old fashioned typewriter, feedback for my courses

feedback on my public speaking courses

Here are two types of testimonials.  Starting 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 and goes back to 2009.
The more detailed 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. It feels very humbling for me to read these and it makes me even more dedicated to my work. Everyone who comes to my courses wants to change how they feel about public speaking. So I put so many reviews on just to prove that it is really possible for you to change. You don't have to stay stuck in fear.

the rave reviews

"For me, the course was life changing. I could never have anticipated that it would have the effect that it did. 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"
Paul

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.
Richard

I have to admit I was a little skeptical as I have attended a few other courses and read countless books and even tried NLP and hypnosis but your 'simple no nonsense' approach made me put things in a different perspective.
Kevin

The course far exceeded my expectations and the insights I have taken away with me 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 mistakenly called what you do facilitation - it's not! It's personal leadership, delivered with love for your fellow human being, and I feel grateful to have experienced that. Thank you!
Emma

The most gentle, supportive and yet challenging teaching style I've ever experienced. John really does have a gift for this that he is obligated to share.
Victoria

I would recommend John's public speaking course - an inspirational and kind facilitator who helped me learn to be comfortable being myself.
Jon Hayhurst

Last weekend I delivered a Best man’s speech to over 200 people. It was 10 minutes long and had the audience vacillating between tears and laughter the whole time, it was one of the best moments of my life. You set me on an amazing and exciting path of discovery in public speaking and for that I am eternally grateful.
Ed

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

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

The whole day was life-changing. I went from dreading my turn to loving it, in the course of the day. Astounding and brilliant.
Lindsey

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

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. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I thought the course was life-changing.
Paul

Genuinely one of the most valuable courses I have been on.
Jo

I really appreciated your relaxed style and the supportive environment which you created among strangers, in a very short space of time.  Quite extraordinary!  If I ever get shipwrecked on a desert island, with a group of people, I hope you are there too!
Elaine

 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!
Jess

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.  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.
Elaine

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 agroup of people. This felt like one of the most valuable training courses I’ve ever been on.
Ruth Archer

Amazing weekend and great to see the whole room transformed. 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.
Becky

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

It’s nothing less than mindfulness in action, in a very dynamic way.
Sally

Thank you, life seems to offer a great more possibilities today.
Sarah

Thank you for your vulnerability, courage, and astounding passion. You really are an absolute legend. Your work is fundamentally changing lives; it really is incredible stuff.
Lydia

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

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.
Rob

Excellent, excellent course. The Journey was well worth it. John is remarkably good at what he does and is a genuinely nice person to want to feel engaged by and listen too.
Georgie

It's been non-threatening and relaxed. Best thing that I've ever been on. I've astounded myself at what I've done!
Sue

A public speaker trainer and author comments about a blog article
There are not many who understand the deeper meaning and the implications of stage fright as a part of human evolution of consciousness. You are one who does. Please keep writing and sharing your gift. I will watch for your stuff.
Sandra Zimmer


April 2017

On Good Friday morning I caught up with my backlog of feedback emails. So all these April emails below didn't arrive on one day. And in this batch of letters there are two published authors. Writers have a weird job, mostly writing away by themselves and then their publishers expect them to speak of hundreds of people with ease

Hi John
You wanted to know how I get on with the P&O Guest Speaker programme.  Well, I have just returned and I think I can say I have now “Taken my place in the world”!!
Absolutely wonderful experience.  Two of the talks/presentations were given in the small 150 seater theatre and the remaining two in the large Palladium Theatre which seats 600 – 700.  Not that I ever managed to fill that!  However, the talks seemed to go down very well and I received good feedback so I can only hope that I get invited back next year.
Thank you once again for boosting my confidence.
Best wishes
Christine


Hi John,
It’s been almost a year since I attended your 2 day course. I wanted to write to you and thank you again for the huge impact it has had on my life and career. I don’t know if you remember me but although I may have seemed confident my inner voice of criticism was so loud it was drowning everything out.

Since doing the course, I left my job and became director and head of a new record label. My confidence in the interview process, was undoubtedly due to the course and your teachings. Within a few weeks of joining I had to present to the entire company of 300 people at the Christmas meeting with the other heads of divisions. I did as I had been taught and merely gave my story and my ambitions to the company with no notes and no graphs or figures and only a small glass of wine. I am told it was the most charismatic of all the presentations and my reward was I now speak monthly to the global music company on video conference as well as present internally to the film and TV divisions. I still have moments that feel like eternity where I don’t know what to say but somehow after a pause the words always come.  You know I think I enjoy it too…
It’s impacted on my leadership both in and out work and it’s fair to say has made me a better person.
I would love to work with you again and would be very interested in attending an advanced course if you were running one.
Thanks again,
T


Dear John,
I wanted to write and let you know how I have been getting on with my public speaking, since your session in January.
You may not know but the beginning of March is a very busy time for authors as it is World Book Day, and so I had quite a few talks and events lined up around that. A few of which I was very nervous about.
This was the first batch of events I have done since your session, and there has been something like ten to fifteen talks over the whole month. To groups ranging in size from 30 to 200 students; and from 7 year olds to thirteen year olds.

FIrst of all, I have noticed a marked improvement in the state of my nerves before I do an event. I feel a lot less nervous in general, especially for the smaller talks, and sometimes I even feel excited, or look forward to it!

Then in the events themselves, I find I feel very confident in handling the groups of 30-60 students. And I have started to feel comfortable making it more conversational when it feels it wants to go that way, rather than presentational. One of the teachers at one of those sessions was kind enough to tell me it was the best author presentation he had seen. And when a class - like his was - is really engaged your techniques are so helpful for me in interacting with them. Even when they’re not so easy going or engaged at points, the techniques help me keep calm and collected in chatting with them.

Over the course of the month I have also had to do three events with over 100 students. At first I felt quite nervous to be in front of such a big crowd, and the situation itself can feel a little different when you’re up there in front of that number than with a smaller group. But I was able to use your techniques of taking deep breaths, pausing, focusing, allowing myself to be there, talking to one person at a time, and assuming support - even when the nerves flood in and out as I talked. But all of the techniques helped ground me, especially during those bigger events. And each time I do one, I feel I get better and more accustom to the situation, and more comfortable with it. So thank you.

The techniques have also come in handy with meeting new people, before and after those session too.
Even, the few times when I have been hard on myself or felt that the presentation was not optimum, the feedback has been great about the event.
And so I am learning to be more forgiving and assume support, as even when my critical voice tells me it has gone badly, it has invariably gone fine or even very well!

The sense memory of standing up in you session and knowing that the group supports you. That they want you to succeed. No matter what. Has really stuck with me, and was the most useful part of the course.
And also the whole 'can’t be arsed school’ has been uber-useful to keep in mind on occasion. It can be very useful in schools where you have to go with the flow of the situation, and are sometimes not in control of all the variables of your event. One other thing that I have learned for myself is when I arrive early and have plenty of time to prepare it really helps me to be in a good head space and relaxed to talk.

Thanks again for all the invaluable teaching in your session.
Best Wishes,

P


Hi John,

In answer to your questions:-

What did I want from the course?
I wanted to be able to speak in front of groups of people and be OK. I didn't hope to be brilliant, just to be able to do it.

Did I get it?
Yes, and more.

What could be improved?
I'm not sure, which can't be helpful to you because it sounds like the course was perfect..
All I can say is, I enjoyed brief informal chats with one or two people that had a profound and positive impact, so I think it might have been nice to have a bit more of that free time.
Having said that, I could have made a few more opportunities for myself at coffee time, perhaps.

What did I like about the course/facilitation.
Everything was bite size and safe. I thought the others were very supportive and honest too. Taking one stop at a time. I think we all journeyed a thousand miles, starting with a small step and then taking many more.
And I just loved the fact that everyone seemed to move on such a long way. I really wouldn't think it possible but I'm really looking forward to my next public speaking event at the Hawkesbury Literary Festival. I had to drop out at the last minute last year for reasons that are different from the one I gave to the organizer. My main concern this year is that they might have to drag me off stage with a big hook on the end of a pole. I'm beginning to think I was a diva trapped in the body of a shrinking violet. Thanks for the operation, Doc.

Where did I hear about the course?
I just put Public Speaking Bristol into Google and if your course wasn't top of the list it was very close.

What actions of confidence am I going to explore in the next two weeks?
I'm already practicing this, just talking to people more, in shops, banks, bus stops, etc. Plus I have a meeting with a group of Bristol writers this evening and I have things for the agenda - most unusual for me.

You can quote my feedback and use my full name.

I hope Portugal was a success and I'll keep you posted about my adventures.

Best wishes and thanks for providing the opportunity for me to develop and change. It's very much appreciated.

Glynn

 


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.

Occupation
CEO - Business Owner - Co Founder


 

March 2017

J writes about a two day course

What did you want from the course?
Increased confidence when presenting in front of many people.
Confidence when leading meetings/centre of attention/presenting to senior leaders in the business/clients
Being less apprehensive about having to chair meetings/do presentations etc
More conviction and assertiveness about own points of view, speaking up when I should. 

Did you get it?
Absolutely, the course fulfilled these objectives more than I expected.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Genuinely one of the most valuable courses I have been on.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Not forced or rushed to do anything. Felt like we discovered and learnt through the experience of the course. Focused on confidence and reconsidering attitude towards presentations rather than style/technique. Learnt a lot about myself. Relaxed environment definitely helped the group.  

J

 


Dear John,
I’d just like to thank you for such the wonderful experience I had on your course, I came out of the course extremely energised, almost buzzing. Partly with excitement because I felt the problems I associated with standing in front of a group of people are all totally manageable and also because of all the new ideas and realisations I was having over the weekend. Mostly to do with self-perception which is pretty key.
I didn’t know what to expect before the course began but was very impressed by the whole thing, the content made absolute sense to me and I thought you delivered it brilliantly. I came away with a far greater understanding of so many of my own and general human mental processes associated with having attention on one’s self.
I found the information about evolutionary traits particularly engaging. In understanding and having had space to explore these processes I feel I can now manage my own better. I was also really inspired by the supportive environment that emerged in the group over the weekend in general and I would actually love to create spaces like that for people myself one day. In what context I don’t know yet.
Thanks loads then.
H.


Dear John,
Thank you again for such an amazing course.  I am spreading the word to colleagues/friends.
Please see below my feedback.
Best Wishes
Kim

What did you want from the course?
To gain confidence in public speaking and understand how I interact with the audience

Did you get it?
Yes.  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!


Phil, a participant on a two day course a month ago, writes to the people on his course

Hi everyone,
I know I promised that I wouldn't mention my wedding again but...
We got married on Friday and it was an amazing day. The speech went really well - loads of people commented on how relaxed I looked! It's strange that I spent months dreading it but I actually quite enjoyed it in the end - it's all about mindset!
Anyway, if it wasn't for you lovely people and the course, there's no way I could have done it.
It's literally been life changing! 
Thanks so much and good luck to you all for the future.
Best wishes
Phil


"I would like to thank you for an excellent course.  I learned a lot from it and you are a very inspiring facilitator. "
Hanneke


Two lovely letters received on one day in March

Dear John, 
It's been almost a year since I did your one day course in London, and since then I have had the confidence to confront my fear head-on. 
After your course, I took up your advice and joined Toastmasters. I go every fortnight and my collection of blue ribbons is coming on nicely! 
My biggest fear, as a teacher, was the thought of delivering an assembly. Today I delivered a whole school assembly (250 girls + 30 staff) on the theme International Women's Day. There was no reading of notes; I had the confidence to stand at the front and speak, rather than read. I also delivered 2 assemblies back in October on the theme of Black History Month, and never get scared when I need to make an announcement in assembly, or in staff briefing. 
I've come a long way, and I feel liberated. And you started me on that path, so thank you so much! 
Jenny


Dear John
I just wanted to give you a brief update from yesterday's late afternoon 'chat' with the board. 
I was enough, told some stories and practiced relational presence. It was completely fine.
Moving on from that I'm working on the actions of confidence and trying not to hide or apologise for myself. I even decided to wear the bright green attention drawing coat to work today as a challenge.
Thank you, life seems to offer a great more possibilities today.
Sarah


Feb 2017

Hi John,
I just wanted to give you some further feedback following my attendance on your two day training last year.
Since then, I have facilitated a company wide well-being workshop and this morning just presented to 40 staff at a major funder.
The reason I'm emailing you is that I simply would not have been able to do this a year ago without great anxiety, mechanical speed delivery and a shaking voice. Something profound happened to me in your course which I think was your message about 'public being' rather than public speaking, alongside your modelling of vulnerability and connectedness - simply sharing yourself with your audience. I did feel slightly nervous on both occasions, but then relaxed and stayed with myself throughout the sessions - I even enjoyed it!
It's been a revelation and has stayed with me in a simple but very experiential and immediate way.
Thanks again John and best of luck with your continuing programme.
Kind Regards
Emma


Adam's feedback from a two day course

Hi John,
Thanks for your email. It was a great couple of days. Very tiring, but worth it.

What did you want from the course?
I was hoping to learn how to get my points across to audiences in a natural and relaxed way.

Did you get it?
Yes, definitely.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I have to be boring here and draw a blank. Not very useful I'm afraid.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John is super relaxed, friendly and engaging. I found it very very easy to take in what he was saying and get caught up in the process of public speaking. It may sound odd but I found the experience a lot of fun.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I was looking for a course that would focus on a natural understanding what it is that people find problematic with public speaking. What I noticed with other courses I looked at is that they seemed to have a mechanistic take on the process of public speaking (i.e. stand like this, put your hands like this etc), and this course was definitely not one of those.

Over the course of the two days we all spent working with John and each other, I started to redefine my feelings about speaking in front of others. Getting up and talking now feels a lot more like an exciting opportunity rather than a frightening chore. We all had ample opportunity to get up in front of the other participants and just say something, breathe, look at faces and become accustomed to just being there. There was no pressure to do so, but I really looked forward to getting up and just having some fun.

Having fun seemed to emerge naturally from taking on board what John was saying to us. In my case just slowing down, breathing well, talking to individuals and allowing words to land before rushing on to fill silences made a huge difference to how I felt about what was going on. I did still feel the adrenaline, but it felt like excitement rather than fear.

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to feel comfortable in their skin while talking in public.


Elaine's feedback on a two day course in Manchester

What did you want from the course?
To feel more at ease, not only in a public speaking scenario, but also, on a more general social level.

Did you get it?
I definitely have the tools to get there but I realise it's something that comes with shifting your attitude towards the world every day upon waking, rather than waking up one day and feeling suddenly at ease. I am on the right path.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly can't think of anything and I'm not saying that in a bid to be diplomatic. I loved the free flow of the course and the feeling that we were all in it together. 

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
As above, 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.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
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.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I am co-hosting a seminar next month and have already started preparation. I have also signed up for an acting workshop as it's something I've always wanted to do but always been too afraid, pulled back by my nemesis, that notorious inner critic!


Hi John
Absolutely loved the course, I actually felt sad when it was over! 
Kind regards
Phil

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to do some public speaking in a 'safe' environment.
I wanted to start feeling more relaxed when public speaking.
I wanted to learn to speak in a more authentic way.

Did you get it?
Definitely!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything I'd change.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The course has completely changed the way I think about public speaking. It was such a supportive environment and I felt like I'd really bonded with everyone by the end of the two days!
I loved the fact that there was no pressure to say anything interesting or funny, we were just encouraged to step out of our comfort zone and be ourselves.
I think that was the key for me: I'd always seen public speaking as a performance that was somehow different to real life but the course taught me that it's ok to just stand up and be myself.
That really helped me to take my attention away from my thoughts and focus on what I was trying to say.

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I'm going to try to get out of my comfort zone at every available opportunity and generally 'turn the filter down' when speaking to people.


Dear John,
I just wanted to write to you to say a huge thank you for such a wonderfully insightful two days. I really didn't know what to expect but found the course really life changing. Your advice and guidance is profound. I really appreciated your openness and transparency. It's something that has rung home to me about how short life is... and how we must not wait to 'take our space' as you so rightly put it.
Just listening to other people's experiences and openness about their vulnerabilities was reassuring to know that the way I have felt over the years is normal. I feel I have conquered many of my fears through perseverance, but I still always worry that I will fall back into the realms of trepidation, anxiety and stress.
I feel that confidence is not something I will ever take for granted and I will constantly have to work at it and train my brain to refrain from 'stinking thinking' and negativity.
I will take away a lot from this course and hope to become a more confident and interesting speaker.
Thank you once again
J.


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
Jonathan


Steve's feedback from a two day course
What did you want from the course?
I didn't want to set my expectations high, so anything that would help my anxiety even by a small percentage.

Did you get it?
Yes, 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.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
No...maybe an extra day??

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Safe environment. John creates a safe place to experience and explore being uncomfortable and learn to control it- very powerful and emotional practice for everyone involved. Uplifting!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish.
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.


What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
I've already had the opportunity to use my new skills 3 times. I'm lucky enough to have daily opportunities to practice. I did a presentation today, to managers and senior managers, and it was the most comfortable i've ever been speaking in front of people.
Steve,


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!  
Here are my answers to your questions:

What did you want from the course? -
Confidence!  And something to give me the security to go looking for further knowledge.

Did you get it? 
Whilst the switch hasn’t flicked on yet, it has made me think it is possible, which is a million miles from where I thought I would ever be.  Also, 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?!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can’t think of anything!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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
Sarah

Hi John,
Thanks for the course, I really enjoyed it and feel like it helped me to relax and really improve my style of speaking which is what I was looking for.

What did you want from the course?
Ideally to improve my ability to speak in front of larger groups with a more conversational style like I am able to do in 1 to 1 or small group scenarios.


Did you get it?
Yes I think so, obviously it’s hard to tell how it will be until I try to do it and put into practice what we discussed on the course.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I was very happy with everything so nothing to improve.  

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the fact it was very informal, not focussed on any particular individual and generally very interesting.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I think it was nice for me to be able to see where other people were at and hopefully contribute or help them in some way.

Occupation
Business Development Associate

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
1. On Friday evening on the way back on the train I ended up having a conversation with someone for 2 hours (which does not normally happen), quite interesting as the guy was a surgeon.
2. I have been at an event for the past 2 days speaking with various people and I definitely think it has helped my delivery, I have not really had any confidence issues to be honest.
3. I’ll be looking for opportunities to introduce the company to a wider audience if I can over the next few months rather than just weeks. 
Cheers
Adam 


Shakireh writes about a two day course
What did you want from the course?
To be able to be comfortable to speak in public spaces (including conference calls etc.)

Did you get it?
Yes! thank you 😊

 What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing I can think of

 What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I think the course was structured in a wonderful and extremely clever way. John took us on a journey where we were able to slowly understand and dismantle all the fears and worries that prevent us from being truly ourselves and at ease with other people.

 Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
What was also great is that the course was so insightful and touched upon many other areas of interaction with others and helped me to understand better my thoughts and patterns of behaviour with other people and issues that I need to explore. I also thought John was such a lovely person and deeply passionate about helping others and wanting everyone to succeed by truly being able to be themselves in public - this also created such a great and supportive atmosphere.  

thank you so much,
shakireh

 


December 2016

Hi John,
It is now 18 months since I attended your course in Bristol.  
Thought you might like to know that in September P&O invited me down to Southampton to audition for their Guest Speaker programme and it went far better than I could ever have hoped.  They immediately offered me a 9 day slot on their ship “Arcadia” next March.  I am SO excited.
This is to thank you for your course which boosted my confidence no end.
Sent with wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Christine


Thank you for a wonderful experience and controlled environment while completing your public speaking course.

The main intention for completion of the course was not to be come in fearful of public speaking and come out a professional speaker at the end of the weekend. Instead it was to be comfortable in my own skin, practice and become comfortable with the typical body responses endured before, during and after public speaking (anxiety, breathing, adrenaline).
I feel that during the session I did become comfortable after each activity. At first, I was anxious (typicalresponse), but throughout the days I felt I was becoming comfortable and challenging myself more than I normally would .

Course facilitation was conducted well and unconventional.
Unconventional in terms of being different to other public speaking courses that are out there in the market which are teaching you on how to complete a presentation. Instead your course helped be comfortable in yourself and become authentic which I enjoyed very much. Relational presence was fundamental in this course and glad I came across this concept you taught throughout.
The sessions were carried out constructively and allowed everyone in the sessions to have their chance to challenge themselves and have the same attention like their fellow participants. No one was left out and John you ensured that no one was pressured into doing something they were not comfortable doing. What I can say however,  was that you tried to encourage and change our mindsets if we did try and go into avoidance mode.

After each session and still I feel like I have a different outlook in social situations. I feel like I am walking down the streets with my head held high, socialising more, both socially and professionally and speaking out more than I normally would.
I cannot thank you enough!
Stephen Orr


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.
Thanks again and have a great Christmas.
Yours
F,


Hi John,
Thank you so much for your time and great teaching. You delivered a really good course, which already is proving very useful.
Thank you. This course has already changed my life, not just my public speaking confidence.
Jody

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to get rid of the monkey on my back that has plagued me since the day I left school. I wanted to be able to know that standing in front of a group of people would no longer fill me with fear.  I needed to replace all the negative experiences that I've had, with positive ones.

Did you get it?
Absolutely. The course started out from the most basic stage of being comfortable with Public Being, which so many other courses completely overlook. It didn't take much to make a huge difference, but taking things back to basics isn't feasible in normal life and your course did this in a safe, positive environment which broke so many barriers for me. By the end of the two days, I was looking forward to talking in public and really can't wait to stand in front of an audience. I never thought I'd think that. I have some fine tuning on how I present things I want to talk about, but my reason for booking onto your course was to break the fear of just standing in front of a group and not feeling like I was going to explode with crippling adrenaline. I have completely achieved that.


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Hard to improve it as it was well paced and effective. I would have enjoyed doing more of the 2-3min talks, but I realise everyone needs to have their opportunity too, and there's only so much time available. The rest is down to me to put it into practice.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Great people on the course. Really well delivered. I felt I could trust you and that made a huge difference. 

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The key for me was standing in front of group and not having to say anything. Just being comfortable standing there was a great help. Slowing down my speech, taking pauses and still being able to think clearly was a life changer. I will work on this everyday whilst talking to my team.


Zoe Mack's review of a two day course
What did you want from the course?
To feel more confident public speaking

Did you get it?
Absolutely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Actually I was pleased with the way the course was handled.  It hit exactly the right speed, tone and level for me

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was gradual, calm and John understood how we felt. With a group of such varied backgrounds and abilities it was impressive how well it worked for all of us.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
It’s amazing that something which has always seemed so daunting can, in two days, be so much more achievable. Thanks so much John.
 


November 2016

 

Here is some anonymous feedback from a doctor who hated being the centre of attention. The work is on-going as the comments about what the plans are for the 2 weeks after the course make clear. It's also not just about public speaking, the work is about being more confident in day to day situations

Thank you so much for your incredible facilitation skills on the course and also for taking the time to speak to me beforehand. I found the whole thing very insightful and have spent a lot of time thinking about everything and going over and over many of your helpful phrases in my head.

What did you want from the course?
To conquer my fear of being the centre of attention, both when speaking publicly but also in other situations.

Did you get it?
I don't know yet but I feel confident that I have the tools to try. I don't think this is the kind of fear that disappears overnight but I go out into the world believing that I can handle it and that I will ultimately conquer it.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing! It was really excellent.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Everything, particularly your skill, compassion, patience, experience and understanding

Occupation - Doctor

What actions of confidence are you going to explore in the next two weeks?
(Just to encourage you to think about putting the learnings into practise)

Making eye contact and conversation wherever possible with everybody!
Standing tall
Noticing any uncomfortable feelings I have and accepting them
Being kind to myself
Being an ally to myself


Sally's feedback from an in-house course

What did you want from the training?
To be more precise on what I said to groups - and less nervous!

Did you get it?
Yes and so much more. The course was entirely different to what I expected, I hadn’t even expected two days but that is communication on our side not yours. I found the foundation of the course: relational presence - to be a profound inspiration and gift. Life-changing.

 What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Personally I found the previous course feedback snippets slightly less helpful than everything else. Sometimes because the comment was put forward as something a bit silly (the profound comment) and I felt uncomfortable if invited to confirm that silliness and I did wonder if anything I might say may be used in the same way. Just a tiny wee piece of feedback though, as you’ve asked. As the whole of the two days was absolutely brilliant.
(John's note. Ihave since explained the context of this to Sally. My stories are never to denigrate people but to be used as a teaching point. But Sally's point makes me aware of being clearer about this on the course)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Receiving relational presence started in the first minutes for me and I felt at ease with the trainer and what was to come.
It was very exciting realising that this was not going to be like any work-related course I’d done before.
The blank face section (and its wider context of sleeping face/moved face/looking daggers face) was the first revelation and a great place to start and was easy to compare to a recent experience of public speaking I had. My assumptions had been wrong. Also I had remembered that above the resounding round of spontaneous applause I received (and ducked!).
It was interesting how less daunting getting up in front of everybody became, and how quickly this took place - by lunchtime on the first day I think! (may have been afternoon). I really enjoyed the practice of maintaining one to one eye contact in a series of one to ones rather than scanning the room a la rabbit in headlights. You could really see the difference as an audience member.
Sally


Mike's review of a two day course

What did you want from the course?
A change in mindset about speaking in front of people; an increase in confidence in my ability to do it and to get more enjoyment out of it.

Did you get it?
Yes! The realisation that a lot of people feel the same about public speaking, yet still do it, and come across absolutely fine makes you realise that you are not so different, and can do it yourself. There wasn’t any one thing – but all the little snippets of insight and the practice of various elements added up to a very rewarding two days.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The only thing that springs to mind, is perhaps how to talk to a bigger audience – one perhaps that you cannot see properly or will struggle to make eye contact with each and every person in it.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The safe environment that was set up to be free to just try things and practice things and the support of everyone else in the group.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Only that I really enjoyed the course and am recommending it to various colleagues.


review of a coaching session
The thirty minute coaching call with John Dawson has left me completely inspired and enthusiastic. Prior to the call, John had asked what I would like to focus on, I had selected 'how to structure my presentation', I felt that I had a lot of information and no idea of how to put this across in what was to be an important presentation. I started our Skype call by giving a very brief overview of the subject. John started immediately to ask me smart questions that made me truly think about the audience's perspective, my motives, the big idea, etc. I can honestly say that even in the first few minutes, I felt a big 'aha' moment and my entire focus for the presentation shifted and came alive. John made excellent suggestions on how to involve the participants, made clear suggestions as to the balance of time, shared a simple and highly effective PDF and left me with a sense of clarity. He refreshed much of the passion, confidence and inspiration from the two day course that I attended with him (two years ago). In short, in thirty minutes, John has transformed my overview of the presentation from a mass (or a mess) of ideas that I would be sharing into an interactive presentation that I would love to sit through myself. John Dawson, you are inspiring, calm, knowledgeable, empathetic and awesome and every presenter should spend time talking to you.
Tracy


Hello John
I did the course a year ago.
Since then I have done presentations to patients and it's been fine.
Today though I did a difficult subject to a group of health care professionals and got incredible
feed back and a big round of applause.
I continued to get amazing comments all day.
It felt so good.
Thank you
Kate


October 2016
 

Jennifer writes about a two day course in Bristol

What did you want from the course?

To develop my confidence in speaking to an audience. Having attended the 1 day course 2 years ago I wanted to gain experience and information on speaking naturally as opposed to “making a speech”

Did you get it?
Most definitely. The 2 day course was extremely powerful and met my aim of feeling more natural and confident in front of an audience.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I found the course extremely empowering; no improvements.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
What I like above all is the fact that this is not just a set of good public speaking practices delivered to a group of people. The way you, John, appreciate and quickly understand the needs of individuals in front of you is what makes these courses so different and empowering. I have felt able to truly “take my place in the world” since that weekend both professionally and personally. What more could I ask!
Thank you
Jennifer


Amy Gove's feedback on a two day course
What did you want from the course?
The ability to confidently deliver presentations at national conferences and in front of my peers. I initially wanted to do the course for work reasons but after I have completed it I know that its more my personal side that needed work not so much the professional side of things. So I have taken more away than anticipated.

Did you get it?
I think so, I am yet to test it out of course but I do feel less daunted about the prospect. I know now that I can just stop take a breath and carry on. Rather than spiral into doom in front of everyone. I feel better able to control my inner panic, I need to practice once I return to work from maternity leave in Jan

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The facilitation was great. I felt like I NEEDED to know what was going to happen on the course before hand as I’m a super planner. But I see now why you do not tell us before. I would have liked to have had 5 mins before we started the standing up part just to say hello to people. But maybe that was done before I arrived. I struggle with going into things cold.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The group size was spot on, and John is just a fabulous and genuine person.  Not the usual cheesy trainers you can get. I would attend another course if I knew he was the facilitator.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
In terms of my personal development this is probably the most transformational course I have been on in my career to date. The content was useful of course, but what was really important was the practice that we were asked to do in a safe environment. I didn’t expect to cry tears of sadness and joy, and laugh out loud with a bunch of random people I had never met before – especially on a course about public speaking ! I also think the money back guarantee is a great idea. Not like I expect anyone to ever need it.


Jess Laporte writes about a two day course

What did you want from the course?
From this course, I was hoping to be able to learn some techniques for tackling my confidence issueswhen dealing with senior male colleagues in meetings.  I also wanted to be able to improve the delivery of presentations to my wider team to make them more engaging and informative.

Did you get it?
John's two day workshop is brilliant. He covers everything from the evolutionary origins of feeling nervous about public speaking, to identifying your sentence that summarises where you are at now to where you want to be in the future. Since attending this course my participation in meetings has definitely improved and I have learned to remember that no matter what content I am delivering, I am always just speaking to another human. Being authentic and true to who I am is the key to engaging delivery.

