Chaz's areas of focus are undergraduate success,
Her most popular workshops include “The Battle Within: Overcoming Self-Doubt & the Fear of Failure” . . . “Your Career Starts Now! Keys to Positioning Yourself for Professional Success" . . . "Succeeding in Corporate America: Challenges & Success Strategies for Women," and “More Like Michelle, Less Like Madea: Black Women and Professionalism.” As a keynote speaker, she is skilled in delivering empowering messages that encompass and bring home an event’s theme.
Most Popular Workshops
(click on the titles below for full descriptions)
Low self-esteem can be a greater barrier to one’s achievement than ageism, sexism and racism combined. In this interactive workshop, Chaz discusses the root causes of people’s low self-esteem, which often leads to self-doubt and the fear of failure. As she shares her humorous personal experiences, she helps participants consider ways in which their self-doubt has kept them from realizing their true potential. Participants are also given strategies to overcome self-doubt and the fear of failure to position themselves for both personal and career success.
More than 1.6 million people graduate with their bachelor’s degrees each year in America. In an environment that is more competitive than ever, what must undergraduates to do ensure they can actually compete? In this interactive session with short exercises, Chaz answers this question. She further keys students in on what they should be doing now to make themselves more marketable upon graduation, and provides strategies to position themselves for success after college and throughout their careers. Download the flyer to share!
Image really is everything, but too many recent graduates enter the workforce not looking or acting like the young professionals employers expect. In this amusing but serious session, Chaz discusses how important it is for undergrads and those starting out in their careers to ensure the image they are presenting is a positive one that deserves respect. She talks about the traits needed to succeed in a professional environment, as well as the ones that will prevent people from moving up in their careers.
In this session geared toward young Black women, Chaz discusses the importance of image and the role it plays in how they are perceived in professional environments. In her witty and tell-it-like-it-is manner, Chaz also breaks down the many stereotypes about Black women—using shocking video taken from movies, news stations and TV shows—as she provides insight on the traits needed to succeed in a professional environment and the ones that will prevent women from advancing in their careers. Through this powerful workshop, women are further encouraged to consider the current image they are projecting, and are given strategies on how to work on any problem areas so they can be more successful in their careers and lives. Check out a video with women talking about this dynamic presentation. Download the flyer to share!
Women have made significant gains in nearly all fields historically dominated by men, however, they still lag far behind their male counterparts in terms of the recognition, opportunities, and pay they are afforded. In this workshop, Chaz tackles the key challenges women face in corporate America and other male-dominated environments, and strategies to position oneself for success. Download the flyer to share!
The Only One in the Room: Challenges & Success Strategies for Diverse Students
All students face challenges as part of the college experience. From navigating a new environment and creating friendships, to balancing academics with a social life and work, college isn’t easy. Yet students from diverse backgrounds often face these challenges and more—including feelings of isolation and self-doubt as a result of being one of a few, if any, people of color in their classrooms. In this interactive presentation, Chaz Pitts-Kyser discusses the frustrations and challenges that come from being a “minority” on campus. Further, she gives solid advice on thriving both inside and outside the classroom to help students create a rewarding college experience. Her recommendations stem from her experiences as an undergraduate student and student leader at a large PWI, a journalism instructor at an HBCU, and as a writer and editor on diversity issues. Download the flyer to share!
The Only One in the Room: Challenges & Success Strategies for Minority Professionals
All recent graduates face challenges when making the transition from college to the professional workforce. However, there are unique problems that young Black professionals and those within other minority groups often encounter, particularly when working in predominantly White environments. In this interactive presentation, Chaz Pitts-Kyser discusses these challenges, as well as success strategies so that young professionals will have a better chance at success in their positions, and in the workforce in general. A short video featuring Black men and women talking about their experiences in predominantly White environments will be shown as part of the discussion. Download the flyer to share!
Chaz with students attending SUNY Plattsburgh after presenting her workshop "Your Career Starts Now:
Keys to Positioning Yourself for Professional Success," sponsored by the Career Center.
Chaz with high school students attending James Madison University's 2014 summer Female Institute
after presenting her workshop "The Battle Within: Overcoming Self-Doubt & the Fear of Failure." Survey comments included:
"She was inspirational and made me think in a positive way to better myself."
"It was an amazing workshop and I wish more girls could have heard the advice."
"I can live better with myself. Thank you!"
Workshop & Speech Testimonials
“Chaz spoke at our first ever Women’s Luncheon, where women from UHD were able to engage in candid, enlightening, and inspirational discussions on career success as young professional women. Chaz led an illuminating talk on gender inequality in the workplace, salary negotiations, strategies for success, and how to best support each other as women professionals. Our students enjoyed the luncheon, and they were thankful to join together in discussions that gave them courage and inspiration to continue on their paths toward professional success.”
