It's Time to Escape the Expert Trap and Step Into Thought Leadership with a Clear Message, Powerful Idea, and Compelling Signature Talk.


Our next start date is August 13, 2024.

☎️ Have questions? Schedule a Zoom call with us. ☎️

We are more than happy to talk through your goals and make sure the Academy is the best fit for you.

"This is the best coaching experience I've had."

"TLA is the best online program I have invested in."

It's time to evolve from expert to thought leader.

Let's be real.

Yes, there are the challenges of putting together your message and making it compelling. (We'll help you with that!)

And then there's all the other stuff going on in your head.

There's a reason why your voice is stuck.

Imposter Syndrome. Perfectionism. Vulnerability.

Who am I to talk about these things? How will people react?

It feels messy and uncertain - and that's normal.

But, you're not quite sure how to do that or what it looks like.


You know you're meant for more and you want to make a bigger impact.

You want to put meaning and mission into your business.

You want to get your message out into the world.

You imagine standing on bigger stages and getting bigger opportunities.

Thought leadership is the next stage in your evolution as a speaker.

Yet you're stuck.

You sit down at your computer to work on an upcoming presentation or your next piece of content and you know it's missing something crucial. It feels sterile and void of personality.

You have so many ideas that are swirling around in your head. How do you identify the best ideas and then organize and structure them into a talk?

How can you deliver your message and stories in a way that's compelling to an audience and supports your business?

Learn about

the Academy

Hi, I'm Carol Cox. This is why I created the Thought Leader Academy.

The Thought Leader Academy is a safe learning container for you to connect with other women just like you, who are seeking to move from experts to thought leaders.

During our time together, you'll get the coaching, training, support, and accountability you need to push yourself to the next stage in your evolution as a speaker.

This is your place to wrestle with your ideas, to connect your ideas to your stories, and to be passionate, real, and vulnerable.

You'll be equipped with the skills, clarity, and confidence you need to be a thought leader.

And we certainly need more women (you!) as thought leaders to challenge the status quo and make the world a better place.

Have questions? Schedule a Zoom call with us. We are more than happy to talk through your goals and make sure the Academy is the best fit for you.

Why Women Join the Thought Leader Academy


I joined the Academy because I wanted to get clarity on my message and how to structure a talk.

You have curated an amazing group. Every week the women in the program inspired me with their courage.

This program gave me the unique experience of being led vs. being the one guiding others. I had a chance to relax into someone else's expert process and finally dig into the core of what I want to express to the world. 

I am launching my podcast and new brand with power and excitement because of this community.

If you're an aspiring thought leader and want to get clarity on your message and courage to speak your truth - THIS is the program for you!

— Betsy Jordyn, Owner of a Marketing Agency

Natalie Legrand- Headshot

I joined the Academy because I wanted to come up with a thought leadership message and see myself as a thought leader in my field.

Now, I have a fully planned ready-to-execute thought leadership project, clarity and feedback on my message, and my signature talk.

You've got me thinking about my business in very tangible ways and getting out of my comfort zone and more importantly HEAD! Your homework has me continuously connecting dots and it's powerful. It's the breakthrough I needed.

This was truly an enjoyable experience! Highly recommend. Very interactive. Love how responsive and attentive the Speaking Your Brand team is.

— Natalie Legrand, Leadership and Social Impact Consultant


We Offer 3 Thought Leader Academy Tiers for Your Needs & Budget

The weekly group Zoom calls are held on Tuesdays from 3-4 pm Eastern.

