old fashioned typewriter, feedback for my courses

feedback on my public speaking courses

Here are two types of testimonials.
1. Start off with the short rave reviews just in case you don't have time to read the second type, the longer feedback that I post every month.

2. The more detailed reviews, below the rave reviews, in many ways are more useful as they will give you far more of a flavour of the courses and the changes that the person wanted.  Everyone who comes to my courses wants to change how they feel about public speaking. 

(Previously I had the equivalent of  175 pages of A4  consisting of over 400 reviews!  So I've massively edited it down to one or two reviews a month back to 2015. So its just four years of reviews rather than 18 years!)

(Just recently I've added an extra page of post-course success stories so you can find out about the long term impact of my public speaking courses)

1. the rave reviews about my public speaking courses

For me, the course was life changing. I have substantially lost the consuming self-critical and self-conscious disposition I had before. I can't thank you enough. The method / approach was incredibly effective"

The results far exceeded what I had expected and I would recommend anybody who has concerns about public speaking to go on Johns’ course. It was one of the best courses I have ever been on.

I feel able to take my place in the world in a way I never thought possible. The possibilities do now feel endless to me, it's an amazing and liberating feeling.

John clearly has a deep understanding of people and relational presence in public speaking situations, and I found this course to be one of the most productive I have ever attended. Highly recommended.
Mark Cole

I loved the atmosphere of the course. Relaxing, calming and the most important - supporting. I thought you would show us how to talk, to walk, to move, whatever, but what you're actually doing is 100 times more effective than that.

Delivery style was awesome. Really, genuinely life-changing, best course I have ever been on.

John's passion and empathy was the most genuine I have ever experienced from any teacher or facilitator I have ever worked with.

For so many people like myself with a fear of public speaking, it feels like there is 'no way out'. With your course, there is. I thought the course was life-changing. 

I nailed the wedding! Actually really enjoyed it, had tearful parents of the bride and groom telling me it couldn't have been better!

 It has been a huge confidence boost and I finally feel that I have left all my public speaking fears behind me. Thank goodness for you and your course – keep doing it because it truly works!

You've done more for me than anyone in 25 years John and I can't thank you enough.

I never thought after so long anything could help me, but your course has changed my life.
Daniel Kelly 

You have helped shift my thinking in relation to standing up in front of a group of people. This felt like one of the most valuable training courses I’ve ever been on.
Ruth Archer

John's approach is unique, authentic and not at all scary. I entered believing public speaking was a pressured, perfectionist, fearful thing and leave realising its just a chat and it's ok to be myself in front of others.
Nat Harrison

I can't quite find the words to express my gratitude.  For your time, wisdom, support, encouragement, belief. It is life changing and I thank you.

If fear is a major barrier for you, this course has a lot to offer

I never dreamed I would feel excited about the idea of public speaking. Thank you John.

John's course is the most valuable course (including my degree) that I have ever been on. 
Emma Kane

For me the course was a revelation – and not just about the public speaking – it has been a real life changer.

Your course was the best investment of time and money I have made in my education/development in a very long time
Sarah(a Doctor working in Trauma)

Your work is fundamentally changing lives; it really is incredible stuff.

Your course was the best course I've ever done and has had such a positive effect on me.  I feel so much more relaxed and confident speaking up at work, and in life generally.

Thank you so much for those two days, one of the most life affirming things I’ve ever done.

You are never pushed to do anything and it is hard to believe how such a gentle approach can be so effective.

The difference that I feel towards presenting is astounding and I’m amazed that this was possible in just two days. I struggle to remember any course that I’ve been on, and there has been many, that I’ve enjoyed more.
Kelvin Jones

You stand up for the vulnerable and the shy who should be living life to the full.

It was life changing. I learned that it was ok to be myself. To not have to apologise for taking up room and that at times, having a chat with others could be... dare I say it, enjoyable? fun? Who knew?!

The course far exceeded my expectations and the insights will last a lifetime. Yesterday I spoke in front of a sea of blank (if not critical looking) faces and I saw them completely differently -I shone - thank you so much!
Rachel Day

I am finally allowing myself to be myself and it feels comfortable. I am no longer afraid. I am no longer ashamed. I am me.

I have got far more out of this course then just some tools for public speaking, it has been life changing, I know that may sound a bit cheesy and over the top but it is the truth. I use it every single day in every aspect of my life.

Truly transformational, more than I ever thought possible! Together with my eye-lasering operation it probably was the best money I ever spent on myself!
Sanne de Vries

I thought I’d never be able to face my fear again but this course has helped me to. The most rewarding and satisfying course I’ve ever taken. I discovered that I CAN speak in front of others. 

John is a life changer. I walked out of that course a different man.

2. public speaking course reviews

June 2019

Vicki writes about an in-house course…
What did you want from the course?
To see my team improve in personal confidence and presenting ability.
To improve my own personal confidence and presenting ability.

Did you get it?
Yes and yes.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Clearer intro at start about objectives of course, and intro from John himself to tell us who he is! (I thought they knew who I was! My mistake -JD)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The pace, content, informal approach. Delivered with a gentle and accepting style which made us feel comfortable and relaxed.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
I shall be strongly recommending we extend this to other teams within PZCB.

Vicki Steward

Dear John
Many thanks for your email and the course! I enjoyed it far more that I thought possible, it was a great two days in which I learnt new ways of dealing with my fear of public speaking.
I put it into practice pretty much straight away with a presentation at a conference on 26th June. Amazingly, I actually slept the night before which was a huge help – I’ve put that down to all the perspectives and mechanisms you provided on the course to manage thoughts/ fears, so thank you very much!
On the 26th when I stood up in front of 50/60 people, for the first time I felt more able to address the audience as human rather than experts who all think that I’m stupid. I still needed my notes and have a fair bit of work to do, but I completed the presentation and it was referenced by a number of the other presenters later in the day, so overall I think it was a decent job done.
Huge thanks again,
Kind regards
P.S. I’ll be circulating your details to colleagues in my team in Leeds and London.

Hello John
Thank you for the course, I found it surprisingly enjoyable. Your structure was really helpful, broke things down in a manner that is easily implemented, and helped me build in confidence throughout the two days. I now feel I have the tools to give me confidence in trying to put my voice out there more.
Kind regards,

May 2019

Sue writes about the two day course in Bristol
What did you want from the course? To have the confidence to speak in front of people without feeling self-conscious and apologetic, which I realise previously had affected my nerves and adrenaline both before and during my ‘performance’…… as I saw it then.

Did you get it? Yes, I did – in a roundabout way. By taking us back to the basics of human interaction and behaviour, I could understand the audience’s response to me and my response to the audience.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing – it was a completely new experience which took me right out of my comfort zone.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? Very personal delivery. Nice small group. Felt at ease, and not too embarrassed to become emotional! A feeling of camaraderie encouraged within the group which made ‘experimentation’ much easier.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish: A really life-changing experience – not simply a course for public speaking. I wasn’t expecting my response during the course and my attitude following the course. It takes a complete stranger to help you decipher your identity! Thank you John. I aim to go onto bigger and better things and truly feel able to do so – I’m lucky – life is good.

Marion gives her feedback on a two day course in Bristol….

What did you want from the course?
To practice being in front of people in a safe environment, so that I could work through the difficulties I was having.

Did you get it?
Yes. You are not teaching the superficial elements of public speaking, you are teaching people how to ‘be’ in front of others. How to be ok with that. It’s absolutely fundamental.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing. Having done the one day course years ago, I think two days is much better. It allowed me to better process what I had learned - to really understand it and experience it.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I felt that we learned as a group. Everyone was really supportive.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
Since starting a new job in January, I felt I was in a hopeless place because I was so scared of public speaking, which I was going to have to start doing. Now I feel completely different. I know that I will be able to cope. I feel as though I have found light at the end of the tunnel.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
Applying the idea of connecting with people, not looking away and not guessing their thoughts, every day. Not just waiting for presenting.

April 2019

Google five star review for the Manchester course
As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist I thought it was about time I fully faced my own fear of public speaking, John's course completely surpassed my expectations. From being highly anxious and incredibly self-conscious at the start of Day 1, by the end of day 2 I was feeling more relaxed, able to trust in myself and I was actually enjoying public speaking! It has been a month since I attended the course and I have noticed a real difference in how I feel in speaking up and taking some of the attention in social and work situations. John is a compassionate, knowledgeable and inspiring teacher, I can't recommend this course highly enough! Thank you John!
Joanne Robertson

Dear John
The course was absolutely fantastic. I'm not sure quite what I was expecting to be honest, but I certainly didn't think it would encompass far more than public speaking ... for me, the importance of 'being present' and authentic in our every day lives was without question the most important takeaway.

The key techniques which you taught us I have since found invaluable - notably the breathing, use of pauses and also landscape eyes. I've used all of these to varying degrees in the office recently - not in front of big audiences (yet); mostly in 1-2-1 conversations, but they have really helped me to be confident + made me realise that every single person is actually thinking about themselves rather than me!

I could go on. But suffice to say - it was the best course I've probably ever been on. So much so that I'm keen to join another one either later this year or early next !

Thanks again for the course, for the notes, for listening, for caring, for sharing your own story, and for helping people to conquer their fears.
Cheers & catch you soon,

Deborah writes about a two day Manchester course
Hi John
The course was really incredible. Thank you so much. I couldn't stop telling the people close to me who I think would really benefit from it, all about it. I hope they will take the plunge and get as much from it as I have. I feel like the course has set in motion a pretty big mental shift and the start of a gradual journey towards where I want to be... I've found myself doing the things that I'd been putting off for fear of judgement, and then I've congratulated myself for doing them and also noticed that nobody else gives a monkeys! I've not spoken in a traditional presentation sense yet, although I've got two opportunities to introduce a speaker coming up in May, and I had a pretty relaxed and effective meeting/chat last week! A first! So here goes...

What did you want from the course?
I felt an inherent disinclination to speak in public, but my job is increasingly calling for it. I was hoping for an introduction to the basic do's and don'ts.

Did you get it?
I got so much more. The course is life changing. It gets right to the root of who you are as a person, shows you where you're holding yourself back, sometimes without realising it, and gives you the confidence to live your full life. The public speaking skills are an added benefit! I can see that it's changing for the better the way that I approach things and the way I reflect on my efforts, which has knock-on benefits for the people in my life. It's a fundamental, liberating shift in the way I operate. I can see opportunities, and myself taking them, in a way that I didn't before. I can say with confidence that the course was the most important two days of my life.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Don't change a thing!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Tremendously authentic. You share a lot of yourself and that's appreciated. You're also compassionate and clearly care about every person in the room. Once again, can't thank you enough.

Ellie writes about a two day course in London

What did you want from the course?
To tackle my fear of public speaking and try to understand why it was such a problem for me

Did you get it?
I did. I felt that it really helped me to dive under the blocks and beliefs that were manifesting in such panic whenever I had to face a group of people in a presentation format. I realised this was ultimately more about my fear of not being enough and once I could pinpoint that, and sit with it a bit, along with some helpful phrases and tools to manage the actual physical experience, I was on my way.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
This was such a special experience. I didn't expect to find such a safe, supportive environment with like minded individuals in which to explore my fears.
The diversity of tools, and the emphasis on kindness to self, calmness, relaxing, all helped me to unpick my fears and being a new approach to the way I has been thinking about speaking in public.
John was a brilliant leader in the session; hugely kind, empathetic and generous, drawing on a range of science, psychology, literature and his own experience of this fear - plus the experience of having tutored so many people - to offer us many helpful tools and suggestions. We all found different things provided 'aha' moments or helped us move that bit closer to our goal and it was helpful being able to test then feedback after each exercise -even just the opportunity to voice things you felt silly about and shine a light on being ashamed was of enormous help. The group size was ideal - small enough to bond but big enough to genuinely test ourselves speaking to a group. We all felt supported to the degree that I think we all made huge progress over the course of the weekend.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
Thanks so much John - this was a real turning point for me and has given me confidence to keep on improving

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I have been practicing 'Assume Support' and chatting more openly to people I don't know, to build that sense of confidence in speaking out and connecting. Remembering that I am enough as I am, and not to take it all so seriously.

