Laura North, Founder
I founded Speaking Out in 2009 after many years of successfully avoiding most forms of public speaking.
In 2008, I went to Social Innovation Camp. But when it came to presenting an idea in front of a crowd, I quickly shrank into the background. It struck me then: How many opportunities am I missing because I avoid public speaking? Pitching ideas, speaking in big meetings, presenting my work at events. The list is long. And the truth is: if you speak, then you get noticed.
But it was the fact that there were lots of other people in the same position that made me want to do something about it. So I organised the very first Speaking Out event in February 2010. It’s grown from there really. We were commissioned to run an event and workshops at City Hall, and we quickly moved into the world of universities, and have worked with institutions such as Ravensbourne, London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins, University of London Queen Mary’s and Middlesex University. We also won a Future100 Award and an UnLtd Award.
The plan is for Speaking Out to help me and other people get more comfortable and confident speaking in public, so we can make the best of all the opportunities that are coming our way.
Hannah Lee, Operations Manager
I manage operations for Speaking Out, developing and maintaining the processes that are essential to the running of the organisation. I also work on funding applications and coordinating our group of expert facilitators.
I am also an actor by trade so I’m no stranger to speaking in public, although I usually get to hide behind a costume and a character! I find speaking as myself a lot more challenging. My most daunting experience to date was pitching a short film idea to an industry panel at Pinewood Studios, including a forty minute grilling during the Q&A session that followed my presentation!
Our team of expert facilitators are at the core of making Speaking Out so effective. They are all friendly, supportive and put people at their ease.
They have extensive experience running communication skills workshops both with Speaking Out and with other organisations.