I’m Laura Lapointe, a committed word-lover and communication coach/consultant who is eager to help individuals and organizations express themselves in more effective and fulfilling ways. My education and experiences as a teacher, performer, speaker, mediator, and editor have informed my approach to communicating with diverse audiences orally, via web sites, and in writing.
Ever since I can remember, deciphering and conveying verbal messages has been a major part of my life. My mom recently told me she recalls that before I was a year old, I would awake very early and have long conversations with myself in my crib. Around age five, I started telling detailed stories into a tape recorder. Once I learned to write, I spent hours secluded with lined pads, pencils, and my imagination. Long after finishing graduate school, I called my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ford, to thank her for instilling in me a deep dissatisfaction with misplaced commas and superfluous words.
As a result, I unintentionally edit everything I read, from magazine articles to no parking signs to rejection letters to candy wrappers. Sometimes this tendency drives me crazy, but it could be very helpful to you if you’re looking to refine your message. Friends often send things my way for editing because they know I am ruthless about words but compassionate toward people.
Once I discovered the power of bringing words to life on stage, rehearsal time replaced my private hours with pads and pencils. I performed throughout my years at Lexington High School, under the direction of Steve Bogart and completed a BFA in Acting at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Despite my enjoyment of some aspects of the acting training, particularly a Linklater vocal technique class, I was turned off by the competitive and empty nature of the world many of my peers were entering. My deep desire was to do work that was tangibly improving the lives of others.
During and after college I explored inner-city educational programs through work with the Boys Choir of Harlem, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) and City Year Boston. Through completion of the Urban Teacher Program at Wheelock College and taking some long standardized tests (on the required Communications and Literacy exam, I scored a 99, thanks mainly to Mrs. Ford), I earned Massachusetts initial elementary teacher licensure.
While I intended to work with children, I found myself instead teaching inmates at the Suffolk County House of Correction. My plans often have a beautiful way of not working out, which always keeps things interesting. I also worked with inmates as a case manager for the Boston Re-Entry Initiative and developed a new subset of their successful program to assist ex-offenders with their transition from prison to the community. Working with this population showed me clearly what a powerful tool constructive communication can be, especially as an alternative to violence.
Throughout my life I’ve had a deep interest in and commitment to faith and spirituality, which led me to pursue a Master of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School, where my focus was Worship, Theology and the Arts. There I discovered a deep enjoyment of preaching. I also really love singing. I’m a member of the Boston Pops Gospel Choir and initiated gospel choirs at Andover Newton and the Suffolk County House of Correction.
I have a strong conviction that good communication can transform the world, and I strongly believe that each one of us has the potential to speak and write confidently, concisely, and constructively with some simple steps, some of which go back to what my third grade teacher taught me.
One last thing you should know about me is that I really enjoy cake, along with many other sweet things. My hope is that you will find a way of communicating that feels as natural as sitting at your favorite café with a friend.