Jethro gives me a hug but don’t worry its not compulsory

What did you want from the course?
To feel more comfortable when speaking in front of a large group and understand how to calm nerves and speak calmly.

Did you get it?

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I genuinely thought it was great and wouldn't change much at all.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The size of the group was great. The way John delivered the course was fantastic, very engaging with lots of stories.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
I don't offer hugs to many course leaders but had such a good time and felt a genuine warmth and passion shining through, throughout the two days. A truly fantastic course that not only helped to take the pressure off public speaking but bred a type of self confidence in the entire group that was clearly lacking at the beginning of the event.

Jethro Binns
CEO SquashSkills

Becca is, as they say, a happy bunny!

What did you want from the course?

The dream was to start enjoying public speaking rather than fearing it.

Did you get it?
I did! By the end of the second day I was actually beginning to feel excitement about the idea of public speaking!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Honestly I can't think of a single thing.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
IT WORKS! The course is really cleverly put together - everything works beautifully to gradually reroute the way you think about public speaking over 2 days. John is a star - clever, caring, funny, empathetic and really supportive. I felt very well taken care of and he went to lengths to build a connection with each one of us, gently pushing us to challenge ourselves.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
I never dreamed I would feel excited about the idea of public speaking. Thank you John.

Angela writes about the two day course in Manchester

What did you want from the course?
Deal with anxiety and blanking whilst speaking spontaneously. Gain confidence.

Did you get it?

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
It all worked well for me, location, facilities etc.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was very relaxed and encouraging.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
This was the opposite of usual presentations skills courses that obsess on the number of times you say 'ermm' or trip up over your words. This course re-trains your thinking and helps to overcome harmful and untrue beliefs.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I've done one singing appointment and an unprepared party speech - being comfortable with blank faces has made a huge difference already. Understanding that that is just a normal listening face is a game-changer. Not focusing on presenting and performance, just having a normal chat takes the pressure off.

March 2019

Hi John,
It's Caitlin here, I found your course absolutely fantastic! Whilst challenging at times it was exactly what I needed.
You provided a very safe environment in which I and others were able to step out of our comfort zones and discover what we are really capable of. I really admire the way you brought together a group of complete strangers and created a real connection between us all through our common fear of public speaking and being the centre of attention.

I was very sceptical about how effective this course would be for me, as I have tried countless ways of battling my anxiety (medication, CBT, and more medication), however I always seemed to end up in the same place making no real progress. Within just 2 days, and after a few tears, I felt a weight lift off me and it was the first time I have ever felt so unburdened by my anxiety!
It was a truly liberating feeling and made me realise that a shift in perspective and mindset goes a long way and creates a lot more value than medication and avoidance!

I actually attended a Toastmasters session tonight (it was one of the less formal and more laid back groups I'm glad to say) and as simple as it might seem to everybody else, I stood up to introduce myself and actually quite enjoyed it! This is a HUGE deal for me, as someone who would've bolted out the door at the mention of introducing myself. I didn't recite anything in my head, I just trusted that the words would come and of course they did! I texted my mum after and told her I happily introduced myself to the group and she was over the moon. I am really looking forward to the next session to get stuck in more.

I have been reading your follow up notes religiously and found a YouTube video you created too, which has been very helpful in reinforcing everything!
The work you do is amazing, and it is so so clear that you truly care about what you do. I am glad that my lifetime has overlapped with yours and that I have been able to learn these things from you.
Many many many thanks,

I was quite apprehensive about going on the course but realised that I needed to improve my public speaking skills so persuaded myself to go for it. Once I arrived at the venue on the first morning I soon realised that everyone was in the same boat and it wasn't going to be as scary as I thought.
John made the room feel very relaxed and comfortable, everyone got on really well and it turned out we had quite a bit in common with each other.
I now have a range of tools to practice when speaking and generally feel more confident about doing it.
If you are looking to improve public speaking and your self confidence then don't hesitate on booking yourself onto the course, it’s worth it!

Julie writes about a two days course in Bristol

Dear John,
I can't emphasise enough what a pleasure it was to meet you & be part of that wonderful, inspirational group of people.

What I wanted from the course:
To be able to talk to others without going red, or getting the dreaded shaky voice and blank mind. To be able to talk in front of others without it costing me so much.

Did you get it?
It was life changing. I learned that it was ok to be myself. To not have to apologise for taking up room and that at times, having a chat with others could be... dare I say it, enjoyable? fun? Who knew?!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I loved it. So much, that my only suggestion for any additions would be follow up/progression/consolidation courses. I would definitely find this a useful addition.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
That you are encouraged to be yourself and that John enables this by encouraging small steps, being authentic, genuine and kind. I also loved John's stories. Sad, amusing or courageous. They were touching and memorable.

I was also deeply moved by the group. Seeing other people overcome their struggles was just inspirational. I will always remember those people. They will be with me in every audience whenever I speak.
Thanks so much for everything John, you are a legend. 
With thanks & best wishes, 
Clinical Psychologist

Dear John,
I really can't thank you enough for such a fantastic course it really has helped me beyond belief! I've been to 2 talks and asked questions whoop whoop!!!
Best wishes,

What did you want from the course?
To become more confident with public speaking and to be able to ask questions in a talk or meeting and not just keep quiet because I don't want the attention to be on me.

Did you get it?
YES!! And a WHOLE lot more.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
No response

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought the size of the group (10 people) was great, not too many people but also not too few. I liked the questions that you asked us after each exercise which really made me think about what we'd just done and how I had found it. I normally hate questions like that!
I really liked that it was first names only to begin with and no questions about what we all did or anything like that but then that people felt so safe to be so open and giving.. I knew it would be emotional in the way that I knew I would be terrified (I try not to use this word any more!) but it was emotional in a totally different and really fantastic way.
The course was fantastic, it pushed me to my absolute limits and further out of my comfort zone then I ever like to be but it was all so so worth it. The first day I was red in the face, sweaty, shaking and thought at one point my heart might actually leave my body as it was thumping so hard and loud! The second day I was probably still red in the face, sweaty and shaking but I could deal with it and accept it and stand up and be OK with being there and talking/having a conversation.
I have got far more out of this course then just some tools for public speaking it has been life changing, I know that may sound a bit cheesy and over the top but it is the truth. I use it every single day in every aspect of my life and I have been practising. I have asked questions in talks and have had to introduce a speaker and have 2 talks lined up.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
It's not all about me but it's OK for me to be here and take the space

Liz, a Doctor, came on a London Course

What did you want from the course?
The ability to understand the fear of public speaking and some simple techniques to make me feel more present when presenting.

Did you get it?
Yes. I felt by the end of the course I was able to speak more freely, even enjoying it!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
1. John is a great facilitator and shares personal experience to make the group members feel safe and welcome. It was a great paced course with plenty of opportunity for reflection as well as practice.

2. The ability and space to reflect on own and other's comments, thoughts and feelings.

Feb 2019

Claire, a charity manager, writes about my two day course in Bristol

I can’t thank you enough for last week. I really enjoyed the two days and was so hugely encouraged by everything we covered.

What did you want from the course?

To feel more comfortable being the centre of attention and more confident to speak in front of an audience.

Did you get it?
Yes definitely. John created a safe space for me to step out of my comfort zone and learn to trust myself. He normalised the fears I had of being the centre of attention and at the same time completely reframed how I now view public speaking. I learnt to own my story and be more accepting of who I am. I can’t thank John enough.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
This was one of the best courses I have ever done. I can’t think of any improvements to suggest!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The carefully curated exercises John took us through transformed a room full of strangers into a team cheering one another on. I loved his use of stories- the pelican crossing one was one of the most powerful moments of the whole course for me.
A big heartfelt thank you.

Callum writes about a two day course in London

What did you want from the course?
To come out of it with greater confidence speaking in public and being comfortable being centre of attention.

Did you get it?
Yes and a lot more.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing, I was very happy with it.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked how we were taught what fear is and how our mind responds to fear. I also liked how we were able to learn from others.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
John is a life changer. I walked out of that course a different man.

January 2019

from a Bristol google review in January 2019
John is very skilled at what he does, and has the rare ability to normalise and bring humour to stressful situations that came up when we learning to feel comfortable standing in front of others. I would highly recommend his weekend course, not only to learn new skills in public speaking, but to get in touch with what it means to be your 'self'. In my opinion, the gift of having a teacher who supports and promotes you to be more of 'you' is the best teacher of all! Thank you, John for showing up for us all.
Elise Parsons

from a Manchester google review in January 2019 and his course feedback that he sent by email in italics
Such an incredibly powerful experience. This course is about so much more than public speaking. To be in a room with like minded individuals is both unique and comforting. John has given me the ability to feel comfortable to just be me...what a burden to lighten!

This course is so much more than public speaking. Being in a room with nine other individuals whom all feel exactly the same about public speaking is both unique and liberating. I learnt that I was not alone. John gave me the tools to teach myself to be confident in my own skin and I soon realised that I have been my own worst critic for my entire life so far. I have come away from the course with an element of excitement about my next talk in public, whether that be a speech or a board meeting. I am enthusiastic about utilising my new found skills and ammunition to slowly conquer my fear whilst embracing my nerves.
Jake Ankers

from a Manchester google review in January 2019
Extremely worthwhile 2 days. Gained so much more than I had from reading books on presentations. This is different. Reaches all aspects of life, not just public speaking. Just do it - life is too short not to take your place in this world.
Sarah Norman

Emma writes about a two day course in Manchester

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to gain confidence in presenting/talking in front of people.

Did you get it?
I did

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I thought it was fantastic so it’s difficult to say.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The size was perfect, any more people would have been unwieldy and any less, wouldn’t have had the same benefits. The snacks and tea / coffee availability was great. The location was easy to get to and central with plenty of food options nearby. The room was peaceful, I felt like it was a good size, it was calming and private.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
Thanks John, you seem incredibly authentic and caring and I immediately felt at ease when I met you. I enjoyed the two days immensely. I felt exhausted after but it was well worth it. I have already put in practice the learnings, and I am hopeful I can continue to. I realise it’s not an immediate fix and I have to carry on practicing but the two days experience in front of an audience was invaluable. The practice was something I never could have experienced through reading a book. The recommendation to consider public speaking as having a conversation with each audience member was like a lightbulb switching on in my head. I don’t know why I had never thought of it like this before. I would highly highly recommend this course.

Deena El-Shirbiny, a GP, writes about a two day course in London

What did you want from the course
To tackle my anxiety when talking in front of groups. To harness skills already there

Did you get it?
Yes! Rather than being told 'what to do', this course inspired me to realise I already know how to do it and I have the ability/skills already. (I love this comment, it’s so true, I think confidence is all about trusting ourselves more and getting out of our way. So in a way it’s always been there- thanks Deena for this, John)

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I think it was great, unique and wouldn't change anything about it. Only thing I can think of would be a refresher course which is shorter for people who have done it before. to build upon it when they have had time to practice in reality. Perhaps this is already available?

