Meet Our Team
Janet Esposito, LCSW
Janet Esposito, MSW, LCSW is the founder of In The SpotLight, LLC, a company devoted to helping people overcome the fear of public speaking and performing. Janet writes and speaks from her own experience with this challenge and from almost two decades of helping others to master their fear. Her two books, In The SpotLight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing and Getting Over Stage Fright: A New Approach to Resolving Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing, have helped many thousands of people to learn the tools to better manage their fear and develop an empowering new approach to this challenge. Janet also has a CD, In The SpotLight: Guided Exercises to Create a Calm and Confident State of Mind, Body, and Spirit While Speaking or Performing, that provides an excellent supplement to her books as she guides the listener to a more relaxed, confident state of mind as they face a speaking or performing situation. Janet writes and speaks with a depth of understanding, compassion, and inspiration. She is a master guide on this journey as she deeply understands both the problem and the solution.
Janet has led the Getting Over Stage Fright workshops for the past 18 years and has held 80 classes with more than 850 people having attended. People have consistently described the workshop as life-changing and one of the best things they have ever done for themselves. Janet has been co-leading the workshop with Marla for the past year as she prepares to pass the baton to Marla to lead this very positive and powerful workshop, hopefully for many more years to come.
Janet will continue to do individual coaching by phone, Skype, FaceTime (or in-office for those who are local). Her clients have spoken of how valuable Janet’s support and guidance have been and that working with her has helped them better manage their fear and achieve a level of comfort and confidence they never thought possible.
Janet’s work is unique in that it focuses exclusively on helping people overcome their fear and avoidance of speaking or performing, rather than on teaching specific presentation or performance skills. Many people who come to the workshops and consult Janet for personal coaching have taken classes that teach these other skills, but report little benefit from these classes because their fear of being “in the spotlight” is still a major barrier. They need a more in-depth approach to help them overcome their feeling of stage fright before they will benefit from a skills-oriented program for speaking or performing. People consult Janet for coaching and come to the workshops from all over the country (and abroad) because of her unique and highly effective approach.
Janet has been interviewed by Whole Living, Psychology Today, Prevention, America West, McCalls, Glamour, Marie Claire, Seventeen and First for Women magazines. Her work has been featured in The CT Business Magazine, CT Post, The Danbury/Housatonic Business Digest, The Danbury News Times, The Waterbury Republican-American, The New Milford Times, The Litchfield Times, and The Physicians’ Financial News. She has also been featured on several radio and television networks, including The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, Star 99.9, ESBN, WDIS, WPAT, WINE, WODI, Fox 61, News 12-The Exchange, Women in Business, and Issues and Answers.
Janet is a licensed clinical social worker who has practiced in the Danbury, CT area for over thirty years. Janet is a graduate of Smith College School for Social Work. She did her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University in Psychology, graduating with Highest Honors.
Marla Genova, MA, CPC
Marla has been leading support groups for social and performance anxiety within her local community for over a decade. In one of her groups she uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach, which she became skilled in while being trained as a group facilitator by the Social Anxiety Institute. She has started several other groups through MeetUp and facilitates these groups using a variety of meeting styles.
Marla motivates others by sharing her own journey with social and performance anxiety and the debilitating fear of public speaking she had experienced for many years. She has a website dedicated to social and performance anxiety that includes resources and group members’ feedback. Her insight and ability to relate to others has made her groups extremely successful, improving hundreds of lives. She shares her experiences and guides others with the many methods she has learned to help people overcome their fear and anxiety. Marla is passionate about helping others with this fear and is devoted to guiding them on their journey so they no longer feel alone in facing this challenge.
Marla has been interviewed about her personal experiences as well as her support groups by Psychology Today, U.S.& News & World Report and many local newspapers. She is very passionate about raising awareness for social and performance anxiety, helping people understand that this type of anxiety significantly interferes with people’s lives and goes beyond the typical “butterflies” or “jitters” that many people experience in social and performance situations. This continues to be a lifelong mission of hers.
Marla attended Janet’s Getting Over Stage Fright workshop in 2010 as a participant and had a life-changing experience in overcoming her fear of public speaking. From there, Marla connected with Janet and was given the valuable opportunity to collaborate with Janet and learn her methods. Marla spent many years training with Janet and now leads the Getting Over Stage Fright workshops. Marla has continued to be active in Toastmasters for many years to maintain her progress with speaking in front of groups.
Marla holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and is a Certified Professional Coach. She continues to take courses in the Certified Masters Coach program at the Center for Coaching Certification.
Marla has been working in Clinical Research Trials for nearly two decades conducting studies in the mental health field, specializing in anxiety disorders and substance use.
Throughout her professional career, Marla has co-authored publications about anxiety disorders and substance use in scientific research journals at Yale University and the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Institute of Living. For more details about Marla’s professional experience, please visit her LinkedIn page.