Author, speaker, expert college admissions coach.


Seeking an inspiring speaker for a conference, school, church, synagogue, school or library?

I can cover a topic that interests your group of parents, students, or educators, and can customize one for you. I also provide a very detailed and thorough checklist with sample marketing material, so you’ll have a great event.

Speaking Overview

I speak about education, adolescence, parenting, and getting into college—all based on my books and my articles in the New York Times and other publications.

Sample Speech Topics:

  • “College Admissions: Seven Secrets of Getting In”
  • “A is for Acceptance”
  • “The GPA Game”
  • “It’s About the Fit, Not the Brand.”

Also, I speak about other issues for those who care about raising children and shaping character. Sample: “What is Success?”

I speak about lessons learned while researching my first book, about struggling teens. I call that “Saving Our Teens.” (I have been a speaker and moderator for  screenings of education films, offering a chance to start a dialogue about pressure on kids.)

Why Bring In Dave?

Three good reasons:

1) I’m steeped in every aspect of education, from college admissions to special ed: I’ve written two highly-praised books; I’ve been a coach for applicants across the country, I’ve sat in as an observer on admissions committees; I’ve been through the process as a parent; I studied at two Ivy League universities as well as a community college.

2) I give lively presentations, tailored to each audience.

3) I’m reassuring: parents and kids like my message. Conferences and school counselors invite me back.


Gwyeth Smith, an education consultant, was a guidance director and college adviser for more than thirty years. Most recently, he was director of guidance at Oyster Bay High School on Long Island’s Gold Coast. Known as “Smitty,” he’s featured a book by David L. Marcus: Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids find the Right Colleges – and Find Themselves.

Smitty and Marcus, based on Long Island, NY, give a dynamic presentation that will reassure parents and students suffering college application anxiety.

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