Tier 1: Foundations


$995 x 3 payments

$2,950 pay in full

Includes: 4 weekly live group calls + 1:1 VIP Day to create your signature talk using our framework + lifetime access to our video resource library

Focus: Your thought leadership message & framework; signature talk; storytelling; slide design

Coach: Diane Diaz

Tier 2: Advanced


$1675 x 3 payments

$4,950 pay in full

Includes: 8 weekly live group calls + 1:1 VIP Day to create your signature talk using our framework + 30-minute 1:1 coaching call + lifetime access to our video resource library + review of your LinkedIn profile + deliver your talk on our LinkedIn Live show & podcast appearance

Focus: Your thought leadership message & framework; signature talk; storytelling; slide design; business of speaking & personal brand; adding layers to your talk; practice delivering your talk

Coach: Diane Diaz

Tier 3: Advanced


 $2100 x 3 payments

$6,250 pay in full

Includes: 8 weekly live group calls + 1:1 VIP Day to create your signature talk using our framework + 30-minute 1:1 coaching call + lifetime access to our video resource library + review of your LinkedIn profile + deliver your talk on our LinkedIn Live show & podcast appearance

Focus: Your thought leadership message & framework; signature talk; storytelling; slide design; business of speaking & personal brand; adding layers to your talk; practice delivering your talk

Coach: Carol Cox

Have questions? Schedule a Zoom call with us.

We are more than happy to talk through your goals and make sure the Academy is the best fit for you.

  • Attend Our Next Online Workshop (Tiers 2 & 3)

    You get to attend our next online 3-hour workshop at no charge plus you'll get the recording and workbook. Topic may be personal branding; storytelling; the business of speaking; or AI tools for speakers.

    Value = $495

  • Be a Guest on the Podcast / Live Show (Tiers 2 & 3)

    Achieve the program milestones and be invited to be a guest on the Speaking Your Brand podcast or LinkedIn Live show.

    Value = Priceless

  • LinkedIn for Speakers Masterclass (All Tiers)

    You'll get access right away to our LinkedIn for Speakers masterclass so you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract speaking opportunities.

    Value = $195

  • Video Resource Library (All Tiers)

    You'll get lifetime access to our resource library that has video lessons & worksheets on topics from storytelling to speaker fees to what to ask event organizers & more.

    Value = $995

Bonuses Valued at $1,685


The Impact and ROI of Having a VIP Day

Accelerate your progress.

By enrolling in the Thought Leader Academy, you get a Virtual VIP Day to create your signature talk.

You and your coach will work together on Zoom for 3 hours to map out your talk from beginning to end using our proven Signature Talk Canvas® framework.

Clients call this process magical, as you'll see and hear in this video clip from a real VIP Day.

Imagine having your signature talk mapped out and ready to go for both virtual and in-person presentations. Boom!

The Problem?

You're a high-achieving woman who's regarded as an expert in what you do.  Which is great! Except...

All the training content you're comfortable with in your presentations isn't getting you invited to bigger speaking and visibility opportunities.

A keynote. A TEDx talk. Boards. Awards.

You wonder how other women get these opportunities and wonder if you can too? (You absolutely can!)

Plus all that training content isn't making a bigger impact on your audiences.

Experts say, "Learn from me" and give answers. The problem is that experts are interchangeable.

Thought leaders say, "Imagine with me" and ask questions that shift perspectives and challenge the status quo.

The question becomes...How can you shift from expert to thought leader?

How can you get event organizers to come to you to ask you to speak?

How can you get paid to speak and raise your fees?

How can you make a bigger impact with your message and put more meaning into your business?


The Solution

You need to position and market yourself as a thought leader, with a bold message, well-crafted signature talk, and visibility plan to attract the right opportunities.

Thought leaders have these elements in common:

  • Viewpoint that's interesting & unique
  • Open, bold, and direct in their message and communication
  • Individual/personal story that they universalize
  • Container/project for their thought leadership (this is key!)
  • Emotive, real, and vulnerable in their content and delivery

As soon as you have all those things in place...magic starts to happen:

  • You begin to deliver talks that catapult you to the top of everyone’s Speaker Wish List.
  • You differentiate yourself from other speakers.
  • You distinguish yourself as a thought leader.
  • You start getting opportunities you never anticipated.

Once you make the shift from expert to thought leader, it's transformative for your audience - and for you.

