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Kirsten Rourke CEO of Rourke Training

Kirsten Rourke is the mouth and mind of Rourke Training, LLC. She is on a mission to create engaging communication in online and in-person presentation and speaking spaces. Kirsten is the creator of the Prep, Practice, & Pivot method for elevating presenting and speaking skills. She works with leaders to transform online educational, sales, and corporate events to meet business and learning goals. She has spoken, coached, trained, and facilitated for thousands of companies internationally since 2000. She speaks on and provides expert Coaching on Public Speaking, Running Virtual Events, Instructional Design, Storytelling, and Creating Online Engagement. In addition to being a Certified Technical Trainer and Certified Online Training Professional, she also has a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design. She also runs a podcast and community, Ongoing Mastery: Presenting and Speaking, to support development and improvement in creating successful, targeted results in pitches, sales presentations, training, and high-stake events.

Recent Content

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Bonus Episode - How Important Is Storytelling?: Interview With Ryan Austin Of Cognota &Raquo; U6Au5F774Dji6Jiyzvlbvxmw Scaled
Bonus Episode – How Important is Storytelling?: Interview with Ryan Austin of Cognota

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Ryan Austin of Cognota about storytelling, public speaking, and why learning & development needs to be part…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Ryan Austin of Cognota about storytelling, public speaking, and why learning & development needs to be part of design and operations from the beginning.Our favorite moments:(02:25) Anything you do involves telling stories as part of communication(04:03) It’s ok not to be sharp around the edges(05:50) Don’t practice a script, practice the key points you want to remember(08:39) A partner operating model positions L&D as a partner with the business to effectively prioritize and collaborate(12:32) …

Listen · 21:41
Bonus Episode - Do Experienced Speakers Get Nervous?: Interview With Kristen Nielsen Donnelly, Ph.d. &Raquo; Qbia6Gsy 6F 0Gbsj Cmz8K Scaled
Bonus Episode – Do Experienced Speakers Get Nervous?: Interview with Kristen Nielsen Donnelly, Ph.D.

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Kristen Nielsen Donnelly about the connection between nervousness and a speaker’s responsibility to their aud…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Kristen Nielsen Donnelly about the connection between nervousness and a speaker’s responsibility to their audience. Hear how the idea of a sandbox helps Kristen be more flexible onstage.Our favorite moments:(02:45) If you’re not nervous before public speaking, you don’t recognize your responsibility in the moment(03:19) The audience’s attention is a non-renewable resource(07:13) Conversations about profit are different from conversations about revenue and earning a living(08:00) Appropriate revenue…

Listen · 29:04
What’s New In Our Entrepreneurial Journey?: Season 5 Wrap-Up &Raquo; 1Hn7I9I1Y9Nanhbjxfge4 Jp Scaled
What’s New in Our Entrepreneurial Journey?: Season 5 Wrap-up

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about current developments in their entrepreneurial journey. Find out why Kirsten’s rediscovered a datab…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about current developments in their entrepreneurial journey. Find out why Kirsten’s rediscovered a database she built years ago and what it’s like for Kellie, who’s a partner in two separate start-ups right now.Our favorite moments:(00:36) Everything that changes is really good data for getting to your goals(03:26) If you’re a big picture person, you need a detail-oriented person on your team, because the little bits still need to be taken care of(07:35) Reframe failure as iterations(08:34) Ev…

Listen · 17:46
Why Practice Public Speaking?: Interview With Natalie Bullen &Raquo; Johq Qmha1Arpimp1Sqa2G7E Scaled
Why Practice Public Speaking?: Interview with Natalie Bullen

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Natalie Bullen, sales coach and messaging guru extraordinaire, about why public speaking is like going to the g…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Natalie Bullen, sales coach and messaging guru extraordinaire, about why public speaking is like going to the gym and how to build community. Find out which business choice she calls bullshit on.Our favorite moments:(05:06) A slide deck is a liability(09:47) Your company’s band objective need to resonate in your speech(13:24) People who say they’re not good at public speaking really mean they haven’t practiced their skills enough(16:36) Do an audit of your ethos, mission, marketing, and mission at le…

Listen · 35:26
Why Is Context Important For Speaking And Presenting? &Raquo; We7O8Lij9Zmpkv8Xbd Qlgh9 Scaled
Why is Context Important for Speaking and Presenting?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about adaptability and engaging your audience, especially when you have specific learning objectives to me…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about adaptability and engaging your audience, especially when you have specific learning objectives to meet. Find out why Kirsten rewards the ugliest PowerPoint presentation, why Kellie’s students have to confront a taboo topic in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and why context matters.Our favorite moments:(02:00) Education needs to change in specific settings to focus on the problem that needs to be solved, not a predetermined, standardized list(03:02) Higher education is often iter…

