Dara was a timid wallflower who was tired of getting talked over at corporate meetings or feeling ignored when she spoke publicly. She developed a program to ensure her voice was not only heard, but that her message was memorable– whether speaking to 1 or a 1,001.
Today as a TEDx speaker, author, and corporate trainer, Dara works with individuals to be more impactful when speaking in front of an audience.
Her signature talk “STAGE” teaches you to speak on stage confidently without notes, slides, or stress.
Dara is known for her interactive, fun, and motivational presentations that are customized to every audience.
In her words...
I love the work I do to help you find your authentic voice and power...
For most of my life, I felt frustrated to constantly be talked over in social settings and passed over for promotions. I realized the difference was learning how to exude confidence and speak for impact– to be seen and heard every time.
In 2004, I started leading women's classes out of my garage in Berkeley CA...
At the time, I was frustrated that the black belt I had earned as a young adult left me unprepared to exude confidence in everyday situations. There were countless times others spoke over me in meetings, when fear held me back from using my voice, and when I felt invisible for not speaking up.
Little did I know I had started a movement...
The program I had developed (called Kurukula™), was a positive combination of teaching women to exude ultimate body confidence with useful skills to thrive in our modern world. Want to learn how to speak so others listen, diffuse sexism in the workplace or have confidence at meetings? I had a plan and was on a mission!
Quickly my program gained momentum. There were endorsements from organizations, police, therapists, doctors, and industry experts flooding in for the work I was doing. The need for empowering others with practical confidence was bigger than I anticipated. I knew I had found my true calling.
Today, I work with individuals with my speaking, trainings, & private coaching...
My mission is to show you how to speak up with confidence, and be more impactful and influential when speaking in front of an audience. I have often wondered if I had never discovered my voice who would I be today? How many others feel the same way that I did– going unheard day after day? If this is you, I am here to support and guide you through your transformation. If I can find my voice and speak with impact, you can too! There is no other cause that is more important to me.
PS: Did you hear my story of how I wrote Flip Your Fear?
Ok I admit, this is my most vulnerable story...
Recently my dad turned 80 and it was a big wake-up call for me. You see, dad and I were never close. We were both consumed by fear and my fear of being vulnerable affected our relationship.
However, when he turned 80 it really affected me. I realized life is passing by quickly and that I was running out of time to connect with him. Here's the dilemma: Dad lives on the East coast, me the West. How do you connect with someone 3,000 miles away during a pandemic who is also half deaf?
Well, I decided to get creative AND be vulnerable at the same time. I wrote a book dedicated to dad. Here's the crazy part, while I was writing Flip Your Fear I discovered a code that helped me overcome fear. I didn't think much of it at the time but it gets even crazier... The Flip Your Fear book was sitting on my desk (I only printed 1 book as a gift for dad) when I was on the phone with a TEDx curator. She asked, "what do you speak about?" Well, I wasn't sure what to tell her as I didn't have a speaking topic at that time and panicked and mentioned my book Flip Your Fear.
Not only did that book transform my relationship with dad (he loved it! his picture is in it!) it led me to 4 TEDx invitations. This beautiful book was a transformational gift for both dad and me, and now I'm offering it to you. You can get your exclusive signed copy of Flip Your Fear here.
Join me on this mission!
I look forward to meeting you.
You are amazing!
See all of Dara's Books here
Partnered with Bay Area companies to offer private and corporate speech coaching to individuals.
Dara was invited to speak on several TEDx stages, but do to the pandemic 3 of 4 cancelled. Here is her first speech on the TEDxSanFrancisco stage.
"Best of 2020" Instruction, Albany, CA
2020, 2019, 2018
President of Toastmaster's President Distinguished Speaking Club
International Speaking Competition Awards
Published Someone You Know; Expert Secrets to Prevent Bullies, Sexual Assault, & Bad Relationships.
Soroptimist International Award for Excellent Service Helping Women
Certified Black-Belt Instructor
15+ years teaching Tae Kwon Do martial arts and sexual assault prevention
Launched her innovative CLUB to help you speak up and speak on stage with fearless confidence. Join the CLUB!
Published Flip Your Fear; Crack the Code on Fear & Get the Life You Want!
Yes! I want my copy! Purchase here.
Professional Member of the National Speakers Association since 2019
Published Jerky Johnny Workbook– Prevent Everyday Bullies & Corporate Harassment
Mayoral Award for Excellent Service, Danville, CA
Mayoral Award for Excellent Service, San Ramon, CA
University of Rhode Island
Bachelor of Science; Women's Studies
Awards & Grants
OF ALAMEDA COUNTY
NATIONAL CHARITY LEAGUE
CONTRA COSTA PUBLIC EDUCATION FUND
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES
Founder, Author, Expert
FOUNDER — KURUKULA™ WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT MOVEMENT
Dara, a certified black-belt instructor, started this award-winning program in 2004. She realized the need for a class beyond martial arts alone to help women successfully find their voice, exude confidence and be respected in every-day situations.
You can Speak up to be Heard and Kick Fear to the Curb!
“After attending a presentation led by Dara, I came away with actionable tools to build a stronger, bolder presence in everyday interactions with both men and women. Dara has a keen awareness of meeting women right where they are and guiding them to increasing confidence. I highly recommend her!”
— Shelley Lumm, Owner JSL Auctions
AUTHOR — SOMEONE YOU KNOW © 2019
Do you know a controlling person? Do you deal with a bully co-worker or boss? Confidence expert Dara Connolly provides an easy, profound, and entertaining read to help you attract positive people and avoid the bad ones. Learn inside tools and tips to avoid unhealthy relationships before it's too late.
"Above the buzz of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the current Women’s Movement, what specific skills have you learned to prevent abusers from harming you?
I give expert advice to keep you safe."
— Author, Dara Connolly
AUTHOR — JERKY JOHNNY® SAFETY GAME
Her years as a professional self-defense expert, Dara Connolly, teaches your teen and young adult daughters (and sons) practical life-skills for avoiding sexual assault and unhealthy relationships in a fun game setting.
Jerky Johnny is an Amazon Top-Seller and listed as Amazon's Top 100 Toys.
Teens are the highest risk group for dating violence and sexual assault. Jerky Johnny helps teach prevention skills before they are in a risky situation. A proven critical prevention tool for young women, the game is endorsed by therapists & police. Teens may play among themselves or with a parent to start a dialogue.
Available at Amazon→
"As a father of three daughters, I really appreciate the important work Jerky Johnny does for young women."
— Chief of Police Mike McQuiston, Albany CA (retired)