I’m Dr. Presswood, but you can call me Lanie.


I earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University in 2013. I also picked up a couple minors in French and Film Criticism, so please come chat with me about German Expressionism so I feel like any of that was useful.

I promptly decided that wasn’t enough school, and went on to earn my Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Culture from Ohio University in August 2017. 

Currently, when I’m not helping on-the-rise entrepreneurs prep for big speaking opportunities, I’m a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Director of Oral Communication at Hollins University (an all-women’s liberal arts college) in Roanoke, Virginia.


I competed in intercollegiate public speaking and debate between 2009 -2013. I won one national championship, two national finalist titles, three state championships, two scholarships, and countless regional tournament awards. I traveled from New Jersey to Texas to Oregon and everywhere in between. My specialty was in limited preparation speaking, but I also ran the gamut in informative speaking, persuasive speaking, rhetorical criticism, various theatrical/performative events, and parliamentary debate.

Post-grad, I flipped to the other side of the bench and worked as coach and associate team director for Ohio University from 2013-2017. My students picked up a bevy of state and national titles, and during those four years as a coach, I honed my abilities to:

  • identify a speaker’s stumbling blocks
  • efficiently edit speech manuscripts
  • improve physical and verbal delivery
  • gently move any speaker past their fear of presenting.

Why hire me?

I’ve been teaching public speaking (and related courses) at the college level for six years and counting. My education and experience means signing up with me won’t be a rehash of some basement Toastmasters meeting or a slew of drama club icebreaker activities – you’ll be getting the latest academic tools and advances proven to deliver the most effective experience.

Since I started offering my services as a consultant in 2017, I’ve coached speakers at events like MicroConf, The Copywriter Club IRL, and regional TEDx conferences. My clients have gone on to build workshop series and speak on tours around the country (and even internationally).

I’ve taught groups ranging from 2 students to 50 students, in both a tiny liberal arts setting and a large public university. Trust me when I say your problems are not insurmountable! I have heard them all, and we will work through it together. My consulting clients are getting the value of a credentialed, university experience in an intimate, tailored setting. Come check it out for yourself.