Listen · 20:16
Why Is Humor Effective For Communication?: Interview With Heather Tolley-Bauer &Raquo; Xflefeyuidqfvvdstpvq8Kve Scaled
Why is Humor Effective for Communication?: Interview with Heather Tolley-Bauer

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Heather Tolley-Bauer about comedy and connecting with audiences. Find out the first rule of using humor and the…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Heather Tolley-Bauer about comedy and connecting with audiences. Find out the first rule of using humor and the difference between telling a joke and creating an atmosphere of levity.Our favorite moments:(01:38) The first rule of comedy is you have to know your audience(02:08) Health benefits of laughter(02:22) Laughter builds trust, likeability, connection(05:27) Humor evolves over time and is tied to culture(07:10) If you’re going to have a good comedy game, you need a good apology game, too(09:50) You…

Listen · 19:07
How Can Thinking About Your Audience Improve Public Speaking? &Raquo; Rbng3G6Yjbmh6Ho Tx8Ybvx8 Scaled
How Can Thinking About Your Audience Improve Public Speaking?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about being flexible in the moment so you can be responsive to your audience’s needs. Hear how a video d…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about being flexible in the moment so you can be responsive to your audience’s needs. Hear how a video development company is getting this very wrong and what Snoop Dogg has to do with Kellie’s syllabus.Our favorite moments:(03:21) Those in charge of technical training need to build adaptability into their processes(03:53) Cross-training is not a waste of resources(04:15) Software risk is reputational risk & customer risk(05:17) Stay aware of how the zen of a subject applies to more than one t…

Listen · 17:59
How Can Speakers Own The Stage?: Interview With Pegine &Raquo; Axbm8Tjscnzdguigld84 Ld6 Scaled
How Can Speakers Own the Stage?: Interview with Pegine

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Pegine about being a dynamic, engaging speaker. Learn how speaker choreography connects to your message and why…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Pegine about being a dynamic, engaging speaker. Learn how speaker choreography connects to your message and why you should construct your speech like a rock concert. Pegine also shares her most important tip for ongoing mastery of public speaking.Our favorite moments:(02:16) Step out and own the stage(02:42) Audience interaction is important because that’s how people learn(04:10) People learn from experiences(05:06) Different parts of the stage have different emotional strengths(07:10) Construct your spe…

Listen · 23:27
What Is The Value Of Community? &Raquo; M9Up 0No14As2C Qdgllkysr Scaled
What is the Value of Community?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about the value of community. Hear which communities they’re part of and how a well-built community is d…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about the value of community. Hear which communities they’re part of and how a well-built community is different from hero worship.Our favorite moments:(02:25) Speakers need speaker friends(06:47) Business that really embrace the communities they support develop quicker, more authentic relationships(08:56) Communities are built(11:42) Community helps you understand where others are coming from(14:20) Genuine communities take work(17:00) Reciprocity comes back to the importance of relationships(17:23…

Listen · 20:29
How Do You Design Effective Learning?: Interview With Sarah Mercier &Raquo; R8Butdmyrrs9Qdtzigesuebc Scaled
How Do You Design Effective Learning?: Interview with Sarah Mercier

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Sarah Mercier about designing effective learning. Hear why Sarah advises people to be skeptical when hearing ne…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Sarah Mercier about designing effective learning. Hear why Sarah advises people to be skeptical when hearing new information and what a psychometrician does.Our favorite moments:(04:14) Slamming new learners with a lot of information is overwhelming(05:45) To be in the training space, you need to be a good student(06:17) xAPI is a way to measure and collect granular data throughout the learning process(10:32) How to Fight a Bear is a terrific example of immersive storytelling for learning(14:10) We learn m…

Listen · 28:10
What Is The Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference? Notes From A First-Time Attendee &Raquo; I Yttbezvyyubeb0Qi9Jxzew Scaled
What is the Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference? Notes from a First-Time Attendee

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about Kirsten’s experience at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, why so many vendors on the convent…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about Kirsten’s experience at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, why so many vendors on the convention floor missed the point, and the one that really blew her away. Find out why cybersecurity folks are Kirsten’s people.Our favorite moments:(02:21) Kirsten’s expectations vs her experience at Black Hat(05:27) Stunt marketing that didn’t land(07:01) Missing the point, which is to develop relationships(07:11) Really bad booth choice #1: heckling passersby(08:44) Really bad booth choice #2: s…

Listen · 20:23
How Can You Be An In-Demand Speaker Or Podcast Guest? Interview With Anastasia Lipske &Raquo; 3Fig7Iacymnxg5Jmdibqcg1I Scaled
How Can You be an In-Demand Speaker or Podcast Guest? Interview with Anastasia Lipske

