Elaine Penn Photo

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

The Heart of Leadership

Whether you are a seasoned student leader or newly elected, there are principles that are vital to your success. Through story telling, discussion, audience interaction and music, Elaine explores the importance of leading the way, using your strengths, inspiring others, and service. If you are looking for a message about leadership that is less about the head 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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify personal strengths and use them to their fullest as a leader.
  • Know what it means to lead with integrity through your core values.
  • Create a compelling vision for your organization.
  • Understand how to connect, engage and inspire others.
  • Commit to service.


Be A Difference Maker: Lead With Your Dreams

“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.” In this program, Elaine dares you to discover your passions and make a difference in the world. Elaine challenges students to gain clarity about their dreams for their life, their organization, and world. She then explores ways to communicate to give people a sense of purpose, and inspire them to take action. Incorporating stories, music, drumming, and dancing, Elaine helps students see they are “difference makers” who can use their dreams to serve the world.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain clarity about what your dreams are.
  • Know how to turn dreams into a vision and a plan.
  • Understand how to use your dreams to make a difference in the world.
  • Know how to stay passionate and focused.
  • Communicate in a way that gives people a sense of purpose.


One Student, Many Stories: A New Look at Diversity

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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the negative effects of buying into a “single story” or stereotype about any individual or group of people.
  • Develop an appreciation and sensitivity to human differences and diversity around identities, cultures, and society.
  • Understand the importance of connecting with each other, sharing our many stories and finding our common humanity.


The Journey to Success – For New Students

“It’s choice, not chance, that determines your destiny.” This idea is ever present in Elaine’s program as she shares inspiring stories about people who regardless of their life circumstances, understood that success was in their hands, defied the odds, and achieved their goals. The same is true for new students. Each day, it’s the choices that they make that determine their success. Using storytelling, discussion, music and audience interaction, Elaine explores the importance of setting priorities, believing in yourself, and stepping out of your comfort zones. She might even convince your students to stop focusing on their phones, and meet the amazing new people surrounding them. Students emerge understanding that their journey is truly theirs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of taking personal responsibility for your choices.
  • Recognize how individual actions impact your success and happiness, as well as the larger community.
  • Begin to develop a sense of personal potential, direction and what is possible in life.
  • Understand why you should seek learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.
  • See the value in building meaningful relationships with students, faculty and staff.


The Power of Positivity

Many students believe that “success” creates happiness.” But the opposite is actually true. When the brain is in a positive state, intelligence, creativity, performance, and energy increases, while stress decreases.  So how do we develop a positive mindset in a world that has a 24-hour news cycle that tells us how bad things are, and stress is the top health issue in America? In this experiential program, Elaine shares ways to retrain your brain to be more positive in just a few minutes each day. These simple but powerful techniques help individuals and teams become healthier, happier, and more successful.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand that happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
  • Understand how a positive mindset improves health and wellbeing, creativity, performance and productivity; and reduces stress.
  • Learn new habits and behaviors to achieve an enhanced positive mindset.


Staff Programs

Elaine has extensive experience in creating workshops and retreats for professional staff on: strategic visioning, communication, leadership/engagement, positivity in the workplace, work/life balance and internal relations. She leads group coaching sessions to help clarify goals, overcome obstacles and take clear action.

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, government agencies and individuals around the world. Prior to coaching, Elaine worked in higher education as a Division I Volleyball Coach, Director of Campus Recreation and Executive Producer of five award winning educational documentaries.  In her keynotes, Elaine uses stories, discussion, music and audience interaction to help students dream of what is possible and unleash 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, 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. Her CD of original music is called: Love Is The Way.


Get More!

Our speakers provide value items to our customers every time they book a program at full price. These can be used as giveaways to students who attend the program, or as gifts to your hardworking student leaders.

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Restrictions apply for additional programming and speaker value items. Please call CAMPUSPEAK for more information.