Dr. Laura Hills

Dr. Elizabeth HIlls
Speaker/Trainer, Author, Coach

Dr. Laura Hills has accomplished many things over a distinguished 30+-year career but defines herself first and foremost as an educator. Her passion is to teach others how to communicate more effectively and to build better relationships. Dr. Hills has educated thousands of students and career professionals through face-to-face instruction, workshops, one-on-one coaching, keynote addresses, and her six popular books and hundreds of published articles. Notably, she has been the staff development columnist for The Journal of Medical Practice Management since 1998. Her teaching and writing topics include communication, relationship building, leadership, emotional intelligence, management, marketing, staff development, team building, work/life balance, legacy thinking, and professionalism. 

Dr. Hills has significant teaching and educational leadership experience as a former college professor and academic administrator at Virginia International University. She holds a Doctor of Arts in Higher Education from George Mason University where she focused on leadership studies. Today, Dr. Hills is the president of Blue Pencil Institute (www.bluepencilinstitute.com), a firm in Fairfax Virginia that provides personal and professional development for students and career professionals. She is committed to community service and has been the Friday morning pianist and music specialist at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities since January of 2001. She is an active Rotarian and served as the 2012-2013 president of the Rotary Club of Fairfax, Virginia. And she is currently the chair of the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts. Dr. Hills lives in Fairfax, Virginia, is married to Cornell Hills, and is the mother of three adult daughters. She lived in State College from 1983 – 1989.

The Charmed Life: Don’t Wait for Opportunity – Create It!

Did you know that Charlize Theron’s big break in show business came when an agent discovered her in a bank? Or that Dr. Spencer Silver tried to make a super-strong adhesive and accidentally created a low-tack, pressure-sensitive adhesive, thereby inventing Post-It Notes? Or that Cinderella would have swept up ashes for the rest of her life if not for a magical visit from her fairy godmother? What do these three have in common? They led charmed lives. And in reality, there are people like them – charmed -- who have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Opportunities fall out of the sky for them and land at their feet. Good things happen to them without their trying, even sometimes by accident. But what can you do if your life isn’t quite so charming? Well, you can continue to wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Maybe, someday your prince will actually come. Or instead, you can fling the door wide open and create your own charm.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Laura Hills, has been creating charm in her career and in her life for more than 30 years. Now, she inspires countless others to do the same, both through her example and through her teaching, writing, and coaching. Come hear Dr. Hills’ charmed life story and learn her formula for dreaming big and getting to do what will make you happy -- even when there’s no fairy godmother in sight.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Create their own personal definitions of a “charmed” life.
  • Identify new opportunities that will make their lives more charming.
  • Feel encouraged and inspired to take action.


Shaping How the World Sees, Hears, and Experiences Us

Your success as an entrepreneurial woman depends upon your talents and hard work, but also upon your proficiency in a variety of personal skills. In fact, every business person, woman or man, must be especially mindful to be perceived as confident, trustworthy, and credible. But even now, women may have to work a little harder to be taken seriously and to win business. Unfortunately, many behave in ways that undermine the very thing they’re trying to do. They’re usually not aware of these behaviors. Yet, their gestures, posture, facial expressions, use of space, voice tone, speech comprehensibility, dress, manners, and the overall impression they make can undercut their authority and call into question their capability and sincerity.

This program explores and demonstrates the top nonverbal mistakes that women in business commonly make. It teaches participants how to speak, behave, and present themselves so they will be trusted and taken seriously. And it coaches entrepreneurial women on how to develop a strong presence without coming on too strong. Participants will be guided through a series of physical and vocal exercises and also explore their own professionalism and appearance. This program will be helpful to any entrepreneurial woman who wishes to be taken seriously and to command the respect of others.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Alter their speech so others understand them and take their ideas seriously.
  • Avoid typically female non-verbal behaviors, especially during times of stress.
  • Behave in ways that convey strength, credibility, and likeability.