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Relaxed, slowly built up tackling the underlying reasons people find it hard.

December 2018

Hi John,
I found the course one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had. Thank you for creating the time, space and opportunity for us all to explore, learn, put into practice, and support each other. I’ve done a few courses in the past and this honestly is one that will stay with me forever. THANK YOU.

What did you want from the course?
Build confidence in speaking publicly, both at meetings and presenting to/hosting larger groups. I wanted to understand the nature of the anxiety and fear that we face, and learn tips to share with myself and others who I enable to speak at work events.

Did you get it?
Yes, and so much more. Two days enabled us to build understanding and trust, with plenty of time to put the lessons into practice.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Lots of sitting down on not so comfy seats, would’ve preferred a bit more time to move around although that’s entirely personal, not sure anyone else felt the same. Breaks were more than adequate.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John’s sincerity and passion for why he does what he does. He brought kindness, understanding and interest to every part and every hour of the course. John made himself available to everybody, and gently encouraged without forcing or shaming anybody into doing something that they didn’t want to do. He created a safe space for everybody on the course, himself included, which enabled us to open up and always assume support.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and thankful to John and everybody who took part on the course.

Rachel Barker

Chris writes about a two day course
John, I just wanted to say thank you, I probably can’t express in words the impact the course has had on my mindset about speaking.
The course was just brilliant. The ability to practice in a safe environment, with like minded people was priceless.
But it was also so much more than just gaining confidence in speaking in front of others. The course generated thoughts on why I had a fear of speaking aloud that explored my upbringing, family life and social circle which brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.
The other participants were a joy to share the experience with at times it was truly a privilege to be in the same room.
The environment that was created, the content, the ability to practice was just beyond my expectations. Towards the end you was able to play and see the fun that could be had with speaking in public.
John, I can’t thank you enough I just want to do it all over again!!
Chris Kennedy

I liked that there was no power-point or frills as it demonstrated that honest conversation is the most interesting form of interaction.
I also liked that you didn’t try to fit too much into the course and kept it simple. This meant that we weren’t over loaded with information and we were given many opportunities to practice talking in front of each other.
The group was small which also allowed us plenty of practice taking it in turns to deliver and the group size wasn’t too intimidating.
John is very relaxed and friendly which made me feel at ease and involved the whole group throughout.
Practice techniques which will help to clear my mind and stop it from racing.
Stop myself from over- analysing things that I have said.
Many thanks for the training.
Kind Regards,

Danielle writes
I feel my confidence and relationships improved overall because of the course - which came as a surprise to me. Interesting that these skills spill over into everyday life and not simply whilst public speaking.When I came across this course online, it caught my attention because it seemed genuine and not gimmicky. I was so pleased that it lived up to this. You focus on the root problems rather than superficial assistance.
So thank you!

Chris writes
Thanks for an excellent 2 days!

What did you want from the course?
To develop skills and techniques to overcome confidence issues I had when presenting at work.

Did you get it?
Yes and so much more besides. I realised that a lot of the fears and challenges I had with presenting were holding me back in social situations too. I feel like a big weight has been lifted. Talking with people feels so much less daunting now than it did earlier this week.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing comes to mind.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The way in which a safe setting was created so quickly. I felt very comfortable opening up within an hour of starting. I felt like a different person and actually enjoyed talking with my course colleagues.

November 2018

Thank you once again for the course you ran, I genuinely found it incredibly useful and I am trying to integrate some the techniques you provided me with into my everyday life.
Truly a fantastic course, very happy I went, and I thoroughly believe in everything I was taught. Before attending I could not imagine being able to feel so calm speaking in front of others as I did by the end of the second day of the course. Now it is just up to me to remember what I have being taught and to implement it successfully in work and personal life.
Tom Petterson

Sanne, came over from the Netherlands to take a two day course. I wish the course worked as well for everyone who comes!

Dear John,
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you – I wanted to let it sink in for a few days before passing on my feedback.
I wish I could have expressed that to you before heading home, but I was still processing my final breakthrough moment of that afternoon. As you said, that was probably a big part of the core of the issues I was facing and helped me realise some things.
Anyway – a HUGE thank you for changing my mindset when it comes to speaking (and “being”)! It was amazing to see the whole group transform, you’re doing truly inspirational work.
Thank you.

What did you want from the course?
I was looking for ways to understand and deal with my public speaking anxiety before following the general advice to “just practise more”.
What attracted me in the course was that it was focused on how to be more confident rather than to come across as more confident. Talking in public, or in big groups has always been a barrier for me. I tended to avoid those situations and if I did want to speak up, I would overthink what I have to say dramatically, and end up A) not saying anything or B) not getting my thoughts across effectively. My ultimate goal would be to talk about things I’m passionate about in a way that gets the message across and inspires people, no matter the context or group size. I hoped this course would be the first step towards reaching that goal.

Did you get it?
YES! As I’ve told anyone who asked me about the course, it was truly transformational. Not because I am suddenly a great public speaker, but because I am comfortable trying. John has a unique approach to teaching, which helps you to step-by-step become comfortable with being in front of a crowd. I am highly motivated now to practise more, and my fears don’t seem so overwhelming anymore. To add to that, I didn’t realise how much I needed this course before taking it. As a person who thought she knew herself quite well, I am amazed with how much I learnt about myself and how much it changed my way of thinking. Together with my eye-lasering operation it probably was the best money I ever spent on myself!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I’d love to help you improve, but really nothing comes mind. What did you like about the course/facilitation? I liked the informal and intimate setting. The group size worked very well – big enough to get different perspectives yet small enough to get to know each other and open ourselves up. The location was also perfect. Occupation Digital Product Designer

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I started a list where I take note of all the little ways in which I am trying to go against my “hiding” instincts.
This started with proactively chatting with the Uber driver on the way to the London airport and postponing a meeting when I was sick the day after because I should be there (rather than letting others go on with it without me). Yesterday I made the biggest step so far: my sister and I organised a big surprise dinner for my parents’ 30-year marriage with the whole family. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to me for a little speech. Because my extroverted and outgoing sister already prepared something (assuming I wasn’t volunteering as usual) we decided to do the speech together. She started off and I took over halfway – the ideal way to “dip my toes in” rather than jumping in all at once. My parents knew how much of a big deal this was to me, which made the night even more special. Though I know there’s still things I could have improved on, the fact I did it (and survived) is a huge encouragement to keep going. I felt empowered! Besides – I would have never taken the initiative in the first place if it wasn’t for your course. As I mentioned during the course I was planning on doing a presentation at work, during a weekly session called “HotTops”. Here anyone has the freedom to talk about a topic they’re passionate about for ten minutes. I was sick that day (no, not an excuse this time..) so my next step will be to do this coming Friday. I’m confident I’m on the right track to conquer my fears and will keep making small steps to get there. And if I ever do end up giving a TED talk, you’ll be the first to know! Can I quote your feedback for publicity purposes? Of course – and feel free to correct any grammar mistakes if necessary.

Sanne de Vries

George writes about a two day course in London. His feedback has helped me change the course

What did you want from the course?
To feel more relaxed and confident speaking in front of groups

Did you get it?
Yes, the course really helped me to feel I could stand in front of a group and be my natural self. John does an excellent job of building up the foundations gradually, with each exercise feeling like an achievable step. The course was also very moving , seeing people really open up about why they fear public speaking and then to see them transform over the two days to giving inspiring, emotive talks to the group speaking from the heart.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Encouraging people to leave their phones in their bags and trying to fully engage with the session. As an audience member I was getting a little distracted by someone next to me constantly checking his phone, though perhaps this was a way of dealing with feeling uncomfortable.
(Yes, George, you are absolutely right. I have now changed the ground rules and the course letter to ask people to be respectful of others with their mobile use. I am really sorry I should have done this on your course. But huge thanks for pointing this out, John)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John creates a relaxed and safe environment where people can open up and express how they feel about public speaking. The content of the course is excellent with lots of useful tips and practices, as well as offering lots of time to get comfortable speaking to the group. I was very moved by the course.

Thanks again for a wonderful course.
George Mayfield

October 2018

Thank you again a for a wonderful two days, I got so much more out of it then I could ever have imagined. I genuinely feel well on the way to having a better relationship with myself.
All the very best,

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel less terrified speaking in front of people, less self-conscious, and more able to think on my feet.

Did you get it?
Absolutely. Although I’ve not yet had a chance to speak in front of a group of people and put what I learnt into practice, I’m confident that when I do I’ll be fine. Everyone comes to the course with different worries around public speaking, but John’s approach meant that each of us could apply the tools we learnt to our individual fears. I found the two days very cathartic, which surprised me as I expected to spend the whole time feeling very anxious. John really breaks fear down, and the barriers we place in front of ourselves, and this new understanding was the breakthrough moment for me.

Its more than a course about public speaking, it’s about recognising the things holding us back, and the ability to speak in front of others is just one area that suffers when we are burdened by self-doubt. My biggest takeaway from the course was realising that I need to trust myself more and allow myself to be imperfect. I know it sounds cliche, but the course made me realise that I can stop hiding, that I should take my place in the world, and that I’m already enough.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing at all.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
t doesn’t feel like a course as such, it feels like a bunch of like-minded people working through their fears, excellently guide by John. It’s also very relaxed and there is no pressure at all, which I think is important for people who are very nervous. The facilitation of the course is the best part: John is incredibly generous of spirit, encouraging, and leads by example. We need more Johns in this world…!


Ifeyi writes about a two day course in London

What did you want from the course?
I have a fear of speaking in public and I simply wanted to learn some basic tools and techniques to 'manage' and control that fear, in a group setting.

Did you get it?
I did get it and much more! I thought I was simply going to come away from the course with some basic tools and techniques to help me get through presentations - I mean, what revolutionary shifts could one possibly make in two days???!!! Boy was I wrong! What I got was so much more than I could have ever imagined. Not only was I given basic tools, but the course took me on a transformative journey of self reflection, a better understanding of the root of my fears and ability to deal with those fears in practical ways. I also had the opportunity to challenge limiting self-beliefs and silence my inner critic. This is helping me to shift my view of myself in relation to the 'world' in a way that embraces my personal power and builds my confidence.

The compassion, kindness, patience and wisdom in which the sessions are facilitated, is really second to none, andreally encouraged the participants to be open and honest!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I really don't have much to say about what could be improved - I mean the only thing I would note is that the session late in the afternoon on the second day was a little rushed. The facilities were good but it did get a little warm in the room (though as we go into winter I'm sure that is not a bad thing!)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought the course was extremely well structured - the sessions started with the fundamentals, the building blocks designed to incrementally improve confidence and resilience. The interaction with the group was also well-managed, with clear guidelines and rules of engagement.

I especially appreciated your honesty and vulnerability in discussing your own personal journey and experiences. I believe this also helped the participants in turn be very open and honest within the group about our own particular issues and feelings - truly inspiring a feeling of deep connection and trust.

Kitty, a university student wrote to me a few weeks after her course

Hi John,
I just wanted to email you to let you know that I did two presentations on Monday in front of 50 people and another one again yesterday in front of 100 people. The lecturer from the one yesterday thought it was so good that she has asked me to do it again for her class on Friday.
I honestly would not have been able to do that without all of your help and I will forever be in debt to you for that!
It has changed my whole experience on public speaking and unfortunately for some (good for me) I am beginning to really like the sound of my own voice!!
Thank you SO SO much and I really hope others are having the same great experience.
All the best,

September 2018

Two days after a course Matt sends me this

Hi John,
In lieu of proper feedback, just to say a very quick thank you for what turned out to be a very constructive, enlightening and thought provoking course. It went much deeper than I ever thought and, in a good way, has actually led to me thinking more positively and honestly about life and work in general.

