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Teaching leaders and aspiring leaders how to become more authentic, compelling speakers and adopt empowering success habits so they can:

  • Advance their careers
  • Enhance their leadership skills
  • And
make a positive difference in the world by reaching their peak potential… on and off the podium.

Matthew Cossolotto

Author / Speaker / Workshops / Speech Coach


My Approach

Success is an inside job


I believe the most powerful motivational speech in the world is what you say to yourself. Your internal dialog – your consistent, habitual self-talk – will determine whether you succeed or fail, whether you reach your peak potential in life or fall short.

That’s why I focus my books, coaching, and speaking programs on sharing the tools needed for empowering mindset shifts. My overriding goal is to help my audiences and clients replace negative, disempowering habits of thought with positive, empowering mindsets.


This approach applies to all three power tools in my Triad Empowerment System -- 

Habits / Speaking / Promises

-- and my trilogy of books on these topics.

The Challenge

You need an expert guest speaker or workshop leader for your next event.

The Solution

Bring in a pro… The Podium Pro!

Image by Solen Feyissa

About Matthew

My journey as a personal empowerment speaker and author began with a promise to my mother. A few weeks before she passed away, I promised my mother that I would finish writing a book she had been encouraging me to write and dedicate it to her memory. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said: "You do that, Matthew. You do that. This makes me very happy."



I’m proud to say I kept that promise. Making that heartfelt promise put me on my current path as a personal empowerment author, speaker, and coach. Today, I write and speak about three interrelated personal empowerment topics that I’m truly passionate about. My books and related coaching/speaking programs feature a unique combination of three power tools: Habits, Speaking, and Promises.


My leadership communications career spans the corridors of power and influence on both sides of the Atlantic. I served as a speechwriter for the Secretary General and other top officials at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and for the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. I also worked as a legislative assistant for Congressman Leon Panetta. I have coached and penned speeches for many corporate and academic leaders – from the Chancellor of UCLA to CEOs and other senior executives at GTE (now Verizon), AT&T, IBM, Pepsi-Cola, MasterCard, LaFarge, and many more.


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Here I am with my mother on her first and only trip to Paris a few months before she was diagnosed with cancer. As described on this page, I made a life-changing promise to her about a year after this photo was taken.

I am the author of several books, most recently The Joy of Public Speaking. Two more personal empowerment books are coming soon: one about the seven habits of FAILURE and SUCCESS and another about the life-changing power of promises. As a guest speaker and workshop leader, I have shared my ideas with a wide range of domestic and international audiences, including corporations, associations, government agencies, conferences, schools, community groups, and nonprofits/NGOs.

I studied abroad at the University of Lund, Sweden, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I am the author of The Almanac of Transatlantic Politics (Brassey's) and The Almanac of European Politics (Congressional Quarterly). I served as the founding President and Board Chair of the Center for Voting and Democracy (now FairVote) from 1992-1997.


The photos on this site show me speaking at various venues over the years.

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Matthew Cossolotto’s

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Variations of my top three speaking topics – outlined below – are available as keynotes or half-day workshops or webinars.

Speak Your Way to the Peak​

  • The Joy of Public Speaking: Turn Stage Fright into Stage Delight

  • Find Your Voice and Become a More Comfortable, Compelling, and Confident Speaker

The ability to speak confidently to audiences of all types and sizes is a widely recognized leadership and success skill. It's also a potent personal empowerment tool. And yet, opinion surveys confirm that most people rank public speaking as one of their top fears, along with spiders, snakes, and death itself. Indeed, the fear of public speaking is reputed to negatively affect roughly 75% of the population. My goal is to demolish that widespread negative attitude.

In 2023, I’m highlighting my PodiumPower! speaking programs based on the insights unveiled in my book, The Joy of Public Speaking -- your comprehensive guide to speaking success and personal empowerment. The speaking secrets I reveal in my book, presentations, and coaching programs will give your career, your leadership skills, and your self-confidence a big boost.