Also, not assuming that everyone in the room thinks I am talking nonsense just because their faces are blank.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I would have preferred it if the course did not have a facilitator who was a participant. The thought of being paired with someone who knew the programme from a different perspective and probably anticipated exactly how we would all be feeling was a bit odd, mainly because his feelings and answers were always so confident! (John's note - Thanks for the feedback, trainees need to practise somehow and it's actually quite rare to have a trainee in the group. I probably have three trainees do one course a year, and I run 60 courses. But I will think on about how best to integrate trainees)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I was not expecting the course to be so personal. The nature of the exercises really help you tap into the underlying reasons why people feel apprehensive about public speaking, not just focusing on techniques to help you deliver content. From day one, we were all made to feel like the classroom was a safe place to discuss our thoughts and anxieties, or not at all if preferred.
The transition of seeing public speaking as just a normal 'chat' with a few extra people in a room is really liberating.
It was extremely comforting to be in a room with people from all kinds of backgrounds who were really successful knowing that we were all on the same wavelength.
I just wanted to say thank you for everything
Jess Laporte


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. As long as I can remember the CBA approach I think it's going to be fine.  I'll keep you posted!
many many thanks
Debbie


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.
Helen


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.
Thanks,
Sam
Regional Sales Manager


Hi John,
I’m sorry it’s taken a little while to get back to you but I wanted to answer properly and also to have done my event before I responded!
John, I want to thank you. I came home feeling somehow I had pressed the reset button on life. I’ve slipped back a little since then to the old anxieties but I feel now I have tools to help fight my way out of it.
All best wishes,
Kate

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to improve how I was when speaking in public and also to lessen the nerves I feel.

Did you get it?
The course not only massively helps with public speaking it’s potentially a life changer. Delivered with passion and intelligence. Speaking publicly for the first time after the course my husband, who was in the audience, said I was transformed.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can’t fault anything.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the fact that it was a completely authentic experience given right from the heart. The fact it was a shared group experience that we were all going through together.


feedback September 2016

A note of thanks for a really great weekend. On reflection, my main takeaway is that to be at ease at public speaking, you need to at ease at being you.
You are doing important work John, but I am pretty sure you are reminded of that each and every day :-)
Will let you know how it goes next week.
Kind Regards,
Helene


Angie's feedback from a two day course

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to gain self-confidence and conquer my hatred of being put on the spot. I also hoped this would help with job-interviews.

Did you get it?
Definitely - I can already tell that the techniques are starting to set in. 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 phased by the thought of it - in fact I am quite looking forward to putting my new skills to practice.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The course itself was great - I only wish it was longer so I could get more practice but I see there is a monthly refresher course which may be very helpful.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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...

Dear John
I just wanted to let you know that I managed to sit in a meeting the start of this academic year which involved sitting around a massive desk and having to introduce ourselves one at a time.
I managed to embrace the overwhelming feeling to leg it to the toilets and hide, accept it, wait my turn and say my piece.
It was a tiny moment but a massive step in the right direction for me. I still feel like I have a long way to go but it's the first time in 5 or 6 years that I haven't let this panic get the better of me and that is 100% down to coming on your course, so thank you.
Best wishes,
M.


Hi John, wanted to write and say massive thank you for the course I attended a couple of years ago. It was the most transformative thing I have ever done and one of the reasons was that it was with a group. I successfully did my, now 3 speeches at work and in July had the courage to speak at my Nans funeral. It's not just the public speaking but the belief that I will be able to find the words and courage when I need it in life that has been truly transformational. I would recommend the course to anyone.
Jadie


Sometimes after 6 months I write to individual course participants and ask them how they are getting on. Or in this case,  I asked a teacher "Are the teachings from the course were still working?"....
"Yes, I am very happy to say that the shift appears to have stuck! I have actually been promoted, as well as running the PE department I am also taking the lead on the training of new teachers this year.
In the last week I have presented to a group of 41, three groups of 15 and just today I led a seminar to 25 of my peers. At no point has my concern been my nerves or ability to deliver the training. This has really set me free professionally, I now feel that there is nothing holding me back and although I am by no means a perfect public speaker, I am comfortable holding the space.
Thank you!
Susan


I attended your course in the autumn (I think) as I somewhat apprehensive about my forthcoming "father of the bride" speech.
Apart from it being an enjoyable day with people with similar interests and apprehensions, John slowly demonstrated that our common apprehensions were unwarranted.
Taking away these fears and showing that we should trust the audience was enlightening.
I've been small-scale public speaking in a business environment for decades, not at all well, but anxiously getting by.
My daughter's wedding presented an altogether different prospect though - the dreaded father of the bride speech!
It was obvious even to me that the speech was splendidly-well received, which was amazing given that I have no natural talent. I thank John for this, it was largely down to him."
A.


Dear John,
I gave my presentation today. I spoke for an hour and a quarter!
My slides were quite robust, certainly enough to keep me on track. I looked into everybody's eyes, and looked for no clues.  It is quite funny, as you observed, that there are few smile-and-nodders!
Mainly blank faces.  I made them laugh a few times, and included a bit of interactive stuff.
To my great surprise I was not really nervous this morning, just a bit. And although I could definitely feel the pace and the push of the moment, I was not as flustered with it as I expected.  Had a lot of slides and so did need to speak fast in places, but also consciously practiced The Pause.
The 1 day course I did with you in London really did change the way I feel about it all.  Everyone was 'included': the yawners, the scribblers and the nodders! And I treated them all the same.
The assistant was surprised to hear it was my first presentation!
The workshop I took with you changed the way I think about the experience of standing up to speak, but most importantly I think it has changed the way I feel about it. 
Result!
Thank you
Eleanor

feedback August 2016

For me the psychological / anthropological explanations work really well, as they start to help my logical brain overcome my emotional brain and to some extent fear of public speaking becomes a fairly universal ‘fascinating thing’ rather than a personal failing.
N


Just want to say thanks John because this course has really changed my life. I will never avoid an important occasion again to speak and thank my family or colleagues where this is required. It is a gift that can not be bought and it is so personal.
Carl Edwards


Sometimes it takes a little time for the learning of the course to kick in.
I did the two day public speaking course a short time ago. Whilst I gained a huge insight into understanding the fears behind public speaking and how to change the thought patterns associated with perpetuating this fear, I came away feeling that I still wasn't as confident as I imagined I would be after the course. In my day-to-day life, I don't have to do presentations or speak in public that regularly, so I was also concerned I wasn't going to be able to put things into practice straight away and I was going to forget everything I had learned.
I mentioned this to John in the post-course feedback and he straight away offered me a one hour session over the phone, as part of the course follow-up. This extra hour was really beneficial to me. Not only did it serve as a short recap but he gave me a further insight into the small things I can do everyday to overcome this feeling of not being able to practice in front of a large group, means not practicing at all. Suffice to say, there are many things I can do and this session really helped cement that.
John is so passionate about helping people build confidence, not only surrounding public speaking but in many other aspects of life. I really feel like he has given me some invaluable tools and skills, which I will use everyday. Thanks John!
Bex


Rachel Day's feedback from a two day course
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
For me I was out of my comfort zone with how the chairs were laid out and I realised this was right and true to the reality of public speakingbut I struggled to connect with the people on the course on the first day. I am not sure I would change it because I got to practice public speaking without connection and it is more learning for me than you- I have reflected that on the second day the connection and the learning for me was so much better.
Only other thoughts I had were more pauses to allow for personal notes to be captured after each practice.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved the simplicity of the course - that it was really about making things simple and it was true to this concept - we heard a few simple ideas at the beginning of the course and then we experienced these.
I also liked the fact that you could choose what to practice each time - I picked one of the concepts and then tried to keep practicing that.
I loved the questions you posed on the second day and the safety you created in the space.
I welcomed your coaching and your fantastic authenticity.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
If I am honest I attended this course without any real understanding about its content and what I might want from it. It far exceeded my expectations and the insights I have taken away with me 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
Leadership Coach & facilitator.


Daniel Kelly's feedback from a two day course

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.

What did you want from the course?
When I initially thought about doing a public speaking course I wanted to overcome my anxiety of public speaking and change my mind set towards speaking to a group of people.

Did you get it?
In a word, Yes! The one thing I did learn was maybe the anxiety will always be there, but work along side it and try to ignore it. To not let the anxiety overcome me and focus on other things.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I genuinely do not think the course could be improved, it surpassed all my expectations. My only disappointment was knowing after the 2 days I would not be going back for a third or fourth day.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought everyone on the course was fantastic, easy to get along with and I learnt a lot off them as well as yourself. The course as a whole was very laid back, with every exercise being optional helped me relax more, even though I knew I was never going to opt out of an exercise.

Other Comments:
The 2 days I spent on your course were mind blowing for me. 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 and I wish you continued success,
Daniel.

feedback July 2016

Kelvin's feedback from a two day course

What did you want from the course?
To be able to better engage with the audience

Did you get it? Yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can’t really think of anything.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It’s too easy to say everything because it felt so natural.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I’d just like to reiterate how much I enjoyed the course. I was looking to find better ways to engage with the audience and I think that the course gave me exactly that. I now have a very definitive strategy for presentations and believe that the approach that I practised during the course will work in most circumstances for me. This 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


 

_________________________________

 

Rachael came on a two day course

What did you want from the course?
To feel more comfortable and confident with public speaking and to feel more able to contribute to conversation when I am with small / large groups of people.

Did you get it?
I did get it, and more! 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.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Im not sure. I didnt really know what to expect before I arrived which, looking back, I think was a good thing so I couldn’t worry about it!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
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 fron achieving various things. I hope I can use John’s lessons to be the person I want to and know I can be!

__________________________

Grace came on a two day course...

I would recommend this course to anyone who has experienced nerves when presenting. Rather than giving you tips on projecting your voice or using slides, this course makes you a confident speaker and helps you to address some of the reasons why public speaking can be daunting for people. There was a real sense of camaraderie on the course and nothing was designed to make you feel uncomfortable - John is incredibly skilled and very good at what he does - I really do think I will be a much better presenter as a result.
Grace Garland

______

Hello John
Thank you for the space you created for me last week. I am amazed at how much I got from it. At the same time, I am amazed at how much you can learn and develop when you open up.

I now see that the issue wasn’t the words or the preparation (though they will remain important to me) but the way I felt about myself and about other people. Every day since the course, I have walked down the street reminding myself (“I am enough”) and when making contact with others (“assume support”) and it has transformed how I feel. There is some looking back at how much I’ve missed by assuming I have no connection with people (and looking away…or at the carpet!) but mostly joy that I have the ability to transform the rest of my life.
Best wishes
David

What did you want from the course?
A way not to take ‘presentations’ so seriously and to make my life easier as I enter an environment where speaking in front of groups of people will be normal.


Did you get it?
I did and hope that I can develop what I have learnt. I also got other things from the course I wasn’t expecting. I think it might have the potential to transform the whole of my life for the better.


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I think the greatest skills often look simple or are so good it’s as if they were never there. I have been in loads of educational environments and the skills of the facilitator here were huge. The ability to create a safe and open environment, to let people speak and learn from each other and to focus learning and discussion was hugely important. I have never had an experience like it and it has changed the way the world looks and feels for me!
David

 

_________________



Hi John,
I realise we have course feedback to fill in, but wanted to say that I was very inspired by your course, and the way you brought yourself to it so fully.  I feel it's rare in the world that we find people who model emotional intelligence as a way of connecting with others authentically, within a public space. With great insight, you supported and challenged us to take our place in the world, and have shown me that I needn't be afraid to being myself fully to that too.  I mistakenly called what you do facilitation - it's not! It's personal leadership, delivered with love for your fellow human being, and I feel grateful to have experienced that.
Thank you!
Emma

 ________________________________

Hi John,
I just wanted to write and say that I had a poetry reading last night and it went better than I could have imagined. I had far less butterflies than usual leading up to the reading and, while I had a small pang of nerves just beforehand, I was able to manage them using your techniques. For the first time ever I didn’t have problems breathing or getting to the end of the poem without sounding out of breath or wobbly. The nerves practically disappeared the minute I got up there.
I’d reread the information you kindly sent us in the days leading up to the reading and had made notes of key thoughts and ideas to keep with me on stage. I can honestly say I even enjoyed the reading and felt an incredible amount of happiness and relief that what I learned on your course truly worked for me. I feel like last night was a turning point, and although I know I will be nervous about future readings, I feel confident that I can handle them in the same way and will grow each time.  Thank you for everything.
Best,
Charlotte


What did you want from the course?
To learn to manage my nervous and the way they present physically.


Did you get it?
Yes, I got expert yet realistic advise on exactly that – new ways of thinking about public speaking.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing I can think of – perhaps an online booking system?

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought the course was wonderful, from the atmosphere in the room, to the location, facilities and structure of the day.


Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
John was a great workshop leader, he made me feel immediately comfortable and was sensitive and considerate of us all at every stage of the course.

__________________________________

Hi John,
I attended one of your workshops some time ago and found it so helpful. Tomorrow I'm about to give a presentation to a large group of people - something I thought I'd never be able to do - and tonight my mind's wandered back to that workshop and how it's helped me.

Tim

feedback June 2016

Julian, who came on my re-thinking presentations course, reports back

Good evening John
Your email is perfectly timed. I delivered the speech to 400 or so parents last night.
I'm so glad I came on the course- the two days made me re-think my approach and it was far better than I have done before.
With warm wishes and many thanks
Julian

______________________

Barbara Coll's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I have never been on a public speaking course before and so I didn’t know what to expect but as it turns out, this course is probably different from others anyway. I have felt so overwhelmed by my fear of public speaking at times and so critical of myself that I couldn’t imagine a 2 day course could change that. I hoped, however, that I would gain something and, in an ideal world, I wanted to become more predictable in terms of my public speaking: I guess what this translates to is I wanted be able to trust in myself rather than feeling completely out of control in public speaking situations.

Did you get it?
I got so much more than I could have hoped for. It is well over a week now since I did the course and I feel that in doing it, I gave myself a precious gift. I haven’t felt that way about many things I have done in my life. The experience of doing the course was a very special one for me and it seems from reading old and new feedback that many others have felt the same.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing as far as I am concerned. The balance between thought-provoking theory, practise and reflection seems perfect.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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.    

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I loved everything about the course and am very grateful to John and to all of those in my group.

Occupation
Lawyer

________________________

 a lovely letter from Victoria!

Dear John,
This weekend I had been asked to do a reading in front of an audience at outdoor rally, with an expected turnout of 1-2 THOUSAND. Then the Bishop died and the event was cancelled...
Instead I've been asked to do the same reading for a few hundred.
What is so amazing is that I calmly thought "Oh good" when told aboutthe smaller venue.
And recognising it at the time, I had to double-check that I really wasfeeling the absence of "the shittings".
That has to be a "Wow" moment.   
Keep Loving Us Up.
Victoria

________________________________________

Joanna Jones' feedback for a day's in-house course

Dear John,
Thanks again for the fantastic training day last week.

What did you want from the course?
To hone my public speaking skills and become more effective at presentations.

Did you get it?
Yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Your facilitation was excellent - you really put course delegates at ease and were very empathetic. Your unique approach to overcoming delegates’ apprehension by rethinking public speaking and practicing a new approach within a safe environment was really impactful.  Thank you for such an effective training day and Thank you also for supporting the professional development of the Women Leaders in Museums Network.


Occupation
Director of Museums and Galleries

Where did you hear about the course?
Women Leaders in Museums Network

Joanna Jones
Director of Museums & Galleries
Canterbury Museums and Galleries

_______________________________________

Dear John,
Imanaged to enjoy my Father of the Bride Speech.
All went amazingly well.
Happy Bride, happy Bridegroom and happy Father!


3 guests said it was the best Father of The Bride speech they had ever heard….

John, without your brilliant help I would have stumbled through it all hating every minute.
You turned all that upside down.

Thank you! 
With Best Wishes Andrew

________________________________

Rebecca's feedback from a day's course

What did you want from the course?
To learn some skills to help manage my anxiety when speaking in public.

Did you get it?
Yes! And I was surprised at how applicable the skills we learnt are to all areas of life. The concept of being afraid of 'being seen' really spoke to me and has given me a starting place from which to explore some personal issues. I'm now a lot less apprehensive about the upcoming talks I have to give both because I feel like I have some new skills and because I've realised how ridiculous the high standards which I hold myself (and no-one else) to are.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing I can think of.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I felt comfortable very quickly in the group since John facilitated a really friendly and 'safe' atmosphere. I appreciated being pushed gently out of my comfort zone and being given the opportunity to practice speaking in front of a group.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I've gone along to my first speakers club meeting at John's suggestion, something I would have been much too intimidated to do before. And I'm excited to improve my public speaking skills to express my ideas (instead of being terrified of having to speak in public despite being desperate to express my ideas).
 

________________________________________

Chris Hemingway's feedback from a two day course

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.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I enjoyed how John made everyone feel welcome and relaxed….it was like one big family.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
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….

feedback May 2016

Lindsay's feedback for a day's course

What did you want from the course?
From a young age I’ve been extremely self-conscious, self-critical and have been afraid to speak out and be looked at, partly because of blushing which I used to be bullied about. It’s really held me back personally and professionally thoughout my life. I chose this course because I knew my issue with public speaking went deeper than just fear of presenting. The idea of being comfortable being in the centre of attention and the course themes around confidence appealed to me. I wanted to access techniques that would help me present better at work and feel less panic when called on to speak in front, but I also wanted to think more broadly about what is going on for me when I feel extreme discomfort being in the centre of attention throughout my personal life too. I wanted to gain some understanding of the psychology behind this, as well as gain some practical coping strategies to aid me going forward.

Did you get it?
Yes, I found the day very challenging in a positive way. It was educational and thought-provoking. Although I found the speaking exercises uncomfortable I felt fully supported by John and the other participants and there was no pressure to do anything I didn’t want to. We started with very small steps, building on new skills throughout the day. From the start I found it a very emotional day as it tapped into long-standing issues around confidence and being seen, and at times I felt very exposed, but this was as I expected and I think testament to the quality of the course that I felt safe through all this.

At first I felt like I was the person with the worst issues and lowest confidence, but as the day went on I came to see the different ways people were struggling as people’s fronts came down. It was very powerful to share an experience like this with a diverse group of people with different goals and characters, all trying to understand and improve one fundamental aspect of life.

The day wasn’t about putting plasters over wounds or tricking audiences into thinking you are confident – it was about coming to understand what’s happening inside you when you stand in front of others and building a little foundation to go forward from that wobbly starting point with a different approach. Later when I thought about this more I realised we hadn’t been encouraged to praise each other so much or dispute negative ideas other participants had about themselves, but rather we’d been encouraged to stand on our own feet and care less about the praise of others: this is a really valuable approach to finding your own self-worth and resilience.

I do think this is one of the most important and best training courses I’ve ever been on. It’s fascinating that so many issues come up for us when we’re placed in front of others, and I do definitely feel inspired to challenge myself to act on my low confidence. As an analytical person, it’s really important to me to understand the ‘thing’ I’m trying to change and think about what’s behind the issues I have. The course was great for gaining some of that understanding while also being practical and motivational through-and-through.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I’m not sure really…I really enjoyed it despite the discomfort and felt John was a lovely facilitator, very caring and the whole course was really well put together.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John was a very warm, entertaining and engaging facilitator. He took care to observe and respond to participants individually. I felt looked after during the course as well as after as John ended with some advice on how to look after ourselves when we left. It was a very positive, thought-provoking and nurturing experience because of his motivating, considered and kind approach.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thanks so much to John for an emotional, challenging and life-affirming experience!

__________________________________

Hi John,
 I really enjoyed the course. I wanted to gain the confidence to try public speaking.

By no means was I ever under the impression that after 2 days I was going to have the confidence and skill set to address world issues in front of 100s of listeners... But it gave me the confidence to say yes! The confidence to have a go and continue practising ... The mind set to believe I can do it! And yes it's scary and nerve racking!! And it's still scary and nerve racking, but not to a point that I hide from it...

But to a point where I'm terrified but willing to face the fear anyway... I believe your course changes the way we think about ourselves, teaches us to have more self worth and respect.

Your course is an open door. I never wanted to do public speaking at the very least.. I've solo travelled the world and sky dived at 16000 feet to gain more confidence but never was I doing public speaking.. Until now .. The course has opened the door for me to carry on practising regardless of the overwhelming anxiety..

For that, and just your humorous, passionate and genuine authenticity, I say thank you! You stand up for the vulnerable and the shy who should be living life to the full... Your video interview states " a lot of people are living a quiet life and it's a shame ". It is a shame! .. All who attended the group this weekend are some of the most interesting caring human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting..

I haven't got any thing that would improve anything.. More locations including the midlands would be good  
Thanks a million
Robert Clare , Engineer,

________________________________

Becky's feedback from a two day course

What did you want from the course?
To increase my self confidence in group situations

Did you get it?
Yes definitely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The gentle way John welcomed everyone set the tone for a thoroughly enjoyable 2 days.  He is a superb facilitator who inspires confidence.  The relaxed sessions helped the group to bond and be naturally supportive of each other as we each overcame our nerves.  The exercises where cleverly designed to gradually increase your self belief.  An amazing course and a must for anyone struggling with self confidence, not just when making presentations.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Overcoming my insecurities to stand in front of strangers and speak off the cuff seemed an impossible task and something I had actively avoided.  This course gave me a safe place to test myself and I still can't quite believe what I achieved in 2 days.  

__________________________________________

Emily's feedback and realisation about public speaking

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.

____________________________________________

Feedback from someone who had found it very difficult to stand in front of a group for years

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel that there was hope that I could overcome my phobia of standing up and speaking in public.   I needed to find a place where I could face the fear, in front of a group, without it being in a work environment.   I knew that I would have a meltdown and needed to feel safe and not humiliated by standing, a disheveled wreck.  What would come after that, I had no idea.   The possibility left me years ago.

Did you get it?
I got tears and shaking, but it was ok.  I got the courage to walk into the storm.   What came after that, was a de-shackling from the catastrophising, noticing the panic and saying no thanks and for a moment on Sunday, standing in front of 10 people, without shaking.  I saw that I was the creator of the monster in my head and I realised that with new thinking, practice and a slice of courage, I could find a path out of the public speaking nightmare.  Early days, but finally hope, where I had none before.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
When what you do delivers miracles, I suggest you change nothing.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The facilitation was magnificent.  Warm, funny, moving, empowering and inspiring.  Those qualities became infectious.   We laughed together, drew courage from each other and felt moved together.   I am grateful to John and the other participants .

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
A little bit of hope changes the colour of things.  Introduces possibilities.    This time last week it was inconceivable.  All I had to hold onto were the public humiliations, a life spent avoiding, a voice that said that I had committed career suicide and that there was never going to be any possibility to be who I could be. Here I am, Tuesday morning, 11am, sitting with a kernel of hope. I have lived with such a huge monster for so long that a little kernel is going to struggle on its own.   I need to grow it and most importantly, hold on to it for (a) dear life.

______________________________

Ted's feedback from a two day course

Hi John,
Thank you so much for putting on such an excellent course and being so patient and understand. It was really a great experience and I am already feeling the difference.

I began Monday with the confidence that I could do better, but also the nagging feeling that I might back out when the time came. However, I managed to interrupt a meeting with some feedback that I would otherwise have held back. I spoke about my topic and once the feeling came of blankness I just continued on and it felt ok. Since then I have continued to stick to my resolution of speaking in every meeting I can, and there are a lot! The more I do it the easier it gets.I’m still working on truly hanging with the big boys in these meetings but I feel as though I am finding my feet, and my place and I am being respected for it. I will work on continuing to improve.

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,
Ted

______________________________

Hi John,

Thanks for the information and thank you for running such an amazing course. I found it to be truly life changing.
It was great meeting you, you are a true inspiration.
I've answered the feedback questions below.
Best regards
Jake

What did you want from the course?
To be able to stand in front of an audience and speak clearly, with confidence and to boost my confidence levels in general.

Did you get it?
100% yes.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything- other than starting a more advanced course to take after this.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John's approach to the course was fantastic and he really made change feel possible.

Jake Golchin

 

feedback April 2016

Daniel's feedback since he took a course in 2011

Good afternoon,

I did your evening class in Bristol a few years ago (I think in 2011, but it's all starting to merge a bit).

I just wanted to say thank you, and that I feel like your course has had a really positive impact on my life, and definitely on my work.  After the course I applied the things that you said and made myself start speaking up more in meetings at work, and I just got more and more comfortable and confident with it as time went on.  

In 2013 I moved to Toronto for work, and since then I've been giving presentations to groups of lawyers reasonably often as part of my job here, and now I'm at the point where I actually enjoy public speaking.  Although standing up in front of people doesn't scare me the way it used to, I still remind myself of the idea of assumed support.  When I think back on it, it was that idea that was the real revelation for me, it made me adjust my thinking about public speaking from being something adversarial to something more co-operative.  

If you wanted me to provide a testimonial, or use any of my email, i'm more than happy with that. I just wanted to say thank you.

Regards

Daniel

_______________________________

 

Brian's feedback from a one day course

Hi John,
Thanks very much for the course, it was really excellent, extremely useful and I feel that I overcame my fears (however rational or irrational they were).

What did you want from the course?
1. The confidence to take the leap and speak in public.
2. The ability to rely on myself rather than the audience, with the presumption that they are supporting me.
3. That others share ‘fear’ of public speaking, but that I should aim to turn this into excitement.
4. To stop worrying so much – to STOP worrying entirely.
5.  Blank faces can be welcome, and expected.

Did you get it?
Sure did, even more so than I expected. Much better than previous courses on presentations.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Course was obviously well practised so nothing to improve.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Excellent.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Was excellent, and was proud of myself and all others participants.

Occupation
Engineering Manager

_____________________________

Liz's feedback from a one day course

Dear John,
Firstly, thank you for putting on such fantastic training last week. I haven't stopped talking about it since!

What did you want from the course? I wanted to gain the confidence to be able to stand up in front of a group and speak.

Did you get it? I certainly did on the day - I am looking forward to getting back to work next week and trying out my new skills!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing - it was fantastic!

What did you like about the course/facilitation? I liked the safe environment that John created, allowing us to feel happy and willing to express anything.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish I really believe this course has given me life changing information. Just tweaking the way we think and react in situations makes so much sense and is pretty easy!

Occupation School Nurse

 _________________________

a celebratory email from Hayley

Hi John,
I came to your course at the beginning of the year, the one day in Bristol. During the last session I spoke about my mission to get a promotion and new job by the end of the year! Well, it worked and I have been successful in getting a new job, in a new organisation and a promotion. I had to do a 15 minute presentation in the interview and without your help at the beginning of the year, I don’t think I would have done it. I ‘out shone’ the other candidates I have been told. Since being successful, I am walking around with a new air of confidence, and can quite happily chat to an audience and also, say "No" sometimes.
Thanks John
Hayley

__________________

Ruth Archer's feedback

Dear John,
Many thanks for your email and for the information you sent through. I found the course extremely helpful, a lot of what you spoke about and the themes which came up throughout the day really resonated with me and have helped shift my thinking in relation to standing up in front of agroup of people. This felt like one of the most valuable training courses I’ve ever been on. Thanks so much!

What did you want from the course?
-To spend a day giving attention to the idea of speaking in public.
-To change my thinking around public speaking.
-To learn ways In which to reduce the amount of energy it requires for me to speak publically.

Did you get it?
Yes! I felt that all of these aspects were incorporated in the course and that plenty of space and time to reflect and consider individual perspectives was given.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I was really impressed by the delivery of the course and the respect shown towards everyone’s point of view. I really cannot think of anything which could be improved.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
-The pace, the honesty, the value placed on individuals reflections, the fact it felt okay to ‘practice’ public speaking in front of the group. The sense of safety which was established.
Ruth Archer

___________________________

 

Sara, a charity manager, writes giving feedback ofhow a one day in-house training has worked for her team.

Just a quick note that we have completed the seminars. They were a true whirlwind – 3 big events a week for 3 weeks is not to be underestimated!
I am very happy with how everyone performed at the seminars and hopefully did the team justice with my own section.
I can’t stress enough how the training helped with team building. Between seminars we all gave each other suggestions and lots of encouragement, in an atmosphere that felt very constructive.
A couple of members of the team fed back to me that they had been dreading the training and having to speak all year. And that in retrospect they really appreciated the opportunity to grow professionally and step out of their comfort zone. So onwards and upwards for us all!
And thanks again for all your help!
Best wishes
Sara

____________________

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!)
And I can certainly see myself coming backing on your course again in a year or two’s time!
So a big thank you John you certainly have changed the way I look at things!
Best wishes
Jon

__________________________

Hi John,
Just thought I'd let you know of how I've come on since taking your course.
I must have completed at least 6 presentations over the last 3-4 months. The first was 'standing in front of' around 15 people.(not a huge number!) The nerves were under control, I felt more at ease and confident and I've learned to use more of my personality.
I've found myself actually enjoying presenting the more I do them, even to senior management!
Anyway, thought I'd drop you a line.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Paul

feedback March 2016

Don't put things off... the next two people wished they'd attended a whole earlier..."My life would have been very different" writes Colin. Here is Dave's feedback

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 felt that the course was very well structured and it was noticeable that a feeling of camaraderie quickly developed between all the delegates. As a result of this, together with the valuable information and ‘tips’ you provided,  every one of them became increasingly more at ease when speaking in front of the others as the day went on.


I am a retired Accountant/Company Director and wish that I had attended such a course far earlier in my life.
Kind regards
Dave

 __________________________________

 

If I had been on your workshop years ago, I think that my life would have been very different as I had always been very quiet and doubted myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and it helped me feel very inspired about being able to speak confidently in front of other people.
Colin

 __________________________________

Karl Franklin's feedback on a one day course

Thank you so much for Friday. As you can see from the comments below, I really enjoyed it and learnt so much. 

What did you want from the course?
To start the first step at chipping away the fear of public speaking, or speaking within a group that I have carried with me all of my life.