I actually think it will help me also to become a better team leader – I did my usual Monday morning team talk yesterday and found myself talking to the team about the importance of being a team, supporting each other and being there for one another during busy times – it caught me by surprise as it wasn’t planned but I think they really liked it and it has opened my eyes to a new way of being a ‘leader’ – to be more open and to be myself essentially! J

I also had my talk this morning in front of students, something which even last week I would have wriggled out of (and then felt the ‘shame’ of doing so!). No great surprise that following your advice it all went very well and I actually enjoyed it – I did feel nervous beforehand but didn’t let the fear stop me and I found in practise that the thing which I most applied was to really welcome the blank faces, I didn’t let them phase me where as before that would have freaked me out, and, dare I say it, I even snuck in a couple of Jacuzzi pauses for maximum impact!

So proper feedback incoming but just wanted to share that with you as an immediate positive impact and the start of my steps to overcoming the fear. Thank you for that

All the best (can’t wait for the book!)

Hi John,
thank you for all the information and a brilliant 2 days. Below is my feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted some tips and tricks to deliver great presentations. I hoped that by the end I would be able to deliver great presentations to diverse audiences and really be able to get my point across.

Did you get it?
Ha! Yes and no. There were lots of good tips and ideas about how to deliver presentations - less content, eye contact, conversational style, acknowledging the fear, for example. However, it was so much more than that. It was really about developing myself and how to live with the vulnerability inherent in public speaking and also in the work I do, confidence and self-worth. This is immeasurably better than a box of tricks to wow an audience

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly don't think anything could have improved the course.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really liked how safe the space was, how sensitive and non-judgemental the facilitation was and how openness was modelled by the facilitation throughout.

Thanks again for a great course,
Helen Erswell
Specialty Registrar in Public Health

I got Clare's feedback on my birthday. What a lovely present!

Hi John
I thought I’d wait until I’d tried out public speaking before filling this in. And I have now spoken on panels and in an interview three times and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed it. It would have been unthinkable to imagine this six months ago.
Thank you so much for those two days, one of the most life affirming things I’ve ever done.
Best wishes

What did you want from the course? 
To conquer a lifetime phobia of public speaking

Did you get it? 
100% yes.
I didn’t really understand how much until I started public speaking a few months later.
The difference was that instead of dreading it for months I was looking forward to it.
I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed it and that’s something I never thought I could feel.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing it’s perfect as is.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It’s a relaxed intimate feel. The other people on the course genuinely support you and you quickly form a bond with them.
John is very warm and generous spirited. You don’t feel judged but supported. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you conquer your fear of speaking in public.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish: 
The reason I went on this course was because I had a debut novel coming out and I knew I’d be doing quite a bit of public speaking.
I’d spent decades avoiding it. What drew me to this course was the fact that John wasn’t trying to teach us to be the world’s greatest speakers.
More to feel relaxed about being in the public eye and to take up our place in the world.
That’s exactly what happened for me.

August 2018

Jackie writes a lovely letter which made me tear up...
Hi John
I would like to thank you so much for helping me to find myself again!  I can't believe how great I feel everyday now that I know how to control my inner critic and by assuming support from everyone around me.  It feels like a massive weight has been lifted and I am able to enjoy life again! 
I have suffered from post-natal depression for the last few years and every day has been a real struggle. After attending your course I now feel like my old self again and it's brilliant!
My home life and my work life have improved immensely and I am so grateful for what you have done for me.  I said on the course that you would need to perform a miracle to help me and oh my word you certainly have done that!
Team meetings with my 5 colleagues have been far more rewarding though I'm not sure about speaking to a larger audience yet, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it 😊
I really can't thank you enough, you are amazing! 
Take care and all the best
Jackie x

Katie writes about a two day course in Bristol

Dear John
Your course was the best course I've ever done and has had such a positive effect on me.  
I feel so much more relaxed and confident speaking up at work, and in life generally.  Since the course I have had the confidence to ask for an assistant at work, and I got one! I've started training her in graphic design.  Something that would have scared me in the past. The words flow freely now and I actually enjoy people listening to me, and I'm happy for them to look at me too.
I feel so much calmer when speaking up now.  I don't feel the need to rush, and my words come far more easily because of that. I don't worry about being imperfect anymore. I'm so much more relaxed and this has subdued the shaking and pounding heart.
I'm going to continue speaking up at work and continue enjoying being the new relaxed and confident me!  
Thank you John.  You have made such a positive difference to my life. 
All the very best

Mary writes about two day course in Manchester

Dear John,
Thank you so much for running such a fantastic course. I thought the way that you facilitated the group and brought together such a diverse group of people was exceptional and showed real skill - you really are great at what you do! You also really fostered a sense of cohesion between the group, whilst making each and every one us feel safe and providing space for us to do such deep work. Even though I was extremely nervous and anxious about the course beforehand, (running through my usual routine of how to avoid/miss/cancel the day), upon arrival I felt comfortable, looked after and as though I could ease into getting the most out of the day! It was also much appreciated that I you supported me on the phone after the first day when I was over-analysing what I'd said to the rest of the group.
I've already noticed a significant shift in the way I feel about myself and the way I'm carrying myself day to day. Though I can't quite put it into words, I do feel like there's been a fundamental shift psychologically in how I see myself. I'm finding myself talking down the inner critique and bigging up my inner ally. The "school of can't be arsed" is also really serving me well and quietening my overly analytical mind.
Since the course, I have organised two conferences, speaking at both of these to open and close the day - a real leap forward to me. I've also just agreed to mediate a workshop at another big conference in October  I still need to present my research at a conference, so am hoping to do a few talks in quick succession when I complete and submit my thesis. I'm also feeling more open to speaking to people more generally in my day to day life. Paramount to this is "assuming approval" even in those small and momentary everyday encounters with people. I think that seeing that people that I don't know and probably wouldn't speak to in my normal life be so open and supportive of each other was also quite profound for me!
The only thing that I can think of that could be improved with the course is for it to be a little bit more mixed in terms of gender as I was a bit startled to see so many men on the first day!  (Its very rare to have such a gender imbalance on a course - John)
Saying that, this mattered less and less as the course went on and I became more comfortable in myself. It was also fairly enlightening to see so many men open up about their feelings and lives, which I'm aware masculinity doesn't often make space for!
Best wishes,

Mercy writes about the Manchester public speaking course

The reason I attended the course was to improve my public speaking skills, especially, managing
nerves and speaking with confidence. Prior to attending your course, I had been to some
other courses which almost made me conclude that my case was beyond therapy.
I viewed public speaking with trepidation. 

I am happy I rescinded my decision not to attend anymore courses on Public speaking.
Right from the first session, it felt right; it appeared like it was tailor-made to address the
particular issues I struggled with. I feel more confident and no longer unnerved by blank faces when I speak.
I particularly liked the practical and non-theoretical style employed; it was so down-to-earth.
The friendly and non-judgmental approach made me feel relaxed. 
I am a Law lecturer and a PhD student. 

Keep up the good work.
Kind regards,
Mercy Oke-Chinda

Stu Paris writes about a two day course

What did you want from the course?
To feel comfortable when talking in front of a group of people for work, customers, employees.

Did you get it?
Absolutely, it was a eye opener for me as most of my fears we down to me and I feel I can now control that, things have been easier in the last couple of company briefs.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing really, it was pretty easy going atmosphere.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought it was delivered at the right pace and the group contribution was excellent, everyone involved in pairs and as a group.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:
It was great to hear the barriers people faced when speaking in public and how they were same as mine.
To see the confidence grow in the people over the two days was brilliant and I could feel that my individual fears disappearing the more I stood up and talked in front of the group.

Managing Director
Stu Parris

I ran an in-house course in New York in December 2017 and sometimes it takes months to get feedback. I'm not complaining at all

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to think about what I could do to present myself more confidently in public speaking situations. Many of my reactions to being in front of people are involuntary physical reactions and so just getting comfortable with being in front of others is often a lot of work for me. 

Did you get it?
Absolutely - in fact I felt like the course was about so much more than public speaking. It was about public being and I didn't even actually realize that that's what I needed help with in many ways. It was challenging but also deeply rewarding to step back and think about how to take space without being self-conscious (because that is something I've struggled with always). I realized how much time I spend thinking about what other people think of me and thinking about what I need to say to make them think well of me instead of being in the moment and speaking/listening.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I think the course was very effective, but I would have loved more time. I feel like in many ways what I experienced was just getting started. 

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought aside from the personal benefits, it was a wonderful team-building exercise for our work team. I felt closer to the people in the session in two days than I had in six months of working with most of them. Again, while on one level this was about work and public speaking related to what we do, on another level it was about who we are as people and how we relate to each other, which is incredibly valuable to workplace dynamics.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I took a lot away from this course about how I present myself, but also how I talk to myself in stressful situations. My penchant to overthink and be critical really felt addressed by the work that we did. It was enlightening and rewarding.
Mekala Krishnan

Hi John
I just wanted to let you know that the wedding was two weeks ago and it was an absolutely perfect day.  I was reasonably relaxed and actually quite enjoyed it once I got going.  I wasn’t wracked with nerves and it in no way upset or spoiled the day.
So once again – thank you, thank you, thank you.
With my very, very best wishes

Thank you so much for the course last week, It was not what I expected at all, but that's a good thing. I thought the course was excellent, and I'm planning on doing the follow up course with you sometime next year. By then I'll have some more public speaking under my belt and will hopefully be fully putting into practice the things covered last week.
Anyway, thanks again. I think the work you do is incredible, and the 2 days last week has made a big difference to me already.
Best regards,

What did you want from the course? 
I wanted to hopefully reduce the terrible anxiety I felt when public speaking and learn more about why I might be experiencing the physical symptoms, not just while in front of an audience, but also in the weeks leading up to an event. It felt irrational to me and I began to get frustrated with myself, as I was shying away from sharing my ideas and research findings, and began to make excuses. I have worked hard for many years to get to this point, and this phobia was turning into a significant barrier for me both in my personal life, and for my career.

Did you get it? 
I certainly did. John is an excellent teacher and is as passionate about the subject as he is knowledgeable. I now feel I have a much greater understanding of where the fear comes from, and have come away determined not to let it limit me in the future. Although I feel I obviously still have a long way to go, I now understand this is a first step in a long journey. I am a million miles from where I was, however, and feel so much more comfortable after just 2 days with John and the rest of the group.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The venue was ideal. I felt very comfortable there and the facilities were excellent. John is clearly an expert at what he does, and worked hard to make everyone as comfortable as possible whilst ensuring all members of the group were consistently making significant progress and pushing past their own individual boundaries. It is clear to me now that everyone has their different reasons for being there, but the fundamental problems are shared by everyone. These fundamentals were the focus of the 2 days and that worked very well. I felt that the whole group made unbelievable progress by focussing on these fundamental points under John's guidance. The standout benefit of the whole course for me was the atmosphere and spirit of kindness within the whole group. Everyone was incredibly supportive. For me this made confronting some of these issues so much more manageable.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish: 
I'd like to thank you John for being so good at what you do. I saw those 2 days as a starting point to getting where I want to be when speaking in public. I feel so much more comfortable now at the start of that journey as a result of your help and support.


