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Samara  Bay

Samara Bay

Best-Selling Author, Permission to Speak, Sought-After Speech Coach & Thought Leader

Samara Bay

Best-Selling Author, Permission to Speak, Sought-After Speech Coach & Thought Leader


“The world needs diverse voices speaking up and getting heard. The times demand it.” – Samara Bay

Samara Bay is a sought-after thought leader and speech coach on a mission to change how power sounds. Her clients include C-suite execs and public figures, moms returning to work, students who want to make a difference, healthcare providers, diplomats, academics and celebrities. Behind the scenes, she helps leaders and rising leaders on the cusp of something big—who need to speak with confidence and joy in a voice they recognize as their own to truly make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

Samara stands for a new sound of power— because what it has traditionally sounded like isn’t working for us. And fortunately, it doesn’t have to. In her keynotes and workshops, Samara offers wildly practical tips, moving and inspiring tales and a massive dollop of permission to find your power, out loud. The goal: a voice that's specific not generic, brave not safe, joyful not self-serious, varied not squeezed into one boring note and diverse in all the ways. So, you move the room and get what you want—the gig, the raise, the respect and “the yes.” The future that is calling to you. A timely talk that meets the crises of this moment with joy, science-based strategy and contagious courage.

In her debut book Permission to Speak (Crown, Penguin Random House), which is available in 15 countries, Samara also shares her tried-and-true tools, engaging stories and this provocation: When we change what power sounds like, we change who has it. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s Know Your Value, the Tamron Hall Show, Netflix is a Joke, Slate and Jezebel. She also hosted the popular Permission to Speak podcast.

Samara has partnered with Moveon.org, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University and Microsoft and runs workshops for corporations, women’s organizations, foundations, universities and high schools. In Hollywood, she’s been hired by everyone from Marvel to Netflix to help movie stars integrate good acting with good accents. TV and film clients include Gal Gadot, Pierce Brosnan, Penélope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Rachel McAdams, Terry Crews, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ruth Negga and Rosie O'Donnell.

She has a B.A. in English from Princeton and an M.F.A. in acting from Brown. She received media training from Al Gore’s climate team, improv training from UCB and speech training from world-renowned teachers at Juilliard, the Royal Shakespeare Company, ACT, the Public Theater and Yale. She sits on the advisory boards of Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!), DemocraShe and the world’s first community-led accent app, Spikizi. She lives on the east side of Los Angeles, with her husband, son and dog, Moxie.

Samara will help you use your voice and change what power sounds like—starting with you. She speaks on public speaking, from the very small scale (how to improve communication when there are power dynamics and bias at play) to the very large scale (a paradigm shift in how to approach pitches, presentations and leadership in public).

Speaker Videos

Redefining What Power Sounds Like



Strength and Warmth

Speaking from Vulnerability

Tone Bias

Permission to Speak

Speech Topics

Permission to Speak: Overcoming Voice Bias in the Workplace

Study after study has shown that companies that are truly diverse, equitable and inclusive are the ones that will win in the future. And yet, for many organizations that have successfully instituted anti-discrimination policies, voice bias is at play. And in most cases, their leaders don’t even recognize it’s happening. Voice bias is sneaky, and it’s no one’s fault. But the unfortunate results are problems with retention, productivity and sales, along with possible star employees who are not getting hired or promoted because of the way they sound or because they are not comfortable speaking up and sharing their most creative ideas. The good news is Samara Bay is here to help. In this presentation, she’ll offer you the tools you’ll need to overcome voice bias and show you how to give yourself and each member of your team “permission to speak,” which creates an inclusive culture where everyone is being heard.

In this presentation, you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize voice bias and how it affects you, your organization’s culture and your team.
  • Become an advocate for a new, diverse sound of power.
  • Speak with confidence in a voice you recognize as your own, and create an environment where others have the same opportunity.
  • Offer your team a new paradigm for speaking up and speaking in public for the greatest possible impact.

A New Way to Think About Speaking in Public

Everyone is a public speaker — not just the person speaking at a conference or a colleague giving a presentation at work. Our lives are made up of opportunities to use our voice to get what we want: pitching, communicating and telling stories. But for many of us, getting heard can be a tricky business — especially when the stakes are high or the occasion is momentous. But that’s about to change. In this talk based on her new book, Permission to Speak, Samara Bay gives you the tools to land your message.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Like your voice and show ALL the way up with your ideas and your heart.
  • Reclaim “public speaking” and know how to approach every opportunity to speak for the greatest possible impact and the greatest possible sense of well-being.
  • Strike the right balance of strength and warmth to land your message.
  • Get your voice, mind and spirit ready by learning preparation strategies that work.