Overcoming the fear of speaking

6:00am Saturday 24th August 2013

PHENOMENAL women are descending on Hartford to discover confidence, build self esteem and become prize presenters during monthly speaking clubs.

Hartford resident Catherine Sandland’s created White Hart Development 14 years ago and has run Phenomenal Woman speaking courses for the past two years.

With a half day ‘From Panic to Poise’ Speaking Club at Hartford Hall and a two-day Phenomenal Woman Presentation Skills seminar at the St John’s Centre, Catherine is enjoying helping local business women reach their presenting potential.

“The aim is to give women the confidence and the skills to stand up and speak convincingly and compellingly in business,” said the 48-year-old mum of two.

“While there are some very confident women speakers there are also some who feel intimidated and feel they can’t have an influence.”

Catherine spotted the need for women to ‘up their game’ when speaking in public after attending a 25-strong networking event dominated by 22 men.

“I watched the other two women successfully sabotage their presentation,” she joked. “Then I realised it was a particular issue.

“I run some courses for women who are already very successful in business and others for those who are frightened to death.”

The entrepreneur has lived in the village with husband Richard for 17 years and, with 14-year-old son Matthew at Weaverham High and four-year-old William starting Hartford Primary in September, the convenient locations are proving popular with both teacher and pupils.

“We’ve already held two of the bite size Speaking Club meetings in Hartford,” she said. “It’s a nice location and is perfect for me and local business women.”

And Catherine has been impressed by her students’ determination to hit their public speaking peak.

“I’ve been astounded at the talent and passion of these women,” she added.

“Yet I have also seen how many women struggle to overcome the fear of public speaking.

“I want to help them provide a compelling argument and produce inspirational content that will resonate with those they are presenting to.”

The next Speaking Club meeting is on September 11, 9.30am to 12.30am.

Visit catherinesandland.com.

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