Did you get it?
Yes. I could never have believed I’d end up doing what I did by the end of the day. At no point did I feel pushed too hard and yet still managed to maintain a steep trajectory from beginning the day being fearful of group speaking.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
It is clearly a highly refined course that has had many amendments over the years to improve it which has made it so effective. I cannot think of anything obvious.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved how everything was optional, however everyone felt able to take part. I also loved the way how John was able to create such support and harmony within the group.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I’d just like to say thank you again. The day was challenging and yet so enjoyable. I have managed to convince my partner to attend as I believe everyone could get something from this experience.

Many thanks,
Karl Franklin

___________________________________

Sue Marriott's feedback on a two day course

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to learn some techniques so I could stand up and talk in front of an audience or just a group of people and not feel so afraid. I hoped to feel confident I could do it.
 
Did you get it?
Yes it was such a massive help and with a 2-day course there was plenty of time for putting it all into practise.
   
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything in particular.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked your gentle approach and style. It felt so daunting on the first day wondering what kind of people would be on the course. You were good at putting everyone at ease and your humour really broke the ice. It was such a relief to learn that public speaking was about being yourself and just having a conversation. We had lots of opportunity for speaking in front of the group. Everyone was so lovely and it was especially nice when we got to know each other a bit more and were able to encourage each other. It was great to start the first day in the smaller room and then move to a bigger conference room, to experience the difference. It was such a beautiful boardroom.
Sue Marriott

_________________________

A brilliant course, so much more than just about Public Speaking
Simon

_________________________

I’m looking forward to the presentation course – the last one I attended was brilliant and has changed my life
Jackie

_________________________

John, another quick thanks for an excellent 2 days. It's exactly what I wanted and needed.
I thought it was the want of improving my presentational skills in the professional environment I wanted most. But actually it's what you touched on at the end that really got to me (and nearly had this serial non-cryer blubbing). The fact now I think I would be comfortable to stand up at my mum or dad's birthday and say what I actually feel (which would be something that is away from the norm in my family), and letting them know how much I appreciate them means a hell of a lot. Just feeling more comfortable in my own skin will help me in all aspects of my life, so for that, I thank you.
All the best,
Steve

What did you want from the course? A greater self-confidence

Did you get it? Totally.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing!

What did you like about the course/facilitation? John’s belief in his attendees and his genuine care for all participants. The fact that the improvement of the group means just as much to him as it does to the attendee carries a greater sense of being supported, which in essence is a large part taking our place.

Thanks
Steve

_______________________________

Abi Horner's feedback from a two day course

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.

____________________________________

Stuart Dawson's feedback from a two day course (we are not related!)

What did you want from the course?
To be at ease when public speaking.

Did you get it?
Yes...and a whole lot more!

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

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved the supportive safe environment. The gentle nudging from you was at exactly the right level. You nurtured the attendees and every single one of them flourished. It was an absolute joy to witness and be a part of!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I have felt empowered since the course. As I said in my previous mail, the difference was noticeable to people the very next day.

Occupation
Head of Engineering for a small software company
    

Two words, thank you. 

The course was amazing and I shall be recommending it to all and sundry!

Stuart

 ____________________________________

Andrew's feedback from a two day course. He'd been on a day course 2 years before

What did you want from the course?
To become comfortable when speaking in public and not have a build up of fear and nerves prior to speaking.

Did you get it?
I really feel that I gained so much confidence on this 2 day course. It really broke down the issues that I have and gave me the tools to keep working on to maintain my new found confidence.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I thought the balance of questions then practise of speaking in front of the group was spot on. The 2 days went really quickly and I would not have changed any part.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
 I attended a 1 day course 2 years ago and although I learned a lot I do not feel I put in onto practise like I should have. Coming away from this 2 day course I really feel this time it has made a real difference and i know now what I need to do to develop even further and always feel confident in public speaking situations.

I would recommend this 2 day course to anyone. I paid for the course myself not through work but it was worth every penny and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Andrew

 

feedback February 2016

Steph's feedback

I wanted a different approach to addressing public speaking anxiety, more than the normal “exposure” type courses. I also wanted to be in a group with people who understand what I feel like.

Did you get it?
Yes 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.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing really I loved it. I think as John is so open and honest it encourages that kind of open-ness in everyone


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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

Steph

__________________________________

Being terrified of speaking in public, and on the recommendation of a friend, I walked over the threshold into one of John Dawson's weekend workshops. John's ability to hold a space enabled me to feel safe, where I could explore the spoken word aided by his humour and insight, compassion and authenticity. Even though I was nervous and insecure, his encouragement and unique approach, helped me take my first steps along the road, towards 'taking my place in the world'.
Thank you John.
Jean

 

feedback January 2016

Gemma's feedback from a two day course

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
Gemma

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to understand more about why I felt different when I talk to people on a 1:1 vs talking to a room full of people!
I wanted to gain some control of the strange feelings which entered my body when I stood up to talk to people.

Did you get it?
Yes!  I felt relieved that the feelings which I was experiencing were not ones which were unfamiliar but also that I don't have to feel like that anymore.  I loved the fact that I could focus on what I actually wanted to do and how I wanted to feel and by doing that I simply forgot about everything else!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
This is very difficult to answer as the course was so different from anything I have ever done before!  I am a bit of thinker and like to have a bit of "hook" which helps me to process information when I am on a course.  I had done quite a bit of independent reading and research before hand which was self directed.  I guess a bit of guidance on that might have helped me but it certainly didn't detract from the course and is just my specific style.  (I also didn't ask for any direction or guidance so perhaps I could have done that!!!)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the flow of the course as we moved from activity to activity and through the development of each skill.  It felt as though everything linked and built up bit by bit.

I liked the fact that ideas/questions/statements were written on the walls and suddenly started to make sense as we moved through each section.  It was as though the words provided a bit of trigger for my brain which then meant ideas were working away at the back of my mind.  All of a sudden things started to make sense because I had been thinking without realising while I was engaged in the activities.

I liked the pace of the progression from working 1:1 to standing in front of the room.  It felt like just enough time to start getting in to the activity to then challenging yourself to move on.  The number of participants was ideal to keep the momentum.

I liked that the course provided enough challenge for me to move things on without dwelling on "issues".  It was great to write all the issues both physical and psychological on the flipchart paper and then just leave them behind.  It was as though a weight had been lifted.   

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I genuinely wish that more people could be part of these courses.  I think that the messages are so simply but so critical to enable people to be able to move forward to "take their place in the world".  Even if you don't have a "fear" of public speaking I think the sheer fact that you can first connect with yourself and then with your audience is so powerful.  There are so many people who are holding back from opportunities in everyday life because they feel they lack the communication skills to do so.  If only they could let go of these thoughts in their "wonky brains" they could achieve so much!

_________________________________

Phoebe's feedback from a two day course

I really enjoyed how supported I felt, and how everyone was so friendly and understanding. The way public speaking was broken down into simple steps and making connections with people really helped me understand how to do it on a basic level, so I can keep practicing and build on what I learnt in the course. The course also felt like a lesson in self-acceptance and understanding that I have as much of a right as anyone else to have my voice heard was a really liberating, empowering feeling and I want to say thank you for that!

_________________________________

Nick's feedback
What did you want from the course?
I wanted to face up to my fear of public speaking,to be more confortable with it and turn it into something positive rather than find it such an ordeal.

Did you get it?
I did. I found that toward the end of the second day, I was much more at ease speaking to the group. I was able to interact with the group whilst being the center of attention. That was a big step forward for me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I cant find any fault, i dont think the course needs improving.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked how calm, accepting and relaxed it was. It felt more like we were on a journey of discovery, rather than learning how to speak in form of people.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
A general remark, i found it moving how a group of strangers were made to feel so comfortable that they could face up to such a big fear, tackle it, and win. We were able to take the floor, and speak openly about personal, emotional matters. I don't think any of us would have believed that when we set out. The progress everyone made over the course of two days was astounding and that in itself is hugely uplifting. I feel very encouraged and refreshed after this course.

 ______________________________

Paul's feedback from a two day course

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to change my mindset to public speaking so that I could stand up infront of a group of people and feel more at ease.

Did you get it?
Yes, there was a marked improvement. Whilst I still had physical symptoms at the end of the weekend (heart beating faster, slightly shaky voice), I feel I have learnt to accept them as a natural response to public speaking. And as a result, I felt much more at ease.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Personally I would have preferred a slightly later start. (10.30am?)
But that's just me as I'm not a morning person!
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The content was exceptional. The pace of the weekend was perfect. Feeling that the group 'was in it together' made it so much easier. There was a perfect mix of being pushed out of our comfort zone without it feeling too over-whelming. The location was calming.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I thought the course was life-changing. 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.
It was a huge emotional release to have so much support and encouragement throughout the weekend. I found it extremely unsettling to stand up infront of a group at the beginning but by the end, I was actually looking forward to 'giving it another go'!
 
John, thank you!

 __________________________________

Georgia's feedback from a one day course

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to get a sense of perspective! I have felt incredibly anxious before public speaking, often becoming overwhelmed (leading to frustrated tears and uncontrollable shaking). I frequently come away from work meetings etc with the sense that I have not done myself justice – I get so flustered that I find it difficult to articulate myself, so I’ll either keep my head down or end up tongue-tied and embarrassed. So really, I just wanted to acquire some skills which would help me to get that fear and anxiety under control


Did you get it?
I think so, yes. The course has certainly disarmed those terrifying audiences! It’s helped me to understand that the natural responses to fear – the racing heart, the flushed face, the shaking – are just part of the process, that it’s excitement, and that it doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say or a right to say it. By putting all of that into perspective, and by concentrating on just being in front of a group of people, making eye contact and having a conversation, I think a huge part of my anxiety has been addressed. I’m really looking forward to practicing and working on these skills (and I love blank faces now!).


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Honestly, I don’t think anything could be improved, it was excellent.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I appreciated how quickly an atmosphere of trust and respect was established – there was absolutely nothing negative or hostile about the experience, not something which is always easy to facilitate when working with a group of strangers! I’m grateful for the course getting to a much more basic level than just ‘public speaking’ – I will use these skills and the principles of this course – especially the idea that we all deserve our chance to speak – in other aspects of my life.


Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I just wanted to say thanks, really. You’re doing something very special, and your sincerity and generosity is what makes this course such a success.

Georgia

______________________________________________

Hiya John,
Thank you. Honestly it was one of the best courses I've been on, I left buzzing and since have felt like a big weights been lifted. Amazing really, a reminder of how just to live - without worry, pressure and stress. Amazing.
All the best
R

What did you want from the course?
To feel confident about speaking in public and to develop tools I could use to encourage others to develop.

Did you get it?
Yes and more.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I enjoyed the flow, pace and direction of the course. It felt like a place I could be safe and experiment in. John built our confidence from the start, breaking it down to the real essence and origins of human psychology really brought home how much we're missing out on in our lives. John really helped me to realise my true potential and strength - I left full of courage and understanding - I can't wait to stand up in front of my next audience with my new found skills

_____________________________

Hi John,
Thank you for this amazing course.

What did you want from the course?
To start feeling at ease when I am the centre of attention.

Did you get it?
Definitely. I feel this course gave me the foundation to continue working on my public speaking and generally my anxiety on how others see me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Not much. Perhaps it would have been good to have one longer practice in the second day e.g. 4-5 minutes. But I am aware there is not enough time!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved the approach and John's facilitation.

We are often, if not always, told to change what we really are- this course does exactly the opposite; encourage you to be yourself and that's enough. I found this refreshing and liberating. The most helpful thing about the course was John's style. He clearly loves what he is doing and he is genuine and authentic- I think this had a great impact on me as he creates a safe space where you can "let go" and be fully yourself.

This course is not only about public speaking. It was a powerful experience on how to be myself and take my place in the world!

All the best
Evangelia

________________________________________

A week after the 2 day course J sends me this feedback

By the way, since our weekend, I had already 3 chances to practise with the blank faces (in audiences)  - 2 in Bristol and 1 in Newcastle last week and I have to say it was much easier. And I managed to stay cool and not trying to impress anyone and I like it more this way! :-)

So, one more time, thanks a lot!

J

__________________________

Fran's feedback

Hi John,
Thank you for facilitating such a wonderful course. I really felt like I gained so much from it, not just learning to be comfortable with multiple people looking at me but leaning to be less judgemental on myself. Already adopting this new attitude I feel happier and more carefree in my day to day life, so thank you.

Today at work, we did the weekly go round the table and tell us about your weekend. Previously I dreaded this but today I totally held my own, not only was I not feeling anxious about it but I actually enjoyed taking my moment to talk. People asked me questions and I felt like I had clarity when responding, be calm and to look people in the eye! I was putting into practice what I learnt and I came out of that meeting feeling great.

I went to the toastmasters group last week, I thought I would keep the momentum when my confidence was up. Although a totally different vibe from your course, I got a lot from it. I got some good feedback and felt pretty proud that I went and spoke off the cuff to 20 random people. I'm plucking up the courage to go again tomorrow.

Here is some feedback for you -

What did you want from the course?
- Gain practical knowledge to minimise and manage the anxiety I face when speaking in-front of group

Did you get it?
- Yes and much more!
- Learnt to be calm and embrace the moment when others are watching me.
- I actually didn't properly identify in the beginning what leads me to feel anxious in front of groups. But on your course I was able to discover that I don't like to be seen. WHY? I let everyone else? I now feel like I should be seen and is my moto for each day.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
- More time could be given to the other candidates giving each other feedback. I liked it when someone would say something about how they felt talking and you opened it up for the other candidates to give their feedback.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Loved the fact that you didn't show us an agenda for the day. Pretty uncommon but it was the right thing to do as it would have seemed to daunting to be imagining what you would be doing at 4pm in the afternoon.

Your style makes people feel very at ease. Nothing seemed forced about the facilitation and you went with the vibe/energy of the candidates. Your method gives a huge confidence boast and allows the candidates to go on a journey.

Thanks again John, please let me know if you run any other courses. It was a pleasure meeting you. 

Fran

__________________________

Hi John
Just to let you know that my presentation yesterday went well. I was nervous before but much more relaxed when up in front of people than I used to be. My supervisor seemed to think it went well, saying it was one of the best structured and delivered presentations at the conference so far! I think he may have been exaggerating just a little!
Thanks for all you help and advice on the course‎
Best wishes
Marcus

__________________________

Dear John

My nine year old son stood up and read a piece into the microphone at his primary school last week. He was genuinely not bothered about being the centre of attention in front of hundreds of parents, all the other children at his school, a brass band, all his teachers etc. I thought of you when he spoke about it to me later. It was no big deal to him.

All three of my children can speak confidently in front of audiences (he’s the youngest) and I am so grateful to you for helping me achieve that. I first went to one of your classes before he was even born. The children (actually one is an adult now) have no idea that both their parents grew up hating and avoiding any form of public speaking. Or that anyone would be bothered by it... We’re so relieved that we haven’t passed that one on!

yours sincerely

K.

_______________________________

Anna Hill's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I didn’t really have too much expectation, I’d heard from 2 unconnected people how good the course was so went with an open mind. I’d wanted to do something along these lines for a while so decided to take the plunge when work said they’d pay! I guess I thought it would be more about the ‘techniques’ of public speaking and giving presentations, but actually am glad it focused much more on the psychology of standing up and talking.

Did you get it?
As I didn’t have any set goals or expectations, it was very easy for this course to totally surpass any expectation I had, and it is a fantastic course of course!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
For me, nothing. I thought the content and pace of the course were perfect. You are wonderful too John, truly.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved the group. I’m pretty sure you hear that after every course which I put down to it taking a certain type of person, in a certain headspace, in a certain time of their life to put themselves forward for this kind of course. I genuinely felt a strong connection to almost all of them. It made my heart swell seeing the progress of those who found it more difficult than I did (and I found it hard.) I loved seeing people grow by opening up, it was lovely to see the improvements in everyone. You created a beautifully trusting environment in which we all felt safe. It was great. Your course kept me on a high for a really long time; I felt good about myself, and driven to put myself out there to successfully move forward. Thank you.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thank you John for an uncomfortable but enjoyable and invaluable experience. I have spoken about your course to many of my friends so hopefully you’ll see some of my recomendees through the door very soon!
Anna Hill

__________________________

Hi John,
Just wanted to let you know about my trip to China for my son’s wedding.
The whole holiday was a fantastic experience, including my speech!!! I put your theories into practice, and delivered everything I wanted to say - it seemed to go down very well indeed, in fact I had applause at the end!!
Thank you so much for your help, it was invaluable, and I am so grateful for all your input.
Wishing you a very happy new year,
Regards
Richard

feedback December 2015

Hi John.
I attended a one day workshop in London last year and thought I'd give some feedback on its impact.

In my role as a Chair of Governors and a National Leader of Governance, I recently had to deliver a presentation to a group of 25 British Council delegates - men and women who were education leaders at the top of their careers, from around the world - including Directors of Education from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Malaysia. Although I felt nervous beforehand, it actually felt easy and even enjoyable. The number of questions and engagement seemed to be a real positive.

But I was struck then and now, by the fact that is would have been completely impossible for me to do this, at one time.

Last week, I had to speak to a secondary school hall full of staff and students to give out awards. Afterwards a teacher spoke to me and said I was a really natural speaker. !!

So there you go - some Christmas cheer.

Thanks John and all the best.
Lucy

__________________________

Hi John.
I just wanted to let you know that I did my best man speech three weeks ago and it went very well. The course I done with you has defiantly been a big help. I managed to stand there in front of every one and deliver a good speech and it came across well. I've watched it back on video.
The course has been a huge help to me so thanks again.
Just thought I would let you know how it went.
Thanks Matt.

__________________________

It's not just about public speaking, it's about building confidence...

Thank you John.
A warm and wonderful course. I had the interview today, and have just been offered the job! Since the course I have been able to feel as though "I am enough" which has really been helping me prepare for it and in the interview itself.
C

__________________________

I really enjoyed the course, it was thought provoking, moving and also at times good fun! Thank you.
Sophie

__________________________

Sue had a school speech to do a few days after the course. I had my fingers crossed and then I got this email.

Dear John
Thank you so much for gifting me the mind-set I needed to face my demon!
I delivered my speech at our academy awards yesterday, in front of around 1400 people including students, staff, and important people in our organisation. I was faced with a number of unexpected challenges, such as presenting from up on a raised stage, with a microphone and the VIP guests seated about a meter behind where I stood.

I smashed it!

I felt confident and empowered up on the stage, I took my time, remembering the techniques you taught us and it really did make a world of difference. I was calm in the lead up to the ceremony and felt in full control. This really has taken such a weight off my shoulders and I genuinely feel like I have stood taller as I walked around school today. I have had some amazing feedback from members of staff and pupils, commenting on how confident and eloquent I was, I honestly never thought this was possible.
Thank you!
Sue T.

__________________________

I found the course so helpful and feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders in terms of public speaking. I spoke in a team meeting yesterday and felt so much more relaxed and confident.
Kaye

__________________________

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

 

feedback November 2015

Hamada, Maddy, Philippe, Tom and Anna were all on the same course.

Hi John,
Thanks for an amazing course, its really changed my direction for the better in a big way.
All the best
Hamada

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to be more at ease and more myself when in front of groups of people i didnt know - including during presentations

Did you get it?
I got that and a whole whole lot more. I learnt many things about myself, I learnt to understand myself, I learnt the power of supporting myself and how to relate people around me.
In doing so 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.

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

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John's passion and dedication stood out. The way he helped us bond as a group and support each other. Seeing a group of people band together like that and support themselves is very special.

__________________________________

I would like to express again my deep thanks for your inspiring course last week.
Your empathy and deep understanding of the fear, helped I think, all of us to somewhat overcome it during the two day course.
It's been a very inspiring and enjoyable weekend and I would definitely recommend the course to others.
Kind regards,
Philippe

__________________________________

Maddy's feedback

Thank you so much for the weekend course, you created a really safe environment and I feel excited about taking the progress we made forward. Public speaking sounds like such a small part of a skillset in isolation but as you say it is more than that, it is taking your place in the world and I feel as though you put me on the first step to that so thank you so much.

What did you want from the course? To learn solid techniques to calm down the fear of standing up in front of people and speaking, and to get to practise this in an un-intimidating environment as possible

Did you get it? Yes definitely.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? I cannot think how it could have been better.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? John you're a very likeable person and immediately started to build trust in the group. It is inspiring to hear that maybe you had the similar thoughts / feelings once upon a time and yet you're such an engaging and relaxed speaker now. I liked how we were pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone but in the gentlest way possible.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Just thank you again I will be recommending your course and may also see you again on one of your follow up courses.
 

__________________________________

I thought that your facilitation was superb, and I commend you for the work that you do. It was a really enjoyable two days, and I am very glad that I was able to take part in the course.
Keep up the good work my friend!

Tom Butters

Tom's feedback
What did you want from the course?
To be able to practice public speaking/learn new techniques in a friendly, non-pressurised environment

Did you get it?
Definitely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Would've been to nice to have continued the course for the whole week, but, unfortunately, that wasn't possible!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
A good balance between practicing our own public speaking, helping others to practice theirs, and listening to/learning from the facilitator

Occupation
Royal Air Force

__________________________________

Anna's feedback

Many thanks for everything last weekend - I found it to be a really engaging session.
Thanks again,
Anna

What did you want from the course?
- To rebuild confidence, to practice public speaking and to learn some techniques which will help me to perform better and be more comfortable in meetings.

Did you get it?
- Yes, I got a lot out of the weekend and already feel happier speaking publicly.

 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
- I can't think of anything. It was as I'd hoped it would be.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
- I thought the group size was ideal, with lots of opportunity to input. A secure environment was established straight away so we all felt able to share. Lots of opportunities to get up in front of the group, never any pressure. Really liked the freedom to choose topics to present on and also the freedom to focus on presentation over content. Great venue. I liked the 6 tips and that they were referred to again and again, which made them memorable.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
No other comments - it was great! Thanks, John. Your course came highly recommended, and I too will recommend it to others.

Anna Taylor

__________________________________

Paul's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to learn: How to deal with nerves, How to overcome fear of public speaking, Learn techniquesfor being/ feeling more confident during a presentation, Feel at ease with eye contact, Bring my personality out during presentations

Did you get it?
Yes and more.  I could have asked for a better facilitator than John.  He made you feel at ease as soon as you walked through the door.  It didn’t feel like a traditional course but more of a friendly atmosphere if that makes sense.  Which is exactly what I was looking for, as this style helped you in feeling more at ease with yourself.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
No improvements needed

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Very friendly, felt secure with all on the course, able to talk openly as the course progressed.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I’d just like to say thank you, you have helped me to start to overcome my fear and learn about so many different aspects of this fear in order to deal with it and move forward.  Also, thanks for showing me Pie Minster!

__________________________________

Debra's feedback

John, it has been a pleasure attending your sessions! You have contributed to my development immensely. I can honestly say that I will use your fundamentals daily in my profession and I thank you so much.

__________________________________

Mark's feedback

I thought the course was very, very helpful and insightful. Within the first hour or two I thought, I’m not going to really have a problem after these days, he gets me and knows what he’s doing.
It was also great to meet such a diverse group of professionals in terms of age, job, etc. It made me realise that a lot of very accomplished people have similar or even greater difficulties with public speaking than I do. The tools and techniques were very useful and my last public event went just fine. I have some larger events in the spring and will try to schedule some medium-sized ones in between for additional practise.
I’ve already recommended your course to a friend.
Mark

__________________________________

Petronella's feedback

What did you want from the course?
To have the confidence to stand up in front of a group of people - to share my knowledge in order to help them to get the most out of their lives - without looking like a nervous wreck/lunatic

Did you get it? YES!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Can’t think of anything it was perfect

What did you like about the course/facilitation? That we were all in the same boat and that we were all understood and valued and encouraged and made to feel normal about our fear

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish -
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 John

Petronella Ravenshear

__________________________________

Before the course I thought the the best outcome for me would be to be able to speak in front of a group and to still be reasonably in control of my fear.
The single biggest outcome for me was a shift in my own feelings towards speaking publicly.
By the end of the course I had learned to experience my previous fear as excitement. I never expected this.
Ian

__________________________________

Hi John,
Thank you for your email and follow on notes and for facilitating the course on Saturday.

I found it a really useful experience. I wanted to move towards a more authentic style in keeping with my new role. I also wanted to grow my confidence in delivering my own work to others.
I came away with all I was looking for.
I enjoyed the day immensely. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in a gentle and encouraging way.
I liked your coaching presentation style and your engagement with us as individuals.
Thank you for your time and energy on the day and for creating and holding such a warm positive environment for us all.
Kind Regards
Sara Collins

________________________

Dear John,
What your training (from 3 years ago!) let me do last night.
Hello! Lou from Bristol Parent Carers here. I do hope you're well (and still delivering your wonderful training!).
I just thought I'd drop you a quick note to let you know that, years after attending your public speaking training, I delivered a proper, stand-up speech as a key-note speaker at an event in the Watershed last night.
I was speaking about the social impact of a pioneering transport scheme we had run in partnership with Bristol Community Transport, which has now ended due to lack of funding. It's often a sticky and emotional subject, to try to convey to people the power and magic of what this scheme achieved, and I have to admit, I was incredibly nervous.
However, your words rang loud in my ears: "Assume support!" and "Turn it into a chat!" and "Those are just listening faces!". At the end, I even waited for the applause (and cheering!) to end before I left the podium.
Afterwards, it turns out, I'd brought 5 people to tears and almost everyone in the room came to congratulate me and shake my hand. And I smiled to myself and thought "I must write to thank John Dawson".
So thank you, so much - I genuinely wouldn't have been able to carry off such a feat without your training those years ago.
Very warmest wishes,
Lou Paget

________________________

review of the re-thinking presentations course after six months of implementation

Your course has had a huge impact on me and the team, on an almost weekly basis people mention how much we got out of the 2 days. For me personally, I have presented 4 times since the course and have used your techniques for every single one. Our annual meeting in September was my biggest test and we had feedback from more than half the audience to say it was the best presentation I’d ever done. I couldn’t help but shed a tear at one point when I was telling a personal story and was amazed to see many in the audience doing the same.
A number of others in the team have also applied what you taught us and unanimously agree it has fundamental changed the way they present. It has made them more confident and more motivated to present the work that we do.
I can’t thank you enough.
Kind regards,
Salli

feedback October 2015

The course was excellent. Absolutely spot on for what I was looking for, and I would highly recommend it to anybody that has fundamental issues with being at the centre of attention.
Simon

_______________

feedback from John

I wanted to feel more confident in situations where i'm the centre of attention, including speaking to groups

Did you get it?
Yes and I not only feel like i've lost a fear of public speaking but also improved my self esteem massively.
I don't think I realised how ashamed I was of this fear I had

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
This was the best course I've ever been on, only thing I realised after that made me a bit sad was that I wasn't going to see any of those great people again

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked how you made everyone feel very safe, by day two the advice was coming from not just you but from the other attendees too, everyone really wanted to help each other

______________________________

feedback from Aamir who is a student

Dear John,
The 2 day speaking course was absolutely brilliant and definitely worth the money. I feel much more confident, relaxed and at ease with the thought of speaking to an audience. I have learnt a heck of a lot from attending this course! 

 

What did you want from the course? I wanted to feel more confident and less intimidated while on stage.

Did you get it? Yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? This is difficult for me to say because of how brilliant the course was. But the exercises could be a bit longer as the course proceeds.  Also, more exercises speaking in front of the audience. 

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I enjoyed everything ( The exercises, and also the learning of new skills from listening to you). John Dawson teaches you how simple public speaking actually is by first changing or altering your thought patterns and then with the help of exercises. The course has opened my eyes, and I just feel amazing! This course is a must for anyone wanting to do public speaking!

thank you

Aamir

 

_____________________

 

Hi John,
Just wanted to let you know how I got on with my talk! I ended up doing two big public talks in two weeks at the end of September.
One was to about 40-50 members of the public which was 40minutes long – there was no PowerPoint or props, so it was quite daunting as it was just me, but actually the time went pretty quickly and I had some great feedback and questions at the end. The second was at the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Exhibition in London last weekend. I’m pleased to say that it was standing room only by the end of the talk which was very encouraging! It was only 20 minutes long, but I managed to attract about 50 people which was great.
Thank you for your help and guidance – I’m feeling much more confident which is brill!
Katie

_________________________________

Thank you again for a wonderful 2 days.
It made it worth giving up my weekend
Mandy Thatcher

What did you want from the course?
To get a little extra boost of courage and anxiety-reducing tips ahead of a conference I'm chairing in a couple of weeks. And to think about how I can be more comfortable being "me" when I present or talk publicly.

Did you get it?
Yes, I did!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
For me, nothing.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was very human, very kind and very encouraging – without in any way being patronising.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I came to the course to get some tips on public speaking and left with a determination to embrace my humanity and vulnerability and use my opportunities to use my voice, allow myself to be visible and where I can to speak from the heart. It felt like a course on "How to be a human". Which is always useful! I would definitely recommend the course to others.

P.S. The additional resources sent look fabulous! Very useful

Mandy Thatcher

____________________________________

Craig's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel more at ease with myself when public speaking, to feel comfortable taking centre stage and addressing a crowd.

Did you get it?
I feel I got more than what I wanted.  I started to view my public speaking in a different light, previously when I was expected to speak & would get the feelings of anxiety my immediate thought was of trepidation and that those feelings were telling me that I absolutely shouldn’t be doing it.  But the course showed me that those feelings can dissipate quickly when I take my time & relax, using the learnings of the course I feel more comfortable speaking to a group but also finally realise that some nerves are normal in certain situations and can even be advantageous, make you excited to be talking to a group.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly do not believe there could be any improvement - John creates such a supportive atmosphere among the group, and it truly creates such a safe environment for everyone to progress.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I think John has a natural ability in what he does that makes you feel very much at ease, there is at no point any feeling of pressure and you can push yourself very much at your own pace.  The good thing about the environment John creates within the group is that I really surprised myself at how quickly I was able to take steps forward in my ability to speak to a group - and without John’s support and that of the group, there is no way that would have happened.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I would say that if anyone has any doubts about attending the course, that you will be somehow forced to do something you aren’t comfortable with, then that is a concern they shouldn’t have.  Having turned to other means to try and get over my fear of public speaking, I can say now that John’s course is the only one I feel has made any significant improvement - and I look forward to taking the learnings from that into my future and taking on challenges that previously I may have avoided.
Thank you
Craig

____________________________________

Nadia's feedback

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.
 