—Margaret Mahoney, Career Counselor, University of Houston-Downtown
“Chaz knows her stuff. When it comes to helping young women grasp the essential tools they need to prepare for a quick launch into their careers, Chaz has clear, attainable, and practical advice, and she presents it all in an engaging and meaningful way.”
—Julia Overton-Healy, Career Center Director, SUNY Plattsburgh
“’Your Career Starts Now’ was as uplifting as it was informative. Offering practical advice and strategies for avoiding the pitfalls women often face in starting a career, Chaz urged us to live up to our potential and not settle for less than what we're worth. Her enthusiasm for empowering young women is clear, and her real-life examples of success stories gave me the encouragement I need as a college senior figuring out the next step!”
—Alison Lutz, SUNY Plattsburgh student
"Inspirational, relevant, empowering, and practical all describe Chaz and the knowledge she shared with students at Illinois State University’s 2015 Sister Circles: GPS to Professional Success. Chaz is an accomplished educator and a captivating speaker with a message we all need to hear and apply to our professional and personal lives. My students left the event challenged, encouraged, and motivated to be the change they wish to see in the world."
—Angela Davenport, Coordinator, Diversity Advocacy, Illinois State University
“Chaz Pitts-Kyser is the consummate professional and a dynamic presenter. In “Overcoming Self-doubt and the Fear of Failure,” Chaz captivated my students and was instrumental in the proactive change in many of their lives. Because of her honest, down-to-earth, interactive approach, the women were able to easily discern the information and begin an almost immediate application of the lessons learned in their lives. I recommend that Chaz continue to spread the word, because the positive aftermath is extremely infectious . . . and my students are proof of such.”
—AnDrea Watkins, Director of Student Services, DeVry University Houston Metro
“I can say unequivocally that ‘The Only One in the Room: Challenges and Success Strategies for Professionals of Color" was one of the best workshops that I have ever attended. Despite the somewhat sensitive nature of the workshop, Chaz employed her natural charm, authenticity, and subject matter expertise to engage workshop attendees and get them to openly share their personal experiences with workplace challenges and triumphs given race-based biases and discrimination. The end result was that everyone in the workshop had the opportunity to contribute and learn in a collaborative, supportive, and safe environment and the conversation continued long after the workshop concluded."
—Jonathan A. Green, MBA; CEO, Epiphany Management Consulting-3
“Chaz Pitts-Kyser really delivered in her keynote speech for Ball State University’s Work-Life Conference, hosted by the career center. She provided keen insight on 'what’s next after college,' inspiring students to excel and be the best they can be internally and professionally. Her invaluable statement, 'Excellence always begins today,' brought with it the drive to pursue success"
—Barnett Anton, Ball State University student
“Engaging, thoughtful and to the point . . . Mrs. Pitts-Kyser’s presentation was well received by faculty, staff and students. Her presentation to the staff and faculty on managing real life student challenges generated conversation and folks left with meaningful strategies to help our students to be successful in and out of the classroom. With care and compassion she also challenged our students to become engaged learners and worthy members of the community.”
—Narbeth R. Emmanuel, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
"Your interviewing tips and tricks made me look at getting through a tough job interview with mind boggling questions as a breeze. I cannot wait to learn more great career development tips and skills from you. Thanks for a great event."
—Deedra Mills, Morgan State MBA student, participant in "Make Them Want You: Secrets to a Successful Interview
“Chaz Pitts-Kyser delivered a message of goodwill and confidence for the room full of 200-plus students at TCC Southeast Campus for our annual Women’s History Month celebration. Pitts-Kyser challenged everyone in the room to attune themselves to their inner feelings, specifically asking what they feared held them back from attaining their dreams. Their responses were poignant and honest, as they connected with her message of encouragement to improve their self-esteem and to try to overcome their fears. Her method of audience participation was well received, as it made the students feel she was speaking specifically to each individual student. We can’t wait to have her come back to address a new ‘batch’ of students!”
