Dates: Jan 14—Feb 18, 2020
Webinars: Tuesdays 7-8:30 pm

This online course introduces the essential principles of becoming a highly skilled presenter, one who can provide both information and inspiration to audiences in order to facilitate transformation. Participants who seek to develop or improve their impact as seminar leaders, educators, trainers, and lecturers are welcome.

Taught by Dr. Maria Sirois, core faculty for the Certificate in Positive Psychology program, the Teaching for Transformation course combines live webinars and demonstrations, readings, video analysis, and peer-to-peer practice. Live, 90-minute webinars are held most Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm ET. The complete syllabus includes all the course details and content.

Introduction by Dr. Maria Sirois, Course Instructor

You’ll learn:

The wholebeing approach, which enables you to teach from a place of wholeness and authenticity

Foundational presentation skills to support the expert and the novice alike in organizing the content flow for successful audience engagement

How to aspire to your best by leveraging your strengths, passion, and wisdom in order to offer your audience a lasting positive impact.

Key Principles

Content is offered in three key arenas:

1. The Wholebeing Approach

Participants are introduced to the principles of whole-person well-being, and given a vocabulary for understanding how individuals and teams move toward their highest selves and sustained health. This establishes a unique foundation of skill for the trainer. As we understand how adults move toward positive, sustained health and well-being, we are able to offer material that strengthens their growth and enhances our own growth toward our best selves.

Concepts examined include appreciative inquiry, permission to be human, benefit finding, and the principles of Wholebeing Institute’s SPIRE (spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, emotional) approach; each concept is addressed from the perspective of how and what to present.

2. Foundational Presentation Skills

Presenters from every field—from business to art, coaching to education, athletics to politics—receive in-depth instruction on the fundamentals of presentation skill development. These fundamentals, based on the best research from the fields of positive psychology, education, and training, provide a clear, impeccable support structure for both the novice and the practiced instructor.

Concepts explored include beginnings and endings, transitions, keeping energy high, the inspiring use of story and data, handling difficult audience members, managing anxiety, and professionalism.

3. Aspire to Your Best

Participants come to understand their deepest strengths: what makes them unique as a presenter, where their passion elevates both the audience member and the material, how they best connect with their audience, and how the very act of presenting moves each of us towards our most important work in the world.

Concepts addressed include the “who” of teaching, establishing your integrity and authority, presenting from a place of authenticity, elevating strengths, learning from the masters, and establishing your unique voice.

Course Objectives

For all participants: To provide training for presenters at every level that broadens and deepens skills, increases personal well-being, and sharpens excellence for the presenter as well as for audience members.

For CIPP graduates: To provide a professional development pathway for teaching positive psychology and whole-person well-being material.


Wholebeing Institute uses state-of-the-art, user-friendly webinar technology that allows you to see the faculty via video, watch the slides during the presentation, and participate during the live events, through your computer or your mobile device. Presentation materials will be available in advance, and recordings will be posted following each session for students who are unable to join live or would like to review the material again.

Online engagement is also fostered in the discussion forum, where students and faculty connect for questions and conversations about the course material.

Need help navigating the online educational experience? Our Student Support Manager and technology team are here to assist you.

Homework includes peer-to-peer video calls (using Skype, for example) to practice critical skills in presenting, such as beginnings and storytelling. Students should have (or be willing to learn) rudimentary skills in using video call technology.

Schedule and Time Commitment

The course consists of nine lessons taught over 11 weeks, combining live webinars and demonstrations, readings, video analysis, and peer-to-peer practice. The live, 90-minute webinars are held most Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm ET

We estimate that most students will put in a total of two to three hours of preparation per week, plus the class session itself.

Peer Work

To strengthen learning, students can choose to be paired with a fellow student to practice key presentation skills via video conference calls. At the start of the course, students will be given the opportunity to opt into the peer presentation sessions.


Weekly reading assignments will consist of material from the fields of positive psychology, education, and training. Weekly journal prompts will be aimed at deepening students’ engagement with the material. The viewing of video lectures (such as TED Talks) will be required as part of weekly assignments.

Final Project

Participants will be asked to create a final project, consisting of a three- to five-minute video presentation on one aspect of teaching for transformation. Your partner will be invited to spot the strengths in your presentation and to provide you with feed-forward (information about what worked well). You’ll also be asked to reflect on what you learned through this process, what went well for you, and what your own next step as a presenter might be, in terms of strengthening your skills. The final project is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended.

Program Faculty

MariaDr. Maria Sirois, PsyD, is the Vice President of Curriculum for Wholebeing Institute and an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, consultant, and author. She has worked at the intersections of wellness, psychology, and spirituality for nearly 20 years. As a presenter, Maria has been invited to keynote internationally at conferences for wellness centers, hospitals, hospices, philanthropies, and business, academic, and corporate institutions, as well as for the general public. She is the author of A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (and Other Dark, Difficult Times).


Catherine McNeill is a graduate of and Teaching Assistant for the Wholebeing Certificate in Positive Psychology course. She has worked for over 20 years in Financial Services Information Technology in a variety of leadership roles. Also certified as a Positive Psychology Coach, she coaches individuals and groups around wellness and recovery, goals, relationships, navigating the modern workplace and creating more “human” work environments.

What the Experts Say


If you ever get a chance to hear Maria present, you will not forget it. She is brilliant, insightful, and creative in her style. You will feel touched, impacted, inspired.

—Ryan Niemiec, Education Director at VIA Institute on Character

What Students are Saying

Joining in this journey with the leaders and the vibrant students was like walking through the desert and then taking a drink of cool, clear water. Get ready to think about teaching in a whole new way. Delightful.

I have been teaching for years, and yet this course offered many new viewpoints and skills. It has greatly impacted the way that I teach, by making me a much more dynamic presenter.

I had never taken an online class before, and this surpassed my expectations in every way. I had no idea that an online class could be so rich and deep in learning. The live lectures were captivating and experiential. I look forward to taking more courses with WBI.

I have noticed since the speaking course with you how much more closely linked my writing and speaking are becoming. It has been interesting see how my writing shifted with the course. The writing and cultivating stories has forced a level of detail about a topic because there are only words. In turn that has provided the well-honed phrases to use in the presentations. Now when I present I make myself write an article for the people who won’t be able to attend and then that hones the presentation in a way that I had not explored before.

Registration Information

Tuition for this course is $795. USD

Registration is currently closed.

Sign up now to be notified when registration opens for the next Teaching for Transformation course. Please contact us with questions about the course.