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Looking for a more than a talk? 
...and more than a show?

Since 2013, Novak has been speaking at colleges, universities, schools, camps and to Girl Scout troops all over the East Coast. From Virginia to New York, students have found inspiration, lessons and a break from their normal schedule in Novak's talks and performances. Mixing spoken advice and life experiences between songs and questions, this performance is more than a show and this talk is more than a motivational speaker. Novak keeps audiences engaged and often elicits questions even from the most reserved listeners by being honest and open about her journey from a shy adolescent to a touring artist. 

Novak has spoken, presented and played at colleges including:

 James Madison University

 Syracuse University

 University of Pittsburgh at Bradford 

 SUNY Oswego

 LeMoyne College

Students and scouts leave the discussion entertained by music and empowered to follow their dreams. Weaving her songs and anecdotes from her book, Dare to Begin, among audience questions, Novak can connect with any group. 


"Jess has excelled as a guest speaker every semester I’ve taught the American Blues class. Every semester, we have a great lineup of guests but she is always the most popular. The way she connects with students – especially the freshmen who are not always as easy to engage – is phenomenal. She always inspires students, especially women, with her tales of taking the path less taken, and overcoming obstacles along the way. I’ve even seen a few students get a bit emotional because they’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a role model who resonates with their experience – someone who is as warm as she is talented, as approachable as a human being as she is amazing with her musical chops. Any class of any academic program or level would benefit from Jess visiting and sharing her story and skills."

 - Tim Nekritz, Director of Communications/Adjunct Professor of Communication,

Media and the Arts, SUNY Oswego

"Jess Novak is a multi-talented musician and composer who interacts extremely well with college audiences. She has performed at our college several times now – I keep asking her back because the students absolutely love her. She not only plays her great songs – she also seamlessly interacts with her student audiences, using her positive energy to illicit questions and responses from everyone present. She moves from playing music to a conversation as effortlessly as she at times switches instruments right in the middle of one of her songs, without ever missing a beat. She will occasionally even bring a student musician up from the audience to perform a song with her. Jess Novak is a true gem – I highly recommend!"

 - Jeff Guterman, Chair Division of Communication Arts

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

"Jess was simply amazing with our Girl Scout Junior Troop (4th and 5th graders). There was an immediate sense of camaraderie and an instant connection - they were all so comfortable around her. 

They were blown away during her performances and with every new instrument she pulled out, they jumped and squealed with joy. Almost every single girl got behind the mic to sing an original song or play her own instrument. 

Jess has an incredible ability to bring even the shyest girl to the stage, which is a much needed confidence boost for many of them.

My troop left tonight’s meeting inspired and feeling like they could do anything (all while earning a badge!). Invite Jess to speak to your troop, you won’t be disappointed!"

 - Jenny Cummings, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Groton, NY

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