Maureen Zappala professional speaker.

“I’ve experienced the consequences of impostor syndrome firsthand.

When I was hired at NASA Lewis Research Center as a research engineer in the Propulsion Systems Lab, I thought, “They only hired me because they need more women.”

I wasn’t a straight-A student, so I didn’t think it was my transcript that opened the door. Terrified of failing, I worked harder than I thought possible. I believed if people saw my hard work, they wouldn’t notice I didn’t belong.

But with every promotion that same fear snuck in. “I don’t belong here. I’m not as smart as everyone thinks I am.”

Only years later did I discover that millions of people suffer this same, self-doubt-fueled fear. It’s called Impostor Syndrome and it is killing creativity and stifling opportunities for individuals and organizations everywhere.

If you enjoy a great story, you’ll love Maureen!

When she takes the platform, you’ll be captivated by her inspiring message woven with riveting stories, engaging humor, and challenging ideas. Audiences are encouraged and changed by her message. Organizations experience higher morale, greater commitment, and higher levels of engagement. You’ll see productivity going up as dissatisfaction is replaced by positive attitudes. People will want to change – for the better.

Maureen started with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and besides her time as a NASA rocket scientist, she’s had success in direct sales, fitness instruction, and motherhood. Now as a professional speaker, she challenges organizations to ‘push the envelope’ of their own expectations, to propel their teams to peak performance.

Her accomplishments, previous jobs and responsibilities include:

  • Managing NASA’s full scale altitude-simulation jet engine research test facility (Propulsion Systems Laboratory).
  • Speaker with Making It Count (a Monster Inc subsidiary), where she led in-school seminars for high school students to prepare them for a successful college experience.
  • Member of Toastmasters International since 1999, winner of over 40 speech contests.
  • In 2009, placed in the top 10 (of over 25,000 contestants) in Toastmaster International’s World Championship of Public Speaking.
professional speech bubble
"Maureen's presentations are always polished and relevant. She speaks with a sureness and eloquence which engages the audience's trust. Her story-telling skills and high-energy enthusiasm connect her message to the audience in such a way that people feel she's been talking to them personally."
Jeannine Murray

Work with Maureen

Impostor Syndrome Programs

Uncover your team’s untapped potential.

Courageous Communication Programs

Be equipped to be an amazing presenter

Books & Other Resources

Find resources to take a deeper dive into overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Want to become a public speaker?

“How did you become a speaker?” Maureen has heard this question many times over the years. Some are simply curious about her circuitous and unlikely path from engineer to speaker, while others dream of becoming speakers and want the ‘inside scoop’ on how to do it. If you’d like a behind-the-scenes look at how Maureen become a professional speaker (and how you can too), click “Read the Story.”