About Deborah

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Short bio

Deborah Grayson Riegel is a keynote speaker and consultant who teaches leadership communication for Wharton Business School and Columbia Business School. She is a regular contributor for Harvard Business Review, Inc., Psychology Today, Forbes, and Fast Company. The author of “Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life,” she consults and speaks for clients including Amazon, BlackRock, KraftHeinz, and The United States Army. Her work has been featured in worldwide media, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Oprah Magazine,and The New York Times.

Long bio

As a competitive public speaker in high school (yes, that’s a real thing), I never would have imagined that my extracurricular activity would launch my career. Fast forward – and I have been teaching and coaching on communication and presentation skills for over three decades, across industries and around the world, including Fortune 50 companies, small but mighty start-ups, mission-driven nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and Ivy League academic institutions.

I’m an instructor of Management Communication at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, and I partner with both Columbia Business School and Duke Corporate Education as a speaker and coach for their custom leadership development programs. I also serve as a Visiting Professor of Executive Communications at the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, China, where I prepare senior leaders from around the world to communicate more effectively in a growing global marketplace.

As a regular columnist on leadership and communication for Harvard Business Review,Inc. and Psychology Today, I focus on sharing practical, research-based approaches to common workplace challenges, ranging from how to handle a presentation to a difficult boss to how to absorb challenging feedback without being defensive or dramatic. I have also been a featured expert and a contributor The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Forbes, Fast Company, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fox Business Network, and American Express OPEN Small Business Forum.

I’m the author of several books, including “Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life”, “Oy Vey! Isn’t a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success”“Money Talks: 100 Strategies to Master Tricky Conversations About Money” and “Tips of the Tongue: The Nonnative English Speaker’s Guide to Mastering Public Speaking.” I am also a contributing author to the Harvard Business Review Emotional Intelligence book series.

I hold a BA in Psychology from University of Michigan, and an MSW from Columbia University. I’m a graduate of Coach U and Coaches Training Institute, and a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation.

I combine my background in cognitive and social psychology, leadership coaching, presentation skills, appreciative inquiry, and, perhaps most importantly, improvisational and stand-up comedy, to help leaders and teams think on their feet and make thoughtful decisions about their impact. I believe that the most successful leaders are those who balance professional credibility with personal authenticity, combining their deep expertise with transparency about where they need to grow.