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Anastasia Lipske about booking speakers and podcast guests, avoiding common mistakes in the field, and why it…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Anastasia Lipske about booking speakers and podcast guests, avoiding common mistakes in the field, and why it’s stupid to be rude to the AV staff. Find out how savvy speakers deepen and extend their connection with audiences.Our favorite moments:: Be loud & proud about being a speaker Avoid confusing how to present yourself as a speaker vs as a podcast guest What’s a one-sheet? One of the biggest mistakes on one-sheets: testimonials Another common mistake on one-sheets: highlighting your name inste…

Listen · 25:17
Why Use Singular &Quot;They&Quot;? &Raquo; F67Jt26Zy6Bdbpnk7Xpwjtfn Scaled
Why Use Singular "They"?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about identity, using people’s correct pronouns, and why this issue is so important. Find out how long t…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about identity, using people’s correct pronouns, and why this issue is so important. Find out how long the  singular “they” has been part of the English language.Our favorite moments:: The singular “they” has been part of English since 1375 Normalizing a practice is easier and safer for everyone Centering “normal” on heteronormative experience is automatically othering Changing the default to everyone sharing their pronouns, although no one is required to do so PBS.org’s map of cultur…

Listen · 16:38
How Can I Get More Rest?: Interview &Amp; Mini-Coaching Session With Anastasiya Rutus &Raquo; Vyavhovrwdqfe9Ydug Ujh Scaled
How Can I Get More Rest?: Interview & Mini-Coaching Session with Anastasiya Rutus

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Anastasiya Rutus about her work as a rest coach and offers her some advice for staying focused while working wi…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Anastasiya Rutus about her work as a rest coach and offers her some advice for staying focused while working with clients. Find out why our brains are like a browser with too many tabs open and why our best ideas happen in the shower.Our favorite moments:: We get guilted and shamed into not thinking about rest The experience of being coached is one of going on an emotional journey People need to stop and process when learning new concepts Everyone wants to be heard We are not trees; we can move Depending o…

Listen · 23:57
How Does Music Influence Public Speaking? &Raquo; Kfrl0Cli9Lrpst Nqvtr9Ve0 Scaled
How Does Music Influence Public Speaking?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about music, rhythm, and public speaking. Find out how NPR’s Tiny Desk concert opened a rabbit hole and …

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about music, rhythm, and public speaking. Find out how NPR’s Tiny Desk concert opened a rabbit hole and how their teenagers expanded their repertoire.Our favorite moments: Kirsten goes down a rabbit hole to understand rap Lin Manuel Miranda’s writing reminds Kellie of the 19th-c poet, Lord Byron There’s a course on Rap Theory at M.I.T. Rap’s tie to public speaking Read  piece of writing out loud to hear whether it’s working or needs edits Following rabbit holes is important for public speak…

Listen · 19:02
What Books Have We Been Reading? Season Four Wrap-Up &Raquo; Umxniqlq4Sgrifz4Rqewlfzf Scaled
What Books Have We Been Reading? Season Four Wrap-up

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie highlight some of their favorite books from four seasons of the podcast.Our favorite moments: How to Tell a Story …

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie highlight some of their favorite books from four seasons of the podcast.Our favorite moments: How to Tell a Story The difference between an anecdote and a story Stagecraft and speaker choreography Recognizing what storytellers at The Moth give onstage Kirsten’s nervous butterflies fly in formation Cait Donovan, Bouncebackability Entrepreneurial burnout J Schuh, Brilliance Judging a book by its cover Tamsen Webster, Find Your Red Thread Find the throughline and connect with your audience How you shape the st…

Listen · 21:16
Does Writing Improve Public Speaking?: Interview With Erica Holthausen &Raquo; Pjaohs9O Gprvjvobylnrqhg Scaled
Does Writing Improve Public Speaking?: Interview with Erica Holthausen

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Erica Holthausen of Catchline Communications about writing for publications and the connection between writing and …

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten talks with Erica Holthausen of Catchline Communications about writing for publications and the connection between writing and speaking. Find out why Erica says there is no neutral.Our favorite moments: All of us are writers Publications need your content Three things to do to be a thought leader Writing isn’t about the ink; it’s about the think How speaking supports writing If you have a 10 minute talk, you have the shitty first draft of an article Everything you put out will drive either towards your goal or will di…

Listen · 20:29
Why Is Adaptability Key For Changing Workplace Culture? &Raquo; Nmc Ey Hjpgc0T6Yetglqrav Scaled
Why is Adaptability Key for Changing Workplace Culture?

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about incorporating adaptability into workplace culture. Find out why collaboration is like taking care of hou…

In this week's episo…

In this week's episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten and Kellie talk about incorporating adaptability into workplace culture. Find out why collaboration is like taking care of house plants.Our favorite moments:: Adaptability has to be a corporate culture Roles are the framework, but people drive how things connect and the work gets done Changing corporate culture requires space to practice, fail, and grow Ongoing mastery in skills is how everyone works If you say “agile” daily, actually be agile Upper management needs to involve L&D in the decision-making process Chang…

Listen · 18:18
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