The Center for Speech & Debate hosted a panel “Unlocking Career Success Through Speech Skills” on Thursday, November 2. The three panelists, all UW and Center for Speech & Debate alumni, discussed how public speaking had helped them develop their careers as communications professionals. They shared specific tips on careers in comms and addressed audience questions.



Mikayla Hall is a content editor for the non-profit, Foundation for Government Accountability, where she prepares opinion pieces and edits original content. She was previously the Director of Communications for Congressman Bob Latta and Content editor and speechwriter for Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Eastern Washington.


Maddy Epstein is a Senior Communications Manager at Microsoft. Prior to that, she worked for years as a Communications Account Director at the PR firm, WE Communications. Maddy has drafted executive speeches, helped manage Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability Communications Agency Team, and launched a Corporate Responsibility Campaign for AT&T’s CEO. She also helped lead communications for Capitol Hill Block Party.


Elizabeth Woolf works for the business consulting service, Slalom, where she has served as a keynote speaker for their events. At Slalom, she consults in the Healthcare and Life Sciences industry. Recently, she started her own communication consultancy firm, Communication Code, focusing on software engineering managers. Elizabeth is also a Make-A-Wish Ambassador, delivering speeches across Washington.