I draw on three strands of experience that are different but complementary. It's a valuable combination that puts the right tools at my fingertips. This is what makes me confident that I can improve any speaker's presentation skills. Please see the recomendations in testimonials to understand why.
Artistic Director and Performer
After graduating in Performing Arts in the UK I moved to the Netherlands in 1989. In the 1990s I worked as a performer mainly in large-scale theatre on location and dance theatre. I ultimately became the artistic director of my own performance company (Private Thoughts in Public Places, 1997-2005) making cutting-edge work on the boundary between theatre and visual art at major venues in the Netherlands and beyond. My work as a performer continues in 2016 with a central role in The Square, by celebrated choreographer Nicole Beutler.
My performance background has left me with a hard-wired understanding of storytelling, timing, staging, visual impact, voice and body language. And curiously my first experience of PowerPoint was using it to synchronise live performance with visuals, text and sound. If you think you know PowerPoint, think again!
Helping people shine
As a director what I loved most was rehearsing one-on-one with a performer, working with their personality, spotting deep-down potential and bringing it to the surface, helping them to shine. That’s just what I do now when I coach speakers. It’s why I actually prefer to describe what I do as direction rather than coaching.
Senior Trainer and Consultant in Intercultural Communication
I love working with people from different countries and backgrounds, and deeply believe in the strength of cultural diversity. That’s what drew me into intercultural communication.
Training skills + cultural insight
For more than 10 years I worked at KIT Intercultural Professionals, part of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, training clients in intercultural awareness and communication skills, individually or in groups. The clients mostly worked for international companies or in international teams.
My work at KIT as an intercultural trainer and consultant has fed into my presentation coaching in obvious ways. Firstly, I have a wealth of training skills at my fingertips. Secondly, the deeper cultural insight I’ve gained helps me work with speakers from widely differing backgrounds, who often need to connect with audiences in an intercultural context.
At KIT Intercultural Professionals, I gained invaluable experience in focusing fast on unfamiliar professional fields, asking the right questions and rapidly getting to grips with content. What I have enjoyed most is meeting bright new people from all over the world and listening.
I taught advanced English language skills for more than fifteen years. My students worked for development cooperation NGOs, UN organisations and the Dutch Foreign Ministry, as well as the private sector.
What started as a way to pay the bills between performance jobs developed into a serious profession and a springboard into intercultural communication.
It was also through language teaching that I first started doing presentation training – always my favourite part of the job. My experience means that if you’re giving a talk in English and it’s not your first language, I’m a safe pair of hands.
I have the professional knowledge to boost your language skills, build your confidence, and make sure your message isn’t weakened by errors in your English.