When you leverage all of this, your ideas activate change.

And what really happens is that...

You power your bottom line because you get your message and your business in front of more people and the right people.

 That's What We Help You Do in Our Thought Leader Academy.

You'll evolve from an Expert Presenter to a Story Speaker and Thought Leader.

Framework for Speaking

Hear from Our Grads


Why Choose Us?

We know how to make engaging speeches & events. Our summit attendees raved that it was the best virtual event experience they've had. They were glued to their screens!

We have years of experience creating and delivering presentations and we've worked with hundreds of women on theirs.

Our unique Signature Talk Canvas® is a proven framework for creating presentations, whether lead generation webinars or story-driven TED-style talks.

Our founder Carol Cox has been called one of the best speaking coaches out there by a TED organizer who's worked with dozens of speaking coaches worldwide.


Our mission is to amplify diverse women's voices and develop more women thought leaders and prominent speakers.

Speaking, be it virtual or live, is one of the fastest, most impactful ways to build your credibility, your influence, your reach, and yes, your revenue.

Carol Cox featured in Forbes article

What Women Get Out of the Thought Leader Academy

Jackie Roby

I've gotten so much out of this program and am so grateful that I joined. The network is incredible. The women in this group are genuinely supportive and feel like part of my tribe.

Through this program I’ve been able to:

  • Launch a podcast
  • Create a lead generation webinar
  • Implement new coaching services in my business
  • Generate enhanced visibility
  • Build confidence in my messaging

Your time and your voice are worthy of $$$. TLA is an amazing resource!

— Jackie Roby, Founder of Inspired Journey Consulting


I’ve gained so much confidence and have been able to create content that is able to clearly convey the message I want to share with the world. I can say it’s truly changed my life!

This program has helped me:

  • Create my TED-Style and Signature Talk
  • Improve my visibility and confidence
  • Land several speaking opportunities
  • Clearly convey my message
  • Connect with and get feedback from other women

Thank you for encouraging me and most of all for creating the absolute most amazing space for women to find and grow their voices.

— Zaribel Clay, Business Owner, Writer & Speaker


Have you said to yourself:

“I don't really see myself as a thought leader. Can I be one? Doesn't someone else have to give me that title?”

I believe 100% that you can be a thought leader. You owe it to yourself to manifest your ideas and share your story in a bigger way.

On top of all that, women all over the world need you to be one!

You don't have to wait for anyone else to give you permission to put yourself out there.

And when you do, more women will follow.

(It's optional whether you want to put "thought leader" on your LinkedIn profile or in your bio. Then again, dudes do it, so why not?)

  • Live & Virtual

    We do all of this virtually LIVE on Zoom video and in a private online community, so you can join us no matter where you live. Our groups are small, so you get personalized attention.

  • Growth Focused

    By the end of the program experience, you'll have the speaking and thought leadership materials in place that will fuel the growth of your business and lead you to bigger opportunities and impact.

This program is a combination of

coaching + training + mastermind


What you want to do:

  • position yourself as a thought leader
  • create your signature talk for brand building & lead generation
  • generate more revenue
  • grow your following
  • inspire more people & reach bigger audiences
  • boost your confidence
  • build a network with other like-minded women speakers

Who this is ideal for:

  • women entrepreneurs & professionals
  • have a good understanding of your audience/clients
  • intermediate level of experience & comfort with speaking (you may still get nerves - we'll help you with those! - but you're excited to speak)
  • high-achieving action taker
  • willing to go deep and be self-reflective
  • supportive and encouraging towards others

The ROI of Working With Us

I'm a numbers person when it comes to investing in myself and here is the ROI I can share:

My speaker feedback soared through the roof with the changes I made from what I learned from Speaking Your Brand.

I booked 8 paid speaking engagements last year and my average speaking fee was 5x more than it was prior to going through the program. I filled a workshop using their selling techniques, making multiple four figures in tickets.

