I'm Theo Black.

I am a lecturer in Cornell University’s Performing & Media Arts department. As a classically trained actor and public speaking coach, I work with individuals and groups to enfranchise effective communication skills and build confidence to share your messages with the world.

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What I do.

I train people to find their authentic expressive voice using techniques learned over 20 years involved in the highest levels of speech and debate, and through professional acting, teaching, and coaching.

Professional speakers and actors use the same exercises I give my students to develop a mindset for success, bolster their vocal support, and achieve resonance and articulation. I also offer acting techniques that allow my students to identify their objectives, overcome obstacles, and convincingly perform. The speech and debate skills I teach help my students to create an architecture of ideas and persuasively frame their claims with convincing data and warrants.

Individual Coaching

One-on-one focused coaching to improve your persuasive mode, voice, and confidence in front an audience.

In-class Sessions

Public Speaking skills, interview techniques, and acting lessons for teams, classes, and groups.

Independent Workshops

Tailoring the performance skills practiced by professional actors to enfranchise your group's persuasive abilities.

Praise for my work.

Richard Uhlig, CEO, Quadrant Biosciences Inc.

As the CEO of an emerging life-sciences company, in-person communication skills are vitally important. Theo Black has done a great job at making me self-aware of my strengths and weaknesses and in coaching me to be a much more effective communicator. If you want to learn how to capture the attention of an audience or simply improve the effectiveness of your day-to-day interactions, I would recommend that you spend time with Theo Black.

Jenny C. Mann, Professor at Cornell University

As the Director of Placement for the Ph.D. program in English at Cornell University, I have been thrilled to bring in Theo Black to help our graduate students hone their self-presentation and public speaking skills. His workshop sessions are, quite simply, electrifying, and they have transformed our students’ sense of their bodies, voices, and general presence in an interview setting. Not only does he offer advice about settling the mind and containing nerves in advance of an interview or public speaking event, but he also shares a variety of exercises that the students can use on their own to become more effective communicators. If I could have him visit all my classes, I would. I can’t recommend him highly enough!

Ishion Hutchinson, Professor at Cornell University

Theo Black has the omnivorous intelligence to match his rich talent, an almost evangelical capacity to make every classroom encounter lively, leaving students inspired, and that rarer thing, changed. Black’s ability to effortlessly close the gap between the stage and the classroom yields a third space, the imagination, and there he is a masterful and an exacting communicator, and no less a true artist. I feel blessed watching the unfolding of his session.

Julia Montejo, National Qualifier & Novice co-champion, Cornell class of 2017

As a coach, Theo uses his extensive knowledge of acting and delivery skills to give us the founding tools for effective speaking. By listening to students and paying close attention to detail, he demonstrates dedication to students’ success and intellectual development. After only a year and a half of Theo’s coaching, my speaking and performing skills have improved immensely. I would recommend working with Theo to anyone interested in growing as a performer and communicator.

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