boardtrimmed.jpg

Speaking

What's the best way to motivate students to own their education and develop resilience? Research has shown that the key to all these things is intrinsic motivation, or motivation that comes from within. Jessica summarizes the current research on autonomy-supportive parenting and teaching, competence, rewards, desirable difficulties, praise, and failure.

Jessica offers practical advice for fostering intrinsic motivation and weaning kids off of extrinsic motivators such as short-term rewards, bribes, honors, coercion, and yes, even grades, while giving kids the support and encouragement they need in order to succeed.

Presentation Options →

Testimonials →

Community Reads →

Inquire about a Speaking Engagement →

Presentation Options

 

Contact Michele Fee Smith at American Program Bureau (617-614-1606) to review presentation options, including keynotes, parent workshops, teacher talks and community reads. 

 

List of Past Engagements

Video Sample of Jessica's Speaking Work

Testimonials

You guys don’t help me since you went to that stupid talk!
— David Saibel's 8 year-old, Marin, California
I cannot begin to overstate how powerful and timely her message was for our community. Since her talk, dozens of parents have approached me noting that Jessica was the “best speaker the school has ever had,” or “is there a way we could have her speak on an annual basis?” Having hosted many major national speakers during the last few years, I can say without equivocation that this praise is spot on. Jessica is personable, incredibly easy to work with, and relates beautifully to a wide ranging audience. We were blessed to have her speak to our community, and I would highly recommend her!
— John Boyer, Director of Development, Oak Hill School
The very best speakers don’t lecture. They draw you in, through personal stories, the stories of others, points in history, relevant research, and connect with you on many levels. Jessica achieved this and more, by reaching us as youth development professionals, parents, educators, members of our communities, aunts, siblings, etc. Jessica provided great insight into the psyche of anxious parents, pressured children, and beleaguered teachers, paired with language and triggers we can use to help describe the “off-transcript” learning experience we know as camp. Jessica managed to have a conversation with us – no easy task with 1000+ people in the room - and helped us successfully kick off our national conference.
— Chief Program Officer, American Camp Association
Jessica gets middle school! At our recent parent event, Jessica did a wonderful job of connecting the realities of parenting a middle school child with the larger topic of resilience. The audience left with both specific strategies to try at home as well as a framework for understanding the true needs of adolescents. As a parent and an educator, I was impressed and grateful.
— Adrew Davis, Head of Middle School, Crystal Springs Uplands School
It was a perfect evening. Jessica’s talk was engaging and spot-on, and the kind of thought-provoking content with which we are hoping to engage our parent and teacher audience. She was generous with her time both before and after the talk, answering questions for folks. She made it a special night for all!
— Neil Gordon, CEO, Discovery Museums
Jessica Lahey delivered a captivating keynote talk at LearnFest’17 about the importance of intrinsic motivation and its connection to student success. Jessica is an energetic storyteller who delivers powerful advice for teaching and raising resilient children. Her humorous delivery coupled with her experience as a classroom teacher delighted a diverse audience of teachers and parents.
— Tracie Catlett, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Louisville Collegiate School
Lexington.jpg
Jessica spoke to a rapt audience of parents and teachers from our school as well as from the surrounding community. She explained pertinent research in clear and easily understood terms, and dispensed guidance and advice in a supportive and friendly manner. Everyone left with at least one new skill to apply in their classrooms or around the dinner table at homework time. Jessica’s anecdotes about her own experiences as a mother and teacher were not only entertaining; they made us feel that we were benefiting from the wisdom of a trusted friend. I highly recommend her for your school community, and am looking forward to reading her book!
— Matthew Bradley, Head of School, East Woods School
Jessica presented to both the parent community at Severn School as well as the Middle School and Upper School students. The information she presented to parents was spot-on and very well received. Her discussion on the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation was a great foundation in which to understand ways parents could support their children to become more independent. She had a very nice way of giving parents ‘permission’ and reasons grounded in research to ‘back off’ as their children learn and grow with new responsibilities. Jessica is a speaker who is very relatable and connects easily with her audiences! We were honored to have her speak to our community this fall!
— Karin Mitchell, Lower School counselor, Severn School
Jessica’s presentation focused on teaching children the intrinsic value of resilience, perseverance and learning from a growth-oriented mindset. In essence, how to foster and promote their success within a supportive framework that discourages parents from over scheduling and hovering. It was a good reminder to us all that it’s okay for a child to experience small and reasonable failures. It’s all about “the getting up” when you’re knocked down. Jess is very articulate and persuasive and she was a joy to work with. I highly recommend her.
— Linda Holden-Bryant, former PA president, Hackley School
boardtrimmed.jpg

Community Reads

Photo Credit Fernando Ramos

The Gift of Failure offers teachers and administrators a way to communicate a message of autonomy and competence to parents, and gives parents practical advice for how to step back and allow kids more opportunities to fail, rebound, and become more resilient. 

Many schools and organizations are opting to use The Gift of Failure as a "community read," which means that the school or organization announces a community-wide book selection, partners with a local, independent book store, so when Jess arrives for her scheduled talk and signing, the audience is somewhat familiar with the ideas and research she references in her presentation.

For information on setting up a community read and book talk with Jessica, contact Michele Fee Smith of American Program Bureau  at 617-614-1606 or mfeesmith@apbspeakers.com. 

Back to Top

Contact:

Jessica is represented by Michele Fee Smith of American Program Bureau. Give Michele a call at 617-614-1606 or email mfeesmith@apbspeakers.com to get the ball rolling! 

Back to Top