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 Wholebeing Positive Psychology program, the Teaching for Transformation course offers six lessons, combining live webinars and demonstrations, readings, video analysis, and peer-to-peer practice. Live, 90-minute webinars are held weekly.

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.

“Anyone starting out to deliver workshops or presentations, or a seasoned presenter can learn from Maria! Great course.”

“This course is amazing for anyone considering public speaking, or who just wants to be more at ease with communicating in general.”

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.

Who This Course Is For

Novice, aspiring, and experienced presenters, including seminar leaders, educators, trainers, and lecturers.

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

What the Experts Say …

Ryan Niemiec

Education Director, VIA Institute on Character

“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.”

Schedule and Time Commitment

The course consists of six lessons taught over 6 weeks, combining live webinars and demonstrations, readings, video analysis, and peer-to-peer practice. The live, 90-minute webinars are held weekly.

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.


Dr. 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).

What Students are Saying

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.
—Amanda Ingall

If you intend to share your work in any way, this is the course for you. It teaches how to manage and harness the energy of anxiety, and how to create powerful, compelling presentations that will change the lives of your students/audiences. I highly recommend it! —Cate Conti

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. —Alice Dommert

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.
—Lynn Alpeter, facilitator and marketing coach

Teaching for Transformation will not only train you how to teach in a way that inspires and empowers your audience, it will take your personal growth to a whole new level. —Diane Pienta

This course truly lives up to its name. The course content goes way beyond any typical information you can access on your own, and forced me to do a lot of introspection and soul searching. Maria is a master teacher who brings out the best in you.
—Sheryl Sarnak, career coach

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

Tuition for this 6 week course is $695 USD