Communicate with Mastery provides leaders at all levels of experience and confidence the tools they need to improve their speaking and writing.Nancy DuarteCEO, Duarte Inc.
Author, Slide:ology, Resonate, and Illuminate

Speak with conviction and write for impact

Communicate with Mastery gives readers a rich treasure trove of frameworks and tools for leadership communication as developed and taught over the past decade at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Designed for the business leader on the go, it provides you quick access to helpful approaches to vexing communication problems leaders face today in speaking and writing to various audiences.

Every time you write or speak, you need to make your words count. This book shows you how.

Mastery Resources

Learn how to get the results you desire as a leader and communicator including

  • Speak with conviction and write for impact
  • Tailor your communication to any goal, setting, or audience
  • Scale your leadership through effective coaching
For years I've watched the courses and programs JD Schramm has created at Stanford wishing his work could be made available to a wider audience, now it has. Communicate with Mastery provides leaders at all levels of experience and confidence the tools they need to improve their speaking and writing. It's a welcome addition to the field.Nancy DuarteCEO, Duarte Inc.
Author, Slide:ology, Resonate, and Illuminate
Storytelling has been the secret ingredient to the success in my career. This book distills all JD shared with me when I was his student at Stanford, in a powerful, approachable instruction manual.Kylan LundeenChief Marketing Officer, Qualtrics
My clients and students often ask me: what's the difference between a confident leader and an arrogant leader? My answer: confident leaders share. Communicating with Mastery embraces sharing as fundamental to any leaders' effectiveness, and every page embodies that approach: Communicating with Mastery overflows with strategies; some of these strategies are brand new, others are time-tested, but every word of this book is fresh for the world that awaits us, a world that serves as the crucible through which existing and evolving leaders will test their mettle. Leaders of all kinds — early, evolving, and established — will benefit from this book.Tim FloodManaging Director, Management Communication Association
Associate Professor, UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business
A straightforward and approachable guide for anyone seeking to improve his or her communication skills. JD has both the expertise and perhaps more critically, the emotional understanding required to personally connect with any current or future leaders reading this book.Mike LewisAuthor, When To Jump: If The Job You Have Isn't The Life You Want
Many authors encourage leaders to be authentic communicators, but JD Schramm goes further and provides frameworks and actions to bring about authentic communication. I've relied on many of his techniques in my own presentations and am pleased that he has now captured it all in one place so others can benefit from his insights too.Erin UritusCEO, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
In his engaging and relatable style, JD synthesizes the most powerful/relevant ideas in communication and coaching. Communicate with Mastery gives leaders the tools to develop an authentic style and powerful presence. Mastery of communication is an ongoing process, and JD provides the Motivation and strategies for lifelong improvements that you will use every date.Molly EpsteinProfessor in the Practice of Organization and Management
Goizueta Business School at Emory University

The authors


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A passionate coach and gifted communicator in his own right, JD Schramm treasures the opportunity to bring out the best in those he teaches, advises, or inspires through this speaking, coaching, and teaching. Thousands of students at Stanford, Columbia, NYU, USC, and UC-Davis have benefitted from his hallmark style of teaching and rigorous feedback to help them speak with conviction and write for impact.

Beyond the classroom JD works with individuals, teams, and entire organizations to communicate with greater Mastery. A sought-out speaker and trainer, he’s worked with firms and groups including the Aspen Institute, Qualtrics, YPO, Breakline, Jane Street Financial, GenenTech, Ciena, AQR Capital, Adams Street Partners, Schmidt Science Fellows, NASA, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and Google. JD invests the same commitment to helping a client prepare for Davos or TED that he does to secure their next round of funding or win a pitch competition.

JD Schramm has spoken at TED and TEDx events and has coached scores of others to do the same. His proteges have spoken at Davos, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and even before congressional hearings. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Huffington Post, and Harvard Business Review.

AN active member of the LGBTQ community, JD’s particularly focused his energy on inclusion efforts within higher education and communities of faith. He’s an advocate for suicide prevention, foster care services, and HIV/AIDS research. Schramm holds his Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and his BFA in theater from Emporia State University in Kansas. He and his husband, Rev. Ken Daigle, make their home in San Francisco raising three very active children.


An executive communication and leadership coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She began her coaching career at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an early member of the Mastery in Communication Initiative and spent nearly a decade in a variety of coaching roles, including the LOWKeynotes and India Innovation Growth programs. Since then, Kara’s coaching and trainings have offered thousands of leaders the tools to speak more confidently off the cuff; to become faster and better writers, more competent storytellers, and more empathetic and efficient problem-solvers; and to develop executive presence that feels authentic to them. Her collaborations in Silicon Valley range from household names like Facebook and Salesforce to unique startups just beginning to craft their company cultures.

Kara holds an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University and lives in San Francisco with her daughter.

To be a leader with influence in today’s world, you’ll need to share your ideas clearly, powerfully, and memorably.

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