July 2018

I really lacked confidence and belief in myself around speaking in public. I am quite happy to sit around a table and participate at meetings but for me standing up in front of an audience instilled fear. When I have had to stand up in front of an audience in the past I have found myself speaking very fast to get to the end as quickly as possible, it seemed as if I hadn't paused for breath.
I really wanted to change this and the course has really set me off on the right path. By the end of the two days, I was feeling confident when it was my turn to stand up, I was happy to pause and think before speaking and the concept of speaking to one person at a time really helped. I would really recommend this two day course, John the facilitator is great and helps you feel at ease as soon as you walk in the room. He really works hard with everyone which allowed us to feel we could do this. He works at a pace everyone is comfortable with and whilst the course has structure, he was happy to adapt to ensure we got the best out of it.
If you want to change your mind about public speaking, then give this course a go, I don't think you will regret it. Thanks John you have given me the tools to move this forward and maybe enjoy speaking in public, something I didn't think I would ever be able to say.  
Kind Regards
Liz Pickering 

June 2018

Hi John, 
I came on your London course over 2 years ago now and have been a committed member of Toastmasters ever since. I feel free in a way that I never thought I would; I’ve delivered assemblies comfortably several times to 300 people- including all of the staff and have delivered staff presentations and done a leaving speech for a colleague. My fear is not an issue any more; I feel I can go for promotion to senior management in my school, and this is all because I did your course. 
Thank you John. 
Best regards, 

Johns course was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. It was extremely comforting to be in a safe place with other people who felt the same way as me, after years of feeling as though I was alone in my fears. John is a great coach, he makes you feel at ease and he is extremely talented at what he does. I would highly recommend the course and if you are unsure, just go for it!"

Lina writes about a conference she was dreading before she came on the two day course...
I have an update on my first public speaking experience after your course. I think my first attempt went very well ; ) I actually managed (not sure how) to transform my fear into excitement and I delivered the opening speech, chaired all speakers presentations (over 2 days) and then delivered the closing speech at an international conference that I organised. I didn't blush and didn't have any notes. My speeches were no longer that 5 minutes, but I thought that it was a good start.  So, once again- THANK YOU so much for your invaluable help! Your course is inspiring, cleverly designed and it was a marvellous experience with lasting positive change for me.
With very best wishes,

This review from Vicky first appeared on Google
It felt like a positive step to embark on John’s course, but walking through the door on day one I felt extremely anxious. However John put me instantly at ease; he creates a very supportive environment, and has both an encouraging and reassuring manner.
At the outset I really wasn’t sure what to expect or how the course could help me overcome my fear. Yet John is so inspiring and enabled me to change my whole mindset about public speaking. It’s been truly transformative - I can’t thank you enough John.
John is obviously passionate about his work, his course feels very personal, and he shows great empathy as well as bringing a sense of humour. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone with any level of anxiety towards public speaking.
Vicky Oram

May 2018

Hi John, I thoroughly enjoyed the two day course. I got more out of it than I actually thought I would! It is a very well put together course and I would definitely recommend it those who fear public speaking like most of us. It deconstructs that fear.

Jamie from the armed forces write about the two day course
The course is perfectly designed and breaks down the problems people face when public speaking and changes your way of thinking about them. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has anxiety regarding public speaking. I've tried all sorts over the years including hypnotherapy , none of which helped me. This course really does help and I wish I had taken it 15 years ago. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I finished the course and was really proud of the groups achievements.

Ben sends me an email a month after his course
Hi John
A quick email to let you know that I did two one hour presentations to 20-30 people a couple of weeks ago and they went pretty well.
This is a massive achievement for me and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without your course.
Thanks again!

Sam sends me a letter two years after the course
Hi John,
I just wanted to touch base with you as I attended one of your 2 day courses in Manchester a couple of years ago.
In the days following the course I remember being quite buoyant about public speaking largely from the practice sessions on the course. Whilst I still get nervous when faced with public speaking, I now have the confidence to not actively shy away from it.
For me an even bigger thing that I learnt from your course was the concept of being 'comfortable in your own storm' and being happy with being 'good enough', whereas, before I can see it was my fear of failure and not being perfect that held me back from doing things. 
Some things I have embraced in the past couple of years include being a junior rugby coach, a Cub Scout leader and I have provided several training courses within my company to both finance and non finance people (I am an accountant by trade). I generally feel I am living life to its full potential now, whereas, in the past it felt there was always something holding me back. 
I just wanted to let you know that it's great work that you are doing and I, like many others am extremely grateful to you and your teachings. 
Best Regards

David writes about a two day course
I just wanted to say again thank you – I’m sure loads of people have told you this but I cannot believe how different I feel after just two days. I keep practising the small things, keep telling myself ‘I am enough’ and it’s like a slowly building snowball, the more I do the better I feel and the more I feel I can do.
I particularly liked the ‘science’ behind why we feel the way we do – and for me the benefits of that understanding have gone way beyond just making me easier over the speech. I thought the venue was excellent, very relaxing, overall it was an excellent experience
I get a huge sense of achievement and pride when I help a business through difficult times, or help them realise their goals, but I cannot imagine how proud you must be seeing the transformation in people over such a short time.
It was a privilege to come on your course and to meet you

Jon writes about a two day course
I can honestly say it’s the best course I have ever done and a truly great experience. The way you got the group to lower their ‘threat head’ and share the stuff we did was pretty amazing and something I’ll keep with me for years to come.
One of my main fears was not being prepared with something to say, as in the past I have been stuck for words due to nerves but you made us realise it wasn’t ‘all about ourselves’ and that it wasn’t a performance. There is no one to impress, by being yourself that is enough.
By the end of the course I could actually say I enjoyed having the feeling of speaking my thoughts in front of people rather than from a script. I can say I’m a graduate from the School Of Can’t Be Arsed and I’m proud of that! I loved the introduction to the course, the way you made everyone feel at ease and gradually progressed us throughout the 2 days so no-one at any moment really felt that they couldn’t do anything. 

This review first appeared as a Google review
Highly recommend John, he helped me reframe a lot my public speaking concerns and he's genuinely a great teacher who ... MoreHighly recommend John, he helped me reframe a lot my public speaking concerns and he's genuinely a great teacher who loves what he does!
Gyve Safavi

follow up note from Gyve
Just a short note to say, I did it ;).  Spoke to the company (60ppl yesterday) and it went really well! Felt like a conversation most of the time -with blank faces (but a great cheer at the end!).
Thanks again. 


This review first appeared as a Google review
I cannot believe the transformation in myself over the two days of the course. I attended the course as my daughter is getting married and I wanted to do the father of the bride speech but was terrified and knew it was going to spoil the whole day. John's course explains why we feel the way we do about public speaking and being the centre of attention. I also suffer anxiety in everyday life and the course has helped me here to become more relaxed and more confident. I cannot stress enough how good John is - I wish I had done this years ago.

David Grant writes about his two day course

What did you want from the course? 
I wanted to feel confident in making presentations 

Did you get it? 
Yes, I did.  I feel much more confident.  But not just in speaking publicly, I actually feel more in tune with people in general.  Friends of mine have said before that I had lost my 'mojo' and I am pleased to say that I think its back.  I had a lovely small interaction with a girl on the train on the way home.  

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
That's a tough one and one that I don't really have an answer for I'm afraid.  I'll have a think.  

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Humanity.  The lessons were huge, but ultimately, the humanity of John is what stood out for me.  

April 2018

Jim writes a google review and I've copied it over
I cannot recommend this course enough. It is one of the best things I’ve done. I used to hate speaking in front of people and being looked at, but I’m finding I actually enjoy it now. It seems the course unshackled the inner performer in me, or at least made me feel unashamed to be that person. The insights and tips (not tricks) I got have been incredibly helpful in my work life. I’ve gone from silently hiding at the back of the Monday morning ‘huddle’ to happily standing front and centre and speaking if I’ve got something to say. This class has benefits way beyond just public speaking. I left it on a high, and still - weeks later - feel like an improved version of myself: happier, more optimistic, more confident, more at peace. John is an excellent teacher. He’s funny, engaging, honest and dedicated, and the environment was relaxed and supportive. It was a joy to witness others’ journeys over the two days, and it’s been a joy to experience my own. I would do the course again in a heartbeat, but now I don’t have to.

Monica writes
I am amazed how profoundly your words and the practice we did has influenced thinking, not only on public speaking, but on my attitude to life in general. I am finally allowing myself to be myself and it feels comfortable. I am no longer afraid. I am no longer ashamed. I am me.
I know it is early days and I almost don’t want to spoil it by saying too much, but I can tell you now that that it has changed my life.
From a very happy me,
Kind regards,

Chris writes
The course was absolutely fantastic, as many others have said I wish I had done this years ago, especially when I think about all the time I have wasted and missed opportunities in getting to this stage. I came away with a heightened sense of confidence and personal pride for pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. On Sunday evening I had a real bounce in my step and felt a lot more at ease. I hope to use the learnings as a catalyst for improving other areas of my life.  
Regarding the course itself, you created a safe environment for people to explore themselves and let their personalities shine through. The exercises worked well, building key foundations and then progressing at just the right pace. After each exercise we did some reflection work which again was very useful. I think everything worked perfectly for the 2 day time period, not at any point did anything feel rushed or appear to be dragging. I really liked the psychology content in the course rather than it being a course about quick tips and tricks.
Once again, thank you very much for the weekend, you run an amazing course which really benefits and helps everyone who attends. I'd have no hesitation in recommending your excellent work.

March 2018

Joe writes
I just want to say thank you once again for your work with me (and everyone else!) over the weekend. I can't adequately express how grateful I am to you for helping me work through the anxiety I've experienced around public speaking for going on 17 years.
I left the course yesterday in a bit of a daze. It felt surreal to have spoken in front of people for four minutes - and incredibly uplifting to have actually enjoyed it! I genuinely feel like I've made a breakthrough and I'm determined to keep working on the points we covered over the weekend and to keep moving forward. I don't want to take anything for granted but I feel confident I'll do this.
The world feels so much bigger and richer than it did before, thanks to you. 

Jim writes
Thanks for a great weekend. It’s early days, and there’s a lot more to do, but I already feel... better. Not just about public speaking and being looked at, but more relaxed, empathetic and optimistic.

What did you want from the course?
To take the first steps towards being able to speak calmly and confidently in front of others.

Did you get it? 
Absolutely. There was a big difference between the first time I got up in front of everyone on the Saturday (bricking it) to the last time on the Sunday (able to apply what we learnt and harness my nervous energy and even enjoy it!).

I’ve already noticed a positive change at work. I’m speaking more confidently in meetings, and I’m less afraid of running out of things to say or not saying the ‘right’ thing. I wasn’t threatened by the blank faces at the Monday morning meeting when I spoke, which used to be such a killer for me. I had to do a small-ish presentation on Tuesday, and whilst it wasn’t perfect, it didn’t matter! There were some things I forgot to say, which I briefly beat myself up for, but then I remembered what we spoke about: that the audience doesn’t know what you forgot to say. I was able to let it go, and that in itself is a small breakthrough for me.

I feel everything we learnt has already been and is going to be so beneficial. I genuinely feel happier, calmer, nicer, and ready to take my place in the world. 

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing comes to mind.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John was honest, funny, warm and engaging and obviously cares a lot about his work and his clients. The other attendees were great. We were all in the same boat and there was no judgement, only support and encouragement. It was fantastic to witness others’ journeys over the weekend - you could really see the transformation in some people.

