20 years and have seen a lot of experts, coaches and speakers. John is one of the most genuine, heart-centered speakers and coaches you could ever work with.

If you’re ready to take your life and business to higher levels and sustain continuous growth and improvement, then you must work with John! Not only does he share high-value content, but he has the unique ability to connect on a level that instantly changes peoples lives!

And, the best thing is that John comes from the heart and truly cares about making a positive difference in the lives of others! Do yourself a favor and work with John today! You’ll be so grateful you did!

James Malinchak
Featured on ABCs Hit TV Show, "Secret Millionaire"​ - One of America's Leading Keynote Speakers & Business Coaches

Tom Luby

…and afterwards, my wife and daughter said, ‘You should meet with him every week, because you’re obviously learning great things.

Tom Luby
Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs Texas

Daria Sivovol

I’ve never seen so many Estonian people get that enthusiastic, and that engaged and passionate about public speaking.

Daria Sivovol
American Chamber of Commerce, Estonia

Emma MacLaird

I hosted TEDxTopanga. John gave insight into some of the obstacles for the event, including prepping the speakers to fit the TEDx forum. 

He was so wonderful with the speakers and was able to prep them in such an encouraging fashion. He knows how to find the pearls in their ideas and helps to expand them to meet the needs of the audience and the TED.com specifications. He is a real pro.

Emma MacLaird
PVT Group

Belinda Clarke

Having met John a number of years ago and been at two of his boot-camps, I have reconnected with him via a new course around Virtual Leadership (of course – if anyone was going to pioneer thinking around this it would be John Bates, right?!). Hearing his new thinking for the current times made me realise how much of what he taught us and inspired us to do has become internalised – almost subconsciously – to my way of working, communicating, and interacting in a team. John struck a massive chord with me back then and continues to do so today – thank you John for making me the mindful communicator and business leader that I hope I am now!

Belinda Clarke
Agri-TechE

Imari Tuakli

John is a powerhouse. Within seconds, this man can look you in your eye, see into your story, and effectively coach you into sharing it. I noticed this in him the first time we met and it’s why I invited him to come speak on The Guild, an interactive online coaching group for entrepreneurs and creatives. We had each of the students pitch themselves and John gave them precise and quality feedback that was so good the students were sending me messages of gratitude for bringing him on days after the call was wrapped. John doesn’t teach “soft skills”, John teaches human skills and everyone is a better human after working with him. If you know you could level up your presence, communication, or self-awareness – John is your guy. Without a doubt.

Imari Tuakli
Life Coach & Keynote Speaker

Nicole Carrico

John is a passionate, driven, focused and inspiring leader. His brand definition skills are second to none and when coupled with his strategic vision and ability to implement, translate to brilliant concepts executed effectively. Working with him was a genuine pleasure and I would welcome the opportunity to do it again.

Nicole Carrico
Chief Operations Officer at Girlgaze Inc

Heide Heyns

I dare you to bring him your previously considered impossible professional speaking, presenting or event challenge! I promise, you’ll be wowed!

Heide Heyns
Heidi & Co. 🎙 | Author freshly-launched “Let’s Address Stress” Newsletter

Itai Sadan

John has the amazing capability to teach you how to turn facts into a compelling and engaging story that will leave your crowd asking for more. I highly recommend John’s services, especially if you are presenting to customers, investors at events etc.

Itai Sadan
Co-Founder & CEO at Duda

Simon Meadows

John was an outstanding guest on my Business Success & Coffee podcast recently at  and shared some great tips and lessons for my listeners. He shared some exceptional stories and inspiring lessons. John explained things in an understandable way that I am sure many of the business owners listening will value and easily be able to take action upon.

Thanks for being my guest and for sharing your knowledge and insights with me and my listeners.

Simon Meadows
Business Success & Coffee Podcast

Ben Ahrens

I really lucked out when I got John as my speaker coach for my TEDx talk. Apart from having truly mastered the craft of story telling and public speaking, John shows up 100% and deliver’s one thousand percent effort, insight and attention during each coaching session. The value he adds to helping you hone and deliver your talk is priceless. He really is “the drill sergeant for greatness.”

