Talks That Inspire

As a speaker, I’ve addressed groups of all sizes on topics from literacy and literature to leadership and purpose. But whether I’m speaking to 20 or 2,000, my goal is the same. To engage my audience with information and strategies that will impact their lives—and equip them to impact the world. See my current speaking topics below, or fill out the booking form to discuss a custom presentation.

Download Maya's speaking topics

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Literacy

If we are to attain the consciousness, solidarity, and equity our society so desperately needs, we must be informed and deliberate in raising a nation of readers. From big-picture research to everyday tips, I share how parents, teachers, and community members can nurture literacy.

How to Give Your Child a Smart Start
FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS

How to Engage Parents in Student Success from Day One
FOR TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, SCHOOL LIBRARIANS, AND PARENT EDUCATORS

Why America’s Reading Crisis Is Your Problem and What to Do About It
FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

Leading with Purpose

I also speak to diverse audiences about leadership, success, and giving back.

What’s Your Story: How to Leverage Storytelling in Leadership
FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

Do Your Habits Match Your Expectations: How to Dream Big and Start Small
FOR LEADERS AND COLLEGE STUDENTS

The Power of One: Strategic Philanthropy and Service for Women
FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

Game Changers: How Women Build the Courage to Lead
FOR PARENTS, BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS, AND COLLEGE STUDENTS

Book Maya for your next event

Are you ready to make an impact in your community? Let’s get started!

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We featured Maya and her book, Reading for Our Lives, in a live webinar for parent educators, librarians, speech therapists, and home visitors. She shared wonderful insights that were really tailored to their interests and needs, and it was so amazing to watch the audience come along with real-time realizations in the chat. I loved, loved, loved watching them connect the dots between language and literacy and being so engaged and excited by the information! She was prepared and present. I would highly recommend Maya for presentations to parents and the professionals who support them.
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Mindy Ricketts, Head of Marketing and Content, LENA Foundation

We invited Maya to speak at our first post-pandemic live event and she delivered an excellent, customized message that resonated with our audience and won a standing ovation. I love how she researched our mission, history, and impact and weaved familiar United Way quotes, themes, and ideas into her presentation. Plus, she’s a pleasure to work with behind the scenes and inspires with her work and her words.
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Dan Herda, Director of Communications at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Maya Payne Smart offers a living example of how to make books and stories a joyful part of children’s lives as well as a vehicle to lift communities. Whether through her engaging blog series, her community leadership roles, or as an author, she has a track record of using practical ideas to inspire people and connect them.
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Meg Medina, Newbery Medal-winning author of Merci Suarez Changes Gears