Had I known there was going to be so much ‘practical’ work I may not have signed up, but without it it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective, and I’m so glad I did. I would do the course again this weekend if I could.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks? 
I’ve already started trying to:
- Learn to love pauses
- Practise self-compassion
- Learn that making mistakes is human rather than disastrous
- Believe that it’s OK for me to take my place in the world
- Remember the legacy of evolution

So far, so good!

February 2018

Dear John,
I’m sure you’ve run many classes by now so I’m not sure how well you remember me but I thought I’d give you an update on how I’ve been doing since I took your course during the summer last year. I have now presented at some big conferences/seminars as part of my work, including in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and the USA, as well as doing many, many internal presentations, and I have received a lot of positive feedback on them and even generated many interested customers for our technology.
My confidence in presenting has sky-rocketed and your course and support has been a huge contributing factor to that. So I would like to say a big thank you for helping me find the confidence/self-belief that I never knew I had in doing this thus allowing me to work and progress in what has turned out to be a dream job in Switzerland. My boss even said to me during my recent appraisal that he expected it to take me about a year to get comfortable with presenting... it took me about 4 attempts within a couple of months! So once again thank you so much and I wish you and your future students all the best.  
Kind regards,  

Thanks John for such an informative, supportive, challenging and enjoyable course!  
I've come away with such a great range of techniques to use not only for public speaking but for everyday interactions too.  
I've learnt a great deal about how to feel comfortable just to 'be' in a space, plus so much about human interaction, the development of the human psyche, and why we react to certain situations the way we do.  
I've heard so many interesting stories and witnessed such bravery and determination from everyone on the course, including me!  I've challenged myself to face my fears about public speaking and I've come away so happy that I have.  
I will continue to practise the principles I've learnt and will benefit from the course for many years to come I'm sure.  
Debbie Allardice

Much more than a public speaking course, a course in one's self. Taught with charm, experience and compassion.
 Dave Burke

John was very patient and understanding. I felt that I was taken seriously and that he knew what I was going through. Public speaking has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember, but the idea of speaking now doesn’t fill me with the same sense of dread as before. I now want to practice what I learned on the course and I don’t want to avoided social situations as I might have before.

Dear John
It was an absolute privilege to be a part of your course at the weekend. I knew it would be good from what I had read on your website and I specifically chose the course because of the language you used in relation to presence and taking your place in the world. It was clear that you knew exactly where I was coming from.
The course was so much more than I had expected and it was amazing to be part of group of people who were able to explore in the safe and inviting environment that you created.
I had not expected to bond with a group of strangers in such a short time but that is exactly what happened. It really was a special weekend that I will never forget. I woke on Monday morning sad that it was over but optimistic about the future and already I feel lighter and more open in my interaction with others.
I hope to see you again soon on another course.
Thank you and best wishes.

John showed great empathy for the participants and the sessions were well paced.  I began to feel differently about public speaking early on in the training, which provided me with a sense of achievement. The training helped me to change the way I view the audience
I wish I had attended this training earlier in my career.  I now view public speaking in a different, more positive way.  The course helped me to focus more on the needs of the audience rather on my previous need to be seen as a ‘perfect’ presenter who does not make mistakes.  I have since delivered 2 presentations and felt much more relaxed before, during and after making presentations.  I have gained the ability to speak more confidently, while being genuine and authentic.  I have received positive comments from colleagues on how comfortable I appear to be when speaking in front of a group.
Dave Edwards


January 2018

If Carlsberg did Public Speaking Courses... Life changing, liberating, heart warming, self affirming, and much much more than public speaking - you'll find yourself bursting to stand up and be counted after spending just a few hours with John Dawson. Thank you for your life enhancing presence on the planet.  What a great place if would be if there were more people like you.
Alessia Sheldon

I booked onto a public speaking course and instead got something so much more. The insight I gained about myself in only 2 days was amazing. I learnt a massive life skill that I wish I had known 20 years ago. I feel more confident standing in front of people and also understand that you keep practicing everyday.
Barry Hodge

Honestly, I loved everything about the course. I loved how things started very slowly and built over the two days. I also really loved seeing everyone’s transformation and the level of support in the room.
I love your style of facilitating John. You are very gentle and compassionate. But you know how to push people in the right way to get the right results. 
One of the best courses I have attended. I learned so much about myself and about others in the room. I am passionate about human behavior and how people show up and so it was fascinating for me. A well spent weekend😊
Bridget, an HR director

October 2017

I was amazed to find that at times I was actually enjoying myself being the centre of  attention - just being me! As I've been hiding the 'real me' my whole life and I'm now in my sixties, it is such a relief to know I can relax and enjoy showing my real self in social situations as well embarking on giving talks to groups about how it is never too late to change.
This quote by George Elliot sums it up for me ' It's never to late to be the person you were meant to be'.
So John, I can't thank you enough for helping me become that person I was meant to be!
May you long continue to help others in the same way!

The statement "taking my place in the world" particularly resonated with me as I've always believed I do have a place somewhere but I'm struggling to find it. 
What became clear was that actually, my concerns weren't about speaking in front of people, but this was more a symptom of something more fundamental in me not accepting myself.  The "I don't have to apologise for being here" has been a great help for me to diffuse rising stress levels at work.  I also appreciate that without a change in mindset, my working environment will always feel the same, so looking for alterative careers whilst perhaps justified, will not be the answer to everything.
Your delivery was relaxed and welcoming, and equally I think the success was also down to the group.  Those who also attended were fully committed to speaking openly and honestly, which helped me appreciate that I was not alone in feeling this way.  This was quite a revelation.

Your course was a completely new approach for me and addressed the issue at a deeper level – it was about how you feel about public speaking, not how you do it. That is, not concentrating on the details of structure, delivery, body language etc. I valued the considerable time we spent just practicing being comfortable in front of a group, an audience. That has had a big impact on me.

Just letting you know that I did the conference, and it went fine! 
Also, after my talk to the department last week I have heard that I have been ASKED TO SPEAK (for a two hour presentation/ Q&A) to the entire department at our retreat in October, so success!
So I just want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to you for all your help and support, and for running your fantastic classes. I wouldn't have believed it a year ago that I could stand up and give a presentation, never mind actually being ok at them! (So yes, right now, I can say I really have changed the way I feel about public speaking). Even though I have a long way to go still, I now feel as though public speaking is no longer a barrier to me, which is so liberating!
All best,

September 2017

Hi John, 
I am on the train home after presenting at the first of the three conferences that I have been talked into presenting at and today was a very different experience from my previous conference appearance for which I need to thank you. There was no shakey voice, no sweaty back. I anticipated and accepted the blank faces, I assumed support and accepted the adrenaline surge that came. It was not fun, but it was not the unpleasant stress ridden ordeals of my previous conference appearances. I have been reassuring myself that the adrenaline surge is normal and it can be reframed (like the athletes). I have reminded myself that there are other occasions I can function when I have adrenaline cursing through me, like running a trauma call. 
Your course was the best investment of time and money I have made in my education/development in a very long time. 
Thank you again
Best wishes
Sarah an emergency doctor

Hi John,
I wanted to come away with a fresh approach to dealing with my anxiety. I wanted a few tools to help me when the nerves kick in during a presentation. 
I only expected to leave equipped with some useful tools to help me through public speaking, I didn't think I'd actually leave feeling an immediate improvement.
What an amazing course! Thank you! I'm now actually excited to speak in front, can't believe it! 

June 2017

What did you want from the course?
I came to the course to learn how to keep calm and cool in front of an audience whether this was a big group or just two people in a meeting. As a wedding planner, I often have to pitch to brides and grooms and lead meetings with suppliers, so I wanted to come away with some actionable tools to appear more confident.

Did you get it?
Yes and so much more! I came to learn how to speak but came away with such a deeper change in my entire outlook on myself and my worth. Through simple steps I learnt to speak confidently but also invoke my inner ally in all circumstances and stop beating myself up. Having suffered from depression and self harm, my harsh inner critic meant that I was subconsciously always holding myself back. I came away from the two days feeling I could take on the world and give myself a supportive inner voice. I also came away with a fantastic group of new friends I hope to keep in touch with going forward!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Can't think of anything!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked that there were no scripts to learn or strict body language guidelines as John's philosophy of being yourself in front of people and feeling that you are enough just as you are really hit home. The environment is supportive and kind which makes everything much easier! 

Olivia De Santos
Wedding Planner

May 2017

Dear John,
Thank you, it was a fantastic weekend, not at all what I expected and I don’t think I could have found a better course.  You’ve nailed it in realising that this is all about open, human connections.

What did you want from the course?
I wanted some training and guidance to help me feel confident speaking up for myself in an upcoming court action I've instigated.  Also, as a shy person, I’d always had it in my mind that I wanted to do something like this, to face up to my biggest fears and help fulfil my potential.

Did you get it?
Yes! And far more too.  The way John teaches, guides and facilitates works on a very supportive and human level. Having started the weekend with no idea how I’d even stand up, and then ending on day two eagerly wanting more was a surprise to say the least.  I also gained much through sharing the experience with my class associates, witnessing their bravery and seeing their improvement.

Best regards,

Emma Kane writes about a two day course
I wanted to feel able to feel comfortable and confident to express myself and be the centre of attention, in group situations (including socially with close friends and family, in the workplace, and during events and opportunities which could progress my career change).
The way the course is designed makes total sense. Breaking public speaking into parts, then becoming familiar with them one by one, then increasing the duration of practise felt safe. It was a graded exposure to a fearful situation. The background education was reassuring and interesting. 
John's course is the most valuable course (including my degree) that I have ever been on, in regard to the positive impact it will continue to have on my well being and ability to progress in my career. Of course it was a big challenge in some ways, yet I've felt so uplifted and free during and after the course. The thought put into its design is considerate to the feelings of the fearful; the order of play makes total sense. I felt safe, supported and could trust the group and John. I actually had great fun both being in the audience and being in front of the audience, and was a little sad when it came to the end of a wonderful, life changing and memorable weekend. The result is that I can now be confidently and visibly me, fully taking my place in the world of family, friends, work, and daily life. I wholeheartedly recommend this course.
Thank you John!

April 2017

"A really good, very skilful gradual escalation of practise exercises from the very basics of being the centre of attention to three minutes speaking"
NHS consultant's feedback after a day's in-house training.

Paul writes
What did you want from the course?
Having suffered seriously debilitating public speaking nerves (unable to breathe / speak / shaky voice / body - you name it I've lived it) when facing small to large groups and even telephone conversations since I was 16 years old (I am now 41) consistently relying on medication (beta blockers / diazepam and the rest), I finally wanted to try to resolve my issues with a different approach rather than face a life in mental prison with this affliction. I've searched for a solution for most of my life. I've never found it until now.
I was sick of the 'Imagine them naked' approaches that simply remind you that the teacher hasn't a clue as to how you really feel. I needed someone to offer an approach that serves to both acknowledge how debilitating this is and offer a broken down constructive method to put you at ease and build you up in a totally supportive and non-threatening environment.
The people you will attend the course with are wonderful human beings who just want to be free of the fear - you are just the same as them and it is refreshing and life-changing to be amongst them and John, as the gentle magician, that takes you on his special journey.