________________________________

Jill's feedback
Hi John I felt on a real high when I left yesterday.  I feel less anxious and more connected to me.
Something has definitely shifted.  I will be at work tomorrow and will let you know of my progress re. meetings etc.  
In fact I am rather looking forward to them now, something that I thought I would never say.
Thank you so much John.  I feel stronger emotionallyand ready to take my place in the world!
Take care,
Jill

What did you want from the course?
To speak in front of people with ease and trust myself that if I make mistakes I won't die!

Did you get it?
one hundred percent.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was in a lovely setting and I felt safe within a short amount of time to test my speaking skills with others. The other people on the course were so supportive of one another and in the same boat.  
All you said makes sense.  About how we make our realities upand can sooo get stuff out of perspective.
I just feel so much more relaxed.  I have a few friends that would really benefit from attending your course and will let them know about your great work.  
I loved your style and the way you pitched the pace.  It was easy to understand and flowed beautifully
 

________________________________

Anne's feedback

What did you want from the course?

To address my anxiety around public speaking.

Did you get it?
Yes.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing. It was excellent. I thought John held the 'psychological space' incredibly well and I felt supported throughout the whole process.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Pretty much everything. The content, focus, language, role play, challenge/support and pacing were all great.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish.
For those unable to attend the courses, a book would be a helpful resource. And maybe some short video clips available online to give a 'flavour' of the course.

Anne

 

 

feedback September 2015

Hey John,
Just wanted to touch base and share that I presented at CIO Summit in front of 170 fellow CIO's last week and really enjoyed myself!!
R

_______________________________

Ceri's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I took the course as I have always been extremely nervous and uncomfortable when doing presentations. In recent years this seems to have spilled over into talking in meetings (even informal ones) or sometimes even in social situations. I wanted to learn to feel more at ease with being the focus of people’s attention.

Did you get it?
Yes, I thought the course was excellent in a) teaching me to be more accepting of myself and b) teaching me how to be more ‘present’ when speaking to others, rather than feeling (and acting) like I would rather be anywhere else. By the end of the session, I was almost enjoying standing up in front of everyone and having the time and space to say what I wanted to say. I could not have imagined feeling like this at the start of the day! I’m certainly not ‘cured’ but I do feel a bit more equipped to start trying to change the way I feel about speaking up.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
There was a lot to cram into one day, and it is quite intense. Despite this, I did feel towards the end of the course that I would have liked to continue practicing and developing further, but there just wasn’t time – I guess this is why you run two day courses!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John is very calm and supportive and you really got a sense that you were in a safe environment in which to practice what we were learning. It was very well paced and each exercise builds on the last, so I never felt rushed. I think one of the really successful aspects of the course is being with a group of people who are all there for similar reasons, which really helps you to start feeling normal (as opposed to freakish). Acting as a support to these people throughout the day makes you put yourself in your own listeners’ shoes and to realise that your audience is normal too.

_________________________

Julia's feedback

Hi John
Many thanks for an enlightening and very useful course indeed – answers to questions below. Thanks for all your support and patience, and was really nice to meet you too, you are doing a wonderful thing for people : )

What did you want from the course?
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 myhead

Did you get it?
I think by the end, the physical signs had definitely dissipated and the self-critic had quietened

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I don’t think anything could have been improved, John made the group feel safe and comfortable, the venue was great, the pace was perfect, the content and structure was also great

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
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

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
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.
Julia

_____________________________________

case study...

Jess's first note to me in March this2015

I would like to give presentations to clients without feeling dizzy, shaky and like my chest is closing up. At the moment I get so overwhelmed I can’t breathe properly, which means I can’t get my words out clearly. My voice (and hands) shake which only makes me more nervous because I’m aware the audience can see I am scared. I know I will never love presenting and some nerves would be ok but I need to control them enough to be able to calmly put the information across without obviously being completely terrified. My next presentation is due in June and I am already losing sleep worrying about it…
it would be a huge confidence boost if I could deliver that presentation successfully.  

the letter I got in September 2015

I wanted to let you know that last week I did an hour long presentation in front of 20 colleagues over in America, and it went brilliantly! In fact, last year I had to do just a 5 minute presentation in front of the same group which involved tears beforehand, a panic attack and delivering the content while rooted to the spot shaking. I am so happy to say that this year was a completely different story! On the morning of the presentation I just felt excited about doing it (I remember you saying, what if we could re-learn those fearful feelings as excitement) and actually quite enjoyed being up there (I never thought I would say that!). I felt really confident while doing it and was able to make eye contact with everyone and I was much more natural moving around rather than having my feet glued in one spot.

Feedback from the group included “I can’t believe it was the same girl up there”, “you’re like a totally different person”, “I am blown away by how fantastic you were!”

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!
Best,
Jess
__________________________ 

Thanks again for a great course. Here is my feedback
Tamsin

What did you want from the course?
to be able to get up and public speak in front of people

Did you get it?
Yes I felt by the end I felt more confident about getting up

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I thought the facilities were great and the course ran smoothly

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was a relaxed atmosphere and nice to be in a small group, didn't feel so intimidating getting up.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I really enjoyed the course and it was nice to know other people felt the same about getting up and speaking. The fundamental tips were very helpful and made you feel at ease with speaking in front of a group. John was a great teacher who made the day very enjoyable and made the art of public speaking become easier.

Tasmin Fullerton

________________________________

Hi John
Thank you for sending through the course document, and for a great day last week.
Below are my answers to your questions.
All the best
Ellie

What did you want from the course?
To feel more relaxed and at ease talking in front of groups of people - to learn some techniques of how to do this, and change my attitude towards it.

Did you get it?
Yes, in many ways. It was a very interesting day and getting to practice standing in front of people, both in silence and talking, was an opportunity I haven't really had before - I definitely came away with a different perception of public speaking, as well as some practical tools, which will stay with me. That's not to say I feel completely confident yet - but it's step in the right direction.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I think it was excellent - lots of opportunity to 'have a go' ourselves but also to listen. It was a very tiring day and by the end I felt I was losing concentration listening a little - but I think that's inevitable because it does take a lot of energy using all those nerves!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the relaxed environment, and that it was more about changing your attitude than learning 'this is how to stand' or 'this is how to talk'. The encouragement was really great, and John seemed to have set this course up with a genuine desire to help people to 'take their place in the world' - not about faking it / acting - this is what appealed to me and made me sign up to the course as it seemed different from the more corporate-focused courses, and the day stayed true to this.
Ellie Parker

feedback July 2015

John is a great tutor, he has empathy, is approachable, etc. Also, the course didn’t feel remotely corporate — it was relaxed. These were the things I chose the course based on, so it was important that it was sold as advertised.

Dave

______________________________

Emma's feedback
I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the day at Kings Cross a couple of weeks ago and took a huge amount away with me.


What did you want from the course?
A shift in perspective on public speaking. Getting more acclimatised to looking at an audience and to them looking at me. Removing the ‘sting in the tail’ of feeling like I’m the centre of attention and shifting the focus from myself to the interaction of the audience.

Did you get it?
Yes, there was quite a bit to take in, but the pace was perfect and the key points were continually re-iterated. That, along with the course notes really helped. What also helped was really starting to understand what it is in particular that I don’t like about public speaking. In my case, the initial ‘rush’ of being looked at by a group of people and automatically feeling that I am boring people or making myself look silly. The advice and tips that John provides to counteract this feeling is very straightforward and effective.


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing. The pace and content were excellent. I think I would probably have benefitted from an additional day of talking in front of an audience.

_____________________________

The wedding went superbly and the speech went down brilliantly!
Thanks again for your help
David

_____________________________

Thanks John – it was a much more useful day than I had anticipated, well in excess of my expectations.
Bernie Thomas

_____________________________

Hi John,
Really enjoyed yesterday.
It was a lovely group to work with and a great, relaxed atmosphere. I’ve included my feedback below.
Kind Regards,
Katie

What did you want from the course?
To feel more confident in front of larger and/or challenging audiences.

Did you get it?
Yes! I feel more at ease with myself as a speaker and feel that I have more confidence in myself as a speaker and in my own personal style.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I felt that the course was facilitated very successfully – there is nothing that I would have changed.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really liked the relaxed feel of the day and also feeling that there was no pressure or expectation. I actually think that creating this environment made me more inclined to get up and practice and give all the exercises a good go!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Overall, an excellent day that provided the tools for not only improving public speaking but also boosting confidence, self-worth and belief in your own capabilities.

Katie Pande
 

________________________________

 

Dear John,
I did my first public speaking yesterday and it felt much better than before.  Faces looked different not bored, need to work a bit more on the pauses and no autopsy!
May God continue to bless you.  Your talents and skills have had far reaching effects on how I think about myself and how I relate to the world.  I'll let you know when my business is up and running!
Again many thanks and God bless.
Donna

Donna's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel more confident when public speaking or in meetings and not have a feeling of dread

Did you get it?
Yes I did and a whole lot more besides!  What you skilfully did was enable us to search ourselves either privately or within the group and made the environment safe to do so. I would say it wasn't about public speaking but but what stopped us feeling confident and that what we had to say was as valuable as anyone else.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing!  Maybe just to spill a little less water on yourself! :-))  (John's note - Water was spilt as part of a teaching point!!!)

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
You really did facilitate - you sign posted and we found our way to that better place
 

________________________________

Dear John,
I really enjoyed the course on Wednesday, and I am confident I will be able to apply the fundamentals you taught. I definitely intend to join another course - either the two day public speaking or presentations, and will let you know as soon as I am able to book.
Kind regards,
Micheala

What did you want from the course?
To increase my confidence when speaking in front of a group of people.

Did you get it?
Yes I did - the fundamentals were clearly explained, so I could see how they helped/hindered my performance.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The group size was ideal - not too many people, which could make you feel nervous and delay/prevent you from taking part. The room size and layout helped too.

I really enjoyed the activities too, it helped address how I felt when speaking in public, and made me realise that I can overcome my fears quite easily.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I thoroughly enjoyed the course! It was nice to meet other people, with varying experience, who felt similar anxiety when speaking in front of an audience. I left the course knowing I can do it, and my anxiety has significantly reduced as a result.

Micheala

 

________________________________

Dear John,
Just wanted to let you know that I passed both of my presentations at university, thanks to you!
It means I’m now graduating with a 2:1, which I’m over the moon about.
Thank you for your help in the course. I don’t think I would’ve been so confident going in to the presentations without it, and I’m even more confident about them now which is great for the future.
Hope you’re well,
H.

________________________________

Mike's feedback

What did you want from the course?
To be more confident in front of an audience.

Did you get it?
Yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The course was obviously the result of a lot of experience. Whilst I understand some comments about how to improve the course are more useful to you, at this point in time I can't think of any.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I came with a realistic expectation of - how much can I possibly learn in only two days that will make a such a big difference to me. Well I was truly amazed, not only for myself but also for the others on the course, some of whom at the start, I felt were even more shy than myself, not only in public speaking but life itself, they were the most who impressed me the most.  This course teaches confidence in life - through the medium of public speaking. I know there is no 'magic button' to make you a more confident person but this is as close as you can get.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
John, thank you for running these courses, it was obvious you're passionate about helping people so the satisfaction you must feel at the end of each course must be wonderful. I only wish I had done this course twenty years earlier!

 ________________________

some more feedback in form of a blog by another Mike -  Mike Wilson


 ________________________

feedback June 2015

Serena's feedback...

 

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

______________________________________

Dear John

Really really enjoyed the day in Bristol.

As a very experienced facilitator and a skilled professional, you have a deeper understanding of most people's fears than they do themselves. It's incredible to watch and experience how you take those fears and work with them.

The course has a very clear structure and I particularly liked the methodical approach of the theory as well as that of the graded exposure during the day.

The transformations that you see during a single day are quite incredible.

 Roland

 __________________________

Hi john,
Hope you're well! Just received an email about upcoming courses and wanted to drop you a note to say a quick hi. Went off to Australia recently for my brother's wedding in Sydney and best man speech number 2! Having done the course previously for a best man's speech I had to give a couple of years back.
Went brilliantly. Was actually able to enjoy the privilege of talking about my brother rather than being distracted by feelings of dread!
Thank you thank you!!
Nick

_______________________________

Mike's feedback

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.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I don't think anything needs improving, the venue was good and well positioned in Bristol, the group size was ideal. Any bigger and I would have felt too nervous to begin with but any smaller wouldn't have given the same effect as when we do presentations.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The location was good, the course was well laid out. 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.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

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

__________________________

James's feedback

What did you want from the course? At a time in my career when I’m taking on increasing responsibility – and hence more exposure in terms of stepping forward / public speaking – I was looking for tools / techniques / tips for keeping control of anxiety that can relate to those sort of activities.

Did you get it? Yes, very much so. The course exactly hit the spot.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? I found day 1 perfect. Day 2 morning was also v good, but I felt day 2 afternoon could perhaps have been a little more structured (appreciate you are giving people the freedom to go with the flow so can’t be too structured). Perhaps giving people a challenge to think about over lunch.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? A very calm, open environment. You setting the tone upfront, I think was very helpful and helped to put me at ease.

occupation Director of a Management Consultancy
James

__________________________________________

Keith's feedback
I really enjoyed the day and learned so much, especially about myself.

What did you want from the course?
To gain the confidence to be relaxed when speaking in front of group of people.

Did you get it? Yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, how the public speaking process was simplified so public speaking simply became a matter of having a number of personal conversations - which for someone who also has difficulty with conversations also became a simple transferable skill.

 

feedback May 2015

 

Adam's feedback for a two day course

Hi John,
Thanks for the email.  It was great to meet you at the weekend and the course was brilliant.  I have been reflecting a lot since the weekend and the course certainly made me ask a lot of questions of myself and has helped me identify a few things about myself that I did not realise were holding me back.  You created an environment where individuals were able to look beyond the public speaking fears.  For me personally, I hadn't realised that modesty can be pretty suffocating at times and that actually, I have a lot of important things to say which can be heard.


What did you want from the course?
I wanted to come away from the course more confident about speaking in front of people without a planned script.  I wanted to be able to be genuine in front of people so that my passion for a subject or the recognition of the importance of something is not lost in my own nerves or just wanting to finish speaking as soon as possible.


Did you get it?
Yes and more.  I felt that I spoke genuinly, whilst still feeling nervous, the nerves did not become all encompassing as they have in the past.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I am finding it hard to find fault in the course or the facilitation.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John's passion and empathy was the most genuine I have ever experienced from any teacher or facilitator I have ever worked with.  Coffee was good and there were plenty of ginger biscuits.

Regards
Adam

 _____________________________

Katie's feedback

What did you want from the course?
To learn ways to speak in public, without completely crumbling. My main problems are a) getting a red face/blushing in general and b) listen to my own voice when presenting which is really distracting and makes me panic.

Did you get it?
Yes I did. John’s techniques are simple but effective. I learnt to relax more during the public speaking parts of the course and felt at ease right from the start, because of John’s understanding and accommodating attitude to his pupils. I was still nervous (goes without saying!) when we had to get up and speak, but it was so much more manageable, using John’s techniques. I left the course feeling more confident and equipped to manage my public speaking demons.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing. It was great. Maybe a slightly larger group, although I believe we had a couple of people missing.


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Great venue, great refreshments, great facilitator.

 _____________________________


Kirstie's feedback
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.
Kirstie

 ___________________________

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 buildmy confidence.

What did you want from the course? I wanted to be able to speak in public, something that I have gone to great lengths to avoid (from about the age of 11).

Did you get it? Yes.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? This is a tricky one as the course gradually got the participants to get more involved/ become more vulnerable as trust was built. Perhaps the option of participating on another day whereby participants from different 2 day course groups are grouped together to form a much larger audience, some faces familiar and some new faces , just to give participants a more exposure and confidence in their abilties. This ‘super session’ would take some organising, but one that I would certainly consider participating in.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? 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.

Duvie

feedback 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,
Jess

 _____________________________

some feedback is very short!

Brilliantly supportive facilitation.  Role modelling of authenticity. Plenty of chance to explore, learn and grow.
Justine

_____________________________

Rob's feedback about the two day course - taking your place in the world

I found the course so much more that just about public speaking I think I genuinely took a massive leap in self discovery, I think it helped that I was surrounded by such amazing people also, all there for the same reason.
 
What did you want from the course?
To begin journey of being comfortable with public speaking

 Did you get it?
Yes, I took a lot further leap forward than I expected I would I just two days.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The course exceeded my expectations and I really have very few suggestions,  there could be an optional third day to further develop, finding ways to increase the pressure and allow us to mange them using the new attitude we have developed.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The honesty of the instructor and other participants

_____________________________

Hi John,
Its probable that you don't remember me, but I just want to write a short thank you for what you provided for me in one of your public speaking courses.
I went along last October to Regent's college and leaving the course I first thought that that perhaps I'd learnt a lot but that it wasn't really changing how I approached speaking in public. However, on reflection I'm quite sure that your course sowed the seed for me to become much more comfortable being who I am in public speaking. I have done a number of talks on various things since then and my confidence has gradually grown. It culminated last week with me delivering my final presentation for the Masters in Physics that I'm working towards- to great results! People enjoyed my enthusiasm which I previously would not show and my presentation got the best mark in the year group. When giving the presentation I felt completely calm and was able to effortlessly explain things that previously would have resulted in psychological meltdown. Importantly, feelings of judgement have dissipated!
I think you do a great thing, and once again thanks.
James

__________________________________

Hi John
I really enjoyed the course in Bristol 21/22 march (despite having a bad cold!).
I thought you created a very supportive and comfortable environment for all participants. the second day gave us many useful opportunities to practice- very helpful.
I have already used some of the skills developed- in particular I was put on the spot on Thursday morning when I went to a research meeting and the speaker who we expecting did not turn up. My boss told me to stand up and tell everyone about my research- it was surprisingly easy to do, despite no formal preparation for the task.
Best Wishes,
Kasia Zalewska

__________________________________

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 though 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.
Emiliya

 

feedback March 2015

feedback from a public speaking trainer
As a public speaking coach and trainer, I went into John's workshop feeling like a pro. Through his supportive presence and the way he lead the group, I was able to develop awareness on my areas of growth. I was able to access a more easy, authentic presence in front of the group and relax more. I've already noticed a difference at work! John was able to achieve incredible results in two days with even the most stressed members of the group and everyone made incredible progress."
Elizabeth

____________________________

Harry's feedback
Just want to say a big thank you for Tuesday, I thought it was a fantastic course and I had a really great time.  I left with a big smile and a genuine sense of confidence in myself and about public speaking. What a lovely group we had as well. I felt incredibly comfortable with everybody there, which I found really helped with exploring the exercises.

What did I want from the course?
I wanted to understand why I found it difficult to speak publicly, especially because I can talk so comfortably with people one-on-one, and even in a group of people. Because my line of work will inevitably involve public speaking, I wanted to find some confidence with it and to learn as much as I could as early as possible. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to address the whole nation with the passion and confidence that I feel in my heart. I don’t think that’ll be tomorrow but you’ve definitely put me on the right path.

Did I get it?
Absolutely, and more! I feel much better about public speaking, especially because the course made me realise that my fear of it is just in my head, and that I have the option to change that as easy as flicking a switch. I think I’ll still get nervous about it though but with more practice I think that’ll go away, and the course has taught me that as with anything in life, practice eventually makes perfect. At least I’m not so worried to get the practice that I need now.

What did I like about the course/facilitation?
The main thing I liked was how relaxed and comfortable you made us all feel. I felt like I was in a group of friends who I’d known for years and who I could trust completely. Also, as I mentioned in the session, how useful it was to get out of your comfort zone and practise knowing that everyone was in the same boat as you and that we were all there to support each other. I think the first exercise (the one where we had to get up and explain what was going on with our bodies etc.) was really helpful at breaking down the initial barriers and was easy to do. Lastly, I thought you made it really easy to understand and what you taught us made so much sense.

A few weeks after the course, Harry writes "I’ve done a couple of presentations since the course and they both went really well, I couldn’t believe how much more comfortable I was with them."

____________________________

Justin's feedback on a two day course which is called "taking your place in the world"

What did you want from the course?
I thought I was confident however felt nervous standing in front of a crowd and conducting a presentation. I wanted to understand those issues and initially felt the course would assist with this element.

Did you get it?
I did get it and a whole lot more John changes your perception of the formal nature of a presentation into a chat with people. This probably sounds strange however, if your about to conduct a presentation or interview for whatever nature your mindset is adjusted. John teaches you to engage with your audience, allows you to relax, allows you to be human.

There is a saying 'you get what you pay for, the more you pay for goods the better the quality'. I am a firm believer in this principle but let me assure you of this, when you walk away from this course you will realise a lot about yourself that puts the £275.00 cost into insignificance. John is very supportive and you will also get the support of the other people in the room. Thank you John

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
This may be out there but I would recommend filming the first discussion people have and their last just to show them the improvements they have made I think this will add to their confidence.

 What did you like about the course/facilitation?

The course was amazing for me it is very rare you can honestly say I got more than what I bargained for but I did and more. John's enthusiasm and experience helped me relax understand my demons and will help me ‘take my place in the world'

____________________________

thank you for facilitating this wonderful course. I loved it, I feel much more confident since the workshop.
John

____________________________

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.
A

____________________________

My sincere thanks to you for your time, compassion and fantastic teaching on Saturday. It was a hugely revelatory and theraputic approach, and one that I'll continue to absorb and work on in the coming weeks and months. I was also thrilled to find out that you were teaching mindfullness, among other techniques, as part of the course. I've been studying it over the past few years and love it as a method and I think it works particularly well with your teaching.
Nick

____________________________

not just public speaking but cooking as well!
Thank you very much for your wonderful course that gave me the confidence to speak in front of a sea of blank faces this weekend. I did four half hour cooking demonstrations at the NEC and although I was nervous I knew it wasn’t showing and the feedback I got was brilliant. I’m not saying I was a pro as there is long way to go yet, but your course enabled me to take the first and most important step.
Thanks again and all the best!
Phil

____________________________

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!!!
Keeley

____________________________

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.
Headteacher

feedback Feb 2015

Tracy's feedback

The course far exceeded my expectations. It was about a great deal more that public speaking. I was astonished at how easily I could stand up in front of the group and improvise without fear at the end of the second day. John presented clearly with a lot of opportunity for practise. I left the course feeling much more confident in life in general, also a more focused listener. In addition, I met some incredible people. There is a reason why John promises a refund for anyone who does not benefit from the course, I cannot imagine anyone not gaining a great deal. If you are thinking about this course at all, do it, you won't regret it.
Tracy

____________________________

James's feedback

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.

____________________________

 

Hannah's feedback. She came on a course in December 2014 and writes to me about the progress so far.

I took this course with absolutely no intention or need to engage in any (terrifying) act of public speaking and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As a long-time sufferer of social anxiety disorder, my graduation from university was not met with excitement, but pure dread at the prospect of having to face an unknown quantity of job interviews as I attempted to move into the next stage of my life.

I went along with very little expectations as to what the course would entail and to my delight, found it to be the perfect approach to addressing not just the symptoms, but the underlying causes of social phobia. At the end of two days I was happily standing and talking in front of an audience armed with some simple and highly effective techniques, but more importantly, I had developed a much deeper understanding of the fears that had been holding me back in the first place. In the following week I went along to a big interview for a dream job. Using the lessons John had shared with us, I approached it without the usual days of dread and answered every question calmly and with confidence. Believe it or not – I actually enjoyed the process and the following week discovered the job was mine! The course can be scary, you will face your demons and yes, it takes practice, but the lessons and inspiration John shares really can be life-changing. I would implore anyone struggling with anxiety issues to take this course– you really don’t need to wait for a public speaking engagement to start.
Hannah

____________________________

Susi's feedback

What did you want from the course?
Any tips, information and guidance on being more confident and relaxed with public speaking.

Did you get it?
Yes – and a lot more!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly can’t think of anything to be improved upon!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

  • How you put us all at ease immediately and built a sense of trust right away that allowed us all to push our boundaries
  • The emphasis on just being ourselves
  • That you were so engaging (i.e. really walked the talk) - I remained engaged the whole way through the day which is unusual for a day workshop!
  • That it drew upon so many personal development ideas that I’ve read and thought about in theory, but putting them into practice through public speaking helped make them seem more real and achievable
  • That there was a good mix of you talking and us doing exercises, to break things up
  • That there was so much opportunity for us to ‘give it a go’, in a really manageable ‘bite size’ amount a time


Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I felt like, for me, the day was about a hell of a lot more than just public speaking. I learnt a lot about myself and my approach to life… with lots of questions raised and things to think about, on quite a deep level.  I’m incredibly grateful to have had this experience and just wish that you offered life coaching as well as public speaking training!
 

feedback January 2015

extract from a letter

My perceptions of myself, my abilities, my colleagues and my career generally have changed on almost a universal scale. I am actually enjoying speaking in meetings and, more recently, training sessions that I have run. In fact it is thrilling. My confidence has had a seismic boost and for this to happen after so many many years of self-doubt, self-analysis and plain fear of people and situations is absolutely and utterly remarkable.
I do plan to attend another course in due course so I will be in touch.
Many thanks again for your incredible skill in teasing out of me so many things that I had never dreamt were there.
Regards,
Paul

____________________________

Liz's feedback

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.

Occupation
Primary school teacher
Liz

____________________________

Hi John
Really enjoyed the course!!
Ann

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to get some understanding & techniques to cope with all the negative emotions that overwhelm me when it comes to being centre of attention/public speaking i.e raising heart, trembly voice, blushing, sweaty palms!

Did you get it?
Yes! I didn't want to go on Saturday morning & my "inner critic" was filling me with al the things that could go wrong!!! I am so glad that my "inner expedition leader" made me go :-). This is the first time I have attended a public speaking course & I feel it gave me the stepping stones to changing the way I feel. On Monday at work, I talked to people rather than email, held eye contact & just felt calmer. I still have a long way to go. the rest is down to me.....

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I really can not fault the course. John was fantastic & his passion to help us was relentless. The only thing I would say, is that I could probably have done with an extra day, to really continue & practice in a "safe environment" or it would be great to have some kind of follow up session, which I know John provides in Bristol as that is where he is located. He needs to clone himself & do one for London too :).

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the slow pace of the course. There was no pressure (only the pressure I put on myself). I feel the course was unique as it really got us to practice being centre of attention rather than standing there doing a presentation. It was so lovely to see everyone "blossom" over the 2 days. It really made me appreciate the fact that I am "not the only one" who feels like this.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
If you have any issues with Public Speaking / Centre of attention then this course is a must!

____________________________

Thanks again for an excellent day. I've found it has helped in other areas of my life as well, not just thinking about public speaking.
All the best
Jen

What did you want from the course?
I hoped to acquire some tools and/or a new way of thinking to help improve my confidence and to help me feel less exposed and vulnerable when speaking to an audience.

Did you get it?
Yes, John has an excellent way of taking apart the emotion around public speaking and tackling the issues at the heart of individuals' fears. His approach really dealt with some of the fears I had and also how I was approaching public speaking.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The day really does give you the chance to explore and recognise how you are feeling and then put little steps in place to change your own approach and improve your level of comfort. John is a very relaxed, calm person and he creates a really great atmosphere.

____________________________

Kieran's feedback

Hi John,

It was great working with you last week and I can safely say that your course had a fairly profound affect on me. I really enjoyed the course and got the chance to put some of what I learnt in to practice on Monday morning!

What did you want from the course?
I have definitely gained an improved confidence of public speaking. The course allowed me to think of public speaking in an entirely different way to anything I have ever considered previously. Although the course was not what I was expecting, it was a pleasant surprise and a refreshing approach to the art of public speaking.

Did you get it?
Yes, I understood the theory behind John's approach. For me it is about changing the way we treat ourselves and always assuming support. I will always remember that the can't be arsed school of public speaking is the future!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing. I think the course was facilitated perfectly and the balance between theory and practical was spot on.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I found John extremely engaging throughout. You felt that he is truly passionate about helping people overcome their fears of public speaking, and this passion was evident in his style of course delivery.

Kieran Hicks

__________________________________

Matt's feedback

1. What I wanted out of the course mainly was just to become a lot more confident in my self when speaking out in front of people and trying not to worry when I'm centre of attention. 

2. I think I have got what I wanted, I have noticed a change in my self in the last week. I'm speaking out more and just trying to be my self and letting people see who I am. 

Getting up in front of people on the course has made me believe in my self that I can stand up in front of a group and talk. 

3. I'm not sure if anything could be improved about the course. 

4. What I liked about the course....

The way you taught the course and came across, I felt very comfortable listening to you and taking on board everything you were saying. I could see that you were really trying to help and support people which was nice. Actually getting up in front of the group and doing all the exercises was really good practice for every one. I felt very supported in that room by you and the group which for me was very important, which then led to me being a bit more confident in my self.  So I think the general support from the group that you created was brilliant. I think it really gives every one the confidence to be their self.  

I very much enjoyed the course thank you john, part of me wishes we were all meeting back up this weekend to do another two days. 

Thanks again 

Matt Tuggwell

eedback December 2014

Feedback from an in-house course

Many thanks indeed for such an interesting and helpful course on Tuesday. I think I can safely say that all participants, myself very much included, were amazed at how effective it was.

Richard Miller MRICS FAAV
Symonds & Sampson LLP,
 

What did you want from the course? To be able to accept invitations to speak without unease

Did you get it? Yes, absolutely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Not much if anything, as far as I could see

What did you like about the course/facilitation? Simple, no nonsense, most effective.
 

________________________________________

 

I would like to reiterate my thanks for the course I attended a couple of weeks ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel I have benefitted already.

What did you want from the course?
Some techniques and guidance to help improve my ability to present with comfort and ease.

