Speaking

To motivate teenagers, focus on the relationship. (8:11)

Debbie Stier is the author of The Perfect Score Project: One Mother’s Journey to Uncover the Secrets of the SAT, as well as a former publishing executive whose career spanned over two decades. Her broadcast experience includes appearances on The Today Show, CBS Early Show, ABC Radio, and Bloomberg TV. In addition, she has been extensively profiled in publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, USA Today, the New York Post, Family Circle, and Parade.

A critically acclaimed author who researches education and parenting issues, Stier is a single mother who has personally survived (and triumphed!) the struggles of raising teenagers in the face of increasingly difficult culture influences. She communicates the latest relevant research from a unique perspective through a mix of emotional personal stories that establish a context to deliver unexpected and insightful information. Stier’s speeches are conversational in tone and persuasively authentic. Audiences will feel the the joy of a speaker who is deeply committed to sharing the lessons she learned as a mother, researcher, and author.

In addition, Debbie speaks on topics related to she and her daughter’s upcoming book, Saving Daisy (Little, Brown 2017). Debbie and Daisy articulately explain the challenges that sensitive children face in culture today, and the road less travelled that ultimately saved Daisy. Their harrowing story, which ends in triumph, redefines how we perceive adolescents, the behaviors they exhibit, and the experts we rely on to decipher their symptoms. To read more about Saving Daisy speaking engagements, click here.

Stier has spoken at a wide range of conferences, including a keynote speech at the Kumon North American Instructor’s Conference, Media Bistro, SXSW, Book Expo America (BEA), Columbia University, New York University, #140 Conf., Digital Book World, to name a few. In addition, she’s a regular speaker at PTA events, libraries, book clubs, and parent groups.

Click Here to Find Out More

Q&A from Kumon keynote speech. (5:40)

When my kids were teenagers, I thought it would be “fun” for the 3 of us to do Kumon together over summer vacation. #clueless (8:24)

“Debbie was so wonderful to work with and such a delightful speaker. Afterward, one participant told me (among several compliments that I heard from other participants), “She’s just the best speaker ever! None of the other speakers are as interesting and funny as her! She should be a professor!”

– Hanna Lee, Youth Services Librarian, Princeton Library

“As a teacher, it sparked so many ideas that made me want to shout them from the top of the roof to my fellow teachers. . . she offers some great advice that should not be missed. . .  That’s what we, as teachers, love to see… a parent who cares enough to go through it with their child!”

—Jamie Meddings, High school teacher

“Debbie’s experience gave us hope that our child, given the right tools, and a ‘long runway’ to prepare for the SAT is capable of achieving a great score.”

—Parent from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction

 

“Debbie Stier’s Perfect Score Project presentation is so useful and rich that every parent and teacher of students priming for the SAT needs to know what she knows. It’s the best PTSA talk I’ve ever heard, bar none.

—Catherine Johnson, bestselling author of Animals in Translation


Debbie is an engaging speaker, and a charming person. Her discussion was a treat for all of us and I’ve had very good feedback.”

– Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC


Debbie was so wonderful to work with and such a delightful speaker. Afterward, one participant told me (among several compliments that I heard from other participants), “She’s just the best speaker ever! None of the other speakers are as interesting and funny as her! She should be a professor!”

– Hanna Lee, Youth Services Librarian, Princeton Library


Debbie Stier is truly an expert on the SAT. . . [Her] lively lecture about SAT prep was an eye opener, and the wise, practical solutions she imparted were priceless.”

Katie Casperson, Chair, Health & Wellness Committee, Bronxville School


Debbie connected with the parents and sent them away with tools to help guide their children – and help reduce some of their stress for the daunting journey of the SAT!”

—Lydia von Barta, Assistant Dir., REACH Community & Youth Agency of Commack & Half Hollow Hills, NY


Sample SAT Advice (5-minute video):


A former book publishing executive, Debbie has spoken at a wide range of conferences, including Media Bistro, SXSW, Book Expo America (BEA), Columbia University, New York University, #140 Conf., Digital Book World, Indie Bookstores, Publishing Point, Inman News, Women’s MBA Groups, Netbiscuits, to name a few.


What You Will Learn:

  • How to discern good test prep from bad (tutor, class, self study), and what’s appropriate for each student, budget and time commitment
  • How to motivate a teenager who doesn’t care
  • How to alleviate the test-taking pressure
  • How to turn your kid into a critical reader
  • Where and and when to take the SAT
  • How to decide between the SAT and the ACT
  • What SAT test scores mean and how they affect not only merit aid but future employment
  • What will and will not change about the new SAT of 2016
  • How parents can work together with schools and vice versa

Click here for a more comprehensive list of questions and topics.


  • Click here to view media.
  • Click here to download press materials.