Did you get it?
Without question. After my first gently and supportively introduced 'exercise' I sat down and announced to the group that I hadn't done that for 25 years without meds; I could feel myself welling up! By the end of day 1 I wanted to be first to stand up and say more and more...even though I felt the nerves I was doing it and was calming down. I was teaching my amygdala to suck it up and, duly, it rapidly learned to quieten down.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
John clearly needs to achieve two things to improve: (1) Live forever, and (2) be able to serve everyone across the world who suffers with this condition. I suggest genetic cloning.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I'm a good 50% through my life and I've never come across such a wonderful person as John. He is a true gift to humanity and I mean that sincerely. For people reading this who are doubting whether to attend then please listen keenly: (1) You have been lucky enough to find John (2) You probably think this affliction only applies to you and / or you are worse than everyone else (3) you cannot be helped...

I ask you to trust in John and trust in the like-minded wonderful people who will be your 'family' for 1 or 2 days. This is enlightening, supportive and a life changing experience. I will stay in touch with John and I will seek further advice and maybe one day I will support him as someone who has changed and tell my own story to you.

CEO - Business Owner - Co Founder

March 2017

Dear John,
Thank you again for such an amazing course.  The course was massively insightful in how audiences behave and the steps provided will and are making a huge difference to how I interact when speaking to others - either in small or large groups.  It has also made me more aware of how I react when in the audience and ways of learning from other speakers.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can not think of anything as thought the pace was good, lots of practice and feedback

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The opportunity to practice in a safe place with constructive feedback and learning from others.  The detail and handouts.  Meeting others and sharing with each other

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The course was a total eyeopener in relation to how audiences are and with the tools and understanding from the course, I can feel my confidence increasing step by step.  I know I need to practice and take it to another level - and think I can!

Feb 2017

I loved the atmosphere created by John; the constant interaction, the freedom to be "yourself" and the constant reminder that it's ok to be me. It felt like a creative space and that really appealed to my way of thinking. I rarely say this but I feel this course should be a prerequisite for everyone. It is not just about speaking in public nor confidence but it's about liberating yourself from past memories and perceptions and looking forward, about letting go and just not worrying so much. It was also incredibly humbling. The stories that unfolded throughout the course were genuinely inspiring and will stay with me for a very long time. I loved John's passion for helping people; it's so obvious how much he cares and that his primary motivation is transforming lives. 
A fantastic experience.

Hi John
Many thanks for the weekend, I need time to recover as I am knackered but quite frankly it was one of the best work/life experiences I have had to date.
I attended your course to learn about Public Speaking but not only did I learn this from an exceptional tutor, the experience goes far, far further and what I take away with me from this weekend will make me a stronger person. I am going to build on the basic rules you have instilled within me and make a very concerted effort over the next coming months to be a little less self-critical and actually confront my fears (not the late night car park fears you quite rightly precluded).
In short, I think you are one of the most motivational people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!
I will keep in touch and leave feedback separately but wanted to let you know just how much I have enjoyed the weekend.
Best regards

It was one of the most amazing moments in my life. A weekend and group of people I will always look back at for strength.  John has changed my life for ever. I've read books and watched many Youtube videos about this subject, and I would never have believed what John has done for me as being possible. He started me on the next phase of my life.


January 2017

Dear John
Thank you so much for your time and energy, I thought your course was fantastic.  It has given me a million things to think about and I feel like I now have a perfectly de-mystified foundation to start building upon.  I have resolve!  For the first time really, I feel that I can change.  It is going to take me more work to find the trigger that finally flicks that ‘switch' in my head, but I think you have given me to the tools to do that, so thank you!  
I think I’ve realised the difference between confidence and permission.  I think I have discovered that I am more confident inside in who I am than I thought I was, and that what I need is my permission to be that person much more fully and to not be ashamed by that or think it is less than what others are expecting or wanting.  I need to work on my self-belief, which I now think is different to confidence.  If that makes sense?!
Your openness was amazing and inspiring.  You (and the other attendees) made me feel that I was in a safe and secure place.  I liked the construct of the ‘baby steps.
all the best

December 2016

Dear John,
Thank you for your email and also for your support and brilliant tips and guidance for public speaking.  I thought of you a few weeks ago as I had to do a talk to 100s of people at a big dinner in York.  Very scary and with out your course I could never have done it.  I wasn’t brilliant, but I did it, survived and gosh it felt good afterwards!  I’d love to come and do another course with you, so I’ll look at your dates and my diary and hopefully fit something in in 2017.

November 2016

It’s amazing that something which has always seemed so daunting can, in two days, be so much more achievable. Thanks so much John.
Zoe Mack

October 2016

John – you’re a great trainer and this is the best course I have been on – ever! It was brilliant, time flew on the course and I didn’t look at my watch once (which is unusual on most training courses). The course delivery was compassionate, thought-provoking, confidence boosting and inspiring. It was a unique and special experience.
The course was excellent and deconstructed the complications that we all associate around public speaking which resulted in us all being ourselves and being more authentic speakers.  I had to present at a key meeting two weeks after the course and I felt relaxed and delivered my talk with confidence and without getting overly nervous.
I would recommend attending this course to anyone.  I certainly got a lot out of it.
Regional Sales Manager

Dear John
I wanted to send you an email to say a really big thank you for such an excellent course. It's extremely rare to take part in a course that's both very supportive and challenging at the same time. I enjoyed every minute of it despite some anxiety induced during my initial public speaking sessions. You brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm to thecourse, paying such close attention and giving everyone the support they needed. You're a great facilitator and I'll be recommending you to anyone I come across who's stuck where I was for so very long!
The course has helped me shift my whole perspective and approach to public speaking. 
many many thanks

September 2016

I could not believe the difference at the end of the first day. I went from being someone who hated being the centre of attention to happily standing in front of the group.
I have a presentation to give at the end of the week and I would normally be in a panic and full of dread for several days beforehand. However I am not at all fazed by the thought of it - in fact I am quite looking forward to putting my new skills to practice.
The course somehow seemed to challenge me without it feeling like much of a challenge. I had a brilliant group who were very supportive, which made me want to step outside my comfort zone. You are never pushed to do anything and it is hard to believe how such a gentle approach can be so effective. 
sometimes small steps are massive...

August 2016

Dear John,
Firstly I would like to thank you for the fantastic 2 days I spent on your course. I learnt more about myself and other people in the 2 days than I could have ever anticipated.  The course is something I will never forget and will take with me throughout my life.
The different perspectives you cover that I never thought about before, ‘Evolutionary Brain,’ the ‘Can’t Be Arsed’ way of public speaking, ‘Blank Faces’ and ‘Public Chatting’ have definitely changed my way of thinking.
Your course has not only changed my perspective on public speaking but also on my life socially as well. I am not going to focus on what everyone else is or is not thinking about me. I am also under no illusion that there is still a way to go but I know with perseverance and continually pushing myself, with everything I’ve learnt I can carry on moving forward.
And finally, a big, big thank you to you John. I never thought after so long anything could help me, but your course has changed my life. Like I have previously said I know there is still a way to go but your course has given me the confidence to move forward.
Thank you for everything
Daniel Kelly

July 2016

I think you hit the nail on the head when speaking about ‘public being’. That is exactly what I need to be more comfortable with to achieve what I wanted from the course. The course made me realise there are steps to achieving more confidence and the way they were broken down was really achievable and encouraging.
John’s enthusiasm for creating a challenging yet supportive space was spot on. I thought the group size was good, big enough to learn from one another but small enough to not be overwhelming.
The way John teaches the course - to have the theory and then the practical as it were - means that the learning really sticks.  
Although I found it challenging I think the self evaluation was very useful in learning about myself.
The most useful and inspiring course I have ever been on! What John teaches and encourages are life lessons, not just ‘simply’ public speaking. The course helped me realised that my fear of public being was holding me back from achieving various things. I hope I can use John’s lessons to be the person I want to and know I can be!

June 2016

I enjoyed the whole 2 days and, as many others have said, I couldn’t believe the transformation in myself and others in such a short space of time, especially as the change was related to my learning to be more compassionate towards myself and accepting that I am enough as I am and have a valuable contribution to make. I have never felt that before when it comes to public speaking, ‘public being’ in John’s words. I couldn’t imagine enjoying public speaking by the end of the course but by Day 2 I was.    
I loved everything about the course and am very grateful to John and to all of those in my group.
Barbara Coll

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to build the confidence to be able to stand in front of an audience with “all” eyes and me and be comfortable taking centre stage.

Did you get it?
Absolutely!! Towards the end of the course I wanted to carry on and stand up even more…..

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I personally thought the whole two days were outstanding.  I have attended a number of courses over the years on various subjects but this for me was by far the best…..very personable…..John was outstanding…not only as a tutor but as an individual.
From the first instance I met John I suddenly felt more relaxed…he has a very approachable manner.  Throughout the course I went through a whole range of feelings from anxious, nervous, excited…..etc….  when I left I realised that my life would now change for the better.  I’ve not stopped talking about the course since I returned home….
Chris Hemingway

May 2016

I like the way that it focused on thoughts / mindset / confidence rather than traditional public speaking skills - for me, it has always been my own thoughts that hold me back from speaking well in public, not the fact that I cannot speak clearly etc.
Another great thing about the course was hearing about other people's thoughts / concerns and realising a) that they were often very similar to mine; and b) how unwarranted they seem when other people express them, which was helpful in making me curious / reassess why I have them myself.

I’m not a “self help” sort of person so I appreciated the way that you are almost tricked into thinking about things in a deeper way rather than going in hard from the beginning. I haven’t enjoyed a course so much before or found one as useful and I think this was because I felt involved rather than being spoken at.
Thanks so much,

April 2016

I’m going to book myself onto further courses such as a first aid course, self defence course, etc – this is the sort of stuff I’d have wanted to do but avoided before as didn’t like being centre of attention, even the thought of getting up to introduce myself was a big deal – now that will be a walk in the park and in fact I’ll look forward to it!
I’m going to make a point of engaging people, meeting people.
I’m going to try seek out situations that make me feel a little anxious (not too anxious though!)
So a big thank you John you certainly have changed the way I look at things!
Best wishes

March 2016

Dear John
I joined the course because I have always struggled with being the centre of attention and for that reason have avoided wherever possible any situation involving the need to speak to an audience. My daughter is getting married in June and the prospect of making a speech at the reception was dominating my thoughts and spoiling my anticipation of what should be a wonderful occasion.
The course has enabled me to put things into perspective and I am no longer fearful of making the speech. I will be eternally grateful to you for that.
I am a retired Accountant/Company Director and wish that I had attended such a course far earlier in my life.
Kind regards

Thank you - I loved the course. Public speaking is not about employing specific techniques and thinking about these while speaking. It's actually about allowing yourself the space / permission to be saying what you want to / need to say to serve the audience, knowing that blank faces are listening faces and you are conducting a series of 121 conversations.
The course was was incredibly authentic. Relaxed and made a lot of sense, with lots of practical experiences as well as theory. The lived experience was invaluable.
Abi Horner

February 2016

The course really made me think about why I had the fear- blank faces especially make me feel very uncomfortable and I had never realised this before. I also found it easy to be myself and by the end of the course I got emotional in front of everyone without feeling bad about it. That was nice.
I felt very relaxed, comfortable and cared about. I feel like John has a lot of respect for everyone on the course and I felt very supported and happy being in the room with such lovely people, facing our fears together. I also feel that the course goes wider and deeper than just addressing public speaking fear and is more about how you live in the world and how to be ok with yourself. I have started noticing when I let others talk but feel bad if I talk about myself too much, for example

January 2016

Dear John
Thank you again for what has been one of the most beneficial courses I have ever been on.  I genuinely feel so different about public speaking and feel as though there has been quite a shift in my brain.  I can't stop thinking about the changes we experienced in such a short space of time and what a privilege it was to be in a room where people actually shared how they thought and felt.  It was amazing to see the change in them over the weekend and to feel different in myself.  I can't stop thinking about how wide reaching the impact of the messages from the course could actually be for more people....
Thanks again John
Kind regards

December 2015

I liked that fact that it was just you, a 2 rows of chairs, a flip chart and a plate of biscuits – what else did we need, your passion for the work and for the difference it can makes in people’s lives is utterly infectious and compelling.
Sarah M

November 2015

I wish I had known about this course, and that I had taken it, it years ago. I had to take beta blockers at my own wedding 31 years ago because I found the idea of being the centre of attention too daunting and too horrifying. John is a compassionate teacher who understands the essence of human angst.
He is tirelessly kind and patient and he worked with us as individuals and also as a group. It was awesome to see and hear the difference in all of us at the end of the two days. How our confidence, not only as public speakers but also as people, had grown immeasurably, and much more than we thought possible, in such a short time. John not only put us at our ease, he made us feel valued and understood.
This course is transformational and I would say to anyone who’s remotely anxious about speaking to a group of people, whether at a wedding, or a funeral or a business or networking event, just do it, you will be astonished at what can be accomplished in 2 days. Being nervous about public speaking means we are nervous about a lot of other things, including just being ourselves, and John helped us to believe in ourselves and to be comfortable in our own skin.
Thank you
Petronella Ravenshear

October 2015

What did you want from the course?
I was getting extremely anxious when I had to speak in public, it was my biggest fear in life and I was hoping that the course would help me to overcome that fear and feel more at ease when having to speak in public.