Did you get it?
Yes.  Techniques given have already helped me focus and relax in the speaking situations I have encountered since the course.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Very little,  if anything.  Possibly getting the candidates to introduce themselves at the beginning and explain some of their background, but this naturally came out during the course when people felt comfortable to give share this.  I am confident the process ran at its optimum given the instructors experience and success.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The course quickly broke down barriers so as a participant I found it easy to relax and be candid with other members of the group.
The instructor was entertaining and made sure that everyone had both an opportunity to give feedback and remain actively engaged throughout the day.  I found it easy to relate to the instructors experiences which came across honest, heartfelt and often humorous.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thoroughly enjoyable day, left feeling confident and enlightened about the public speaking process.

Ben

 

feedback November 2014

 
Dear John,
It was a fantastic course and thank you very much.
The course has truly changed the way I feel about public speaking and I am excited about my future, knowing that this area is not going to hold me back or let me down. I have lots of opportunities to stand up and talk and I always shy away from it, but as I am progressing in my business it is getting harder and harder to avoid.
I have spoken to several people about the weekend, and already have 2 people that are very keen to book.
Kind regards
Jenny

_________________________________

Hi John,
I just wanted to let you know that I had my first presentation today.... 20 mins to 50 people!
I used all I had learnt and guess what... I actually enjoyed myself! Was so great to stand up and feel totally OK with being myself and being OK with the nerves! Can't quite believe its me writing these words but I had to let you know just how valuable that training was.
Small steps but definitely have a whole new way of looking at presentations and public speaking...
Thanks!
Alice 

_________________________________

the next two bits offeedback are from an in-house course run for NHS post-graduate education

This course has been amazing and will stay with me! John has been a fantastic facilitator and I would strongly recommend the course to anyone. It is the first time I've had the courage to stand up in front of people and talk for years and I cannot explain how good that feels!!!!
Educational co-ordinator

This course is one of the best I've been on in terms of facilitation and absolute improvement in participant's competence. I think so many people are frightened of public speaking they are afraid to do a course like this but this was so empowering and such fun I would recommend it to anyone.
A Public Health Consultant

 

feedback October 2014


What did you want from the course? - I wanted to be able to talk in front of people without experiencing major anxiety, sweaty palms, racing heart beat and shaking.

Did you get it? - I believe so.  I've already had to speak in front of my team on two occasions since the course and although this wasn't my regular bi-monthly team presentation and just a brief update to the team, I did not feel the anxiety which I am so use to feeling.  I just kept telling myself(what I learnt from the course) and that really helped.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? - Nothing.  I feel the course is run very well and by the end of the day I felt quite comfortable speaking at the front.  The environment is so safe and I was working with a lovely supportive group.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? - I like that it wasn't all PowerPoint slides but a practical course which allowed me to actually put in to practice the techniques I was learning and being in front of people.  I like the fact that we could take our time and do things at our own pace.  If we were not ready to talk we were allowed to practice just standing in front and that was extremely helpful and so by the time I was ready to speak I was already use to standing in front of the group and so the talking came a lot easier than expected.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish - I would just like to thank John for his patience, encouragement and for sharing these techniques with us.  I do believe a lot of this has to do with the way we feel about ourselves as much as anything else.  We can all take our place in the world, we all have something important to say and share and why should we not share it?  Why should we not take our place?  I learned so much more than just being able to feel more comfortable talking in front of people.  I learned to accept myself, trust and belief in myself and my abilities and that is life changing and something I will keep with me forever.  Thank you John.
Ayeshah

________________________________

Your course had a very relaxed and open style of learning and self discovery. I found it very interesting the fear of public speaking isn't just on the surface. It can be due to numinous reasons, each personal to each person. Your course allowed us all to explore our own journey and express ourselves and learn via other people with your guidance. I feel I have finally found acceptance, a new skill which I hope over time will continue in a positive path. Thanks again
Richard Bloom

 ________________________________

I think the course had a much broader application than just 'public speaking' in the context I understood it.  It has helped me be a lot more comfortable in myself and not to over think other people's reactions.
Claire

 

 ________________________________

I would like to thank you for the course and the way you taughtit. I feel like the way you expressed the message of its all in 'the brain' and to not 'assume negatively' has really changed my outlook on public speaking.
Before the day I just wanted to learn the fundamentals of being comfortable in myself when being the centre of attention and I knew the fear was not something that could just be addressed in one day.
However using the method of thinking in which you taught me I have started to contribute more in class discussions which has made me realise it's not that hard after all.
Thank-you once again for the day and making me see public speaking in a more positive vision.
Jake

 ________________________________

the following entries are from feedback from a two day public speaking course called "taking your place in the world

Sarah writes to me three months after doing a two day course with some news...

Hi John
I’ve been meaning to message you to let you know how I’ve been getting on and also to say a big thank you!  
I enjoyed the two day course very much and felt it was exactly what I was looking for. I’ve spoken to lots of friends and family about the course and told them how good it is and how your way of facilitating and running the course is totally non-threatening and really nurtures and grows people’s confidence.    
I absolutely love the approach and feel its something that I apply not only to presentations, but also about speaking up at meetings and in other environments. 
The course really helped me realise that I can do it and importantly, that even though we all give ourselves a hard time- we are enough!   It's strange as I don't feel like a new person.... still me but just a version of me that's not calling myself rubbish all the time- even before I've even opened my mouth! Life seems much easier this way
I was able to put my skills to the test at a job interview recently that required a giving presentation. I had the confidence to go and just be myself and not be afraid to loosen up and see it as a conversation which really helped. 
I got the job so am leaving my old job tomorrow- I really see your course as having such a big and positive influence in how I am at work and it definitely contributed to my calmness and ability to get on and give the presentation at my interview.      Thanks again John!!  
Best wishes
Sarah

 ________________________________

Victoria's feedback

What did you want from the course?
Ideally I wanted to end the course feeling better about public speaking and:
• understanding why I feel the way I do about public speaking
• feeling comfortable with new skills to public speak better
• happier

Did you get it?
Yes. The course delivered - and extracted much more than I expected because of the most gentle, supportive and yet challenging teaching style I've ever experienced. John really does have a gift for this that he is obligated to share.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I'm not at all sure - everything about the course feels so finely tuned and balanced - with John constantly working his unfussy funny magic to reposition our individual anxieties and issues so that all we feel is safe, supported and brave. All in all a pretty remarkable feat with not a single touchy feely metaphor in sight.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
All of the above ... I am left feeling more grounded and less self critical - and with a great respect for our facilitator whose own integrity and courage, gently encouraged us by example.

Thank you, Victoria

 ________________________________

Yes, I did get everything that I wanted from the course. I am now more focused than ever on making a real change, living the life I want to live is much more important than fear! Tomorrow, I might even go and get my hair shaved really short which I have always wanted to do but been too worried about looking very different. Finally, I just want to say that you've been an inspiration to me and I'm sure many others on the course as well, so keep doing what you're doing!
Joshua

 ________________________________

I wanted to get over the fear that had begun to get increasingly worse about speaking in front of people. Like others in the class, it was affecting my ability to conduct myself at work and preventing me from career advancement. I wanted to be able to keep myself from getting nervous and the physical effects it had on my body such as the quivering voice, shaky hands, dry mouth and a butterfly army in my belly.
I just want to personally thank you for your time, attention, guidance and respect over the weekend. It really helped me to put a new head on with regard to finding my space.
There were times that I genuinely enjoyed doing it, and it really did make me feel proud of myself for facing the fear and proactively doing something about it

It was also magical to see everyone else's progress and quick progress at that. You could see the confidence growing in everyone. You have a real gift for creating a safe space that allows people to feel OK about being vulnerable.
Your tone and manner were very non-judgemental and safe. The group size was just right and the physical space was brilliant. As mentioned before, I loved the way you broke everything into sizable chunks and that you really focused on the important bits.

Thank you
K.

 ________________________________

 Thanks so much for such an amazing weekend. I really felt much better about everything when I left and am ready to practise what I learnt. I got much more than i expected from the course.
It was definitely challenging but also so rewarding to go through the weekend with such a great group and watch everyone improve and develop more confidence. John was very supportive and gentle in his approach which created a safe space for people to share.
John

 

feedback September 2014

 Hi John,
I've just received some very positive feedback from a presentation I gave on Friday at a national showcase of research.  I can wholeheartedly attribute my confidence to the skills I learnt on your course:
Based on my recommendation, one of my colleaguesalso recently attended your 1 day course in London. She also recently presented at a (Medical) conference and told me that she found it much(!!!) easier than usual. She directly attributed this to attending your course!
I just wanted to let you know and thank you again for your help.
Very best wishes,
G.

______________________________

Emmie's feedback from the day course on public speaking

I would definitely recommend the fundamental course to anyone because I think standing in front of a group of people is always nerve wracking and getting the confidence to do that is so important.  I was surprised by what good value the course was given the results I achieved.  John was a great person to run it - very humble, kind, funny and warm.  He made the whole group feel so at ease with his lovely manner,  so important with something as personal and nerve wracking as this.  I felt like it was a really good use of a day.  Not just the public speaking but other things that I learnt from John too. I thought that the course was brilliant. 
Emmie

_________________________________

the following entries are from feedback from a two day public speaking course called "taking your place in the world

Alice's feedback

Thanks ever so much for the weekend course. It was a great experience and I really hope to apply this new way of thinking to all aspects of my life. It was a real privilege to be learning among others in such a supportive environment about the simple "secrets" of being present and taking my place!

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to come away with an inner confidence to face an audience big or small and to share ideas without feeling ashamed to be in the spotlight.

Did you get it?
Absolutely! This course took us to the core of the problems of being the centre of attention. It made us ask questions of ourselves about what may be holding us back from taking our place and gave us key elements to work with in a practical sense. Being in such a supportive environment gave us the opportunity to discover these aspects at our own pace and de-clutter our attitude towards public speaking.  This approach looked at the whole person and not just techniques to make you appear to be more confident. I now understand and truly believe that by being comfortable in my own skin is half way to giving an honest and human presence when faced with an audience. It was wonderful to share experiences with others, and to realise that so many of us share and burden ourselves with the same insecurities.

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


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The approach taken in the course really appealed to me. And it was a refreshing experience to be able to talk about the stuff that really gets in the way when all eyes are on us. The most positive thing I got from the weekend was a belief that it’s OK to be me… and that I can take all I have learnt with me into all aspects of my life, not just work. Now to go out and take my place in the world! Got a lot of catching up to do but I’m sure it can be done!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thanks again. An excellent facilitator with a very calm and non-judgmental way. Allowing us all the time to take our journey at our own pace with gentle guidance and questions to help us along. I couldn’t recommend it more highly!

Occupation
Gardener
 

_________________________________

Julian's feedback

Dear John
I thoroughly enjoyed the course, I have waxed lyrical and recommended it to my friends.

What did you want from the course? I wanted to better understand any reasons for anxieties in pressured situations and methods to over come them.

Did you get it? Yes I gained a great perspective on how to handle any public speaking anxiety issues, in addition I gained a massive insight in living within ones' own skin and a better strategy on how to benefit from just being me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? I was completely satisfied.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? Relaxed, very personable.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
This course was extremely cathartic for me, I gained a lot more out of this coursethan expected. I can use the information, environment and guidance provided in all aspects of my life, brilliant - thanks to John and all the delegates.

Julian Williams

 

feedback August 2014

the following entries are from feedback from a two day public speaking course called "taking your place in the world


What did you want from the course? - To learn how to enjoy presenting again and to not be crippled with anxiety/fear before every presentation.

Did you get it? Yes, you really help me develop a different perspective on public speaking and an insight into where my fears lie. By unpicking my hangups about public speaking and the tips I've learned from your course I can honestly say you've helped me on a daily basis with all kinds of public speaking, not just presentations. I am assuming acceptance at every possible opportunity (and it's become my daily mantra!).  

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? - Nothing. You allowed us all to progress at our own pace, but pushed us gently when we needed some encouragement. So that was great!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?: John, I thought you were amazing and one of the best course facilitators I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Although it was quite a scary experience at times, you managed to build trust within the group very quickly and therefore made the course extremely enjoyable. You're clearly very passionate and it shines through in your teaching. Thank you!

 

feedback July 2014

the following entries are from feedback from a two day public speaking course called "taking your place in the world

 

Peter's feeedback
The course was excellent and I got out of it precisely what I wanted. It was a genuine pleasure to work with you and the others on the course.


What did you want from the course?
I have had a lifetime fear of public speaking, lack of confidence in a 'public setting' and being the centre of attention, this has plagued me and held me back from reaching my full potential throughout my career.  I should have addressed this shortcoming years ago, but have always just managed to get by - how I have managed to reach a senior position is a real mystery.  From the course I genuinely hope to really understand why I am so nervous and anxious and to increase my confidence and begin to speak to an audience without fear and with confidence.

Did you get it?
In short, yes.  I thought the course was excellent and I should have addressed these personal issues years ago. Themethodology was highly effective for me and drove to the heart of my problem with public speaking.  My overly self critical nature, self doubt and lack of confidence is the nub of my problem with being the centre of attention.  The practical aspects of the course, with plenty of listening and speaking struck the right balance for me, I have taken big strides towards my goal. John, as the facilitator, was an inspiration, lots of empathy with the learners, an acute understanding the subject matter and an brilliant, relaxed style of teaching and coaching.  I left the course on a real high of confidence and with the question in my mind, why did i not do this 20 years ago? I would never have thought that after just two days, I could stand up and speak confidently for 3 minutes without any notes, looking the audience in the eyes and even crack a joke.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Relaxed and very supportive atmosphere.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I am who I am, and this course has taught me that is good enough, I don’t need to fundamentally change who I am, I need to be less critical and less self analytical of myself and how I perceive myself to be in the eyes of others.  The tools that I have been armed with should make my ability to be the centre of attention, whilst speaking or chairing meetings, much more bearable, and I hope in time, enjoyable.
Peter, Royal Naval Officer

Dear John,
I really enjoyed working with you too and I will recommend you to everyone I know :) Thank you so much for your patience, your support and your openness. I had a really great time on your course - even through the anxiety and fear. I think it was really therapeutic in so many ways, not just to do with speaking in front of others.
Take care,
Sonja

_____________________________________

Hi John
The course was fantastic, I love the way you teach and inspire.  I think this course was a great way for me to move on from my last job and have the courage to enjoy my next job.
 
* What did you want from the course? - To practice public speaking as my new job will involve a considerable amount of it and also to gain the confidence to feel like I am worth of being listened to and be accepted in my new job.

* Did you get it? - Yes, the confidence allowed me to be myself when I met my new colleagues and the confidence not to have to pretend to be anyone else in order to be accepted.

* What could be improved about the course/facilitation? - I cannot think of any way it could be better

* What did you like about the course/facilitation?  - The course is very good in getting to the heart of the matter and delivering the message that its only ourselves that stop us. I love the way you offer the group ways of overcoming that as well as allow everyone to find their own way of overcoming what holds them back.

* Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish - I really enjoyed this course and although the course is challenging, the pace and ease in the way you run the course makes it so much easier to face this challenge and feel safe in doing so.  Its really wonderful and I recommend it to anyone.  For years I always wanted to go into training and coaching but always felt that I was just not capable and not good enough.  After the first course I went on last year I put in to practice a lot of what you said in the course into my every day life and found I could have clarity of thought in meetings when I had to speak and started getting less nervous about speaking up and that confidence I built up after the first course of yours is what has now enabled me to get a job where I will be delivering training to groups and getting involved in coaching. I think your course should be part of the national curriculum, its so enabling!

Jo Harris

_____________________________________

 

Sean's feedback
Great to meet you, and work with you in Bristol.  More than happy to provide feedback…. In a nutshell, the course surpassed my expectations!
I certainly felt much more confident and comfortable by the end of the 2-days.
The concepts are simple and understandable, but most importantly for me, make sense and can be put in to practice at work and in everyday life.
Keep doing what you’re doing John!  The cross-section of people on the course brought home to me that anyone can struggle with public speaking.
cheers
Sean

_____________________________________

feedback from the day course on public speaking

Simon's feedback

What did you want from the course? To improve my confidence in making presentations

Did you get it? I got much more than I anticipated- the exercises were great in that they slowly built up confidence and these will always stay with me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing it was excellent, reassuring and relaxed

What did you like about the course/facilitation? It's informal feel and the fact that it was a good mix of theory and participation- it was also non threatening

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish Fantastic course and facilitation- manythanks
Simon, NHS manager

_____________________________________

some feedback from an in-house course for NHS Consultants
from a day course on public speaking

"This was a great training day with a superb trainer"
"highly recommended for people who are fearful of public speaking"
"excellent day - it worked very well"
"an empathic and kind trainer"
"thank you! Very useful, I wish i had this training at Medical school "

_____________________________________

the following quotes are feedback from a day's course on public speaking

Alex's feedback
John’s style of teaching and advising makes you feel at ease, creating a comfortable and relaxed environment. All attendees on my course improved throughout the day and, for some of them, you wouldn’t have thought they were the same person who appeared at the door at 9am with extreme trepidation, even being uncomfortable with introducing themselves. By 4pm they were all presenting to the rest of the group looking like they had been presenting for years – I would have been none the wiser if I saw them for the first time. I would have no problems with recommending John to any of my contacts and hope he continues delivering the course for many years to come to allow others to benefit too!
Alex Cook

_____________________________________

The reason I chose to attend was because I was due to deliver a rather daunting presentation to over 120 people. My presentation could not have gone any better and I received a great deal of feedback in relation how confident, composed and comfortable I was whilst in the spotlight.  In all honesty, I don't think I could have handled being placed in that position without attending your course first, and getting my mind-set right and allow myself the space I always allow others by default.

Unfortunately for me, I have since been asked to deliver a number of similar presentations to other areas of the organisation, so I appear to have become a victim of your success!
Anyway, thank you for a very interesting and important course.  It may well prove to be the most valuable course I ever attend.
All the best
Dean

_______________________________

Feedback from Kirsten

What did you want from the course?
to feel more comfortable standing in front of a group

Did you get it?
yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
nothing, it’s great.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The safe place that John creates. John’s honesty and warmth. it is very special to be allowed even encouraged to be one self with what ever feelings are there.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I can absolutely recommend it to people who have a real fear of public speaking.

Best wishes
Kirsten

_______________________________

 

Hi John,
I came to your Feb (two day course on public speaking) this year. I came to you as I was terrified that I’d have to step up to the plate with a work do and speak in front of an audience of about 150. Despite waking up on the day(a month ago) and wondering if I could just spend all day travelling on the tube instead of going and facing my demons I did it.
I was THRILLED with the whole thing. Your course and reprogramming about our irrational fears and the way you taught us to overcome these and engage the audience and make my words land all worked for me in spades.
In fact yesterday at work my boss (aware of my success at the previous do) asked me to do an introduction(with 10 minutes notice) when our team of 13 and another similar sized team at the firm got together for a “get to know you” sandwich lunch:  I did the introduction without great concern drawing on those hugely, as it has since transpired for me, “rambling” turns in front of my course colleagues (on the course with you) that led me to realise that there is plenty of time, I am worth it, I have a right to take my place etc.
So THANK YOU – without your course I would have run a mile and hid and would not have dreamt of attempting either of the two tasks outlined above.
My very best to you as ever,
John

_______________________________

Penny's feedback from a two day course on public speaking in May

What did you want from the course?
Love the phrase that you use, "to take my place in the world" - that sums it up really.  And feeling comfortable being seen - that was a big challenge for me personally.

Did you get it?
Definitely - I couldn't have imagined that a 2-day course could make such a difference - I've never experienced anything like it.  I feel more comfortable in my own skin and more self- assured than I have done for nearly 30 years which is a wonderful feeling. On day 2 of the course I felt like some great tension I'd been holding inside myself was released and that I properly relaxed for the first time in a very long time.  The fact that I feel less anxious generally and have less internal 'noise' going on means I'm finding I'm appreciating the small everyday things a lot more - beautiful skies, birdsong, spending time with friends and family a lot more.  I'm also finding I'm better able to 'connect' with others, hear them and enjoy them.  And I've laughed more in the last couple of weeks than I have done in years.
The benefits of letting others see something of you (and feeling able and comfortable to do that) really hit home for me - both in terms of day to day life and when presenting.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly can't think of anything - wouldn't have changed any of it!  Even the biscuits were lush!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Thank you so much for the course - you created an environment for the weekend in which I felt very safe and supported - both by you and the other members of the group.  I really enjoyed seeing the other members of the group open up and appear to be more themselves and feel comfortable doing so - I do think that your emphasis from the outset on supporting each other really helped the group to gel and to create that supportive environment.
Although it was uncomfortable at the time the blank faces exercise made a big difference for me personally in helping me feel more comfortable being seen. 

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Might be a strange thing to say but it was lovely to hear from a group of people who were probably in the main more introverts than extroverts and to hear them talking openly about their passions and wishes.  Lovely to see one group member talking openly about their passion for fishing and archaeology when just the day before they had been extremely uncomfortable just staying in front of the group.
My aim is to continue to push myself to the edge of my comfort zone and beyond - to be curious and explore some new ground.  I really enjoy facilitating small group work but I often don't volunteer because the facilitator is usually the one who feeds back.  But today I've facilitated and fed back to a conference of 80 people by channelling the can't be arsed school of public speaking and regarding it as my (or rather my group's) contribution to the discussion - definitely helped me today.  Equally on those days when I've retreated to the comfort of safer ground, I'm finding I'm kinder to myself, not beating myself up about it as I most likely would have done prior to the course.

Thank you again John, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity and to have had those 2 days with you and the rest of the group.
Penny

 

feedback June 2014

Hi John,
Sorry I didn’t get back with feedback before now, things were pretty busy. But I just wanted to send you a quick email to say that I’m a PhD student and I managed to do a conference about a week ago and presented a paper to about 50 people, I was pretty nervous, but it went fine. There was no way I would’ve even done this before your course so I just wanted to drop an email and say thanks! I have another conference booked for July (a bigger two day one!) and I’m actually looking forward to it this time!!
Thanks again,
Eleanor

feedback April 2014

Adrian's feedback

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

I loved working with other people from a range of backgrounds and ages.  I was apprehensive before arriving, thinking that they would all be great speakers, but the reality was that we all had the same hang-ups.  john is a super facilitator and showed a real desire to work with each and every one of us.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
A super course that has real world significance for me.  I will use the methods as often as possible.

Occupation
primary teacher

And three days after the course I get another email from Adrian

I took part in a public speaking contest last night and won the trophy!!!! There were six novice contestants and I managed to talk for nearly 8 minutes.  Im so pleased and would like to thank you for the impact the course had on me.  It helped me no end whilst I was speaking but more importantly whilst waiting to go up for my turn.

________________________________

 

Harriet's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to start to conquer my fear of public speaking - I felt that the course would be a first step in me taking control of the situation.

Did you get it?
Absolutely! I got more than I expected in many ways because the connections between fear of public speaking and other aspects of the way I interact in the world were drawn out.  This has led me to be deeply reflective since, and whilst I certainly have taken control as I wished to, I have also begun what seems like a much bigger process of change and realising what could be possible.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything.  John was utterly brilliant.  It's the best course I've ever been on by a mile.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was personal, compassionate, profound and the atmosphere that John created in the group was safe and also very inspiring.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I'm normally someone who hates going on courses, and I usually come away feeling frustrated, but this was utterly different.  I got so much more than I expected and have thought about it a lot since.  I would recommend it to anyone who feels their relationship to public speaking is holding them back.
It was revelatory in terms of looking at what underlies the fear and coming up with a new and different way of approaching the experience.

 

Amy's feedback on the evening course


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was brilliant. I liked the relaxed nature of it, and your 'humaness' if that makes sense. You built a great sense of trust within the group from the start, which was really really helpful for me, this gave me the confidence to come back and really challenge myself. I was impressed how the weeks built on each other, every week I left thinking 'can there be more to know?' of course there always is!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The principles of speaking infront are something we should all be given the opportunity to learn - it's a course I will be glad I did for the rest of my life (I say that without a hint of exaggeration!)

Amy

 

Sam's feeedback


What did you want from the course?
To feel more confident and at ease speaking to groups of people - students/staff and others.

Did you get it?
Yes, I did. It was in a different way than I expected but it worked.
I really went in to the course a bit blind, and had no idea what it would be like - but it was very interactive, and really worked.
You could feel the differences as you went through the day. And feel them through other people as well.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't really think of anything to be honest.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the informal relaxed environment, and the fact that we were all from different backgrounds and with different reasons for being there - but that it still really worked.
I also liked your style of teaching. There was no pressure, but I wanted to do everything (that I was) invited to in the training.
I liked the build-up over the day - and that I really felt I developed over the course of the day.

Dave's feedback


What did you wantfrom the course? Greater confidence and greater understanding of nerves and how to reduce them.
Did you get it? For the first time ever I felt I had a real understanding as to: what goes on with us to make us nervous about public speaking; and how we should perceive the audience and the craft. Finally being able to perceive this is life-changing.
John was brilliant, caring and relaxed which helped bring the whole group on leaps and bounds

 

feedback March 2014

John R's feedback

What did you want from the course? I wanted to feel at ease in situations when they’re all looking at you for your contribution, particularly in the work environment. I have a very good job but from my earliest days have always felt uncomfortable when all eyes are on me and at work in that situation when you feel yourself getting a bit pink and sweaty you think: WHY? Why at my great age and seniority am I much less at ease than the young turks in the firm.

Did you get it? YES. John is amazing. He effortlessly puts you at ease and gently encourages, but doesn’t push you, to take part. Everyone in our group of 9 took part in everything and were hugely mutually supportive. As you gain confidence just being there in front of the group you do it with less and less worry until it feels like nothing special. He instils in you that it’s ok, you have your place and should take your place and have your moments in the limelight without concern.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing whatsoever. The London location and facilities are ideal; John a maestro.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? I’m glad I did the 2 day course; having signed up, only a week before, I was totally relaxed about it having determined that I was doing the right thing, I’d be in very safe experienced hands and I was right!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish. For me this was and continues to be life changing – simply that my fears are contained and largely put in context. I’ve done “presentation” courses before at work which were helpful but for me they were like building on sand – if I were to do one now it would be built on rock. Quite frankly what John teaches you does it for me. I picked John’s course off the internet on a whim having nearly signed up to a speaking course that purported to overcome fear of public speaking – I have no doubt I enrolled into the right thing for me. John’s technique and process goes back to the beginning and seems to rewire your thoughts and fears from a negative to a positive current. He has a passion and real desire to help us students; it’ll be a weekend that, if you’re like me, you’ll never forget.

John R
Investment manager

 

The next five people were on the same London 2 day course in March

Charlie's feedback

What did you want from the course?   I've had a fear of public speaking for a while now, so I just wanted to try and overcome that. The fact that I knew it was going to be in a supportive environment made it easier for me to build up the courage to book onto the course.

Did you get it?  Yes I did. More than I ever thought was possible. It's truly amazing just how different I feel about public speaking now. The techniques John provided for learning how to take your place and embrace being the centre of attention have helped greatly.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?  The course was a pleasure from start to finish. I can't think of anything that could be improved. I wish I could do it every weekend.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?  First of all, John is an excellent facilitator. He made everyone feel comfortable and helped create such a supportive atmosphere. I liked the way we were all encouraged to find our voice, but never forced. The weekend was a non-judgemental place to experiment.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I would recommend this course to anyone, no matter how big your fear of public speaking is. It's completely changed my outlook on life. Thank you John, and thank you to everyone else who took part on the course.

 

Dear John

Thank you for providing and facilitating such a brilliant course. I found it moving, challenging, exciting and a privilege to attend.
In response to your questions:-

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to experience first hand, what participating on the course entailed, to improve and gain confidence in my own communication skills and to learn from you.

Did you get it?
Yes. In spades! I learned a great deal but was surprised how much I gained from the other participants in the group. They were very generous in sharing themselves.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't imagine! I thought it ran very smoothly and some actual and also potentially challenging situations were really well managed. The balance appeared to be just right.
I liked your humour, integrity and compassion.
Mel

 

Hi John
Just a quick note to thank you for a great course. I found it incredibly useful and surprisingly enjoyable!
C.

 

I liked the group interaction - it felt like more of a discussion as opposed to a lecture, but with lots of great insight from yourself.I liked how it opened everyone up - the closeness it created between everyone strengthened the support 10 fold

You managed to tailor the input you gave to the individual. This was important as people were at different levels/stages throughout.
I don't know if it was just the awesome weather but there were times this weekend where I felt on top of the world. Knowing my fear was taking a beating and I was the one beating it gave me a feeling of overwhelming contentment. It's changed the way I feel sitting at work, on the train, talking on the phone, to co-workers - I didn't have a problem with those things but I'm even more comfortable with them now. I'm a better person because of the course.
Jon Pierson

 

Thanks for a truly inspiring weekend! Really clever psychological approach where each individuals needs could be met. I got what I wanted from the course in spades
V.

feedback Feb 2014

Jasmine's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I approached this course with an immense desire to overcome my fear of public speaking or chatting in front of a group. I wanted to be free of that feeling, where my mind told me that I couldn't do it and the urge to escape if ever in that situation. I wanted to be happy and comfortable existing or speaking in front of a group of people. To not over think everything and to just be in the moment, without the overwhelming sense of panic.

Did you get it?
I did get it. From this course and the way John helped us alter our perspective towards the concept of speaking in front of people. I now approach it in an entirely different way. It's amazing how much John taught us in those two days. I personally have hugely benefitted from this course and I look forward to attending future courses and refreshers with John.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The course in my opinion was ideal for what I was looking for. Perhaps an experiment with the option of a course with more than 10 people?

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I thought the atmosphere was brilliant. I really liked the support from John and the group and I soon felt comfortable with everyone. The applause every time before and after we spoke was really positive. The content of the course was fantastic, it really made sense to me. So logical and a great perspective to grasp. It was great how often we were given the opportunity to stand up and speak in front of the group, as this is exactly what I had hoped to do. The more experience I have with it, the more used to it I will be. I think the concept of being imperfect, embracing our real selves and letting the nerves flow was exactly what I needed to learn. It truly opened my mind, which in affect has lessened my nerves.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thank you very much for this wonderful course!

