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Elaine Penn incorporates the power of storytelling and music to move students emotionally and intellectually. She uses her abilities as a coach and teacher to take students on an inspirational journey that changes how they think, feel and act. Sharing pivotal lessons about leadership, diversity, using your strengths, and the effects of positivity, she helps students transform the culture of their organizations and campus.

Elaine Penn rocked our campus! She brought enthusiasm, high energy, and a fantastic message to our new students during Welcome Weekend. By using music and her amazing sense of humor, Elaine was able to mix in antidotes, personal stories, and real life examples that enabled the students to relate to her in a simple way. The audience was captivated by her and her message of using simple steps to become successful in their transition to college.

Dan Kennedy, Director of New Student Programs and Greek Life, Barton College

Elaine Penn was exactly what we were looking, engaging, insightful and able to connect with our students. She had 2500 incoming freshmen and transfers laughing, singing, and thinking critically about what their college experience could be.

Aaron Bachenheimer, Assistant Director of Organizational Leadership, Appalachian State University

Energetic, informative and animated were adjective frequently used to describe Elaine’s presentation. One student stated “I felt empowered and excited to start leading a more healthy lifestyle”. Thanks Elaine you did a fantastic job.

Thomas Hagan, Assistant Dean for First Year Programs, Elizabethtown College

Elaine went above and beyond our expectations as a speaker on leadership and diversity. She captured everyone's full attention with her relevant and interactive presentation. Her enthusiasm was contagious and left everyone feeling intrigued, wanting to learn more. We definitely would welcome her back; she was inspiring!

John Hill, Shenandoah University

Be A Difference Maker: Lead From the Heart

It was Elaine’s sophomore year in college and her basketball team had been crushed by their major rival by 65 points. Most people had lost faith that this team could ever succeed. But Elaine and a few teammates dreamed that they could rebuild their shattered program. With dedication and determination, they accomplished their goal and Elaine never looked at leadership the same.

A leader must be a “difference maker.” What dreams do you have for your organization, community, and the world? Once you know your vision, you must communicate it in a way that gives people a sense of purpose. Finally, you must engage people so they feel significant, connected to each other and your cause. If you are looking for a message about leadership that is less about the brain and more about the heart, consider Elaine Penn for your next event. In a world where text messages have replaced face-to-face conversations and leadership has been boiled down to successful habits, Elaine will hearten your student leaders with a message that speaks to the emotional value of leadership. With the use of personal stories and music, Elaine will show how the greatest leaders lead from the heart.

One Student, Many Stories

How often do we create a single story about a person? You walk past someone on the street and assumptions are formed in an instant. It could be the way they are dressed, how they speak, whose hand their holding, or where you think they live. The truth is when we buy into a “single story” about any person, we foster stereotypes and feed fear. Join Elaine as she interweaves tales from her life and the lives of others to examine the complexities that define the human experience, and how snap judgments diminish a person’s dignity, and build walls that divide us. We are all made of many stories, and the more we connect, the more we can discover and embrace the diversity inside everyone. Perfect for any audience - staff, students, or faculty - placing value on making stronger, authentic relationships within their campus community.

Let Your Light Shine: The Journey to Success

It was springtime of Elaine’s junior year in college, and she was preparing to register for her final year of classes. The nagging notion that something was wrong had been with her for weeks.  So she sat down and contemplated the situation. Finally, she knew in her heart what was wrong. She had to change her major. She believed she was born to teach and coach, motivate and inspire.

There are two significant days in a person’s life. One is the day that he or she is born, and the other is knowing why. Too often people spend their time trying to be something other than themselves. In this program, Elaine stresses the importance of using your unique gifts, discovering your passions, and pursuing your dreams. Incorporating stories, music, drumming, and dancing, Elaine inspires students to understand that a successful journey is determined by being the authentic “you,” and letting your inner light shine!

The Power and Science of Positivity

The field of Positive Psychology reveals that happiness drives success, not the other way around. When the brain is in a positive state, intelligence, creativity, physical performance, and energy increases, while stress greatly decreases. So how do we establish a positive mindset in a world that has a 24-hour news cycle that tells us how bad things are and stress is the number one health issue in America?

In this program, Elaine shares ways to train and rewire your brain to be more positive and ultimately, more successful. Students experience positivity techniques, such as: gratitude cultivation, visualization, meditation, and random acts of kindness, to learn how to create a positivity movement in themselves and their organizations.

Elaine's Bio

Elaine Penn, M.Ed. is a motivational speaker, executive coach, workplace consultant and singer-songwriter who inspires people to reach their highest potential. She works with universities, businesses, and individuals around the world. Prior to coaching, Elaine worked in higher education for 14 years, holding numerous leadership positions including: Division I Volleyball Coach, Director of Campus Recreation and Executive Producer of five award winning educational documentaries.

Elaine believes that college students are at a pivotal point in their lives, where they are gaining new knowledge and wisdom, preparing for their futures, and seeing the world differently. Elaine uses stories, music and research to help students dream of what is possible, unleash their potential and emerge into their best selves.

Elaine received her bachelor’s degree from Greensboro College and her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. While at Greensboro College, she received numerous athletic honors, including All American in Basketball and All-Conference in Volleyball. In recognition of her achievements in basketball, her jersey was retired. She was inducted into the Greensboro College Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. Growing up in a musical family, Elaine has been singing professionally for most of her life. She has performed in nightclubs, theaters, college campuses and on radio and TV.


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