Did you get it? 
The insights that were shared at the course and actual public speaking experience in the incredibly supportive group worked wonders as by the end of second day I was not only standing in front of a group of 10 people and talking, but actually enjoying the experience!!
Since I took the course last weekend I didn't have the opportunity to speak in front of several people, but I found that by applying what I have learned in the course helped me to be more myself, more human and authentic person and as a consequence get so much more enjoyment from my daily life experiences and interactions with people!! So I really got much more that I could have wished for and I'm incredibly thankful, to you, John!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? left blank

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Great facilitator and content! Also, I liked the fact that this course was so interactive, that there was plenty of opportunities to have a public speaking experience in supportive environment. I liked that we each shared our experiences after each exercise. I liked actual exercises and the sequence of these. I think the group size was just right as well.
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish.
The insights that were shared at the course have made a profound shift in my perception not only about a public speaking, but about my daily life experience as a human being. Needless to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and only wish that I have attended it earlier in my life.

September 2015

Many thanks for an enlightening and very useful course indeed. Thanks for all your support and patience, and was really nice to meet you too, you are doing a wonderful thing for people 

I wanted to be able to learn skills to enable me to present in front of others in an effective way without the physical feelings of sickness, sweating etc and also without the continual self-critic talking inside my head
I think by the end, the physical signs had definitely dissipated and the self-critic had quietened. I liked that John made everyone feel at ease and very quickly the group bonded and worked well together. I liked that there was no pressure to do anything we didn’t want to and that an environment of support was created. I liked the fact there was a lot of humour throughout the two days and that people were just allowed to be themselves
Although this was a difficult subject and at times I felt it was really tough – looking at myself and working through deep, ingrained behaviour, it also left me feeling light and full of confidence to try, and to realise it was only myself stopping me succeeding and I could instead of berating myself, help and support myself to achieve.

July 2015

What did you want from the course?
I just wanted to be able to feel like I at least stood a chance when it came to speaking up at meetings and doing presentations at work.

Did you get it?
Yes, and more. I felt like the course really broke down the fundamental principles of public speaking and why we feel the way we do which allowed me to accept that my feelings were normal and now I can move on and build on what I learned.
 I liked how you explained why we feel how we feel about public speaking and how it progressed into the blank faces work in pairs and moving into standing in front of the crowd. I think an optional three day course cold be achieved with the third day moving into the standard presentation skills such as pace and stance etc. but to be fair I can get that from you tube and from toastmasters.
I just want to say a massive thank you to you John, the course has really given me the tools I need to go out there and start taking control of my life again. I really feel more at ease with speaking in public but it has also allowed me to evaluate other aspects of my life that I failed to previously address but now feel more comfortable with.
Mike Bash

June 2015

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to experience Presence for myself, and apply it to my life...I am, as I have said, interested in helping other people to feel ok about being who they are, so I am also interested in training.

Did you get it?
Yes yes yes, and so much more. There is a lot going on in this course, that takes you by surprise.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Honestly nothing, except the biscuits were rubbish!!!!!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the way that John was completely present; he modelled presence with a mixture of vulnerability and strength, whilst COMPLETELY holding the space, and the participants.

I liked that it is two days, which really gives a chance for personal shifts to happen...and I liked that there was no forcing anybody to do anything, only gentle suggestion. John creates a very safe place to work on very sensitive issues...

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
What is clever/ brilliant, is that you think that you are just dealing with your fear of standing up in front of people, and you end up feeling that your whole life has shifted...it is honestly empowering ( I hate that word...what other one is there?!), and you are inspired by others bravery, and find that you have inspired others... Wonderful.
Serena Evans

May 2015

I just want to say thank you. I haven't been able to do any public speaking without being terrified and shaking like a leaf. I have tried hypnotism, various public speaking courses, audiobooks etc This course and John's support is the only thing that has provided that shift in my perception of public speaking. I'm excited to see what I can now achieve thanks to the course.

Hi John,
what a great couple of days!! On reflection, I feel so much lighter.
I guess years and years of carrying all that baggage (insecurities about public speaking, the associated shame & regret around it and the energy taken to feed my demons) has been taken away. I am so very grateful for you being able to help me build my confidence.
It was more than a ‘public speaking’ course. I feel that I have found an inner strength/ power to my voice and that I can use it to convey heart-felt passion.  I came away from the course feeling that I could engage an audience, and not just talk to them.

April 2015

Dear John
I really cannot stress enough how much of a positive impact yesterday’s training has had, and I can’t thank you enough. Although I obviously have not been able to put it into practice yet, it is hard to put into words what a difference your course has made to my outlook on public speaking. Revolutionary, liberating and life-changing! I’m so excited to put down that ‘wobbly tray’ and stop putting so much negativity on myself because actually, I can do this. I feel so much…lighter…without those debilitating feelings hanging over me. I’m ready to embrace those blank faces, to assume support and be comfortable enough to feel the fear – it’s normal!  You created such a safe environment for us – I fully trusted you and every person in that group.
I never thought I would say this but I genuinely have an edge of excitement towards my client presentation coming up in June (which I previously was previously praying I’d avoid by something terrible happening to me!). I can’t wait to put everything into practice and prove to myself that I deserve to be there.
“What would I do if I couldn’t fail?”  … I can’t wait to find out!
A million thank yous,

I loved the atmosphere (of the course). Relaxing, calming and the most important - supporting. It was incredible. I enjoyed the way you are teaching. I thought you would show us how to talk, to walk, to move, whatever, but what you're actually doing is 100 times more effective than that.

March 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it far exceeded my expectations. I found your approach extremely engaging, relaxed and it is pretty obvious why you run courses in public speaking and presentations.

I really loved the course. I found it deeply transformative & profound. It was learning how to do public speaking on a deeper level than all the surface stuff. I felt a deep connection with everyone on the course. I wish everyday life was more like the course and think everyone should go on it!!!

I like the fact that John is much more than a public speaking expert and that the course is not just about giving advice on speaking out. The way he managed the dynamics of the group, giving individual feedback and recognising different needs built trust and was extremely enabling.

Feb 2015

What did you want from the course?
I wanted a real back-to-basics approach to public speaking in all its senses. I was not interested in the sort of advice you often get with typical corporate training manuals that focus purely on the information you are trying to get across, or the idea of doing something whacky to grab the attention. I was interested in the physical aspects of simply being able to stand there as the centre of attention and come across as genuine and engaging.

Did you get it?
Yes, completely. To be honest, at the very beginning part of me was thinking that it was all a bit too "straightforward". I imagine this is a typical response that you have from people on the course. You start thinking "What, I've really paid my money for something that simple? This guy's a bit of a chancer isn't he?" But, as we moved through the sessions, I came to realise that this was precisely the point - I was there to "unlearn" some of the destructive knowledge I had picked up through previous experience with public speaking. No doubt, those initial reservations came because I was locked into the mindset that when I go onto a training course, I gather new knowledge and skills that I then add to my professional toolkit. Refreshingly, your course took the opposite approach.

One of the most profound (yet simple) things I took from the course is what you said about people being primarily concerned with their own thoughts and concerns, rather than caring about mine. Coming to realise this - simple as it might sound - is actually incredibly liberating. What you said about it being ok to be grey sometimes was also liberating. It made me realise that always striving for perfection in public speaking can lead to a vicious cycle and a disappointing outcome. Following your course I am trying to learn to "just let it go!"

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Perhaps this would come in a follow up course, but it might have been nice to have a stab at speaking for a bit longer. For me, the fear sometimes comes from the idea of speaking for 5-10 minutes (or longer). However, I do appreciate that this may not have been very practical, or useful, as it would have meant sitting in the audience for a long time not doing very much.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really liked your down to earth, practical approach. It was a really good thing that you didn't make grandiose claims that we would suddenly become the next Barack Obama overnight. Too often I feel that course trainers present themselves as the ultimate authority on a subject (or at least don't admit that they are not). Because of this, I often go into training courses believing that they will will magically solve all the issues I've been having; I will go into that training room and emerge a changed man having learned a few tricks from the expert. It was actually empowering that you didn't make out that things were going to be that simple with public speaking. I was really pleased that you shared your own worries when you talked about feeling a fraud when delivering that eulogy recently. That helped me to understand what you were saying about vulnerability and basking in your own imperfections. It made me realise that you were there to enable us to rethink our approach to public speaking; so that we ourselves could bring about steady changes over time. To me, this is exactly what a facilitator should be doing.

January 2015

What did you want from the course?
To be less frightened and more confident when standing up and speaking to an audience. (Regardless of the size of the audience.)

Did you get it?
Absolutely -with bells on!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing I genuinely thought the 2 day course was perfect!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
All of it.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
It took just 2 days to change my mindset about speaking in front of an audience. There were 2 parts that made me realise I had no proof about my lack of ability. The first one was when everyone spoke about their anxieties.  They had exactly the same traits as me but I could not see these external difficulties, I then wondered if that was the same for me when I was speaking. The other turning point came when we worked on blank faces- the audience face.  I did not need to interpret this face as the audience internally criticising me, it is just the way we are!

Since the course I have run a meeting for 80 people. I did it without throwing up before hand, shaking or losing my way- I even got a round of applause! The following week I then had to be quizzed and questioned by 16 people, specialists in their field about something I do- I had a little wobble at the start - I interpreted the blank face as: "You are rubbish!" However, I talked to myselfsaying blank face- didn't seek approval from a friendly face and just got on with it. I even had the courage to stand up for my opinion when questioned deeper.

I am no longer seeking perfection or after approval.  I am just slowly being comfortable owning the space, for me this is a revelation!

Thank you John, I really do think I have a different attitude.

Primary school teacher

Where is the rest of the feedback?

I do have feedback going all the way back to 2008 but it's about 170 pages long so website feedback stops here.
But if you want to see a copy -
email me and ask me for the full feedback version.