I have been on countless podcasts due to learning how to connect and pitch, which has sold many more of my books. Totally worth the investment. When you invest, you take it seriously and you apply the learnings. Their knowledge is worth so much more than what they charge.

When I decided to join, I had been speaking intermittently at that point and really wanted to fine tune my signature talk and grow my business.

Carol and Diane are masters and the women that you will meet in the program will also give you a place to learn from them and bounce off ideas to get feedback.



Angela Hosking,
Founder of Her One Tribe, Speaker, Workshop
Facilitator, & Author

Have you thought:

“I don’t know what my big idea is and I don't really have a compelling personal story.”

You absolutely do! I used to think the same thing because I don't have one big event that happened to me.

What we all have is a thread of experiences that has led to our worldview.

We’ll help you find this thread that connects to your big idea and your personal journey. This is our zone of genius.

We’ll give you exactly the clarity and breakthrough you need.

What We'll Be Doing Together to
Transform You into a Thought Leader:

  • Identify Your Thought Leadership Idea

    Everyone has a big idea - no need to be groundbreaking or think you have to come up with something that's never been heard of before.

    Your thought leadership "big idea" sits at the intersection of what you know, what you care about, who you are, and what you envision.

    What's the bigger message you want to share? What has been your journey of discovery to your thought leadership idea? We'll help you identify it!

  • Learn How to Tell Compelling Stories

    Stories set you apart and connect you to your audience.

    You'll learn the key elements of telling great stories, with frameworks you can use.

    You'll also identify your best stories from our list of 10 (from pin drop to humor to crisis of confidence and more) and how to integrate them into your talks.

  • Build Your Personal Brand Plan

    You'll develop the 7 pillars of your personal brand plan using our framework.

    You'll have clear action steps for what to do and who to reach out to to achieve your goals.

  • Create Your Signature Talk & Framework

    No more boring, same-as-everyone-else presentations. You want your talks to be inspired and memorable.

    Using our unique and proven Signature Talk Canvas® presentation framework, you'll learn how to create different types of talks, including:

    • Presentations for brand awareness & lead generation
    • Story-driven keynotes & TED-style talks

    With your coach, you'll create your signature talk and framework, which you'll be able to easily repurpose for different audiences, lengths of time, and formats (both virtual and in-person).

  • Increase Your Confidence

    Putting out a bold message can be exhilarating - and sometimes daunting.

    By going through the Thought Leader Academy, you'll increase your confidence in your message and yourself.

    Getting support and validation from other women can make all the difference - we've seen it with our clients.

  • The Business of Speaking

    You'll learn what to charge for your speaking fees and how to negotiate with event organizers.

    You'll also work on your speaking proposals and pitches.

How The Program Works
  • Live Group Zoom Calls

    Weekly live group calls on Zoom on Tuesdays from 3-4 pm Eastern / 12-1 pm Pacific (4 weeks for Tier 1; 8 weeks for Tiers 2 & 3).

    The calls are structured with an agenda and clear outcome, with plenty of time for you to share and ask questions.

    (Calls are recorded if you miss any or want to listen again.)

  • Virtual VIP Day: Personalized Coaching

    You get a Virtual VIP Day with your coach to create your signature talk using our proven Signature Talk Canvas® framework. Clients call it magical! It truly accelerates your progress and gives you clarity and confidence. This alone is worth the investment in the program.

  • On-Demand Video Resource Library

    You'll get access to our on-demand video resource library in Thinkific.

    There you'll find short targeted video lessons (3-5 minutes each), worksheets, and templates.

    Topics include storytelling, using our Signature Talk Canvas® framework, what to include in your speaking proposals, speaker contracts, and much more.

  • Action Plan

    You'll get specific homework and action steps for each module that we'll review in our online community site and during the group calls.

    Accountability and deadlines are essential elements to getting you from where you are now to where you want to be.

  • Ongoing Review & Feedback

    Continuous improvement is what we're after.