In my PodiumPower! programs, I teach participants how to bring that natural, authentic joy to every speaking opportunity. Why? Because I embrace a simple but profound proposition: People who learn to enjoy public speaking tend to be better at it than those hobbled by anxiety, trepidation, or outright terror. I ask audiences to join me as I unveil what I call “the gentle art of mental joyjitsu” -- powerful mindset shifts that propel you on your life-changing journey to the joy of public speaking.

My PodiumPower! workshops combine lectures, lively discussion, and experiential learning, all geared toward building confidence and leadership presence while emphasizing a natural, conversational style, one-on-one connection with audience members, and a more spontaneous, in-the-moment mindset. Put simply, my programs will help you banish the fear, boost your career, and speak your way to the peak.

Key Take-Aways. How will my PodiumPower! programs benefit you and your team or organization? Here are three key questions for your consideration:

o Would you like to turn stage fright into stage delight?
o Do you want to advance your career and enhance your leadership opportunities?
o Do you want to boost your team’s leadership and communication skills?

If so, call in a pro… The Podium Pro.

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Harness Your HabitForce​

  • Avoid FAILURE Traps and Adopt the Habits of SUCCESS

My "Harness your HabitForce" programs ask and answer a few key questions: What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from achieving your goals and dreams. How can you close the gap between your performance and your potential? A major message from these programs can be summed up in a single sentence: Success is an inside job!

HabitForce functions like a software program or Personal Operating System. It’s the collection of thought-habits that determine whether you succeed or fail. Programmed from childhood, your HabitForce can either work for your or against you. The good news is you can reprogram your HabitForce. This is just one of the Six Axioms of Personal Empowerment that I reveal in my HabitForce programs.


In my HabitForce programs, I describe in detail the seven habits of FAILURE and the corresponding habits of SUCCESS, along with the mechanism for moving from one particular FAILURE trap to its equal-but-opposite habit of SUCCESS. The mechanism for doing so is a simple three-step process I refer to as the Three Rs: Recognize, Reject, and Replace. To my knowledge, I am the first and only personal empowerment speaker and author to notice the noteworthy coincidence that two very powerful words in our culture – Failure and Success – both contain seven letters. The result of this observation is a uniquely powerful structure based on these two easy-to-remember, seven-letter acronyms:


In addition to filling in the blanks on these seven habits of FAILURE and SUCCESS, my HabitForce programs include lively discussions about:

  • The Six Axioms of Personal Empowerment

  • The Three Rs – Recognize, Reject and Replace – the simple but powerful three-step process that will help you close the gap between your performance and your potential

  • The Yin and Yang of FAILURE-SUCCESS so you can learn from failure and plant the seeds of success

  • The Ebenezer Effect. Jumpstart the personal change process through the power of your creative imagination.

Key Take-Aways. How will my HabitForce programs benefit you and your team or organization? Here are three key questions for your consideration:

o Do you want to close the gap between your actual performance and your peak potential?
o Do you want to make a positive difference in your organization or in the world at large but you’re not sure what’s holding you back?
o Would you like to enhance your leadership team’s ability to motivate others to reach key organizational goals?

If so, call in a pro… The Podium Pro.

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Special Note to Event Planners: My customizable “Harness Your HabitForce” keynotes are perfect for opening or closing events that challenge participants to adopt new ideas and ways of thinking designed to advance organizational and personal goals. These powerful presentations arm participants against “snapping back” to disempowering habits, mindsets, and behavior patterns.

Embrace Your Promise Power

  • Turn Important Goals into Heartfelt Promises

Welcome to the New Frontier in personal change and empowerment. I believe the power of a promise holds the key to making positive changes in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives -- and making a positive difference in the world, one person and one promise at a time. And yet, self-help authors and success coaches have largely neglected this potent force for positive change.

