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Marisa  Santoro

Marisa Santoro

Former Wall Street IT Executive & Founder of In Our Shoes

Marisa Santoro

Former Wall Street IT Executive & Founder of In Our Shoes


Marisa Santoro, a former Wall Street IT executive and the founder of the career learning platform In Our Shoes, is a career coach, corporate leadership trainer, diversity and inclusion consultant, and author of Own Your Authority (McGraw Hill).

Her expertise in leadership and professional development, as well as effective business communication, has been brought in to support business leaders across clients in diverse industries such as Merck, American Express, UBS, Anheuser-Busch, Allianz Global Investors, Sony Music, S&P Global, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), New York Council of Nonprofits, Women in Tech International (WITI), Aetna Healthcare, New York University (NYU), NYU Langone Medical Center, New York and New Jersey city governments and many more.

She is a TEDx speaker, and honoree of the Woman of Influence award from New York Business Journal and BizWomen.com for her years of mentoring and coaching midcareer leaders, executives, healthcare professionals, and sales leaders to achieve higher levels of influence.

She also writes a career column for American City Business Journals, covering their how-to career and business strategy sections, with articles published across 44 cities in the United States. Her TED talk, “Speaking Without Apology,” guides on how to detach from language that feeds into the “Sorry Syndrome” and make subtle tweaks in your speech to springboard you from diluting your value to spotlighting your assets immediately.

She guides professionals how to reclaim their confidence, tap into their instincts and embrace their inner dialogue using proven tactical tools, and strategies in proven step-by-step career leadership programs coaching on ways to authentically build trust as leaders and advance in their careers.

She delivers seminars, workshops, webinars, coaching, microlearning “just in time” modules, and self-paced multimedia courses to fit your organization’s training needs. Her work has been integrated to launch Women’s Leadership Initiatives, Leadership Academies, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, New Hire Programs and used in learning and development programs across government agencies, nonprofits, and organizations in the financial services, health care, real estate, education, and wine sectors.
Prior to any coaching or training program, she delivers a pre-assessment clarity questionnaire to every participant in order to assess where they are struggling in their career, what the pain points are and where they would like to be in their career, in 3, 6, 12 months’ time – their breakthrough career goals.

In the world of leadership development, there’s no shortage of advice on what to do to drive career success—but very little is said about who to be and listening to your intuition. While leadership skills are important, self-trust is the foundation that great leadership is built upon—and developing it is a deeply personal process. In Own Your Authority, career leadership expert Marisa Santoro provides the knowledge, tools, and insights you need to understand and embrace your authentic personality and trust your intuition.

“This is the heart of increasing confidence in any area,” she writes, “taking on risk in small increments, stepping into new territory, facing fears, learning, failing, growing, and circling back to take on more risk that will stretch but not freeze you.”

Great leaders communicate clearly, speak up when it matters most, and thrive on taking on measured risks. Through self-awareness, they embrace acts of discomfort every day—all in the name of learning, growing, and achieving higher levels of influence and leadership.

And it all comes with self-trust and confidence.

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Speaking Without Apology

Speech Topics

Find Your Voice: Speaking Without Apology

You struggle with owning your authority, dealing with difficult colleagues, managing expectations and communicating powerfully in your key business relationships: clients, patients, peers, managers, co-workers, team, prospects or partnerships. You find it difficult to lead and project as the confident expert you are. After completing this course, you will learn to own your expertise and lead in a new unique and authentic way, showing up powerfully in any conversation. You are no longer reacting, chiming in and contributing to a conversation, but driving it by leading with your expertise and building those know, like and trust relationships which will serve you for a lifetime inside your organization.

Discover how your dialogue and internal self-talk impacts how you are perceived today and is affecting your confidence levels. Learn to recognize ways in which you can detach from language which feeds into the “Sorry Syndrome” – apologetic words that imply inadequacy rather than exemplifying strength. Learn how subtle tweaks in your speech can springboard you from diluting your value to spotlighting your assets. Receive guidance on how to speak with confidence, intention and clarity, positively influencing how others respond to you. In this unique leadership course, you will master your mindset on how you see yourself first and upgrade your communication style immediately.

Own Your Authority. Advance Your Career & Impact

You have a wealth of experience and knowledge in your field yet find yourself struggling with bundling all of your experience to leverage what you know, demonstrating your value to others. You recognize the growth you have made and are ready to confidently advance from a “daily doing” mentality in the details and position yourself as an impactful leader communicating vision as a change agent in the business community. In this course, you will learn to advance towards a leadership role with your research and ideas powerfully presented to, appreciated and respected amongst your peers.

Package what you know, leveraging all of your value which you bring to your clients, management, and peers as a leader. Master how to effectively walk others through your thought process and recommended approach, pitching your ideas with confidence relying on your practical experience and lessons learned in your field. You will learn to let go and communicate your vision to get buy-in, step back, be flexible and trust when others disagree. You will look beyond the trees and trust that all of your years of experience has led up to where you are right now. You will self-qualify yourself to show off your best practices into a leadership role where you are not only looked upon for your short-term solutions but for your vision, ideas, how you think and consistently make an impact with an influential voice.