Ben Ahrens
Co-founder & CEO at re-origin

Chris Trammell

I have grown like a high-performance vehicle on dragster fuel, John has grown like a Rocket blasting off for spirals of our galaxy. He is that good, and highly in demand. If you are looking for a TED capable coach or executive consultant, look no further and call John John K. Bates

Chris Trammell

Rita Bojalian

Working with John has been life-changing. He had a very significant, transformational impact on my speaking and communication, and it took very little time. He is exceptionally insightful and a very positive and uplifting teacher. I highly recommend John to anyone who wants to improve their speaking presence, communication abilities and personal insights.

Rita Bojalian
Canon Medical Systems USA

Cory Combs

John was a great help in honing my messaging, and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to improve the effectiveness of their communication. His logical and straightforward approach especially lends itself to folks in the technology and science fields who aren’t always well served by other approaches out there.

Cory Combs
Ampaire Co-Founder

Ashley Edwards

John, I can’t thank you enough for working with us here at NASA. You were so engaging and gave my team great tools and inspiration to take our communications to the next level. We look forward to continuing our relationship.

Ashley Edwards
NASA Headquarters

Peter Di Laura

Working with John Bates on… how to best communicate and convey some key ideas about the work that we’re doing, to a much more broad audience, in a way that makes our story translatable and exciting to people who may not understand the specifics of the science we are working on.

Peter Di Laura
Second Genome

Justin Wright

I saw John Bates give a presentation in Boston on authentic leadership in 2017. His focus was on public speaking. The talk was one of the best I have seen on the subject. John’s recommendations were clear, useful and easy to remember. What impressed me was not just the content he shared but the way he delivered it. John embodied his advice. The entire talk mirrored his recommendations making it both easier for us in the audience to figure out how to implement and also proving the usefulness of his suggestions. If you do any public speaking you will benefit from seeing John in action. I’m still putting the core ideas from his presentation to work in my public speaking almost a year later.

Justin Wright
Habitus Incorporated

Scott Harrison

John came to Surfrider-LA to train activists on effective public speaking – and blew us away with his enthusiastic approach, customized coaching, insider info and concern for what we needed. He wasted no time, got us “juiced” on his infectious energy and was supremely attentive and insightful.

Scott Harrison
Sr Network Engineer at SAIC

Jan Mattsson

Thank you for sharing your way of seeing and talking perspective of life. I have had plenty of opportunities to shine in different situations by telling the process that took me where I’am and how the heroes of my life (Other people) helped me to achieve my goals and how did my mess educate me the person who I’m today. You have also helped me to see different perspective of storytelling and I also enjoy more of other peoples success.

Jan Mattsson
Head of Specifier channel & Digital Sales

Joshua Spodek PhD MBA

I gave my first TEDx talk recently. Attendees said I nailed it and I couldn’t have done it without John. He helped me go from generally knowing my topic to capturing it concisely in a TED format, which is a big jump in making it precise and concise, and delivering it.

Joshua Spodeck
This Sustainable Life host, bestselling author, award-winning professor.

Joshua Avedon

I consider John Bates to be one of my most important Internet and workplace mentors and friends. His exceptional passion and communication skills make him an asset (and leader) for any team he is on.

Joshua Avedon
CEO/Co-founder at Jumpstart

Dolph Lundgren

“It was a tremendous pleasure to work with John Bates on my TED Talk. I went back in time to my upbringing in Sweden and the troubled relationship I had with my father. The segment we did ‘On Healing and Forgiveness’ was a very special experience for me. With John’s help I also seem to have touched others. The Youtube version, where I show a more vulnerable side of myself than in my films has had over a million views and counting. The other week an LAPD officer came up to me, shook my hand and said: “I like your movies, but I loved your TED Talk more.” There was a soft glint in his eye that revealed an upbringing not very different than my own. I learned so much from John and anytime I face a challenging speaking situation I certainly know whom to call.”