 

Dave's feedback

Absolutely the most valuable course I have been on to date, in regards to both personal and professional development. I was asked to give a presentation this week (first opportunity to put into practice since the course) and I was amazed at the difference in me. I was actually able to think clearly and deliver a good presentation, goodbye ‘Brain fog’ .

Helen's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel more capable of standing up in front of people and talking.

Did you get it?
Yes, I definitely felt less terrified by the end of the day. I just need to hold onto that now and practice.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can't think of anything that could have been done better. It's probably the best course I have ever attended. Very relevant and useful for me

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The facilitation approach was very warm,  inclusive and supportive which is important when dealing with people (like me) who are very nervous about public speaking.
I liked the way we weregradually taken through a series of steps to try and manage our nerves about public speaking with plenty of practice for each of us. And useful take-home tips and follow up.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I would recommend this course to anyone. It was brilliant for a somebody like me who hates being the centre of attention and I think it may well help me when talking with people generally, not just for public speaking. I think even those on the course who didn't seem particularly nervous about public speaking benefited, as by the end of the day I found them far more engaging speakers.

 

Hi John,
Well firstly, I want to say thank you for Friday! As you could probably tell when I first arrived, it was all a bit much, I got myself into a bit of a 'tiz' and to say I felt out of my depth would be an understatement!

I was actually quite surprised by how uncomfortable I felt at first because as I mentioned on the day, I did not expect to feel as overwhelmed as I did as I initially thought my fear was speaking in front of people I knew... Obviously, this was not the case..

I can safely say that it has given me a different perspective on public speaking and being the centre of attention.. (I have just read your response to your FAQ on 'Will you fix me?' and you answer with 'What I hope for is that you will see public speaking in a very different light; simpler, far less stressful, and far more possible' and this you did for me!) - So thank you!


What did you want from the course?
To confront my fear of public speaking, being the centre of attention and 'the shaky voice' that I felt was beginning to take over my life!

Did you get it?
I definitely came away with a different perspective.. The whole concept about assuming support was probably the biggest help, on and now after the course. Realising that people are not there to trip you up or that they want to see you fail. I understand this is a journey and it will take time, but it all comes down to being my own friend and ally - This is something I will continue to work on everyday!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing.. It was more then I could have asked for.. I have and will continue to recommend you to everyone I can.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
To be completely honest, I was quite sceptical before I had arrived as I wasn't sure what to expect and thought this fear was beyond help! However.. I loved the gentleness of the course, the gradual steps that are taken to help feel comfortable 'just being there', the fact that everyone was in the same boat and was so supportive.. (even with the blank faces!)

I walked away with a massive sense of achievement thatI was actually able to talk without my voice shaking and my heart feeling like it was going to explode - something I really didn't think possible at the beginning of the day!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please keep doing what you do!
Best regards,
Rebecca Stacey
 

What did you want from the course?
To overcome my nerves when speaking in front of a crowd or large group. To allow me to communicate better at Board Level

Did you get it?
I believe I have been given a number of tools to use when public speaking which I think will help. It is now down to me to put them into practise.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I do not have any criticism on the course or how it was run.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I like the pace it ran at and also your calm delivery. Even though there was 10 of us it seemed very personal.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I found the whole weekend enlightening and would recommend it to others. I think I may well looked to repeat this course (if needed) or try the 3 day course in the future.

occupation
Production Director for a Communications and Packaging Agency

feedback January 2014

Hi John,
Sorry about late feedback.I attended your public speaking course back in September in Bristol. I was to do a best man speech for my brother in October back in Ireland. 
The speech went really well and I felt comfortable in front of the packed ballroom!

I was told I should be a politician I looked so at ease!

I gained a lot from your course, the confidence to look the audience in the eye and be comfortable being the centre of attention.
Thanks for showing me the skills to dramatically improve my public speaking.
All the best and Happy New Year!
C.

 

feedback December 2013

Dear John,
I was in your 2-day course in London in October, and finally got to put my new skills to the test over this past weekend at aconference
I just wanted to let you know that because of taking your workshop, I finally reached my long-awaited turning point!!  During my 30-minute presentation, I actually felt unafraid - even comfortable - in front of a crowd of about 40 academics.  I made eye contact, my voice didn't shake, I felt confident - a very bizarre feeling!  There was even a point when I realised that I really ENJOYED being at the podium.  Afterward, some of my peers in the audience said that I looked like I had been professor for years already.  It was such a great feeling, especially to know that I can continue forward with my career unafraid.
So, THANK YOU so much for all of your help in getting me past my fears of taking my place in the world.  Your class was so helpful, and I am certain that it has made all the difference.
Janet

I would highly recommend doing this course - It has been the most useful course on public speaking that I have been on.
Sarah Shannon

 

Hi John,
I really enjoyed the course on Friday. I can see the lessons I learned rippling beyond my public speaking. Answers to questions are below.

What did you want from the course?
To begin to address my stifling fear of public speaking and learn a few neat tricks.

Did you get it?
I got more than I had anticipated, rather than it being about neat tricks it was about addressing the fundamental feeling of being the centre of attention and standing in front of blank faces. This was a little revelation and I now feel a lot more positive about public speaking.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I have thought about this but can't think of anything really.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I enjoyed the gentleness and camaraderie that was present, and the safe environment that you created.


Maybe see you next year for a two day course if timings allow.
Best Wishes,
Tara Quinn
 

feedback November 2013

I really enjoyed the 2 days. I liked the fact the emphasis was on you as you are and that you do not have to become a dazzling new personality overnight or at all. I think the emphasis on being comfortable in your own skin was essential.
A really strange thing is the sheer calmness I felt in the days following the course. I'm pretty chilled out anyway but I felt an extraordinary calm which was incredible.

Like I any endeavour public speaking requires practice. However what I learnt from the course is that it is not only the 'big speeches' that are public speaking but really how you relate to the world. I thought it was a Super course and I really enjoyed it. It was well worth my travelling to Bristol. The best compliment I can pay is that I will definitely be interested in John's future courses.
Kiran

 

The length, location and structure of the course are spot on. John is very good at relaxing people and encouraging involvement which benefits all the attendees.
I went on this course with no real expectations and an open mind as I had never done any public speaking courses before. What I particularly enjoyed about this course is that it cuts to the heart of the problem by addressing the root cause of nerves rather than the content of what is being discussed, which I assume, most mainstream public speaking courses would do.
David

 

Dear John,
I’ve been meaning to write to say thank you for quite some time.
I attended the course earlier in the year as I had a real fear of public speaking and I was dreading my Grooms role at my wedding in June.
I am pleased to say that the wedding went really well and because of the course I felt much more in control in the build up and on the day itself.
I was still nervous about doing the ‘speech’ but the key points I took away from the course, of approaching it as a conversation and speaking directly to people, worked really well and looking back on I can say that I almost enjoyed it!  Lots of people said how good it was and how relaxed I looked which was nice to hear!
Thanks for your help in making this possible.  
Best wishes,
Neil

 

Hi John,

Thank you very much for the course, I very much enjoyed it and felt I learnt a lot of from it and taken things that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

Genuine, sincere teaching, with practical advice on how to deal or to act more effectively within the group.  I liked the fact the course was conducted in a very safe, non threatening environment, where each participant could try to completely be themselves, I liked the message of just trying to be comfortable with yourself and not try to "perform".  I also liked the way the course was advertised and marketed in a clear, honest way and the fact that you aren't trying to trick people into thinking that they will become the next Obama but will make people feel more comfortable in standing in front of others.
best wishes,
Richard

 

Feedback:
What did you want from the course?
To become more confident at presenting.
To overcome the fear that comes with presenting.

Did you get it?
3 days following the course, I was to give a presentation to an audience of about 40 people. I felt the most comfortable I have ever felt in my entire life.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I was completely satisfied with the way the course was organised.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I was provided with a very supportive audience and felt very comfortable the whole time. Everyone on the course was in the same boat and everyone helped each other.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
This course, unlike others, addresses the very fundamentals of public speaking. What's the point in learning how to create an amazing powerpoint presentation when you can't deliver it? This was a great course and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has trouble with public speaking.

Occupation: Student
name withheld

 

Dear John
Just wanted to touch base with you and thank you wholeheartedly for offering me insights as you did on Saturday. Having been in medicine for nearly 20 years and a GP for 10, I am embarrassed to say that most of the content of Saturdays course was a complete revelation to me and pound for pound undoubtably the most effective self awareness and improvement course I have attended.
I have been using some of the techniques this week in clinic and it's fabulous. I felt completely enthralled the whole day and really didn't want it to finish and I am convincing my wife who has a speech to do to give it a go and come for a course even just for self confidence.
I have realised that so much of the conventional tuition if there is any in professional life is misguided and your techniques are very sound and inspiring. I cannot thank you enough. Loved the location, very very stimulating. I can't really add anything that needs to be changed, it was perfectly pitched and a pleasure to have attended. One of my passions is life is to be in company of other professionals who are as passionate about their field as i am and it was a great day.

Will Mangar

 

feedback October 2013

 

Lee, Pina, Elizabeth and Alex's feedback from the same two day course in London in October 2013

 

Lee's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I was looking to get over my anxiety of public speaking, I’m a very confident person in every other aspect of my life and I was sick of feeling so nervous around public speaking.

Did you get it?
I can’t describe how far I’ve come over the two day course, I’m not sure I've completely shed it but WOW what a difference. What I do know for sure is I now know it’s possible for me to become a confident speaker whereas before I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
John was a fantastic facilitator, he made the whole experience calm, relaxing, insightful and very beneficial. The only adjustment I would have liked is a little feedback on how I progressed over the two days.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Everything, very insightful, gets right to the root of public speaking anxiety. As I mentioned this coure has changed my life when it comes to public speaking.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
If you have any anxiety around public speaking, whether it’s giving presentations or speeches you HAVE to do this course.
 

Pina's feedback

What did you want from the course?
To be in a safe place when I first did a chat (speech) and learn how to control my fear

Did you get it?
yes

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Make it longer or over 2 weekends..to practice more and prepare a talk and talk it out for 15 minutes..(she says AFTER the course!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
It was authentic, kind, gentle, encouraging, brilliant and interesting

Pina Patane

 

Dear John,
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and meeting everyone.
It was a real privilege to be invited into people’s lives and share their fears, hopes and dreams with them for a short while and thinking about taking my place in the world did me a lot of good.
Thank you very much for everything you did to make the weekend so successful. It really worked!
Please see my answers below.
Warm wishes,
Elizabeth


Elizabeth's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel more comfortable in front of an ‘audience’, to find a way out of feeling like an animal trapped in the headlights whenever everyone’s attention is on me as it’s made me less coherent and articulate that I feel when I speak to one or two people at a time.

Did you get it?
Yes, i believe I did. I’m off to a good start but also now understand it is a journey.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Hmm... I’m not sure. I have nothing to add here.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
There wasn’t anything I didn’t like but to highlight a few things I found particularly useful: very good group size, the parameters you set out at the beginning (the requests and invitations), the amount of opportunities to practice, the fact that it was ok not to feel comfortable and not feel ridiculous for it and also getting used to blank faces, that really helped me.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish –
Your respect for the process and each individual coupled with the above mentioned parameters created a really safe environment to explore issues that it can be hard to explore in the outside world.

Elizabeth Bagger

 

Hi John, 

Thank you so much for the weekend, I feel very encouraged. I really do appreciate the support and time which you gave to me, I thought the course was fantastic! 

Thank you once again. 

Take Care

Alex

 

Alex's feedback

What did you want from the course?

I wanted to able to speak in front of people without feeling so anxious and worried and I wanted to not be petrified every time the word presentation was mentioned. I also wanted to feelconfident when working in my chosen field as part of my role is to advocate for other people.


Did you get it?

Yes I definitely got what I wanted from the course. I feel I made huge steps but that I need to practice the techniques given to me in order to progress further. I feel very encouraged from the course though.


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

I thought that the course was fantastic as it is.  


What did you like about the course/facilitation?

John was very enthusiastic and open. I felt extremely supported by John and the group and I felt comfortable expressing myself even though being emotional makes me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable usually.  


Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

I would recommend this course to anyone who fears public speaking. The course is extremely beneficial and helps you using a holistic approach. This is the safest place to practice public speaking and start to overcome your fear. John is excellent at what he does, I don't think anyone could of supported me or made me feel more comfortable with myself.

Alex Hughes

a few weeks later Alex sends me this email

I had to run a seminar today for university in a group for 10 minutes. I wanted to let you know what a difference I have felt since your course. I felt much more comfortable, less nervous and in control of myself. I spoke with confidence. I am so pleased with this change. Thank you so much for helping me! Your course really has worked for me.
Thank you so much.
Alex

feedback September 2013

I was very nervous, but through your gentleness and connection with every person in the room you immediately made me feel at ease.  I felt supported throughout the day, and that made an ENORMOUS difference to the amount I was willing to put myself out there and the progress I was able to make. 

I also really liked the course content. My fear is definitely rooted in a lot of the areas you raised, and the metaphor of being comfortable in my own space and to be able to hold my own space really rang true.  I also really liked the evolutionary part of it (there is a lovely book on The Compassion Mind written by Paul Gilbert which covers quite similar stuff and is v interesting, if you haven’t read already!).

Finally, I really liked the fact that the course was so geared at those who are really nervous.  It made an enormous difference – and finally meant I was able to break the cycle of more practicing and thinking about public speaking = more fear.

This was the best course (on public speaking and anything else!) I have ever been on,. Thank you!

Lizzie

 

What did you want from the course?

I wanted to understand more about what was happening to me every time I even thought about public speaking, and some tools for helping me deal with the difficult feelings that arose.

Did you get it?

I did.  The course was excellent in that it understood that a fear of public speaking is a complex phenomenon – and that only by peeling back the various layers and starting at the very beginning can we can progress.  In this way, it rightfully never packaged itself as a quick pill sort of solution – but I really hope it taught me things that will mean I can begin the steady trajectory to finding things more comfortable.

It also gave me things I didn’t expect- the most powerful of which was the sense of comraderie that others go through this too.


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

The only area for improvement that I can see would be for you to get in touch with people after the course for a small amount of personal feedback.  I appreciate that this would be more time consuming (and you may not always want to be initiating potentially long conversations with all of your attendees), but I think because the course was so personal for everyone, it might make a really big and positive impact. Nothing very long – just a personal acknowledgement of the journey that person had been on, their contribution to the course and an encouraging comment about their progress would be really helpful.


What did you like about the course/facilitation?

I liked so much!  You were a fantastic facilitator- I was very nervous, but through your gentleness and connection with every person in the room you immediately made me feel at ease.  I felt supported throughout the day, and that made an ENORMOUS difference to the amount I was willing to put myself out there and the progress I was able to make.  I also really admired that you were able to be vulnerable with us yourself – I think that helped a lot of people put down their defensive walls.

I also really liked the course content. My fear is definitely rooted in a lot of the areas you raised, and the metaphor of being comfortable in my own space and to be able to hold my own space really rang true.  I also really liked the evolutionary part of it (there is a lovely book on The Compassion Mind written by Paul Gilbert which covers quite similar stuff and is v interesting, if you haven’t read already!).

Finally, I really liked the fact that the course was so geared at those who are really nervous.  It made an enormous difference – and finally meant I was able to break the cycle of more practicing and thinking about public speaking = more fear.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

This was the best course (on public speaking and anything else!) I have ever been on,. Thank you!
Lizzie

feedback July 2013

Dear John,
I had such a wonderful time on your course, I wouldn't have believed you could make such a scary thing like public speaking seem so comfortable and relaxed.  Your passion for what you do and what you teach really shined through it was really inspiring.   
 
What did you want from the course?
To be better in meetings and feel able to contribute more, also to look at public speaking and see if it was something I could enjoy and possibly see if it gives me any direction in my career.   

Did you get it?
I got what I wanted from the day but I now want more.  :-)   

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The Course content - Nothing, it really was fantastic.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved how you set the expectations, making the space safe and non-judgemental so public speaking could be explored freely.  I liked your use of stories and your calmness it made me feel very comfortable.  I really liked the amount of speaking we each had to do, it wasn't too much and not too little.  The way you made the course about testing out and playing with public speaking rather than performing or pretending was great, I took from the day that its ok to acknowledge the fear and see it for what it is, then learning to be comfortable with it. 

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I learned a lot from you during the day and really felt inspired.  I think it is such a wonderful way you teach, I loved the "cant be bothered" approach.  I really learned a lot about myself and my brain on your course.  I would really like to hear more about the effects on society you mentioned at the beginning of the day.  I hope to look at attending the two day course in October.   

Thank you for putting on such a wonderful and life enhancing course.
Kind regards
Joanne Howard

 

Dear John

I just wanted to thank you for the course. I'm doing my MBA and attended 3 days of lectures, including the round the table introductions and some simulations. All went brilliantly and I really enjoyed it all, getting feedback that I was calm and confident in my simulations. I'm sure success builds confidence and can't wait to continue on this road.
 

Here are my answers to the feedback questionnaire:

What did you want from the course? More confidence in talking and bringing my thoughts out.
Did you get it? Yes, the course was great. It helped me lower my fear of failure when speaking, I'm more confident now.
What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing, it's great as it is.

kind regards
Maarit

_______________________________

 

pitching for business investment

Hi John,
I wanted to give you some feedback as to how it went last Wednesday.
I was totally shattered with nerves, but as soon as I got upfront I could see 'blank faces' and started to have a 'chat'. I was calm, steady with no nerves. It was the best presentation I have ever done and voted best pitch of the night. I have 17 interested parties and have been invited to speak at another event on Tuesday, Google House (50 investors). It went spectacularly well. The story worked beautifully and the finish got a few smiles and a huge round of applause.

Thank you for all your help, could not have done it with out your training!

cheers

Rob

_______________________________

Dear John,

I like to thank you for working with me and encouraging me to come out of my comfort zone and to challenge some of the preconceived and negative ideas I held about public speaking and of myself.  I enjoyed the course a lot and although at first I was very apprehensive and nervous about attending the course, I am so glad I decided to go. It turned out to be the best decision of my life.  I learned so much and I hope to put what I learned into practice in my day to day life.  Thank you so much for the push in the right direction.  
Thanks
Hafsa
 
What did you want from the course?
I wanted to overcome my fear of public speaking and of being the centre of attention.  I wanted to stop the feelings of dread I go through every time I hear the words 'presentation', 'talk' or 'speech' and to stop worrying that at any given moment out of the blue I may suddenly be called upon to give my opinion in a meeting, or give a briefing or a presentation or perform in some way etc.  I wanted to stop the fear from controlling the rest of my life and to learn to enjoy public speaking for a change!
 
Did you get it?
Yes, I did.  The introduction to relational presence helped me to be 'present' when facing an audience and to feel comfortable seeing and being seen by them.  It also helped to know that the blank faces we often see in the audience are simply listening faces and not hostile faces so there is no point in wasting energy  trying to read those blank faces wondering if they like you or not.  It is always best to assume support from the audience unless proved otherwise which is something John taught us in the class.   For me, one of the most important things I learned was that it was possible for me to be standing in front of an audience feeling very nervous but accepting that nervousness and still being able to deliver my speech.  I was able to stop the fear from spiralling out of control into a full blown panic attack.  I learned that it was ok to be nervous, to have my heart racing and my voice shaking a little and still talk to the group. 
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I wouldn't change a thing.  The course was structured very nicely and I got what I expected out of the course.  The course was a foundation level course addressing the fear issue surrounding public speaking situations.  We explored what gets it the way for us when we have to do any public speaking and there are plenty of exercises to help us to feel comfortable facing an audience and to 'stand still in our inner storm'.    For those of us out there who are terrified of public speaking, this is the best place to start.  It may be a good idea to introduce other similar courses building on from this basic foundation level which should be open to those who have a real issue with public speaking so as to maintain that support group environment. 
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The best thing about this course for me was that it wasn't about how to structure and deliver a speech.  It was about our feelings and emotions surrounding public speaking situations.  We explored what gets in the way for us when we have to do any public speaking and I'm glad John focused his discussions on that aspect as it gave us all a chance to be open and honest about how we feel and how terrified we are about public speaking.  For me, acknowledging my fears openly in a supportive environment was in itself the start of the healing process.  Once I was able to talk about it with the group, I felt I could now start dealing with my fear as it was no longer a 'hidden secret'. I also liked the fact that we explored other areas such as critical thinking, having a negative/positive mindset, about perceptions and about self-esteem.  John was a great facilitator and made a point of asking each one of us how we felt after each of the exercises and it was interesting that he asked us to evaluate our own performance and if it was so out of sync with how everybody else in the group saw us he would ask feedback from them.  The feedback was amazing and an eye-opener.  A lot of negative self-perceptions were shattered during this course.    
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish.
For anyone out there who is terrified of public speaking and have been living a life of avoidance then I would highly recommend this course to them.  The course facilitated by John who is really understanding will help you in tackling some of that fear.  It's not a magic cure.  You won't suddenly become this fearless public speaker that you always wanted to be but John will give you the tools and the understanding to keep on tackling your fear of public speaking long after the course has ended.  It will be a starting step in the right direction and you will learn to work with your fear and not against it. 


Hope this helps.
Hafsa

_______________________________

Hi John,

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner but I wanted to test out how I was in an actual presentation. As I said to the group and yourself at the end, I was really pleased with the days work and felt I could actually do this but you are never sure until you try it for real. I have just had to do a presentation today and I felt so at ease it was incredible! I delivered a great presentation, maintaining eye contact and assuming support.

 

I cannot thank you enough, it is a huge weight off my shoulders! Here is my feedback:

 

What did you want from the course? 

I am a student at a University meaning presentations are very frequent. I struggle with having the attention completely on me and this was especially so in presentations and reading out loud. I wasn't after doing a great presentation, just being able to do it, simple as that!

 

 

Did you get it?

I got more than I ever wished possible! No one who doesn't have these severe anxiety problems will ever know what a burden it has on your life in so many areas. It feels like there is no way of defeating this problem, but with John you can! I cannot believe the difference! I just delivered a fantastic presentation (if I may say so myself!) with absolute ease, I even enjoyed it! I was wanting to just be able to do a presentation but now I can do it with all the presentation skills just from one day of work. The main thing that helped me was the chatting aspect of the presentation as opposed to addressing a whole audience.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

Honestly, I don't really know. It's a miracle for me. The only thing I could say is that possibly we could of had the option to do a presentation using a powerpoint but I don't know if that will undo the training and quite frankly I didn't need it!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

I was nervous going into the course as I had no idea what to expect but the course was incredible at breaking you in without rushing things. My group were incredible, I liked every single one of the brave people that were on the course and I hope they had as much success as I have had. The day went by really quickly which showed how much I actually enjoyed the day.
I cannot thank you enough!
Many thanks,
Stefan

_______________________________

 

Hi John,
Just wanted to let you know that I ran my tutorial yesterday and it went really well. They were really engaged and asked lots of questions.Thank you - your course has made a real difference, the tutorial was student focused and interactive and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it if I hadn’t gone on your courses earlier in the year.

Best wishes,
A.

feedback June 2013

Dear John

 I attended one of your weekend courses in Bristol last November. At the time I was terrified of, and not terribly good at speaking in front of large groups despite having done so many times over my life. In March I sat on a technical panel at a conference in front of 100 delegates and debated with the CEO of a large national company. My arguments were clear, concise and well structured; I had practiced. Most importantly, I was no longer afraid of speaking in front of the group, I was confident enough to ‘take my place in the room’.

Last weekend I delivered a Best man’s speech to over 200 people. It was 10 minutes long and had the audience vacillating between tears and laughter the whole time, it was one of the best moments of my life. You set me on an amazing and exciting path of discovery in public speaking and for that I am eternally grateful. Best wishes
Ed

___________________________________

Dear John
I did my speech Friday. The speech went really well ! It lasted around 3 mins and everyone was laughing ,the groom was so happy with me and didn't expect it ,and literally everyone was shaking my hand at the end of it,I was of course nervous and you could hear in my voice that i was nervous but it didn't really bother me,i could easily do it again if asked.
Considering i have left college courses because of my fear of public speaking and numerous events my life has changed so much,i have been more social and speaking more confidently with friends and family, the main thing i learnt from the course was the talking to blank faces with ease ,its so simple but so beneficial!
Ben

feedback May 2013

Hi John,
Thank you again for running a fantastic course. I feel full of energy and hope for the future in many aspects of my life. What a great bunch of people too! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Very best wishes,
Miranda.

What did you want from the course? 

I wanted to feel more confident being looked at; being seen. I wanted to come away from it feeling bold enough to deliver some presentations in my work place

Did you get it?
Yes! The course provided a great stage to practise on. It felt like I was given the time and space to explore my feelings and reactions to being in the spotlight. 

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

What did you like about the course/facilitation? 
John empowered us to challenge ourselves. He provided us with the key elements we needed to perform in front of an audience and then let us play! 

The environment he created felt safe and therefore he removed from us an incredible pressure "to get it right". There was the right balance of : new information, discussion, practise and encouragement. 

This wasn't a course about being told loads of stuff and it wasn't a course about being praised every time you managed to utter a sentence! It was a course about gently re-evaluating your responses to the challenges set. 


Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

By observing the progress of others in the group I received all the feedback I needed. The course works! Well done John!!

occupation: Veterinary Surgeon
 

feedback April 2013

Hi John

Thank you so much for yesterday, it was fantastic.
All the best,
Siobhan

What did you want from the course?
I wanted some techniques to help me present, and a method by which to calm rising panic and nerves, which I get when presenting, along with rushing and missing out a lot of information.

Did you get it?
I think I did get it, yes. I found that it seemed to be aimed towards all of the weaknesses that I have in myself, that make me fear and dread officially becoming a professional individual (via this exam I’ve got next week) From attending this course I have learned a set of principles to help me set aside my fear of presenting myself (either in a presentation scenario or written work…also often even just making phone calls when other people are in the office!).

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I think that the course and the facilitation were of such a high standard that it is well beyond me to suggest any ways for it to be improved upon.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I think that your way of welcoming people and your approach was pitched exactly right to bring out what was needed from everybody. I feel, as many other reviews seem to say, that there is just something quite different about this course than any other course I have been on. The effect of implementing the techniques taught, even just after a couple of hours, were astounding. It’s SO nice to share with others and watch the confidence of others grow just within the session, absolutely amazing

Siobhan

_____________________________________________

What did you want from the course?

To begin a journey where I am no longer afraid or intimidated by public speaking.  I had no illusions of there beinga ‘1 day fix’ but I wanted a starting point and something to build on.

Did you get it?

Absolutely.  I feel that I have some tools now to build on and am keen to see where it takes me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

I genuinely cannot think of anything.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

The area and building where the course was held was great, as was the information leading up to it (I took advantage of the suggestion for Wapping Wharf car park).  Each segment flowed into the next and by the end of the day I had a clear picture of why I feel nervous public speaking and what steps I can do to overcome these feelings.

John was fantastic, one of the most patient and knowledgeable tutors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Phil Rowberry

_____________________________________________

I thought the (weekend) course was outstanding and provided me with a great opportunity to increase my confidence and meet some really nice people. It was nice to feel I could be myself and just be accepted by the people around me, this was genuinely a life changing experience.
Steff

_____________________________________________

Dear John.
Thanks so much for last weekend. It was so worthwhile and I'm so glad I came along. And what a lovely group of people! I have completed your questions below. Thanks again.
Nina
 

What did you want from the course?
To be comfortable being the centre of attention and not feel so worried if I need to speak       publicly. Also, to not panic it about it for weeks beforehand.

Did you get it?
Absolutely. It made complete sense. 

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Can't think of anything.  Apart from the room was slightly cold!

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really like the balance of theory and speaking practice.  It's such a simple idea but works so effectively. It was like a breath of fresh air!

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
John is brilliant. Everything made so much sense when he explained everything so clearly. He is clearly passionate about his job and it really comes across on the course. I'm so pleased I decided to come along.
Nina
 

feedback March 2013

Hi John,
Hope you are well.  I just wanted to let you know that I managed to do a 10 min presentation in front of 20 people the other week as a result of your course!  It is a great feeling to know that I have done it and it went well, it has given me confidence to do it again with more ease!
Thanks a lot
Liz

______________________________________________

I run around 10 days a year for the Severn Deanery for NHS consultants and tutors. Here is some feedback from those courses.

An excellent day and far more effective than I had expected" ,

"Perfect session - I recommend that this training is given to everyone whose job involves interaction with other colleagues", "

Fantastically useful, highly recommended ",

"A really good course for all levels of staff. Particularly useful in view of my teaching role."

"It was great as it was – very experiential course which was what I needed – will highly recommend this course to others"

"It was one of the best(work-related) days I have had for a long time"

 

the first four reviews listed are all from the same day course in March

Simon's feedback from a one day course

What did you want from the course?
To become more at ease with the emotional baggage that surrounds the prospect and experience of public speaking / being the centre of attention. To get help overcoming those emotions so that I am able to do myself more justice in my life – ‘take my place’.

Did you get it?
I thought the course was outstanding, incredibly valuable – provided a really unique opportunity to practice and become more comfortable in situations, and some good pointers as to how you can take that away and into practice in every day life.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Very little as far as I’m concerned – for a day course I think it achieves a massive amount.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The best thing about it was the interaction and the opportunities to practice – also the most daunting thing, but the atmosphere that is created in the group is so positive that it allows for a ‘breakthrough’ experience.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Generally, I really think this course is amazing. It’s so much more than just public speaking – it taps into psychology … and I think that is what is most valuable, because that is where all the issues stem from. I found the course to be enlightening, almost overwhelming to be able to openly discuss these emotions that I have felt, and bottled up, for so many years, all associated with public speaking / being centre of attention.