    You'll get review and feedback from your coach and the other women in the program on your homework, including your message, signature talk outline, presentation slides, audio or video recordings, etc.

  • Curated Group Participants

    The women in the program will be selected who are at a similar level of speaking experience, with similar goals, and who speak on a variety of topics and come from different industries.

    We expect you'll get to know each other well and come to rely on each other for input and support.

You may be wondering:

“Will I get enough guidance and feedback?”


This is why we keep the group small and provide hands-on coaching, so that you get personalized attention.

You also have a private community where you can post questions and get feedback from the group on what you're working on.

What Women in Our Programs Have Accomplished

  • Getting paid to speak for the first time
  • Delivering a TEDx talk
  • Attracting higher-profile speaking engagements
  • Launching their thought leadership projects
  • Being more strategic about what they say 'yes' and 'no' to
  • Creating their speaking pages to attract the right opportunities
  • Aligning their content with their offers for better lead generation
  • Learning specific sales and outreach techniques & templates
  • Building confidence in their negotiations and pitching
  • Raising their speaking fees to $5,000+

This coaching program has absolutely changed my business. More bookings and higher fees, plus clients now say ‘yes’ without a pause. — Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective®

Coaching Makes the Difference

Usha-Tewari Headshot

Until this program, I’ve never invested in myself professionally. I needed a program like this to motivate me to start thinking of ways to create a professional side hustle. This was the best investment I did for myself.

This program empowered women like me with speaking and thought leadership materials, connected us with like-minded women, and most importantly boosted our confidence with future endeavors.

I consider Carol and Diane to be my "lucky charms" because since the I started the program I've had good things happening to me--diversifying my profile, networking opportunities, and pushing myself to go outside my comfort zone.

— Usha Tewari, Speaker & Advocate


When I joined, my goals were to improve my speaking skills, create a TED-Style talk, and build confidence in my delivery.

While in the program I booked two opportunities to share my TED-style talk, and my confidence in my speaking skills has increased tremendously.

This is the best coaching experience I've had as an entrepreneur.

I am so proud of what we have accomplished independently and together. I can't wait to see how our thought leadership impacts our communities, audiences, and humanity.

— Mary Beth Simon, Owner of Niche Partnership Consulting


Go Bigger with Your Message & Brand

I had recently started my DEI consulting business and had done a few virtual training presentations. I needed a unique presentation and a structure/flow of my trainings that was more engaging and showed more of my personality. I realized that my trainings were a bit too “sterile” and I was trying to get a lot of information across to the listeners in a short amount of time in a format that may not have been that memorable.

As a result of being in the Academy, I have been able to create my signature talk and framework. I’ve learned how to include personal stories into my talks, which I now realize is VERY important.

You get A LOT in return for your investment into the Academy, your business, and yourself.

All of the resources are fantastic! One of most valuable resources are the amazing coaches who really get to know all of us and who truly work with us.

I have also found a great network of female entrepreneurs who inspire me.

I’ve never been bashful about speaking in public, but this experience has given me the confidence to feel good and secure about my presentations and, more importantly, to have a bigger presence online.

Chanta Wilkinson

Chanta Wilkinson - DEI Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker

Hear from Our Grads


With this program, you will...

Position yourself as a thought leader with a BOLD message.

Connect your idea to your personal story.

Create strategies to find and land speaking opportunities.

Join the chorus of BRAVE women who are speaking up.

Go BEYOND the ordinary with a compelling signature talk.

Are you ready to use your voice to change our world?

Have questions? Schedule a Zoom call with us. We are more than happy to talk through your goals and make sure the Academy is the best fit for you.

Meet Your Coaches

Carol Cox

Carol Cox

Carol Cox is the founder & CEO of Speaking Your Brand® and host of the Speaking Your Brand® podcast.

Carol facilitates most of the weekly live group Zoom calls.

Carol speaks on women's leadership, women in politics, and business storytelling.