Dolph Lundgren

Dr. Sabrina Starling

Life changing! John elevated all of us. I was honored to witness the beautiful unfolding of my colleagues and my own origin story. John connects and communicates with authenticity and it was humbling to be a part of the powerful life transformations that happened in the course of 2 days.

Dr. Sabrina Starling
The Business Psychologist™, Author of the How to Hire the Best Series & Co-Host of the Profit By Design Podcast

Sharon Arnold

After hearing John speak at the Central Coast Business Symposium I talked about his message for over a year. Bringing him to spend a full day training Cal Poly College of Science and Mathematics staff and managers was a dream come true. Little did I know John would go beyond my already high expectations! His training style is dynamic, captivating, engaging, and yet in his humility and uncanny understanding of people, he reaches beneath the surface to touch the emotions of each participant. It was amazing to watch a group of people begin the day prepared to passively listen to the dynamic force that is John Bates, move into the liberating realm of being actively engaged in communicating–really communicating–with each other. Tears flowed as we listened to the closing story of the day, given by a young professional who after years of working with another speaker training group FOUND her voice and moved the room full of colleagues to tears and applause. She connected with every person in the room through the powerful telling of her story. This is what John helps people to do: Find their voice. Tell their story. Tell any story. Truly connect.

Sharon Arnold
Personnel and Resource Manager, College of Science and Mathematics, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo

Stephanie Venn Watson

That knowledge from John has completely changed how I present today…and we got great feedback after the talk. So, it’s working!
Stephanie Venn Watson
Epitracker

Dr. Sabrina Starling

John’s teaching is life-changing! Not only have I had the privilege of training and being mentored by John to improve my leadership presence and speaking skills, I’ve brought him into our Breakthroughs Retreats at Tap the Potential to offer VIP-level training to our clients. That being said, some of my favorite experiences with John are observing as he peels back the layers to help others show up authentically to convey powerful messages. Even years after training with John, our clients reference take aways from their work with him. John continues to stay involved in our community and shares his gifts. He is truly committed to his purpose to bring out the best in others so that it may live in the world.

Dr. Sabrina Starling
Profit by Design

Marina Cvetkovic

I came to John thinking I am coming to a coach who will help me polish my TEDx talk. What an incredible journey it has been! John took me to deep and dark places that I have been avoiding most of my life. This made my talk so much more vulnerable and personal, truly a talk that I am SO proud of. A talk that reflects the legacy that I wanted to leave in the world. THANK YOU JOHN! I will never forget this experience.

Marina Cvetkovic
CEO and BOARD Executive Coach & Advisor

Paul Witkay

I had the pleasure of meeting John Bates in 2012 when he coached one of our Alliance CEOs to deliver an amazing TED talk. Since then, he has spoken numerous times with our Alliance members – always to rave reviews. John has a gift that enables leaders go beyond simply feeling more comfortable and confident when speaking in public to enabling them to impact their audiences for positive change. And, they have fun in the process. I can recommend John to anyone who would like to improve the effectiveness of their communications – whether to their individual teams or to a wide audience.

Paul Witkay
Founder & CEO of the Alliance of Chief Executives

Jack Canfield

….you have really tapped into the neuroscience and the neurobiology of who we are and how we communicate and how people persuade people and so forth and I was very impressed. I’m sitting here thinking, ‘I need to take that guy’s workshop, and have you as a consultant.’ So, I’d take time to work with him, to check out his work. He’s quite an amazing guy and he can help you be more amazing too.

Jack Canfield
Chicken Soup for the Soul series, The Success Principles

Liza Pavlakos

John Bates is the real deal when it comes to speaker training. When you work with him, you realise he is invested in you and cares about your speaker journey. His online course is fantastic. He is an awesome human being with a heart of GOLD. I recommend him highly.

Liza Pavlakos
Founder | Positive Breakthroughs

Catherine Wales

His lessons, conversations and guidance have continued to help me lead change, not only in my daily life but also as a powerful leader within the company I serve. Team productivity has increased and my voice has more meaning and understanding with all those I work with. And as change is inevitable, John continues to help me find direction, meaning and self worth by helping me focus on what is both important to me and impactful to all scenarios of my life.