With my forthcoming book (Embrace Your Promise Power) and Promise Power programs, I hope to share the power of making a promise to millions of people around the world. My book includes an extensive foreword by Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. Jack reveals the promise he made at the age of 27. This transformative promise changed the course of his life, thereby enriching the lives of millions of people around the world.

In his foreword, Canfield writes: “Contributing the foreword to this book and being associated with Matthew’s inspiring ‘Make a Promise’ project are totally aligned with my life’s purpose.”

Fortunately for all of us, the power of a promise is not the exclusive province of personal development authors and self-help gurus. It’s something we all possess. Author and political philosopher Hannah Arendt observed that “Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future.”

My Promise Power programs combine research and practical advice with inspiring stories about people who have made and kept life-changing promises. I share stories about real promises made by real people, among them such luminaries as President Joe Biden, Jack Canfield, Oprah Winfrey, John Assaraf, and Tony Robbins, along with “ordinary” people whose promises have led them to do extraordinary things. These stories capture the unique potency of the word "promise" itself.

Here’s the bottom line: A promise is like a goal on steroids. Which leads to my GPS Success Formula:


This formula is key for getting on track and staying on track. Why? Because goals tend to be more cerebral, more brain-centric compared with making a heart-centered promise. A promise comes from the heart. With a promise you are emotionally engaged in fulfilling the promise. Even the way we talk about goals differs from how we talk about promises. You can change a goal, but you can only break a promise. And most people are loath to break their promises. 

Key Take-Aways. How will my Promise Power programs benefit you and your team or organization? Here are three key questions for your consideration:

o Do you want to be inspired by stories about life-changing promises made and promises kept by real people?
o Would you like to make a positive difference in the world, one person and one promise at a time?
o Do you want to help your team tap into the amazing power of turning important goals into heartfelt promises, a shift that will open the door to personal empowerment, goal achievement, and integrity enhancement throughout the organization?

If so, call in a pro… The Podium Pro.

Goals into Promises = Success. GPS.

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Jim Wright, Former Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives

Bravo! Matthew deserves a prolonged standing ovation for [his book]. The insights he shares are original, incisive, creative, and refreshing. My message to all speakers about this book can be summed up in three words: Read, heed, and succeed!”

Granville Toogood

Author, The Articulate Executive

“Whatever your level of experience as a speaker – whether you suffer from severe stage fright or simply want to improve your level of connection and rapport with the audience -- The Joy of Public Speaking can make a very big difference… As a speech coach and executive speechwriter, Matthew is as good as they come. He has been a senior-level speechwriter and coach in both the political and corporate worlds. He knows what he’s talking about.”

David Gelinas

Director of Administrative Operations
National Legal Systems

“Thank you very much for conducting your HabitForce and PodiumPower workshops at our annual conference. You were a big hit! Both presentations were extremely entertaining, informative, and inspiring. You provided so many practical ideas for success... on and off the podium. We were talking about your information for days after the event. I would highly recommend you as a guest speaker to any organization that wants to avoid FAILURE Traps and get on the SUCCESS Track.”

Diane Miller
Vice President Education
Swiss Toast Corporate Toastmasters Club

“Thank you for speaking to our corporate Toastmasters club… We very much enjoyed your entertaining presentation, and several members of the Club have also benefited from reading your excellent and insightful book. I am taking the liberty of recommending you very highly as a guest speaker for other Toastmasters clubs in the area. Many thanks again for being a guest speaker and sharing your keen public speaking insights with our club.”

Oana Lungescu
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

“During his tenure at NATO, Matthew has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a speechwriter. An experienced, effective and enthusiastic public speaker, Matthew has volunteered to give briefings to groups of visitors to NATO Headquarters about NATO's political agenda, thereby contributing directly to the broad public diplomacy mission of our Division. In addition, he has conducted a series of his popular PodiumPower! public speaking workshops for members of NATO's International Staff.”

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Speaker / Workshops / Speech Coach

US Mobile: +1 (440) 597-9018

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