During election seasons, she serves as a Democratic political analyst on TV news. Carol was named as one of Orlando's Women of the Year 2021 and has been featured in Forbes.

Carol has a Master's degree in History and lives in Orlando, FL.

Diane Diaz

Diane Diaz

Diane Diaz is our lead Speaking Coach with Speaking Your Brand®.

Diane works with our clients in the 1:1 coaching calls and VIP Days and co-facilitates the weekly live group Zoom calls.

Diane speaks regularly on personal branding, LinkedIn strategy, and women's empowerment. Diane has an extensive background in marketing and branding and is also an Ironman triathlete.

Diane has a Master's in Business Administration and lives in Orlando, FL.

A Safe Container to Explore Your Ideas & Story

Before joining the Academy, I was drowning in content ideas that I wanted to manifest and knew I needed help pinpointing the main idea and what to focus on and how.

I have also known for a long time that it was time for me to step up my thought leadership, yet I felt that something was holding me back and I needed a growth container.

When I posted things I was working on, I got specific and personal feedback - not generic principles. This allowed me to actually take action on what I was working on.

What being a part of this community did for me was help me face and slay what was in the way of me not just not owning my potential as a speaker and thought leader but the true value of my gifts - which was my shame around my story and not having all my sh!t together.

From our very first call, I saw that perhaps the secret to the success of high-achieving women are the skills we gained through overcoming struggles in our life that translated to how we lead and manage our careers.

Through this community, I learned to tell my story and each time it got easier and easier. And then the shame was gone.

I have launched my new podcast and new brand with power and excitement because of this community.


Betsy Jordyn, Owner of a Marketing Agency

Hear from Our Grads

Questions & Answers

The Impact of Expert & Peer Support & Accountability

I knew this coaching program was just the push I needed to level up my speaking skills.

It has been a fantastic experience of personal growth, stepping outside of comfort zones, honing skills, and making meaningful connections.

The women in the mastermind are phenomenal, and we work together to uplift each other.

If it weren't for the group, I would not have created my speaker page or considered a baseline for getting paid to speak.

I am grateful to Carol and Diane for being such great coaches and facilitating the emergence of breakthrough after breakthrough.

This program is a must if you are a speaker and are ready to level up your skills."

Charmaine Gregory

Charmaine Gregory, M.D.
Speaker & Workshop 
Facilitator on Professional Burnout

Have questions about the program?

How Past Participants Have Benefitted

Michelle Gyimah

I've always known that working on my speaking skills was a key part of my business that I needed to invest in. I've spent years listening to Carol's podcast so when the group program opportunity came up I just knew I had to get on board.

The benefits from this program have been immense. I've booked several paid talks since joining and I know it's been because of the group program.

I love the group format as I get to support and the see the progress of the other women, learn more about their expertise and share in their journey.

I would 100% recommend Carol Cox and Diane Diaz for anything speaking related and will definitely call on their expertise again in the future.

— Michelle Gyimah, Speaker & Workshop Facilitator on the Gender Pay Gap in the U.K.

Dr. Carmen Landrau

Your group program helped me tremendously, particularly in these areas:

  1. Accountability makes the goals real.
  2. The support of other members of the group, especially when impostor syndrome starts lurking in the back of my mind.
  3. Receiving “The How” to do it was priceless. This last benefit is crucial to your program. Many courses offer nonspecific general advice, but here we received dedicated action steps for each person’s situation.

To me you are the "it" person when it comes to speaking coaches.

— Carmen Landrau, M.D., Professional Speaker


In your group program, I really benefitted from:

  • the valuable collaboration and feedback from other successful women who are experts in their craft
  • understanding how to pitch
  • how to effectively tell a story and how transition into and out of it
  • how to ask for an opportunity to speak
  • how to simplify my message so that it’s understood and received properly

This was a valuable program for me both personally and professionally.

— Jamara Wilson, Founder, Tuxedo Impressions