Catherine Wales
UNIQLO | Product and Retail Innovation

Gautham Pasupuleti

I had the pleasure of attending the session conducted by CISCO Challenge for our video pitch presentation to prepare for the finals. John is one of the best person who can inspire you to bring the best out of your presentations and really motivate you to bring the best. I have gone through all his work as part of the CISCO Global Problem Solver Challenge previous team’s with comments on how to improve and why the videos were best. He has a very attention to details and sense of excellence in bringing the best out of you and I highly recommend anyone to get in touch with him if you are looking for coach on public speaking, consulting for your business, presentations and so on. He is the best. It was his inspiration, strong motivation that helped us make our own best video pitch for finals and helped us to win the finals of CISCO Global Problem Solver Challenge 2021 for the Pandemic Response Prize $ 50,000 USD. I recommend and endorse John Bates for the great work and wisdom he provides to help us win and succeed. Thank you John.

Gautham Pasupuleti
Biodesign Innovation Labs

Garvin DeShazer

John Bates is a dynamic, high-powered and deeply committed individual. He is a man of integrity and insight, and he has a huge heart. He is extremely creative and makes things happen!

Garvin DeShazer
CEO at Renewable Hydrogen Foundation

John Konsin

Nah, I really don’t need a speaking coach”, I was thinking as Johnson & Johnson introduced me to John Bates. The coaching was part of JNJ’s support to prepare my pitch for one of their QuickFire Challenges. I wasn’t being arrogant. It’s just that after making hundreds of presentations and many speeches over my 37-year career in Life Sciences, I thought I didn’t need a coach. I was self-taught and spent time reading about effective speaking and even took a course on “How to present like Steve Jobs.” I had been pitching my company, Prapela, for about 6 months and had recently won the “Best Overall Presentation” award at a big event in Boston. Surely my time would be better spent on something else. Still, my conscience and my respect for JNJ told me to take the course along with the other participants in the Challenge. I completed each online training session and then participated in a few video conference calls with the class and John.”

Wow, John and his course was a game changer for me and Prapela. John’s course is way beyond the basics of slide content, posture and delivery. You learn the importance and the skills of connecting with your audience. For me, I discovered how my traditional emphasis on facts and putting everything in chronological order got in the way of being authentic. And I also met a terrific, positive person – John is simply a great coach and his course is flat out fun. “Yeah, I really did need a speaking coach”, I was thinking as I held the Winner’s trophy for JNJ’s Next-Gen Baby Box Challenge. Thanks to John and Johnson & Johnson, Prapela is raising funding and on a pace to introduce the Prapela SVS next-gen baby box in 2018.”

John Konsin
Prapela Prapela INSEAD Concord, Massachusett

Online Programs, Coaching and Speaking

Speak Like a Leader Online Courses

To Fully Express Your Voice to Make a Real Difference in the World This program is for leaders, influencers, difference makers, speakers, executives and anyone who understands that the difference they can make starts with the quality of their communication.

Live Like a Leader Experience

Live Like a Leader Experience

Large Group, Small Group, and 1:1 Leadership Communications Coaching

This LIVE, interactive, cohort-based course is for speakers, executives, influencers, leaders, and anyone who understands that the difference they can make starts with the quality of their communication. In this 10 week course, you will conceive, create and deliver a TED-like talk that will serve you in leadership, sales, marketing, and life.

Powerful Virtual Leader

Keynote Speaking

This is a customized Leadership training and development program. For more information reach out to us via this website.

Craft your story. Empower your voice.

John Bates’ mission is to bring out what is awesome inside of you, so you can have the impact you want to have in the world.

We support entrepreneurs, executives, non-profits, government organizations, and any leaders who want to make a difference in the world with science-based leadership communication skills that support emotional intelligence and team building, leadership presence, strategic messaging, storytelling, pitch coaching, large group, small group, and one on one coaching.

We have a global presence and have clients in places like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, India, Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, and the International Space Station.

Free Tips and Mini Trainings