Exceptional Men

"Though I specialize in working with women, I make exceptions for exceptional men." (she said with a wink & a smile).

BartON Seaver, Savior of the Seas

Nan helped Barton Seaver ‘step onto a bigger stage’ when he was invited to speak at TED.

“TED was a rocket launch for me. I didn’t have a standard speech. I didn’t have a shtick. Nan taught me how to have the freedom to adapt to my audience, how to borrow their lexicon.

I am a far better speaker now than if she had helped me create a canned presentation.

Today I am represented by two major speaking bureaus. My speaker’s fees range from $10,000 to $25,000 per appearance, but what’s most important to me is I am bringing my passions to life.”

Barton is a National Geographic fellow, director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Harvard School of Public Health, a TED alumnus, an international speaker, and author.

Read more about Barton's work with Nan.

MICHAEL pollan, author

Bay area client Executive Speaking & Coaching program client Michael Pollan & Nan Crawford

Michael Pollan worked with Nan to prepare for his appearance onstage at the Bioneers Conference. She taught him techniques to connect both with the live audience of 3,000 at the venue and the 15,000 people tuned into the live broadcast.

Steve Hooper, Senior Director at Autodesk

Autodesk Sr. Director & Bay Area Executive Speaking & Coaching program client, Steve Hopper on stage in front of 10,000 attendees at Autodesk University 2016.

Autodesk Sr. Director & Bay Area Executive Speaking & Coaching program client, Steve Hopper on stage in front of 10,000 attendees at Autodesk University 2016.

Autodesk is a multibillion dollar company and world leader in 3D design. Their mission is to imagine, design and create a better world. At the annual Autodesk Conference in Las Vegas, Steve was preparing to step on stage in front of 10,000 colleagues and customers. His mission: to inspire his audience and reconnect with them the feeling of discovery that got them into the industry in the beginning. 

Nan was hired to help him prepare.

“I find that speaking to large audiences can be intimidating. I’ve done it a lot but still feel the nerves when I walk onstage. My topic was very technical, it could have overloaded the audience and I knew that. But Nan really worked with me to help bring my talk alive.

It was engaging, energetic, fun – it was the presentation I truly wanted to give.

Nan led me through structuring my presentation visually, she showed me how to pace the information, she helped me master the teleprompter. We were bringing a prototype race-car on stage – she and I worked on when to create that ‘reveal’ for best effect, how to build up excitement and engagement with the audience.

She taught me how to connect with individuals, not just a room of 10,000.

I knew the mechanics of presenting – Nan taught me the magic.”

Dr Andrew Weil Bioneers Conference

Coaching the exception Dr. Andrew Weil to prepare for his keynote at The Bioneers Conference in the Bay Area. Photograph by Jim Block


Bay area client Nan Crawford Executive Speaking & Coaching program client Ross Levy

Ross Levy had worked with Nan for some time when he called her from the car, ten minutes before an important client pitch meeting. She was able to keenly listen, quickly identify key issues and help form a compelling narrative.  Specifically, helping Ross articulate how his deep commitment to sustainable design was aligned with the fundamental values of the project, helped build a personal connection.

Ultimately, the presentation Nan coached Ross to give won his firm the commission for the multi-million dollar project.

"Nan is insightful and efficient.

It was an incredible pay-off for a 10 minute call. Truly the result of the amazing rapport she builds with her clients.

Nan’s skill in focusing the words that help clients tell their unique story in compelling ways, is unparalleled.

Now we are designing a project known as The Big Creek Reserve. It is one of 37 Biological Reserves that are administered by the UC.  The project brief included housing for research scientists, a reserve manager, guest workers, and a barn and classroom for field studies students.”

partner at A 'big five' consulting firm

Nan’s client is now a partner at one of the leading consulting firms in the US. A multi-national with $10+ billion in revenues, it has offices in more than 100 countries worldwide. 

Bay area client Nan Crawford Executive Speaking & Coaching program client from Big Five consulting company

“I was a principal in the firm. I knew my stuff inside-out but colleagues and mentors told me I needed to gain more presence and work on my communications skills. I wanted to be a trusted advisor, to have credibility with the senior and C-level clients. 

I wanted to make partner at my young age,” he adds with a smile.  Nan and I got to work and within 14 months I made partner. Making partner did not come from coaching alone, but Nan’s work with me was crucial to my success. With her tutelage I learned how to get to the essence of the message fasterAudience engagement became my forte. It really paid off with clients. It built their trust.

Nan worked on my posture and how I used my voice.  After her lessons I projected far greater confidence and my peers and senior managers noticed immediately. 

But I want to underline that she wasn’t just coaching me on speaking alone. We also worked on connecting and using my life stories to engage with clients. In my business we are often brought in to address problems. We regularly deliver harsh advice – restructuring, cut-backs, even lay-offs. I’m an analytical person, it’s my business after all. Nan led me to a place where I can deliver that information in a way that reflects my empathy. Something I hadn’t really thought about prior and is now invaluable to me. I find I bring even more empathy with my kids at home!

KIT HAlvorsen, entrepreneur & Co-founder, panafold



Kit Halvorsen rarely has time to come up for air. “I am busy working on our product and bootstrapping my company, I was bogged down in details. It was hard for me to take the 30,000-foot view.  Executive coaching was not top of my list of priorities until my co-founder encouraged me, pointing out how it would prepare me for the next phase of company growth.

Nan pushed me to look at how my leadership was impacting all we were doing, in particular from the perspectives of our team, potential clients, and investors. Nan was my first executive coaching experience and it was worth every penny – even and perhaps especially for a cash-strapped start-up.

Prior to our work together, our company had been evolving and we did not have a crisp explanation of what Panafold does. As a result I didn't always come across as focused and passionate as I really am. Nan is a keen listener and helped me articulate the core of our work. She helped me distill various ideas into concise, elegant statements which foreground the impact of our work.  

Now I state with confidence:

Panafold offers a software platform for architects and designers to grow their business, by collaborating with their clients to create effective decisions.  

And we have consistent positioning across our team. They no longer waffle on about who we are and what we do. They are clear about our direction and more confident in my leadership as a direct result.

In addition, we worked on how I communicate which brought a major shift and built my confidence. Previously, I continually undersold myself and my achievements. Now I am more confident, more articulate.  With the message refined and the delivery solid, we strengthened my ability to position the company with credibility. Nan helped me grow into my CEO role. It’s really affected my entire outlook.

When I think about the combination of coaching expertise and speaker skills, I am so thankful for having taken the initiative to engage her. Nan teaches you to understand your audience and shows you how to stand in your own power. In a word she is ‘awesome’. Nan is one of Panafold’s best investments."

Najib rehman, director information strategy& planning lead, pfizer


“Our team spent a truly eye opening and amazing 2 days with Nan and her team. To paraphrase Monty Python – please expect something completely different! It’s the first time I have seen anything like this approach in a corporate setting and I hope we get more of it for all companies in the future. Definitely a positive change presented in a refreshing and innovative style.


What Nan’s team was able to do was to tap in to the inner story teller that is coded in to all of us as a result of our evolution. With the use of innovative, creative and artistic techniques (that could be adapted for each individual), Nan and her team were able to share with us the human connection storytelling and deep listening can bring is as relevant and rewarding to today’s living as it was for us to ensure our survival as a species over 1000s of years of our collective history.  In all honestly it wasn’t long enough.”