Speaking & Keynotes

My sincere belief is that Thaler is one of today’s most gifted trainers–period. She is especially talented in helping us tell our story– or COMMUNICATE in a way that will best influence whatever audience we address. Since effective communication is critical for our work with clients and constituents, and is required of good managers, and since communication with your community as an advocate for your mission is critical, her presentation should check most of the boxes of what one should expect to learn at a conference; all from one person.

Dennis McMillian
Former CEO, The Foraker Group

Thaler shares her expertise and ideas while at the same time helping people experience a practical understanding of their own stories and solve communication challenges.

You can watch excerpts on the Thaler Speaking playlist of the Thaler Pekar & Partners YouTube channel.

You can listen to Thaler on BBC World Radio’s The Forum discussing the Pleasures and Perils of Storytelling.


Customized keynotes, plenaries, and programs have included:

  • Your Solution Story Matters; Shifting from Problem to Possibility, Keynote, Montana Public Health Association Annual Conference

  • Narrative Enquiry, DHR Communications, Dublin, Ireland

  • Influence, Storytelling, & Storymapping, Collaborative Gain

  • The Limits of Empathy, Keynote, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University

  • How to be a Great Moderator, Philanthropy NY



  • Heart, Head & Hand®: The Science of Persuasive Communication, Women Presidents’ Organization 16th Annual Conference, and Women Presidents’ Organization, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Why Your Story Matters, 2013 Leadership Summit, The Foraker Group, Anchorage, Alaska

  • Storytelling & Narrative Persuasion, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Executive Masters in Communication Management
  • The Sweet Spot of Communication, interactive webinar series, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships

  • The Basics of Organizational Storytelling, Smithsonian Institute
  • Let Your Ideas For Change Be Heard: Conquering Complexity with Story, closing plenary, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships Annual Meeting
  • Productive Partnerships: Building Trust and Creating Collaborations, opening plenary, New Jersey Non-Profit Conference
  • From the Basement to the Boardroom: What Makes Your Story Great and How Can You Make it Even Better?, South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW)
  • How to Find Stories that Interest the Media and Support Your Cause, Global Health & Innovation Conference
  • On Telling and Drawing: Communication Strategies and Visual Organization in Design, LIGHTFAIR INTERNATIONAL
  • Story as a Persuasive Sales Tool, Intrado Inc. National Sales Meeting
  • The Story of the Science of Story, teleconference
  • Grand Rounds, Residency Program in Social Pediatrics, Montefiore Medical Center

Interested in customizing a program for your organization or team? Please contact us.

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Upcoming Events & Appearances

October 27, 2017
Storytelling is Only Half the Story, public program, NYC

September 27-29, 2017
Communications Network Conference

May 22 & 23, 2017
Communicating Meaning: The Crucial Role of a Leader, public program, NYC

Week of April 24, 2017
Oral History Collection, Bermuda

April 21, 2017
Communicating with Clarity & Conviction, public program, NYC

April 12, 2017
Narrative Leadership Program,
global cosmetics company

March 23, 2017
Writing OpEds, Institute for Research on Women

March 1-3 , 2017
FRANK Conference

February 24, 2017
Finding, Developing & Sharing Your Story, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

February 23, 2017
Why & How True Stories Matter, keynote, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

February 15, 2017
Montefiore Medical Center ObGYN Advocacy Track


  • "WOW is the first thing that comes to mind. WOW, what a session that was. It was thought-provoking, it was imminently applicable and it was fun, great job." – James Heffernan, The Jedi Group Consultoria, Brazil

  • "Thaler's coaching helped me uncover the stories at the heart of my approach to cooking and hospitality. Working with Thaler helped me with a presentation to American Express customers, and it helps me each time I do interviews and prepare to step outside of the kitchen – including my appearances on Iron Chef America and Top Chef." – April Bloomfield, Executive Chef, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory

  • "Thanks for helping me become a vivid story sharer. Before I worked with you, I'm afraid I was a rambling geek with a Powerpoint presentation. Now, each time I deliver a keynote, I generate two or three more engagements from audience members. Big, big change thanks to you." – Dave Maney, Founder & Publisher, Economaney

  • “When I was calling around to check Thaler's references, one of her clients told me that she was thinking about asking Thaler to be her child's Godmother. After working with Thaler I realized that the client wasn't joking. It is rare to find a consultant like Thaler, with the right mix of expertise, intuition, centeredness, ethics and passion. As a client, I found Thaler innovative and delivering above and beyond expectations. As a participant, I discovered my storysharing abilities exceeding what I thought was evolutionarily possible.” – Damon Azali-Rojas, Director of Field Programs, Jemmott Rollins Group

  • "As a result of the group training and individual coaching that we receive from Thaler and Jay, Wellspring staff are presenting their work in ways that show more confidence and organization, while letting the passion for our work shine through." – John and Myles Taylor, Wellspring Advisors

  • "I've seen another well-known presenter on story, and he made me curious. But what I walked away from your program with was immediately implementable ways to capture and use story in my work, and to benefit my organization." – Dawn Harbatkin, MD, Executive Director, Lyon-Martin Health Services

  • “Thaler, your program was phenomenal! I was very impressed with the content, your delivery and the practical ideas we can immediately incorporate into our professional lives. You kept the program moving and everyone engaged. Your passion with your work was evident throughout. I heard from another attendee, 'this was the best session I have ever attended at Women Presidents' Organization conferences!' You truly made an impact!" – Paulette Turner, President, Integrated Leadership Concepts

  • "Thanks a million for stretching my thoughts and how I approach today and tomorrow." – Gary Cassard, Vice President & General Manager, Bright House Networks

  • "I'm a storyteller by trade, in a company that lives by story, with a truly amazing story to tell. So, in some ways, we're already there. That said, I was inspired by Thaler's deconstruction of narrative, and pointers for listening and engaging." – Steve Cooper, Director of Product Marketing, Lytro

  • "Jay is the coolest. I love the way he presents. Thaler is smart as a whip. I can't wait to hear what comes out of her mouth next. Together, they are able to break down the components of engagement in a way that we were previously unable to diagnose, let alone approach.” – Vice President, Global Education & Customer Experience, major cosmetics brand

  • "I found several things from your workshop directly applicable to my recent presentation to my board, and all grants were approved, so it was a big success. Our board chair even applauded after my presentation – a first! Thank you so much for your wisdom and guidance." – Denise Joines, Program Officer, Wilburforce Foundation

  • The true testament of a retreat or conference is whether you take something away and actually implement it. In your case, I'd say a resounding yes. I know I will use what I learned personally, with my staff and when I re-do my web site." -- Maryann Donovan, President, Impact Personnel, Inc.

  • "Thaler is a communications genius with an insanely great ability to see 'through' a problem or challenge and create a story-based communications strategy to tackle the issue. She is fun to work with and obviously bright but not ego driven. It has been a privilege to work with her each time we have hired her. What I love most about her is that much of what she does is value-driven." – George Heindrichs, Former President and CEO, Intrado