 

All the best and many thanks once again – I paid 130 pound for the course, and I struggle to think of anything more worthwhile that I have spent my money on. Now the challenge is to make the best use out of it in my everyday life.
All the best,
Simon

 

linkedin review 6th March 2013

"A truly brilliant, stand-out facilitator for public speaking. John is trustworthy, very knowledgeable and highly expert. I experienced a day-long class where John gave wisdom, energy and commitment to my learning. John is a wonderful teacher. I learnt so much! Very highly recommended."
Stephen Ashurst
Consultant, Entrepreneur

 

What did you want from the course?

To gain more confidence in standing up in front of a room full of people.  This will help me in a work context to give presentations and make contributions in meetings.  More generally, it would great if the course could equip me to feel more confident when I’m the centre of attention.  I’m getting married in July and even though the room will be full of family and friends, being the centre of attention is still rather daunting.  If I came away from the course with the skills to tackle this kind of situation that would be a brilliant outcome!

Did you get it?

Yes – looking back at the comments I made before I came on the course it’s fair to say that the course met and exceeded my expectations.  I did come on the course expecting it to help, but because being the centre of attention has always been so difficult for me, I was a little dubious about how much it would or could change me.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

I can’t think of anything that you could have improved.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

It made such a difference to come to a course where I felt included and valued.  I really liked how you asked for every participant’s comments after each exercise, and that you made a point of asking us individually when we weren’t bold enough to speak up.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
 

It really has made a huge difference to me already by completely changing my mindset, and I know that this is just the start.  I attended a regular group meeting a few days after the course.  I usually feel like I’m shrinking into the chair at that meeting and feel that I can’t share my thoughts because nobody wants to hear them, or that they’ll think I’m stupid.  This time it was different!  I felt relaxed(!) and when I thought of things to say I just said them without agonising over whether I should.  I connected with the faces in the room as I spoke and I didn’t need to seek their approval as I looked round.  It was so liberating and I left really energised and happy rather than beaten down by my negative thinking – such an amazing difference!  As I practice the relational presence approach in more situations I’m sure that I’ll continue to feel more comfortable and confident in myself.  When I tried on my wedding dress again last weekend I also felt so different.  I felt comfortable in my skin and even excited that I’ll be able to stand up in front on all those people on my wedding day because I can be myself.  Thank you so much John for transforming my thought patterns and breaking down those barriers to being seen by others.

Kind regards

A.

Dear John

Thank you for the experience.  I found it rather an incredible day, it's not often that something can have an impact on the way you see the world, or more accurately how you see yourself within in.


The psychology of your course is what really appealed to me.   You seem to understand that presenting isn't really about presenting itself, but really driven by self-confidence (... well a lack of it anyway).  The people on the course were fantastic too.

 

 What did you want from the course?
To gain the confidence to speak in front of public.

Did you get it?
The course opened my eyes to some very important realisations about myself, and how these affected my ability to speak in public.  The course showed me that there is another way to view what I previously thought was the most terrifying experience imaginable.
 

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
The course was fantastic, all I would change (and this is a personal view) is the final presentation I felt that I was trying to concentrate on what I was saying, rather than being in front on people

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

It was an incredibly friendly, supportive environment.  The advice was simple when put into words, but immense when put into practice.
Steve

 

___________________________________________

Dear John
I attended your course in December last year. I found the course very helpful and just wanted to share the fact that I recently gave a speech to over 200 people and had some great feedback. This is in no small part due to what I learned on that day back in Dec.
So thanks, Matthew

 

 

feedback Feb 2013

Dear John

At last, after a very busy rest-of-weekend, I have time to sit down and thank you properly for a superb two days. I learned so much and enjoyed the whole (presentation) programme enormously. The people were wonderful, your facilitation masterly, the process stimulating and the results powerful. I'm now looking forward to doing my TEDx talk, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the prospect!

Rob Weston

 

Hi John,
Your (presentation) course was absolutely what I needed, I found it hugely beneficial and it has already made a big difference to how I talk to groups of people.
The work that we did with presence was a revelation for me and it showed me that there is much more to presenting than just standing up and talking confidently.
Combined with punch, stories and a good ending your ABC=D approach makes complete sense to me and it provides a really good structure for both writing and delivering presentations that I am going to use from now on.
I can't fault the choice of venue, having enough space to move around was ideal and being located close to the food market was a bonus.
I am more than happy for you to use my name, occupation or company anywhere you want to.
All the best.
Ade Lewis
Director and Seo Consultant at Teapot Creative 

feedback January 2013

 

Hi John
Thought I would give you an update on how the best man’s speech went. Overall it was great! I wasn’t too nervous at all beforehand (no speeding heartbeat) which meant I could enjoy the day. I had a couple of beers but matched each beer with water so I was reasonably sober when I spoke.
The speech went really well and I think a combination of being at ease in front of a group (which came directly from your course), talking directly to the groom and bride, being comfortable with the content of the speech and practicing it a number of times really helped. I got a lot of positive comments afterwards. I am looking forward to developing my presentations skills further into a work environment. While there is more work to do, I really think I have turned the corner which is a huge relief. So a massive thank you for your encouragement and words of wisdom.
Kind regards
Tim

feedback December 2012

Dear John

Just found out that I won my employment tribunal case.  The panel decided unanimously that I was unfairly dismissed (constructive dismissal because I resigned).

Pretty positive feedback for your course - there is no way I would have withstood 9 hours of cross examination unless I was able to take my place.

K

 

James's feedback

What did you want from the course?
The ability to feel more comfortable when addressing a large group of strangers.

Did you get it?
Yes I believe so. The course has made me realise I needed to be more supportive of myself which is easily achievable by implementing basic fundamentals which John explains very well.

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

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the simplicity of the course and light heartedness of which it is explained. At no point did I feel pressurised to participate in certain activities.  

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I attended the course to help me progress in my work life and was genuinely impressed by the approach John took. It certainly made me think in a positive light about public speaking and I now look forward to practicing my new skills in the real world. It was nice to share stories with other members and realise that most people feel the same as yourself. I will be recommending this course to colleagues and friends.
Thanks once again John.
James

 

_______________________________

 

Elizabeth's feedback

Thank you for a very helpful and enjoyable course last Friday. 
It is excellent to have found an approach which actually does help!

What did you want from the course?
I wanted some practical strategies for tackling the problems I have had for many years with speaking to an audience.

Did you get it? 

Yes. The course was very helpful indeed.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?  
I can’t think of any way in which the programme for the day or the facilitation could be improved.  


What did you like about the course/facilitation? 

• You established a very supportive atmosphere in the group.

• The pace was just right over the day: not hurried, but not slow.

• I liked the fact that there were several opportunities to practise speaking in front of the group.

• I liked the fact that the course combined explanations as to why we can feel so nervous with very practical strategies for approaching public speaking in the future
 

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The course actually addresses the real issue and the causes of the fear.  It is the only course that I found on the internet that seems to do that.  It is fantastic to have found an approach which actually understands the problem.  I gained an enormous amount from the day. I would like to do a second course sometime soon.
Elizabeth

feedback November 2012

 

Gabi's feedback

What did you want from the course?  
I wanted to learn ways to avoid the fear I feel when doing presentations at work. I was hoping that if I learn new ways to present/talk to an audience I will consequently feel less fear and discomfort and then talking to an audience will be an enjoyable affair.

Did you get it?  
Absolutely! I learned that fear is natural and I learned techniques to ‘quiet the storm’. What makes your course unique is that not only you taught me the techniques but I also practiced and practiced the new technique on the day so I could digest the new info and experience how it feels to apply it. It is a fantastic feeling knowing that I can be in front of an audience now and I am OK and if I get nervous or get an adrenaline rush I can mange that.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?  
I think the course is fantastic, very helpful and well thought out. I felt a bit impatient when we talked about the “wobbly tray of stuff”, For me it felt like I got it quite quickly and we spent too much time talking about it, I felt anxious to move on a bit faster.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?  
My favourite aspect was that we got the chance to stand up and practice the new techniques under your guidance, I think that is really valuable! I loved how you set up the supportive environment so everyone could conquer their personal fears and in a positive environment move on. I’ve heard of many courses where you get filmed and then watch yourself perform - so much scope for our critical little voice to have a massive party! I am very happy you didn’t go for this approach!  Your course is positive, gentle and supportive; it was so beautiful to see each of us starting to show our authentic self.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish:    
Thank you John, such an honour to work with you, I would happily recommend your course to everyone, each of us could really benefit from gaining the confidence to speak in public under your gentle and positive coaching.

Gabi Gogan (Volunteer Services Manager at GAVCA).

_______________________________________________

Roy's feedback

What did you want from the course?
The ability to improve my public speaking, specifically to focus my content to the audience and feel more confident doing so

Did you get it?
I got some of it and a lot more! What I did get was an ability to connect with the audience, and the freedom to speak and share what I truly wanted to say. A big sense of freedom to be myself, authentic without feeling I was being judged, ‘assume support!’

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I can’t think of anything

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The course is easy going yet focused and gentle. It takes you on a journey, step by step allowing you to grasp speaking in front of people but also it helps deal with the mind chatter that creates the panic and fears of speaking in front of people. In no time at all you find yourself speaking to the group with ease and hardly any anxiety.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
“This is far more than a Public Speaking course, it’s a life changing course with public speaking! Having attended other courses which spend lots of time on technique and approach but very little on emotional connection, John’s course was very refreshing. He gently takes you on a journey and in no time at all your confidence grows and you find yourself speaking freely without really thinking or worrying about it.
I watched very scared people on day one share with confidence, humour and clarity by the end of day two – and they felt good about themselves too!
Professional, enlightening, gentle and successful! Anyone who speaks in front of people or is looking to needs to attend this course with John
Roy Martin,  Personal and Business Development Consultant

_________________________________________________

Marcus's feedback


What did you want from the course?
More confidence in putting my points across in a public setting


Did you get it?
Yes   - very much so; but I will now need to embed it through practice


What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
It was excellent – I have nothing of any substance to add here.


What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Excellent sensitive, inclusive and supportive facilitation.

Marcus Grant
Associate Professor for Healthy Urban Environments

____________________________________________________________

Hilary's feedback

What did you want from the course? 
To feel more comfortable when I think I'm the centre of attention.

Did you get it?
Yes, and more.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? 
Really liked the simplicity of it.  No flashy 'course pack' to take away, no slides, no power point, no gimmicks. Just a couple of flipcharts, and really quite straightforward advice.  Loads of opportunities to keep trying stuff until it felt comfortable.  Really quite a hands on, practical approach, and the bits of theoretical advice were very easy to remember.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I honestly think this might be the most useful learning experience I've ever had in my life.

Thanks for the additional information, and thanks again for the really helpful course!
Hilary

 _________________________________________________________

Hi John
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you and to tell you know just how much the course helped me. I came on the course primarily to help me prepare for the speech I knew I would have to make at my wedding. Well I have to say it was incredible. Not the speech (!), the speech was OK but just the overall feeling of calm before hand where previously I would have been terrified. And when I was up there doing my thing I felt fine; dare I say I almost enjoyed it!!
All the best
Mark

feedback October 2012

 

Zoe's feedback

I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you SO much for such a brilliant and inspiring course on Friday.  I wasn't entirely sure why I booked onto it initially, as you know, but by the end of the day I felt like I'd cleared out a closet and dumped a whole load of old clothes that just weren't me anymore!  I had a spring in my step as I walked back to the train station afterwards and felt much clearer than I have in a long time.
Needless to say the experience has made a big difference to me.  It's like you turned a light on in a dark room and showed a small terrified child how see with fresh, kind eyes that there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Your laid back, unhurried approach was so refreshing and proved that you really don't have to be flashy and dramatic to show passion and belief in the message you are conveying.   I loved the way you took us through the process of public speaking step-by-step until everything just felt natural and light and the applications of this new approach are endless. It's great to feel so much more confident in myself knowing I no longer have to appear a certain way or attempt to hide in plain sight.
Thanks again John - I really feel your course is one of the best I have ever been on for any subject and I have been on a lot of courses over the years!
Very best wishes
Zoe

 ____________________________________________

Damian's feedback
The course is unlike any other I have done and certainly not like any other speaking training I have done.  I loved the way the course and group made me feel supported during the whole weekend. For me it [the course] was challenging but rewarding and for anyone who is uncomfortable being the centre of attention, highly recommended.
Damian

  ____________________________________________

Liza's feedback

What did you want from the course?
to feel better about standing in front of and talking to people and understand why I don’t like it.
Did you get it?
Yes on both counts – and understood more about the way I (and others) think and the effects it has on me in certain situations/life in general.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Excellent structure which achieved an awful lot more for me than simply improving my presentation skills.  The course was facilitated with insight, empathy and skill.  I have learned things which I will take with me through my life. It is the most worthwhile, effective course of any kind which I have been on. Thank you.

 ____________________________________________

Jo's feedback

What did you want from the course?

I wanted to be able to NOT be in constant fear that I might have to speak out in meetings or complete teaching/presentation. 

Did you get it?

I think I did get it!  Firstly something changed in me that made me eager to speak out when sitting in the group (previously I would have found even this hard!) and wanted to share my opinions with everyone and that they were worthwhile.  I have never spoken so confidently in a group situation.
Then I was actually able to speak in front of people and some of the time this felt ok!! The techniques allowed me to focus on one person at a time and not want to run out the room.  The work we did in pairs was invaluable too as it didn’t make a whole load of eyes and blank faces looking at me as scary.  I could think they are just eyes! I don’t need to think about what is behind them.  I started to not really care what people think of me and possibly absorb the positive feedback I was getting (in the end!)

I’m starting to realise that it’s very tiring and time consuming to be constantly trying to second guess what people are thinking, and quiet honestly they are probably not thinking of me at all!

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I’m honestly trying to think of some constructive criticism. 
My only concern is losing the confidence that has been made over the two days and would be beneficial to have another day perhaps 2 weeks after the course.  To then put into practice some of these ideas and then come back and practice again. 

However after writing this I guess that might be impractical? And would obviously bump the cost up.  Maybe offering a day refresher 2 weeks or month after course?  Something I thought afterwards that could of helped me was to rearrange the chairs to we were all sitting in circle something that would replicate a meeting for me about my patients.  So maybe encouraging us to think more about our own situations??

The actual 2 days I could not fault.

 What did you like about the course/facilitation?

Although I was terrified walking into the room you immediately addressed me and asked how I felt which somehow elevated some of my fears and allowed me to voice them. You chat so freely and easily it rubbed off onto us.  The pair work was a great introduction to blank faces/eyes and built me up to standing in front. 

You allowed us to talk about our physiological symptoms (which) was great I could see that others had the same issues and somehow allowed that to be ok.  It allowed me to still have them but realise that I will still be able to do it. I have been raving about the course to my friends so maybe you will see some of them soon.

 Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

I could not have been more scared at the beginning of this course and thought on the Saturday morning what have I put myself on! However you immediately made me feel at ease when I stepped into the class room.  I went through a roller-coaster of emotions but somehow carried on which is something I hadn’t done before. 

The techniques and exercises were just at the right pace and I could see a change being made throughout the course.

I have tried other methods in the past to try and deal with my fear of speaking out in groups but this is in another league.  It is probably one of the best things I have ever done and can’t recommend it enough. Somehow on the train home the grass looked greener and the sky bluer … I felt lighter.  

Thank you very much John.

Jo

________________________________________________________

What did you want from the course?
I’d like to be able to hold an audience better, be more comfortable and conversational /engaging in front of them. I often have to speak at meetings in front of say 20 people – who can be a bit demanding and sceptical - to update them on various legislative and policy issues that affect them. Sometimes the issues are really important to the audience, but not at all palatable and to make it worse often not straightforward to explain in a couple of sentences.
I’d like to be better at telling them what they need to know in a calm, concise, engaging and authoritative way and be better at ‘taking’ the reaction - which can range from indifference to scepticism to outrage – without feeling that the reaction is aimed at me personally.
I sense that when in this situation I am on edge, sometimes a bit scared (but better than I used to be) and in defensive mode and as a result thinking on my feet in response to a question can lead to my floundering around and not giving a very considered response.
Its as if the ‘reflective’ side of the brain is not available at the very moment I need it – whereas if I was more relaxed and conversational I could access it – indeed delivering in a more relaxed way may encourage less aggressive questioning/responses anyway. I hope this helps illustrate what I want to get out of the course.

Did you get it? Yes – the course provided some fundamentals that will help me achieve ALL of the above

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? I wouldn’t change anything

What did you like about the course/facilitation? Engaging and supportive facilitator. I liked how you concentrated on some key fundamentals in how to mentally prepare for public speaking and which will help if borne in mind when actually ‘taking the floor’. Achieving as far as possible a relaxed, non-defensive state of mind improves the experience for the deliverer and listener and the course was geared to achieving this approach. I liked the practical exercises also as it reinforced these fundamentals.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish – as well as being very useful, I enjoyed the day. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course/you John, to professional colleagues but also others in a non work sense who wish to gain greater confidence in speaking in public. Good value for money overall.

Many thanks again
Graham

 

________________________________

"I thought the course was very well managed and facilitated. John's presentation was wonderful. His enthusiasm for the material, his humour and energy made the day so much less confronting. I will certainly be recommending this course to anyone whom I think might benefit from it."
Kylie

________________________________

What did you want from the course ?
I wanted some tools to make me a more confident and effective speaker and communicator in a number of different arenas.

Did you get it?
I felt that I acquired not just some practical skills, but also a wholly different mindset to my relationship with the audience

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The whole format, the size of the group, the degree to which we were taken out of our comfort zones and challenged,
the way you facilitated and created such a supportive group amongst strangers so quickly and effectively,
the course content and your unique presentation style!
I thought it wonderful to see people grow in confidence and stature during the day, at times it was like a miraculous awakening - if that is not too over the top!
Kathy

Feedback September 2012

first a groom reports back

"By the way - my wedding speech went very well. I can't thank you enough for your help, without which I would have been a nervous wreck. I was still slightly nervous in the hour or so before doing it, but nowhere near as bad as if I hadn't done your evening classes. And I didn't fear doing it in the run up to the day, which had been my main worry and the reason I did your course. So thank you so much.
Cheers,
Andy.

and then father of a different bride reports back

Dear John,

The wedding went well, and by all accounts, so did my speech. I practised a lot and kept it fairly short, with honest praise for my daughter. Your course gave me the courage to 'take my place' in front of 140 people. At the age of 66, it was the first 'speech' in front of a large audience that I have made.

I arranged for a lapel mic, which worked well, I felt I could speak normally, and not have to worry about projecting my voice.

Thank you once again, for the fine course you presented to us all. It was just the what I needed to set me on the road to believing that I could do it, and not let my daughter down.

Best regards,

Ray

 

Linkedin Recommendation
"I enjoyed and continually reap the rewards of learning with John Dawson, I recommended him to a friend only yesterday!"

Johnny de Mearns

 

Feedback August 2012

feedback from a course particpant

What did you want from the course?

To learn skills that will help me feel more comfortable talking in groups

Did you get it?
The course has already made a big difference, more so than I could have expected and actually beyond just talking in a group.  Just keeping the ‘assume support unless proved otherwise’ mantra in my head for the last day has made me realise how often I assume negative judgements from others and how exhausting this is.  So for the last day I have practised not doing this and I can see what a difference it will make if I can successfully carry on, within close relationships as well as group situations.  For example in the evening after the course I met some people from work also with some people I didn't know and assuming support, giving myself a legitimate place and accepting myself already made a huge difference to how I felt in that group situation, I've also had a much more open conversation with my partner than I would have otherwise which is really important.  I wasn't expecting such instant improvements.  I also do feel more confident to take advantage of actual public speaking opportunities at work, to practise not caring about being perfect and the other techniques.

I feel hopeful that learning these kind of skills for a whole day within that group will help me keep this going long term and I will try really hard to do so. I will need to carry on practising the fundamentals we learned every day, but knowing those tools and having the chance to start practising them in a safe environment have made a real difference to how I feel. Overall I do feel revitalised and I've even done things that are seemingly unrelated like having the motivation to do jobs that I've been putting off. 

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? 

There wasn’t anything I’d change about the facilitation.  

What did you like about the course/facilitation?

It was very relaxed, you put everyone at ease and made sure everyone was included.  It was good to reminded of the fundamentals while standing in front of the group and having the chance to practise these skills repetitively. I appreciated the number of times you emphasised that we were in a supported environment at the beginning and throughout the day it made me feel emotional but it was good to have drummed in. The group support context was really good and I haven’t ever experienced that before. The sets of handouts are really useful too.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish

Just to say thank you John.  If I can hold onto this experience I think my life can change in ways that I’ve been trying to make happen on my own for a long time without managing and I can even see a clearer way to try get over difficult life events from the past.  I can’t emphasis enough how much this has helped. Even to have this feeling for a day is worth it. 

occupation

Development Officer and Volunteer Co-ordinator at a charity

Jo

________________________________

Here is Steph's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to address some of the issues I have around public speaking, to learn techniques to deal with 'nerves' and generally be more comfortable being the centre of attention - so that I wouldn't dread or avoid these situations so much.  

Did you get it?
Yes, definitely.
Whilst it hasn't converted me to an extrovert or miraculously banished the nerves, it's taught me to accept them, that it's normal, which in itself brings a sense of relief. I learnt how much my thought processes affect the experience, and how to turn down the 'noise' rather than try and fight it with more noise of 'I shouldn't be feeling like this', or 'I must perform in a certain way'.  I would say it has made me less apprehensive about these situations. In fact, I had a second interview 2 days after the course and felt much more relaxed than I did previously!  

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I felt like it was only the tip of the iceberg! I think it would be great as a 2-day course - perhaps split over 2 weeks, to give time to absorb, practise, and develop. Whilst all the theory completely made sense, I felt like I had only just begun to 'get it' when put into practise, and would like to have developed this more in the 'safe' environment of the class. Perhaps by doing some 'question and answering' with the audience, or preparing a small 'real life' presentation and being able to remember key points to get across.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
John was a very warm and encouraging facilitator and created a really supportive atmosphere in the group. There was a good mix of theory and practise - particularly the experience of just 'being present' in a the context of public speaking. The repetition of the key techniques along with the handouts was useful, as we could fully engage without needing to take notes.  It was great that it was affordable for individuals.  

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I thought the course was brilliant and will definitely recommend it to others!

occupation: Marketing Manager
Thank you
Steph

 

Feedback June 2012

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to reduce my level of nervousness before and during public speaking to a healthy amount.

Did you get it?
Yes, I've made huge improvements so far, much quicker than I thought I could have! Since the course I spoke at a communication skills workshop for work, I was nervous before I spoke but no where near as much as before. At the start of the day I said I was very scared of public speaking and everyone was so supportive. The moment I started speaking I was completely calm and felt really comfortable talking. The next week I had a job interview which included a 10 minute presentation and it went brilliantly! Again I was nervous before (but not having a panic attack as I have in the past) but was incredibly calm and confident when I stood up to speak! I really trust myself to be able to present so much more than I did. I have an assessed presentation next month which will be in front of people at my level (which is what has scared me the most), but I'm actually thinking of going for it in front of everyone instead of asking to do mine separately just with the examiners like I have done in the past. (I wrote this a while ago - I've now done that presentation and again, the moment I started speaking I calmed down so I feel I can trust myself a lot more) 

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
To be honest I can't think of anything.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really like being with people who know exactly how I feel and all supporting each other. Lots of ideas were really useful

occupation
scientist
 
Thanks very much John - I'm very glad I went on your course.

Best wishes,

Jenny

 

Feedback May 2012

feedback from a course particpant

What did you want from the course?
The opportunity to explore improving my public speaking skills in a safe environment with other people who find this hard.

Did you get it?
I got it and loads more. I can already tell that this course is going to be life changing for me - not just in terms of public speaking but in my daily interactions. Today I've felt conscious of the amount of eye contact I'm giving people and its gone way up. I have to lead a staff meeting on Monday night. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
You were great John. I trusted you straight away and you did an excellent job of making everyone feel safe and feeling like they were in a safe environment. John, the course was great. I really enjoyed it.
Barb

 ________________________________

on preparing people to speak at thepoverty hearings in Bristol May 2012

"I was really taken with the power of your work with people who are unused to standing up to speak to a crowd.  It is wonderful to see and hear the confidence  they have and the joy of being seen and heard,,  and you did such a great job with them'

 ________________________________

letter

Dear John,
I wanted to let you know that I delivered a 30-minute presentation to 11 others yesterday. I was so relaxed, I nearly fell over. Seriously! I really did take so much good stuff from your course - and I've reminded myself of the main ideas you set out on a number of occasions since. And it worked.
Thank you John. This has been huge for me. And please feel free to add this in your feedback.
Very best wishes,
Laura

 ________________________________

Claire's feedback is about a conference she organised. Claire attended a two day course

"It was amazing. I was slightly nervous before it all began but soon hit my stride and grew in confidence throughout the day. By the end I felt a freedom on the stage which I have never previously experienced - incredible! Yes, I wrote a script, learned it, had it on my ipad just in case, but the real difference came from the reframing your course had helped me to do - that I wasn’t there to perform, but to inform the audience, to connect one person at a time.

The whole day was a huge success - Our speakers were inspirational, the attendees positive and engaged, and our fantastic team warm, welcoming and efficient.

I’m deeply exhausted but buzzing with energy - joy at what we acheived but mostly that I’ve leapt into a new chapter of my life. I can’t thank you enough."

Claire

________________________________

Below is feedback from Pete, a participant on my two day course in Bristol recently

What did you want from the course?
Essentially, I was hoping to learn techniques to help me feel more confident when giving presentation and allow me to control my nerves to a greater degree.

Did you get it?
Yes - totally.  The course did actually surprise me in that it wasn't particularly about how to handle the nerves, but rather about analysising why the nerves are there and learning that they really don't need to be there in the first place.  By the end of the course, I found the nerves to be replaced by adrenalin and felt much more confident stood up at the front of the group giving a talk.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
There were so many great things about the course.  John - you're a great speaker and really managed to captivate the audience and make them feel at home.  The general mood throughout the weekend was one of support and experimentation, and I really felt able to explore areas of development which I wanted to improve. The fact that every individual has to speak, but that the order in which you speak is random is great, and it's a great way of allowing everyone to make progress at their own pace.  The exercises we performed were useful and able to be put into practice not just during the course, but also after the course in our day to day lives. I guess the biggest thing that I took from the course was the notion that confidence speaking in public was only a by product of the course; the biggest development for me was the notion of assuming support, and supporting yourself 100%. This is a subtle change in thinking but has really helped me work on improving my self confidence. 

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Great course, great tutor, and great benefits have been achieved from only two short days. I'd happily recommend it to anyone else even remotely thinking about taking part.  It's transformed my way of thinking, and putting the lessons into practice is slowly having real positive changes to my life.

Thanks again for such a great course.... really was a fantastic way to spend a weekend.  I spoken to loads of people about it since getting back and always find myself getting really energised just by talking about my experiences on the course.  I'd definitely recommend it to others.
 
Cheers again for such a great weekend!
 
Pete

Feedback April 2012


Dear John,

Thank you for a wonderful wonderful weekend.  I enjoyed it all and feel nourished, strengthened and inspired. 

 
What did you want from the course?

I mainly wanted to understand my social anxiety a little bit more and find some inspiration to help me get over something which I feel had been holding back in life, namely my fear of speaking out whether in social situations or during more formal discussions and whilst giving presentations.


Did you get it?

Absolutely!  

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?

I'd love to have continued for several more days, answering more thought-provoking and actually very therapeutic questions!  I didn't want it to end.


What did you like about the course/facilitation?

I think that everyone should find time to do this course which is so much more than a course about public speaking.  For me, it was taking another step on the path towards self-acceptance and inner peace.  Only by being at peace with who we are can we overcome any anxiety we may have about speaking with others whether in social situations or in more formal circumstances.  I think my fear is one shared by many people in today's society and this course is a gentle but highly effective way of beginning to challenge that fear.

The beautifully personal nature of the questions we answered placed us in a very privileged position as an audience as well as a speaker and I felt honoured to work with and get to know quite intimately a wonderful group of people whose voices most definitely need to be heard.  

The course gave us all a safe space in which to explore what was holding us back in life, our fears and anxieties and also our dreams and wishes.  It was a truly nourishing and inspiring weekend and I felt connected once again - connected to others as well as to my authentic self. 

Lovely pace and great that everyone was given the opportunity to respond and give feedback following each session. Normally this is the bit during formal presentations where I clam up and take a back seat.

Olivia

Feedback Feb-March 2012

 feedback on Linkedin

“John's work is unique. He is an excellent facilitator and holds a very safe space. Magic happens in his workshops!” March 9, 2012

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, High Integrity

Susie Nott-Bower
hired John as a public speaking facilitator in 2011, and hired John more than once

“I went on one of John's intro courses last year. In one challenging, enjoyable and unexpectedly exhilarating day, I was able to put down some of the public-speaking baggage that has hampered me for many years. I left with a real sense of hope and possibility. I found John to be warm, genuine, knowledgeable, caring and curious.” February 21, 2012

Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

Paul Johnson

Feedback January 2012

Dear John,
I was interviewed on live tv today!! I couldn't have even contemplated doing this without the confidence your course gave me.
THANK YOU!
Best wishes,
Susanna

_________________________________

 

Hi John,
Thanks for creating such a safe environment. It was a pleasure and joy to be part of this group, and to understand what holds most of us back as public speakers and how to overcome these hold-backs. Thanks also for the second handout. Here are my answers to your questions.
 
What did you want from the course?
I wanted to be able to stand up in front of a group and bring across my message clearly and concise without any nerves etc. interfering in a negative way. I wanted to be able not to fear the crowd and see them as a friend who’s eager to learn and understand whatever subject I’m going to talk to them about. I wanted to be able to overcome nervousness and speak up for myself in any group discussion or talk situation.
 
Did you get it?
Oh yes! I certainly learned to understand that if I embrace the situation and assume support from the group unless proven otherwise, I’d be a much happier and more confident person in any group situation. So, yes, I got what I wanted and more out of it!
 
