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.
This originally went back to 2009 but that became the equivalent of 127 pages of A4! It was getting way out of hand!
So I've massively edited it down to one or two reviews a month back to 2015. 
I've made them a little easier to read as well. I will happily send you the full 127 pages if you want! email me here
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.  Everyone who comes to my courses wants to change how they feel about public speaking. The reviews show you that you don't have to stay stuck in fear. And that is why I do my work...

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"

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

I 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.

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!

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.

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

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

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.

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

I 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

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

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

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

For so many people like myself with a fear of public speaking, it feels like there is 'no way out'. With your course, there is. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I thought the course was life-changing.

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

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

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!

 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!

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.

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

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

You have helped shift my thinking in relation to standing up in front of 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.

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

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

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

John's course is the most valuable course (including my degree) that I have ever been on, in regard to the positive impact it will continue to have on my well being and ability to progress in my career.
Emma Kane

There were no gimmicks or tricks, it felt more like learning a skill than facing a fear

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

John really helped me to realise my true potential and strength

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!
School Nurse

You are doing important work John, but I am pretty sure you are reminded of that each and every day

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!

To go from never allowing myself to public speak to signing up to a teaching course in a month proves what your course has done for me. 

In Feb 2018, what one participant did the days after she left the course...

Sunday: As soon as I left the course I went to a party! Not what I wanted, I’d have preferred to lie down in a dark room! I don’t do well at parties, but even as exhausted as I was, I was much more confident and assertive socially than I would normally be, and comfortable in myself.
On the Tuesday I shot some video for my site, of me presenting to camera.
The course has completely changed the way I approached this, compared to previous videos. I was much more relaxed and conversational. I even shot some without any notes or prep. I could focus more on communicating the value to the customer, than wanting to tell people what I would do for them (ie bang on about services.)
Then on the Wednesday, I had to write a presentation for the following day. Again, I approached this from a completely different perspective than normal. I opened with a story about me – I never do anything personal in that type of situation ever. My presentation was much more about story-telling and was very ‘less is more’ in terms of the messages I needed to get across. Not only that, but I wrote it in about 3 hours. Normally I would be a couple of days tinkering with a presentation.
I’ve just done the presentation today, Thursday – to a room of 50 people.  I was more nervous than normal because this new style put me right out of my comfort zone, and I was panicking that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.  I did it! I looked at people. I abandoned my 9 page script half way down page 2. I made a mistake. I paused, no one noticed. I pulled it back with no drama. I walked around. I looked at people in the eyes. I was calm. Oh yes, I was enjoying myself too. I had lovely feedback from many people in the audience and made a few new contacts.
There was networking afterwards. I am an awful networker. But today, I talked non-stop to people and in fact ended up being one of the last to leave. There was no alcohol (not for me anyway), so no dutch courage, just me. Changed.
I am staggered at the difference that this has made in such a short time. The results of this course have far exceeded my expectations. There are so many things out there that promise so much, but deliver so little. This has delivered enormously and immediately.
Thank you so much John.
Gabrielle O'Hare

February 2018

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

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

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

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

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


January 2018

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

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

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

October 2017

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

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

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

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

September 2017

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

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

June 2017

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

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

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

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

Olivia De Santos
Wedding Planner

May 2017

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

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

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

Best regards,

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

April 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

CEO - Business Owner - Co Founder

March 2017

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

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

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

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

Feb 2017

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

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

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


January 2017

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

December 2016

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

November 2016

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

October 2016

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

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

September 2016

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

August 2016

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

July 2016

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

June 2016

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

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

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

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

May 2016

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

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

April 2016

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

March 2016

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

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

February 2016

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

January 2016

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

December 2015

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

November 2015

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

October 2015

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

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

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

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

September 2015

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

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

July 2015

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

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

June 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 2015

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

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

April 2015

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

I loved the atmosphere (of the course). Relaxing, calming and the most important - supporting. It was incredible. I enjoyed the way you are teaching. I 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.

March 2015

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

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

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

Feb 2015

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

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

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

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

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

January 2015

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

Did you get it?
Absolutely -with bells on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Primary school teacher