—Nita Haliburton, Student Services Coordinator, Tarrant County College-SE
“I am very delighted to express my joy in meeting and hearing Chaz Kyser speak at Arizona State University for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Beta Pi Chapter’s RepRhosent Week. Chaz was the inspirational speaker that made this week magnificent. She delivered two excellent lectures on the tribulations that African-Americans students eagerly going out into the workforce face. The first workshop, “Working While Black: Issues and Challenges,” prepared both male and female minority students for the environment after college. She strategically armed us with a plan to defeat any barriers that we might face after college. The second workshop, 'Overcoming Self-doubt,' was my personal favorite of the two. The lecture is geared towards women and how we can overcome those fears that stop us from pursuing our goals. The room full of bright, beautiful, African-American young ladies was brought to tears and then closure as we all shared our deep fears about failure. I will never forget this moment. In those few hours I felt like I had bonded with all the women in the room and we all walked out of the lecture with a new sense of entitlement to our dreams. I felt like nothing could stop any of us in our endeavors. Chaz’s heartfelt stories about her ventures of growing into a strong African woman impacted all of us in a way that is indescribable. I thank Chaz for her kind words of inspiration and her motherly messages that instructed us to take life and make it what you dream it to be!"
—Ashlea Taylor, president, Beta Pi Chapter, Sigma Gammo Rho Sorority, Inc.
“As the keynote speaker for the Texas State University-San Marcos Multicultural Graduation Celebration, Chaz Pitts-Kyser provided students with an inspirational and motivating, yet realistic look at their academic accomplishments. She encouraged the multicultural graduates to not only be proud of reaching their goals, but allow this to be a starting point rather than an end. Pitts-Kyser challenged all graduates to explore ways in which they can give back to their alma mater as well as to their community and their families. As a former graduate of Texas State University, she also eloquently and humorously provided students with a direct example of success through her own accomplishments and encouraged students to explore their own innate potential. Pitts-Kyser was a very interesting and dynamic speaker and assisted in making the celebration very meaningful for faculty, staff, students and parents.”
—Stella Silva, Ph.D., Associate Director, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Texas State University
“Chaz Pitts-Kyser presented an excellent workshop titled “Presenting Your Ideas Effectively” to a group of college students in leadership positions. The students enjoyed her fun, engaging lecture style and the role playing they participated in. In general, Chaz is a dynamic presenter with a great sense of humor and ability to command and keep the attention of her audience. We look forward to having her back!”
—Felisha Battles, Student Development Services, Tarrant County College
“From the title I could tell immediately that 'Overcoming Self-Doubt & the Fear of Failure' was going to be a thought-provoking workshop. Chaz Pitts-Kyser’s presentation during this workshop exceeded my expectations and those of the high school youth I brought with me from San Antonio, Texas. Her insight was not only thought-provoking; it was action-provoking! Chaz shared episodes of her own life where she exhibited self-doubt and fear and overcame those hindrances. Her ability to be transparent in reference to her personal experiences was genius and fostered open and honest dialogue among the 40 or so students in the audience. She was so effective in her challenge to us to identify the underlying cause of our self-doubt and fear that one of my high school students decided to overcome her fears and apply for a scholarship pageant the very next day. Just a month ago this youth was so afraid to take a chance at competing in the pageant that she allowed herself to make excuses for why she shouldn’t follow her dreams. She vowed never to do that again. Now that’s what I call making an impact! Thank you Chaz!"
—Cindy N. Harris, Youth Mentorship Coordinator, New Creation Christian Fellowship
“Having Chaz Pitts-Kyser on campus was such a great choice. She is a strong presenter, and has a very comfortable style of engaging the students in their learning. I look forward to her return for future workshops."
—Rusty Fox, Vice President for Student Development Services, Tarrant County College-SE
“Pitts-Kyser did a nice job presenting insightful information on African Americans in the workforce. The audience was made aware from a short video that we still have a long way to go to make sure equality is present in the workforce. I really enjoyed the real-life examples and situations that she shared. I am excited to have her book in our career library as a resource to our students."
—Vinessa Mundorrf, Employment Specialist, Sam Houston State University
“Chaz Pitts-Kyser provided Southern Illinois University’s faculty, staff, and students with quantifiable information about African American college women that was enlightening and empowering to everyone involved. Her presentations identified and expounded upon the unique societal issues that these young women bring with them as they attend colleges and universities. Faculty and staff were educated and given tools and strategies that would encourage, engage and inspire these young women throughout their academic careers. Chaz Pitts-Kyser is very gifted in her ability to talk about what can be regarded as ‘sensitive issues’ in the higher education academy."
—Earleen Patterson, Student Opportunities Program, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
"Chaz Pitts-Kyser is an insightful and passionate speaker. Speaking through real life experiences and showing that success stories can happen no matter what the circumstances, Chaz creates a sense of hope and motivation for every woman in the room. Chaz is able to help women explore the root causes of fear and self-doubt by providing professional advice and practical steps to follow to accomplish one's goals. She also gives women the opportunity to share their own stories of success or struggles, and provides individualized advice depending on one's life situation. As a result of attending her workshop, women will feel a renewed sense of passion and determination to make an impact on this world."
—Brittney Henson, Graduate Assistant, Diversity Advocacy, Illinois State University