Helping you, or people in your organisation, to achieve the best outcomes from speaking, presenting and influencing others
You have goals for your public speaking or presentations. And being a competent, credible and influential communicator and presenter is becoming more important than ever.
I can help.
My name’s Sarah Denholm, I’m based in Melbourne, and I’m a speech coach, trainer and consultant. I do public speaking and presentation skills coaching throughout Australia and beyond.
If you have something to say (or are employed to do so), and want to become comfortable, engaging and influential in front of groups, I could well be the right coach for you.
Learn how to increase your influence and impact when you communicate: whether that’s a conference keynote, small group meeting or 1:1 client appointment.
I’ve worked particularly with small groups and individuals, in organisations from large enterprise such as Australia Post, right down to entrepreneurs and small business owners. I also do a lot of coaching with private clients working in the corporate world, who’d like a safe environment to learn and practise their skills.
After years of struggling with performance and public speaking anxiety (my story is below), I’ve learned what’s needed to prepare and perform at your best in front of an audience.
I originally trained as a professional Classical pianist, and performed at a high level in venues such as the Purcell Room, Southbank, London.
Believe me, this hones your skills on stage. Seem unprofessional – whether that’s playing wrong notes, being unprepared, or not connecting with your audience – and your reputation and career plummet. So it’s the perfect learning ground for public speaking!
- Certified Master Business Coach Graduate of B-Coach (2004)
- Coach U life-coaching Graduate (2002)
- Master’s degree in piano performance (1990)
- TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
- Asia Pacific Institute of Learning and Performance member
- AusAPT (Australian Association of Psychological Type) member
I also have over 70 recommendations on LinkedIn: view my profile here.
Sarah’s in-house presentation was exactly what we were looking for. Our team are experienced presenters and trainers but were looking to identify areas we could improve and help the team transition into the online space of webinars and video conferencing. Sarah’s easy presentation style suited our group perfectly.
“Sarah Denholm provided our Architect members with realistic tips on how to better pitch to clients and present at Awards and other events. Her engaging presentation allowed the audience to contribute without the pressure of forced participation – this was really well received. Thank you to Sarah and we will be recommending her to anyone in need of advice or public speaking training!
There are one hundred different reasons for doing this course and Sarah seems to know them all and kindly deal with them. The way she builds self-confidence in everyone is fantastic. Plus being able to think and structure in a clear way
“I never thought I would look forward to a course where I would have to speak in public each week, but this course was so interesting and helpful I did look forward to it! It can really actually improve your public speaking a lot!”
“Sarah runs a very effective public speaking course. The course she runs provides a relaxed environment but she is not afraid to provide frank feedback on your speaking/presentation skills whilst enabling you to find your own personal style. Her course is well organised and Sarah’s own experience of overcoming anxiety makes her authentic and passionate.
I got considerable benefit from completing this course and highly recommend it to anyone.”
My struggle with performance anxiety as a musician
During my six years at music college in the U.K. I suffered from performance anxiety. The competition and pressure was intense, but I coped – until chronic and disfiguring severe eczema took over my whole body. I deteriorated until I had to be hospitalised – twice. At one point I didn’t leave the house for three months – my world was tiny.
When I resurfaced, not cured but improved, I had a problem. My performance anxiety became overwhelming, and I could barely get on stage. I was self-conscious, worried about what the audience were thinking of me, and couldn’t keep my focus on the music. I was in danger of losing my career.
So I bought a round-the-world ticket and took six months off to backpack on my own (challenging for a shy introvert!). After meeting a man from Melbourne, I moved to Australia and started a new life as a pianist. And I found my performing anxiety solution: learning how to speak in public. I started as a very nervous speaker, trying to speak to audiences at concerts. My voice shook, I couldn’t look at people face-on…and I swallowed all the time! I decided to do something about it.
Starting the public speaking journey
I found that with specific tools – and practice – I actually began to enjoy public speaking. This started my passion for helping others to communicate effectively in front of groups, large or small.
Some of my values are: growth / learning / kindness.
My coaching and training is a unique and dynamic blend of research and lived experience including:
Behavioural science of learning, engagement and influence
Emotional and social intelligence
Recent media interviews include in the business and career sections of The Age Melbourne, Sydney Morning Herald and ArtsHub Australia; Exemplar Magazine; Your Next Chapter podcast (Nov. 2019).