I was able to put it into practice almost straight away this Tuesday as I was chairing our team meeting. Something I’ve not been looking forward to do in the past. But hey, it went smoothly and I even got praise from my manager’s manager. Thank you!
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
There’s nothing I can think of. It was a perfect day. You’re a very gifted facilitator.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I liked the gentle way you lead me to the point where I was actually able to talk to a group of complete strangers about a very personal issue that I had been dealing with over the past few years and months in particular.  But the beauty of it was that none of this was planned and words just came out. I trust I can take this feeling of confidence, clarity and ‘so what’ attitude, and transfer it onto any work or personal situation.  So, the empowerment this course gave me is enormous and I thank you deeply for this.
I’m particularly impressed by the fact that you managed to fulfil every single participant’s expectations no matter how much they differed from one another.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thank you John, for a wonderful day. It was an eye opener and an opportunity to clear out some very old cobwebs. I’ve not stopped raving about this course to friends as I think everyone would benefit from this course and make this world a much safer, happier and more vibrant place.
 
Nadine

Feedback November 2011

 What did you want from the course?  I wanted to feel more able to do talks without racing or going blank

Did you get it? Yes. Definitely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation? Nothing that I could see.

What did you like about the course/facilitation? I thought John went just at the right pace and I felt very included. The course dealt with far more than public speaking... John greeted everyone and there was a super balancing act of keeping everyone ‘included’ ...don’t know how he did that....

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I felt a lot of what I was hoping for (and didn’t realise until we were asked to talk about our hopes) which is that elusive ‘peace’. I walked back to Temple Meads station sort of blissed-out. Quite strange. When I got home even my husband noticed I was talking more slowly than normal and I also managed to talk with him ....and take some pauses....that was a great feeling.
I also slept for 12 hours last night, so must have needed it.
I don’t think I realised how empowering the course would be and was very pleasantly surprised that so little was promised and so much was delivered.
I have yet to put all the skills into practice, but believe me, when I do I will feed-back.
I now feel prepared for the talk I’m giving in January...and am a lot less flummoxed about it, than I was....so THANX JOHN, enjoyed every minute....infact I can safely say I’ve never enjoyed a course that much!!!
Mary

________________________________

Feedback for my two day course in November
In my work as a psychotherapist I've attended many workshops over the years; this one I cannot commend highly enough for anyone who feels that they are not being fully themselves, whether or not they are engaged in public speaking; the support and permission John gives to people allows them to make use of this work in their everyday lives. Simply the most inspiring experience I've had for many years. Thank you John
Clive

 ________________________________

What I wanted from course?
I thought this course will give me some outer power and confidence boost (magic pill) that in turn would make me feel very confident and calm staying in front. Generally this was the only thing I could expect from this course because I didn't know what else to expect from it, I never had a chance to stand in front of people and analyse what excactly I feel and think of what I want to change.
Of course I didn't get that magic pill, simply because it is not real thing to wish, or if it was, it wouldn't be healthy option for me :) What I did get, was simple understanding of what public speaking is, in general and personally for me. Now I understand that before attending the course, I totaly had it wrong. I clearly knew that there is some problem, but I couldn't figure it out in order to deal with it.I'd like to thank you for what you're doing, for experience that I had over the weekend and for letting me to understand the simplest thing - I can allow myself to be THERE.

Armand

Feedback September 2011

I found the course extremely helpful. It was full of great people that were nearly all in a similar position to me which really put me at ease from the start. I knew that I could stand up and do it, the trouble being that it had been such a long time since I had last 'done it'. I really needed some practice, and this sort of environment was a perfect place to do it.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The facilitation was brilliant. I felt relaxed throughout and it was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be.

Tim

Letter August 2011

 

Hi John
Just wanted to say a huge thank you.  I went to Toastmasters last night and did my first speech - a table topic (one minute on an unprepared subject).  A bigger group than I've ever been in front of before (about 30 people) and I didn't feel too nervous at all, in fact I almost enjoyed it! 

Kindest regards
Diana

course feedback July 2011

Dear John,
Thank you for such a fantastic course - I got so much out of it and I really think that what I’ve learnt will change things for me.
Best wishes
Sarah
 
Sarah's Feedback
 
What did you want from the course?
To learn how to accept and be comfortable with being the centre of attention; to be able to voice my thoughts in meetings at work; to be able to present to, and lead discussions with, larger groups (up to 50); to be able to cope with ‘networking’ scenarios; more simply, day-to-day, social situations which I might shy away from.  
 
Did you get it?
Yes. It made perfect sense.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I don’t think I would change anything. Naturally the constraints of a one day course meant you were limited in how much practice you could have in front of others, so I would be inclined to undertake another longer course.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Many things. The creation of a genuinely supportive atmosphere where mistakes didn’t matter. I felt that I could be completely honest about fears I would never normally discuss with anyone.
The simplicity.
That what we learnt could be applied to small day-to-day scenarios and larger scale presentations (which I would struggle with equally.)
Finding comfort in the realisation that so many others are suffering similarly (I tend to think that no one else can possibly be as awful at speaking to people as I am. Not true I realise!)
Seeing on a wider level what it would mean to overcome a fear of public speaking and realising how it has inhibited me in the past. Starting to think about all the things I could do.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
John’s kindness and how supportive he was. I surprised myself at the start of the day by feeling very upset (though I had come to the course feeling very positive that I was finally doing something about a long-standing problem.) My instinctive reaction was to berate myself for even feeling that way. I learnt throughout the day to ‘undo’ that way of thinking, of being my own worst enemy, and though I don’t expect it to disappear altogether straightaway, I feel like I’m going in the right direction.

letter July 2011

Hello John
Since being on your course I have found myself running arond food fesitival approaching strangers, talking in front of the board at my publishers and nicking newspapers from first class on the train! (perhaps the last was just a guilty admission) - so thank you. I think the "assume support" thing just sticks in my head and works as a mantra. I've been recomending you whenever it comes up
Cheers
Andy

feedback June 2011

Dear John,
I got the job! The course really helped as it gave me the confidence to be myself amongst strangers - a massive thank you.
Sally

Sally's feedback

What did you want from the course?
The confidence to speak confidently in front of strangers

Did you get it?
Yes - I feel like the course allowed me to find my voice.

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
This course is pitch perfect.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
The wonderful people I met and fantastically supportive atmosphere created by John.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The course was an absolute revelation and has taught me that addressing your problems head on is the best approach.
I met some truly wonderful people and feel I have learnt that diversity is inspiring.
A massive thank you to John for all the humour, support and encouragement.

 ________________________________

Father of theBride

Hello John
Just to thank you for your help and encouragement earlier this year. My daughter's wedding was last Friday. The sun shone, my daughter looked fabulous and every one came up to me afterwards and said how much they enjoyed my speech. I even found myself enjoying it! Looking forward to the next occasion.
Many thanks and kind regards,
John

 

Feedback from a weekend course

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel more confident and comfortable in not just public speaking but also in all situations where I feel all eyes are on me.  I wanted to be able to express myself without my nerves making it feel virtually impossible.
 
Did you get it?
I certainly did during the course.  Translating it into real life is not always so easy but I have managed even in just small situations where I would of struggled in the past.  It’s not made it all seem easier on the surface but somewhere deep down it’s given me a little knot of confidence to hold on to.  It feels much more real than some quick surface fix or cover up.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
I honestly don’t know, it all seemed brilliant to me
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I loved the level of support created in the group and how this meant I could talk openly and honestly.  It felt so great to find somewhere where my fears were understood without me struggling to describe them and feeling I would be thought less of for admitting them.  Having it described at one stage as a course about ‘being looked at in public’ really hit the nail on the head for me.  It’s hard to sum up everything I liked about the course.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The work you do John is really special.  It was so much more emotional than I ever expected.  Having somewhere where you cannot fail is a real gift – so thank you so much.
Bridie

 

feedback May 2011

Hi John,
I've been meaning to email for ages to let you know how much public speaking I now do! I have a new(ish) job and a big part of it is training. This is something I thought I'd never be able to do, I still have a bit of a wobbly tray, but I'm not so bothered by it and I carry on regardless. Your course really gave me the tools and the strength to face what I thought was going to be a barrier in my career I'd never get through. So, a BIG THANK YOU, and good luck with the move! I recommend you left, right and centre by the way!
Cheers,
Cat

feedback March 2011

John,
 
Thank you again for last Fridays course - I really enjoyed the day. Just to mention that I've already attended two meetings this week, and have found the approach learned on the day has stayed with me. I've felt more relaxed, coherent, and have wanted to contribute at times when I would previously have remained silent. Tomorrow will be my biggest challenge so far, as I'll be attending a planning day event with a large number of colleagues. At this point - the night before - I'd usually be filled with apprehension, but right now I just can't wait to contribute.
The funniest thing is that one person has already asked me what's changed... and assumed there was a new love interest in my life. I responded that it was a new found love for myself!
Kind regards,
James.

What could be improved about the course?
The course was fantastic; I couldn’t fault it at all. In fact, it has been one of the best courses I have been on so far.  The facilitation was great along with the course content.
Hannah

 

 

Hi John
 
Thank you for your information and here's my feedback.
 
What did I want from the course?
I've thought about a public speaking course for a while now just because it would be a good thing for me to do as I don't feel confident doing it. I'm also having to do more of it through work so I should 'force' myself to do it! The thing that made me sign up, however, was mention in your advertisement in 'Spark' magazine that the course would help people to be the centre of attention. That's it - that's what I need whether in a public speaking capacity or in other circumstances - work or socially.  If it could help with this that would be great!
 
Did I get it?
YES - It was a fantastic course, one I shall never forget and could be life changing! It gave me a huge confidence boost and lots of ideas on how to feel comfortable as the focus of attention. I need to work on a few things but I know how to work on it. You've sown the seed John and I thank you hugely for that.  I have glimpses at how simple it can be - just to be yourself purely with a change of mindset.  I'm going to practise being nice to myself!
 
What could be improved about the course facilitation?
I did think I would have liked feedback about how I was doing when up in front talking to people. Did I do that well or what could I have done to make it better?  I realise the whole idea is not to do this as we need to learn to accept ourselves with all our imperfections.
 
What did I like about the course facilitation?
I liked the Pieran Centre as a venue - the staff were very friendly and a great choice of tea, coffee and biscuits! I liked the format of the course where we are pushed ever so gently out of our comfort zones. The two day course is I'm sure a good way to get the most out of it as there is plenty of time to practise in a supportive environment.  John is a great facilitator and made everyone feel at ease. It really helps that you enjoy doing this - it shows. I loved the lunch on Sunday - bringing everyone together, it did feel like a family celebration.
So many people could be helped by this course I'm sure. All the testimonials are right and it is money very well spent! 

Thank you John for a very enjoyable and enlightening 2 days!
Fiona

feedback Feb 2011

Hi John,
just wanted to say a really big thank you, it's a brilliant course you run - you do a fantastic job, it has definitely helped me change the way I think about public speaking which I honestly didn't think was possible for anyone to help me with so I can't say thank you enough really.

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to feel like I might be able to get through presentations without making the floor shake or wanting to run for the nearest door!
 
Did you get it?
There's so much I have taken away from your course that will help me in day to day life - not just public speaking.  I honestly thought after I got up and talked in front of everyone at the start of the day that i'd never feel any better about attempting it again, but as the day went on everything you said really made sense and i'm so glad to say that by the end of the day I felt better about it!
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Absolutely nothing! The group size was really good and your passion to help us all find our feet in public speaking made a very supportive environment.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
That it has given me a more positive outlook on things that i'd really like to achieve in work and outside of work.  Also that i'm not the only one who finds these things difficult...not that I would wish it on other people, but it was nice to meet the others in the group and be surrounded by people who understand for the day!
Thanks again John,
Best wishes,
Rachel

feedback January 2011

Thank you for a very enjoyable course on Friday.

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to lose the stage fright symptoms - including my mind going blank - that spoiled my experiences of public speaking

Did you get it?
Yes, most definitely

What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Hmmm: can't think of anything offhand - it was very well structured & delivered

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Engaging, accessible, reassuring

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
I was amazed that the techniques we were taught could deal effectively with the 'fear' symptoms attached to being the centre of attention. I thought that those automatic reactions were far too deeply engrained: happily, I was wrong!

Penny

feedback December 2010

Hi John
Just to let you know that I made my “engagement” speech on 19th dec, to 36 people....and it all went very well! People said I sounded very relaxed!
Entirely due to you and the Course you gave in Bristol. Without exaggeration, those two days were life changing for me. I have done courses on so many things, including ones on how to fly a Concordeor how to do this that or the other. But no course has been more useful to me than the weekend in Bristol in November..
Thanks again John
Alan

Hannah's feedback

What did you want from the course?
I wanted to be able to speak in front of a group of people without being terrified, going blank, or gabbling to get it all over with.
 
Did you get it?
Yes!  I feel 100 times better after the course.  I still go too fast but I’m looking forward to practising, rather than dreading it.  I now have tools to take me forward.
 
What could be improved about the course/facilitation?
Nothing!  I think it was fantastic.  Perhaps I would have benefited from having time to prepare and talk about a more formal topic, and a longer slot than 3 minutes at the end to talk.  But I understand that would have detracted from the main focus which was talking in front of a group about feeling confident (very NLP, well done!)
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I really appreciated how gentle, warm and encouraging you were, and how you brought the group to a really amazing generous and kind place.  It was a pleasure and a joy to be a part of.
 
Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
Thank you!  I’ll let you know how I get on.  Keep up the wonderful work.  You’ve obviously found your calling.
Hannah

 

Hi John
Thanks for running such a great course. It was a valuable and enjoyable (unexpected, this!) experience for me. Right now, it feels like I’ve taken a big step on a path towards my own development. It was a great experience all round. I really liked the lack of slickness – it felt live and genuine and not at all a ‘sheep dip’ kind of course.
Paul

Hi John
My presentation was yesterday morning and I was 1 of 5 presenters, the other 4 were all directors. In brief, it went very well. I lost my way a few minutes into it but managed to recover and no-one seemed to notice. I was nervous about a week beforehand but that seemed to disappear and in fact, I was concerned that I wasn't nervous on the day!
It's been a huge boost for my department to have done the presentation, especially to have been up there with the managing and executive directors.
Thank you for helping me understand the fears and learn how to face them and 'put the wobbly tray down'.
Jane

This is Jane's feedback on the course.
What did you want from the course?
I wanted to learn about some of the anxieties behind presenting in public. Where they come from and how to deal with them. I had already made some progress myself but I believe this course accelerated the process of learning how to deal with those anxieties.

Did you get it?
I'm not sure I came away feeling super confident on the day, which is what I had expected, but I'm certain that developed subconsciously over the weeks that followed as I started to apply some of the 'rules'.

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

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
I felt very supported from the moment I entered the room. It was clear that you understood what the fears were and were open to listening to the attendees and their issues, whether they were relevant to the course or not. I felt that the group was a good size and because of that we got to know each other.

feedback November 2010

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

Khizra

Way above expectations. Life-changing weekend. Quite apart fromfeeling far more confident about public speaking, I peeled a layer of stuff off that I don't need.
Liz

 

feedback October 2010

James, a participant on a two day course, gives me feedback. Published with his permission.


What did you want from the course?
As a repeat attendee I knew the value of the course and could intellectually understand the concepts but I haven't had much of an opportunity to practice the approach and inevitably over time I lost track of the concepts themselves.  Therefore I wanted to refresh the concepts and have an opportunity to practice and cement the core principles in a safe environment.

Did you get it?
Absolutely, the course is very well set up and the group were great.  It was exactly what I needed.

What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Very informal, relaxing and fun.  You have a great way of making the group feel at ease and that enables us to explore the concepts and take risks because you've instilled a sense of support in the group.  You use humour a lot and quite naturally, which automatically puts people at ease and the supporting stories add an element of humanity to the process and made the group realise that they are not only not alone, but actually in the majority when it comes to showing their vulnerability in front of the group.

Please feel free to add any other comments if you wish
The best compliment I can give about the course, John, is that I have been raving about it to my close friends and colleagues, I feel like the course is so different to the usual public speaking course and so much more valuable that I'm eager to tell others about it and, as expected, lots of people have said they want to get over their own fears in this area... though if they'll take the step to join the course is yet to be determined!
The change in participants confidence over such a short period of time is astounding and some very basic principles after being practised make a huge difference to how comfortable and how engaging everyone becomes.  What started out on Saturday morning as a group of uncomfortable, nervous and inhibited people became on Sunday afternoon a group of people who acted despite their nervousness, revealed their true selves and allowed the rest of the group to see them as they truly were... which, without exception, was warm, humorous and charming people.
I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that this is the public speaking training everyone should receive, from an early age, because it provides the foundation confidence in being in front of a group.  All of the techniques and strategies in the world will be ineffective without a solid foundation upon which to build, which in my experience is what other courses teach.   
James

Letter October 2010

Hi John
I came again for the second time, after a few years, to your day workshop in London earlier in the year and wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for helping me to begin to 'stand up and be seen'  
You mentioned a quote about what people at different ages thought about speaking in front of groups and although I don't remember the detail it made a big impact on me, at 62, that when over 60 years, what have you got to lose, just do it! 
Anyway to cut a long story short I have taken the plunge and trained as a Nordic Walking instructor and last weekend led my first group walk of 7 people with me talking them through warm up exercises and 'being in charge', in all,  very much 'being seen!'  I LOVED IT!
I have told a number of poeple about your courses and hope they continue to be really popular.
All the best with the very unique and special way you are helping people to shine.
Regards
Liz

 

Feedback from a participant in July

What did you want from the course?
To be able to feel grounded and present when I speak to an audience. To be able to speak with competency, with a voice that can be heard and impacts.
 
Did you get it?
I did. To be able to claim my space, have permission to connect in silence initially without words, and then to connect with each person in the audience was a very empowering experience. To hear the resonance in my own voice when I spoke and to grow in confidence throughout the day was a real joy to experience.
 
What did you like about the course/facilitation?
Great venue and acoustics. Good pace. John, you are a warm, engaging and enabling man. Your passion and commitment to enabling people to claim their space and speak confidently, with presence and impact is very apparent. I applaud you. Your ease and belief that we all could was very present.

written by Sally

Letters July 2010

Hi John,
just a quick update to say that I have got into yet another job which involves me delivering training to customers and it has been a pleasure to do as I feel very comfortable up front and talking to the attendees.  I know from previous experience it wouldn't be like that if I hadn't been on your courses so I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks, and hopefully i'll be along for a 'top-up' some time!
Best wishes
Ed

Dear John,
I wrote these notes immediately after the day I spent with you on 30th April, since then lots has happened and just trying to catch up now. Since that day I think I have been a bit more relaxed and not worrying too much about what I will say to people either in person or on the phone. I think this idea of "Assuming Suport" for what ever you might be doing or proposing to do has been tremendously important to me and I think it has made a big difference and given me a lot more confidence in my role in my church re getting things done on environmental matters and at last things seem to be moving. Assuming people will like an idea before you propose it makes a huge difference to the way you then talk about it or present it you can be naturally more enthusiastic if you assume people are going to like your suggestions.  It has also helped in other aspects of my personal life.
A big thank you John for this brilliant day.
Geoff

ps. My 22 year old son has today commented that since the Speaking Day I seemed to have a lot more confident..

The course was excellent, very useful, informative. logical, with an exceptional and inspirational coach. John has a genuine interest in your improvement - its invaluable. Thank you
Polly

Letter June 2010

I definitely feel liberated from my fear which is a fantastic feeling and one I quite honestly never felt I would experience in this way.  I always felt I would have to struggle on with it and probably never enjoy teaching again.  But, now I feel that I have been given a secret and that although I will probably feel nervous, I don't think I will ever again feel totally mortified and want to run away.
I feel liberated not only in relation to public speaking and teaching but also in relation to being with people in general; I feel more relaxed and the need to try so hard has vanished
with very kind regards
Gerry

 

Letters April 2010

Hello John,
I had my "conversation" with 20 people at a local Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting a week ago which seemed to go down well and would not have been possible at all without your valuable help and encouragement. At the meeting, as a result of my talk they decided to write to the local council urging them to take a more active role in promoting renewable energy technologies. This was a very nice and completely unexpected bonus.
The Bournemouth Echo have heard of my talk and interviewed me. They are writing an article about the likely future shortfall in electricity generation over the next few years, I look forward to seeing it.
I hope all is going well for you. Thank you again for all your help, it really has changed my life.
Very best wishes,
Kevin.

____________

I loved the (two-day) course you taught in London and have actually being using the skills taught on it and have seen some internal shifts in myself. Have also passed on your details to many people since I think what you are doing is profound and goes far beyond the normal 'public speaking' course.
F.

 Letter March 2010

Having worked with both individuals and groups as an HR professional, teacher in a tertiary college, chair of governors, voluntary tutor for an advisory bodyamong other things, I was truly inspired by the course (2 day course).  The ability to release inhibiting and paralysing fears and anxieties and talk about them freely through being 'held' securely by yourself and a diverse group of unknown individuals for a relatively short time, while progressing through the Speaking Circles model was utterly amazing.Ithink yesterday's transformations speak for themselves.  As you said, it is a truly wonderful way to earn a living
Warm regards,
Dawn

 

 from Leora Sharp's blog http://freemyself.net/blog/ written in December.

I’ve just completed a 4 week course with John Dawson from Speaking Infront and I’ve really been WOWed! I was raised by 2 very public figures. My Mom was a Speech and Drama teacher and was the Director for many a brilliant school play. My Dad was on a city councillor for many years which landed my parents as Mayor and Mayoress 5 times. So I really should have no problems speaking in public. But for some reason my flight/fight response really kicks in, my brain freezes up and I can’t recall what I want to deliver. I’m a pretty confident person so it’s been quite puzzeling to me why and what my hang ups are around public speaking.

Thanks to John and his course I know now what the issues are. I won’t give all his secrets away here but if you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend going on his course. Amongst other things we learned what’s actually going on in our heads when we get up there and that understanding certainly set me free.
I’m really excited now for a talk I’m doing in January when previously I would be dreading it!

Letter January 2010

Hi John
I’ve been meaning to write and say how good I found your course, really enjoyable and effective.
I have noticed that I am more confident and relaxed teaching my class, particularly with timing, a sense of giving myself time to be in the moment and therefore allow more spontaneity and interaction with the group.
Also especially in the week after the course, I found myself being able to look people I might be a bit shy with, in the eye more comfortably...so thank you very much
J.

Love the approach, more about the ability to be comfortable in front of an audience. I found speaking came naturally. And completely different approach than I have ever encountered. A revelation! Fantastic tutor
Jessica, Project Manager

Letter October 2009

Dear John,
I just thought I would share this with you, as I thank you again for the one to one session.
I have just won the short story slam at our local library. Seven people had five minutes to stand up and read a short story out. I entered it a few months ago but did not get placed. Tonight however, I was able to breathe, make eye contact, speak slowly, add facial expression and generally share my story in a much more relaxed and enjoyable manner. And I won! It’s the first competition I have won with my writing and the first cash prize so it is very exciting, and I really do thank you for the techniques you shared with me.
Kind regards
Karen

Letter September 2009
I attended your course in January and would just like to take this opportunity to thank you.
I was approached recently by a recruitment consultant with a particular London based role in mind, I applied for this and was required to prepare a 20 minute presentation as part of the interview process.
The experience from your workshops enabled me focus on my thoughts and deliver my ideas with confidence. They provided the feedback that it was the highest quality presentation of all the candidates. I was subsequently offered the job. I'm sure things would've been quite different without the training!
Regards
K

Letter July 2009
Dear John
A quick note to say thanks for the course you ran on Saturday, it was a great eye-opener and a great start for me to get working on some speaking skills.  I think your course demystifies the whole process rather than feeling like public speaking is something that "other people" do.  I think it was said during the course, but you have a very "authentic" presence which is a powerful asset. I will be recommending your course.
Alex


Letter June 2009
I would just like to thank you for the personal development I was able to achieve thanks to the course. I made my best man speech at my sister's wedding yesterday and despite a slight tweak of nerves a few minutes before doing it, I found the whole experience really enjoyable and natural and am grateful to you for showing me how important it is to mark the key moments in our lives.  Keep up the good work!
Clive

Letter May 2009

I recently completed your Wednesday evening public speaking class in Bristol. I wanted to write to say thank you as this course has been extremely helpful to me. Learning to 'be' in front of people sounds so simple and yet I don't think any one has ever taught me how to do it. I found that having the space to explore the reasons and beliefs behind the fear of public speaking, with guidance from yourself was a powerful exercise which complimented the practice. I feel that this was all possible because you were so honest and real with us as a group and you led by example. The experiences you talked about moved me. I appreciate what you do.
Thanks again John,
P

A new approach to help with fears of public speaking. Felt very safe which is something I've never felt in a group before. Very, very powerful course - covered so much more than speaking. Will be "thought-changining"
Lisa, architect

John's course is brilliant. It not only banished my fear of public speaking but changed the way I think
Rhys

I foud it very moving today. Its remarkable how the application of these ideas isn't limited to public speaking but to our whole lives. I feel like I've gained a new tool box of resources and help me in all areas.
Helena

May 2009

"A very profound and direct looking into the habits, beliefs and concepts that inhibit the expression of our true self"
Francis, social worker

Feb 2009
I thought it was brilliant. Thank you for a life transforming experience.
Diana, Vicar

 

 Press coverage
The Source Magazine Winter 2008/9
Can you imagine what it’s like to be at ease when you’re the centre of attention? Nope – neither could I, which is why I said ‘yes please’ to a sampler session with public-speaking facilitator (and ex-Editor of the fabulous Spark magazine) John Dawson. I’ve been hearing on the grapevine for years that his six hour workshop called ‘Speaking Circles’ has really changed people’s lives and I thought I’d give it a go with mine. Speaking Circles is a way of dealing with stage-fright – not only in work presentations and meetings, but also when you’re in social groups and one to one. John is the only facilitator in this country. “There are lots of courses and books out there on public speaking” he says, “but not many of them deal with the scary issue of stage fright. If they do, the usual kind of advice you get is to breathe deeply, run up and down on the spot, or imagine the audience is naked. Here in ‘Speaking Circles’ we look more at the head stuff about why we get scared in the first place, and how it relates to everyday issues to do with our self-esteem”.
To John, stage fright boils down to something he calls ‘The Theory of the Wobbly Tray’. There are eight of us on the day I turn up for my session and it quickly becomes clear (and I won’t tell you how or it’ll spoil the fun) that most of us there are carrying the big wobbly tray he describes. Wobbly trays are where we put the bad stuff we’re thinking about ourselves when we get up in front of an audience: ‘Do I look OK? Am I boring?? Are They Going to Like Me??? (My wobbly tray is the size of a double-seater shopping trolley). As we speak, we’re struggling to balance our trays and at the same time scanning the audience for clues that our worst fears are correct. Blank faces and … (heaven forbid) a yawn, is all the confirmation we need to prove that we’re boring and awful. That’s when we fall apart.
Does this sound familiar? According to John there are lots of us wandering around with these thoughts every day, some of us worse than others. “I have had people that couldn’t be in their own wedding photos” he says, “or couldn’t bring themselves to speak at their parent’s funeral. These issues can really stop us all from being able to take part fully in our own lives”. For the remainder of the afternoon, John teaches us clever ways to become more relaxed, confident and connected with an audience or group and how to protect ourselves from the self-sabotage that always gets between us and our full glory. In the end all eight of are comfortable with standing at the front and full of plans for how to take the lessons home.
I can’t say I’m going to relish public-speaking from now because, as John says: “We’re not trying to do Martin Luther King stuff, we’re just trying to be ourselves”. But I’ll definitely try to do things he suggests, like become an inverse paranoid (which is when you assume support unless proved otherwise, rather than the other way around). “I’ve been doing this for eight years” says John “and I’ve decided to spend more time at it because it’s about helping people to take part in their own lives and on their own terms. Apart from anything it’s fantastic to work on the stuff that reminds me of what I need as well”. Thanks John - it’s a relief to know we’re all in the same boat.
 
Letter December 2008
Dear John,
Anyway I wanted to let you know that at our recent Ruby wedding celebration I stood up in front of 120ish of our friends and relations and did a speech and actually enjoyed it and made lots of people laugh, it was quite heady and I don't think I will ever be as nervous if there is a next time. Of course it was down to the course I did with you in the summer, my main reminders to myself were "assume support", "make eye contact", and "let your words land". So many people came up to me after and couldn't believe I had ever had a problem with public speaking, and revealed that they had the same problem, it really was a revelation! I made a point of telling them about Speaking Circles.
So thank you John, I can truthfully say you've changed my life, how glad I am that I did your course.
Hope you are thriving in your new role!
Love Sue

Course Feedback
I had been doing public presentations in a safe way for about 4 years, but I had a subject in me that I was passionate to talk about and I knew it would help others, if I spoke out about it. What I needed was a way to express the message, from the heart, so people felt moved by it and could understand it emotionally. A short course with John helped me gain this capability. A while after his course I delivered a presentation to 200 of the toughest people in the country. I made them laugh, brought tears to their eyes and had them nodding their heads in agreement. This ability to express ourselves - fully - is one of the most amazing feelings available to us. Don't pass up the opportunity.
Neil Fellowes
Director
www.CommunitySoul.co.uk

 Speaking Circles reviewed by a member of the Association of Speakers' Clubs
"I thought I was quite an experienced speaker since joining ASC (Association of Speaking Clubs) I have learned a lot about speaking technique. This has definitely helped but I was unprepared for this day with John Dawson and his Speaking Circles course in Bristol. The emphasis was to let you develop from a base that is natural to you. Some attendees were there for their second time. The safe and supportive environment coupled with the exercises help you grow. This course speaks to the mind but it also helps a person develop at the visceral level. I expect that John has someone repeating at every course. It was a long journey from Glasgow. However I think I see myself on another more advanced course sometime in the future. If fear is a major barrier for you, this course has a lot to offer"