Debbie Stier:

What started as an attempt to motivate her teenage son to care about the SAT and reach his potential, Debbie Stier decided to take the SAT as an adult. The journey, which grew into seven SATs at five different locations, became research for her book, The Perfect Score Project. Stier has been featured on NBC’s Today ShowCBS This Morning,Daily Ticker on Yahoo FinanceThe New Yorker, The Atlantic MonthlyParade MagazineThe Huffington Post, the Harvard CrimsonUSA TodayEducation Week (Part IPart II), Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project BlogThe Journal News, and Gotham Gal. Stier has contributed to Time.com about the SAT, as well written for Psychology Today. She has delivered talks at a range of venues: high schools, PTA groups, SXSW, Media Bistro, Columbia University, and NYU. An executive in book publishing for many years, Stier now speaks across the country and consults with families and schools about SAT study prep.


“Debbie gave a fabulous reading and Q&A. I could have listened to her talk about The Perfect Score Project all night. I thank her for writing this book! It is a bible for me, and now for many of my friends. She has have done such a service.”

 – DeLauné Michele, Founder, Spoken Interludes Literary Salon


“Thanks so much – my daughter got a 2300 on her first try! She (mostly) followed your program, no prep course needed!”

—Jodi Westrum, Mom


“As a teacher, it sparked so many ideas that made me want to shout them from the top of the roof to my fellow teachers. . . she offers some great advice that should not be missed. . .  That’s what we, as teachers, love to see… a parent who cares enough to go through it with their child!”

—Jamie Meddings, High School Teacher


“Debbie’s experience gave us hope that our child, given the right tools, and a ‘long run-way’ to prepare for the SAT is capable of achieving a great score.”

—Parent from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction


“My job would be a lot easier if all parents had to read this book.”

—Vince Kotchian, SAT Tutor


“What Stier does give – and she delivers this in spades – is an idea of what the SAT experience is like for both you and your child and a solid orientation about how you as a parent can actually help. This alone is worth it’s weight in gold.”

—New Jersey Mom


“I never would have been motivated (or even known enough) to study with my son if I hadn’t read your book. It hasn’t been easy being the bad guy, but it’s worth it. He mumbled a very quiet thank you as he disappeared into his room with his results!”

—Nancy Kennedy


“Debbie Stier taught my daughter what she needed to know for the Reading Comprehension section of the SSAT and she taught her in just a few minutes: how to to hunt and gather and skim effectively, which is a critical skill not only for this test, but also for college and life.  My daughter had done poorly on her first attempt, but after talking with Debbie and doing some practices she more than doubled her score, achieving the 90th percentile.”

—Martha Mcphee


“Taking the advice from your book, my son and I have been trying to read an article in the New York Times daily. This is so relevant for us. Awesome!!”

—Valsa Madhava 


For press coverage, please see the press page.

For inquiries, email: debbie@perfectscoreproject.com

View clips of TV appearances and talks on YouTube.

To read “Reader Reviews,” see Amazon and Goodreads.


“It’s hard to resist a mom who puts her money – or in this case, her No. 2 pencil – where her mouth is.”

—Family Circle


“The Perfect Score Project is the perfect book for parenting in the age of anxiety.  What begins with a mother’s worry about her teenage son quickly shifts to the moving story of a woman discovering the roots of her own iimperfections. By year’s end, you’re cheering Debbie on as she and her son sit side-by-side, helping each other score higher.  She has scripted the unimaginable: SAT – The Love Story.”

–Bruce Feiler, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of The Secrets of Happy Families


“What she shows us in The Perfect Score is the possibility of strengthening our relationships with our children and empathizing with them in a time when anxiety often pulls us apart. I can so easily imagine giving this book to my sons when it’s their turn to take the SAT as a way to ground us through the process.”

—Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Masterminds & Wingmen and Queen Bees & Wannabees


“I loved this book. Debbie Stier’s story of her year-long project answers every question about the SAT – and somehow turns this information into a lively and engaging adventure. . . Parents especially will find this account packed with invaluable insights, from a funny, endearing friend who gives the inside scoop on how to deal with the nightmare.”

—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home


“The Perfect ScoreProject will have teens, their parents, high school guidance counselors, SAT prep centers and colleges reconsidering everything they think they know about the SAT and the world of test prep.”

—Emily McKhann, co-founder of The Motherhood and author of Living with the End in Mind


“Stier’s tips, lessons, and no-nonsense insights are insatiably useful. Her story is genuinely moving–not just a woman’s obsession with a test, but a mother’s love for her son. A perfect 800 in my book!”

—William C. Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company and author of Practically Radical


“This book is about motivation, and hard work, and parenting, but, above all, it’s about forming the deepest bonds of family connection. So many parents will recognize themselves in Debbie’s amazing story – they’ll see themselves in her, and they’ll see their children in her children.”

—Laura Zigman, author of the national bestseller Animal Husbandry


“The Perfect Score Project is a break-the-mold book. Whereas the college application process, and in particular SAT preparation, fills parents and students with anxiety and a sense of being overwhelmed, Debbie’s experiences and hard-won insights offer much needed clarity.”

—Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute and author of Mind in the Making


“I am always passionate when people are scratching their own itch.  Debbie Stier is clearly doing that, and knowing first-hand the dynamism she brings to a project to ensure its success, this makes me extremely excited about the direction she is headed in, and her ability to change the game.”

—Gary Vaynerchuk, author of the New York Times bestsellers, Crush It! and The Thank You Economy