From Staff to Supervisor: Own Your Authority During Transition

You have recently stepped into a first-line management or supervisor role and are ready to learn, transition, and advance into management. You have had a wealth of on-the-ground experience and knowledge in your field and naturally require making a mindset shift around your new status and responsibilities. You recognize the growth you have made up until now and are ready to confidently advance from a “daily doing” mentality in the details to step back as a solution-oriented leader adopting new habits positioning yourself as a manager of others effectively – your new team while managing expectations of your senior management. You are seeking to delegate, avoid micromanaging and teach your staff so that they can excel at their responsibilities. You want to learn how to prioritize projects, understand what’s expected of you and measure success. You are excited to roll up your sleeves, take on and drive new broader business needs and hit the ground running with your authentic style to make an impact.

Set yourself up for success by unpacking your new role, understanding key project milestones for short and long-term planning, becoming comfortable with your direct reports and recognizing where you bridge the gap to meet expectations. Master how to "plan the work" and "work the plan" every time, leverage what you know and your unique soft skills while navigating the organization with management and peers. You will learn how to effectively walk others through your thought process and recommended approach, communicating high-level objectives with confidence, relying on your experience and lessons learned in your field, irrespective of whether you are as well-versed in the details as your team. Learn to let go and communicate with clarity, motivate your staff, get buy-in, step back, be flexible and trust when others disagree. Develop a clear set of criteria for making decisions, connecting with your direct reports on the WHY so they can commit to the WHAT - fulfilling business goals with meaning. Work a new muscle that looks beyond the trees and trust that your experience has led up to where you are right now. Learn to delegate effectively while protecting your time to meet deadlines and look ahead to clarifying what this role looks like under your supervision in one year’s time. Self-qualify yourself to show off your best practices in this new role, balancing the supervision of day-to-day execution with a communication style that highlights your personal brand.

Own Your Unique Value & Leadership Assets

You struggle with “selling yourself” authentically and your story, tending to fall short in recognizing your professional strengths and influential soft skills. Although confident in your experience, you recognize gaining buy-in is difficult and tend to fall short when communicating your ideas and recommendations effectively with peers, management, and your team. In this course, you will gain clarity on what you bring to the table as a leader. Before you can talk the talk and share your knowledge, whether it be in a small meeting room or speaking in a larger venue, you will step back and recognize for yourself what you have accomplished given your track record and what it is that you DO brilliantly which attracts others to enjoy working with you, recognizing your professional expertise.

Gain clarity on your career portfolio and track record so you can 'sell' your results and best work product. Be comfortably confident in all of your communication, rooted in what you know given your unique personality and experience which you may not be owning right now. This course lays the foundation for showcasing your personal brand and value as a professional expert who delivers on specific recognizable results, thereby attracting others to you, where you are being yourself, instead of feeling like you are selling yourself. Own your value, then showcase it. You will cover ways in which you will be comfortably confident being your own publicist because you will have stepped back and looked at all the achievements you have under your belt which you may not be seeing right now. You will focus on your key influential soft skills, and recognize your strengths which easily get swept under the rug, yet are the driver for people to keep you in mind for new opportunities and how you can grow in leadership and impact. Deep dive into your 'Why' and core values, clear on your purpose so you can trust your decisions and better translate your plan of action to others.

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

You want to achieve breakthrough success through the goals you have set for your career and/or team and attract greater opportunity into your life. You want to enjoy more vibrant relationships, have more free time, be more productive and realize a more fulfilling life. You want to learn how to stay focused on your goals when everyday stresses at work and home take away your best time and energy. You want to leverage your “know, like and trust” relationships and prepare for opportunities that would skyrocket you. You want to have fun and fulfillment in virtually everything you do. You want to replace suppression with joy. You want to learn new skills easier. You want to win back business partners. You want to delegate the work activities that rob you of time. You want to get your staff working better as a team, become more productive.

Live life by design, not default. In this course, you will learn a proven system to achieve anything you want. Get the tools and teaching you need to boost your company’s income, dramatically increase your free time, improve your relationships, create more balance and joy in your life and experience a new level of happiness. You will learn the tools to increase your confidence, tackle daily challenges, live with passion and purpose, and realize all your ambitions. This step-by-step live course spells out timeless principles and practices used by the world’s most successful men and women—proven principles and strategies that can be adapted for your own life, whether you want to be the best salesperson in your company, become a leading architect, score top grades in school, lose weight, buy your dream home or just get back into the job market. Based on The Success Principles® curriculum – this course has helped thousands of people achieve success in their life. This is a system designed to teach you the proven, step-by-step success strategies for designing and creating the life you want both professionally and personally.