Our Trainers

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Richard Hull
Lead Trainer

Richard has been working within Theatre and Education for over a decade with young people throughout the UK, USA and Switzerland. He has taught English and Drama in Secondary Schools in Wales and the Swiss International system.

Phil Barber

Phil's passion Is helping entrepreneurs, professionals and teenagers communicate their message with an engaging authenticity that influences and inspires.
After his earlier career in the Merchant Navy. Phil set up and ran four small businesses He trained as a Life and Business Coach in 2000.

Tom Brooks

Tom trained at East 15 Acting School and worked professionally as an actor before studying screenwriting and developing film-directing and producing skills in Oxford. For the past decade, Tom has specialised in leading film, drama and public speaking workshops that inspire confident communication in young people as well as producing videos and short films. Tom has lead workshops for students in the UK, France, Zimbabwe and China to name a few. He is known for creating playful, inspired and open environments that allow students to take risks and make breakthroughs.

Al Brunker

Al is a trainer, performance poet and recovering lawyer. He brings humour and a passion for learning to his training sessions, and a belief that learners learn most effectively from within themselves and from each other.

Pete Cansdale

Pete comes from a background in business, where he works with individuals and groups to help them achieve their potential. He’s believes passionately in the importance and benefits of excellent spoken communication. He loves seeing students have break-through moments as they grow in their ability to put themselves across with clarity, confidence and impact. He brings energy and enthusiasm to all workshops he delivers and hopes to be a role-model to everyone he works with.

Alison Clarke

Alison comes from a background of business, marketing and the travel industry. She loves the journey that the students make during the day, especially the less confident ones that find they can do it. She likes to focus on the life skills that this day gives them in the hope that when it comes to being interviewed in the future they will remember the training and pull on those resources.

Emma Clark

Emma has worked in Education for over 20 years. As a secondary English Teacher and key stage coordinator, she has led public speaking and debating initiatives in a number of secondary schools in her area. She firmly believes that oracy plays a central role in both personal and educational development. Emma loves seeing the progress students can make when they start to overcome their fears about speaking up and begin to find an inner confidence. She finds it a privilege to be a part of that journey.

Krista Court

Krista has worked in Education for 20 years, most recently as a Senior Lecturer in TESOL. She now runs her own business supporting students’ academic and professional development and is particularly passionate about oracy at secondary and HE levels. As a trainer with Talk The Talk, she has the wonderful opportunity of helping young people find and use their voices to communicate confidently their knowledge, beliefs, values and life stories. It’s always a privilege for Krista to be part of what is, for many students, a transformative process.

Clare Critchley

After graduating with a degree in Russian, Clare spent a short spell planning publicity campaigns for the Welsh government before landing an unpaid work placement at the BBC. She ended up staying at the BBC for 13 years, producing live programmes for Radio Wales, Radio 4 and the World Service. Clare believes passionately in state education and is determined that children shouldn't lose out to their private school peers because of a lack of opportunity or self belief.

Claudette Dawson

Claudette has been a Facilitator of Learning for over 20 years. For the last 6 years, she has been working in education alongside delivering development skills in the business world to adults. She is passionate about people being the best version of themselves and appreciates the importance effective communication skills play in our everyday lives.
She loves the opportunity to use her energy and enthusiasm to create a space for internal breakthrough moments to happen for the students and considers it a privilege to see this growth happen.

Jolene Doody

Jolene has worked in secondary education for almost 18 years, 14 of which she spent as an English teacher. Most recently, she worked within SEND, safeguarding and pastoral management roles to holistically assist students with both their learning and wellbeing.

She believes that confident oracy skills can help young people make the most of their lives, no matter their learning style, qualifications or background. She considers being able to formally verbalise their opinions, wants and needs, to be the driving force to help give students equal opportunities and build self-esteem.

Mike Doody

Michael is an experienced teacher and passionate Oracy advocate. He was a teacher for over 12 years, working in private and state schools in Lincolnshire, Manchester and Yorkshire. He has spent the last five years as an Oracy specialist delivering high impact interventions that he believes make a real difference to students’ lives in and beyond the classroom. Outside of education, he challenges himself with property development and the most challenging role of all – being a Dad!

Rowena English

Rowena joined Talk the Talk in 2019 and is thoroughly enjoying visiting schools across the country. She prides herself on building a strong rapport with students to support them in stepping out of their comfort zones, surprising themselves and often their teachers.

Ffion Glyn

Ffion is an actor, facilitator and producer based in Cardiff. She studied at The University of Birmingham and trained at East 15 Acting School. She has vast experience of working with young people and teachers and relishes the opportunity to collaborate in a school setting. A fluent Welsh speaker, Ffion particularly enjoys encouraging young people who English is not their first language to gain confidence in communicating in all languages.

Adam Grayson

Adam trained at RADA. He has been acting in leading roles extensively for various regional, touring and Theatre in Education companies across the UK, Ireland, France and Croatia. Speaking & listening skills have been (and continue to be) the key to his own personal success and as a trainer for Talk the Talk it is wonderful to have the opportunity to encourage students to experience for themselves just how vital communicating confidently can be.

Alastair Greener

Alastair has worked in the sales and travel industry, as well as his current career of acting and TV presenting. Over the years he’s been developing his speaking and communication skills whether it be from the stage or in front of the camera, and he’s passionate helping others to be more effective speakers.

Anna Hatton

Anna has worked with young adults for over 20 years in both sports coaching and as a science teacher.

She loves enabling different groups of students to achieve growth in confidence and self belief. Along side delivering workshops for Talk the Talk, Anna coaches Cheerleading and gymnastics and travels internationally to coach, compete and judge.

Ffion King

Ffion has a masters degree in acting and trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She utilises her extensive experience in the performing arts, twenty years, throughout her work with young people. When she's not facilitating or on stage, she uses her skills in oracy to work with medical professionals to help improve their patient-communication. Ffion is a passionate and strong advocate for the power, freedom and agency that the confidence to speak in public can bring to young people.

Amy Leighton

Amy is an actress, theatre education facilitator and communications coach. Originally from Bristol, she moved to London to undertake her BA (Hons) in Performance at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2010 and has stayed ever since. A wide variety of roles have followed, performing across Theatre, TV, Film and Voiceover work.

Carl Meah

Down to earth, quick-witted and with a great sense of humour Carl has a natural ability to connect with young people and adults alike. These qualities have enabled him to become a successful trainer and facilitator. His own life experience, together with his passion for working with people, allows him to bring unique energy, empathy and creativity to his sessions. Because of his passion for working with young people Carl has been working in the education sector for twenty years alongside time spent as a Probation Officer.

Carl loves working with young people and values the capacity of each individual to change and achieve their full potential.

Liza Meggitt

A registered teacher of Performing Arts, Liza has been involved with training Public Speaking and oracy throughout her career. ​​ A professional choreographer and fellow of the ISTD. she also trains Dance students to Advanced 2 level. Liza is on the board of LAMDA examiners.

Lisa O'Hanlon

Lisa is an experienced Actor, Theatre Maker and Educator with over 25 years professional experience. Amongst numerous exciting work adventures, she has: established three theatre companies; lived and worked across two continents and jumped out of a plane once! Developing young people's confidence, resilience and encouraging respect and kindness is at the heart of Lisa's creative practice and she is thoroughly enjoying being part of the Talk The Talk team.

Mike Pagan

Mike has worked with several thousand young adults for many years teaching confident communication skills. His passion flows from his work with professional sports people in or heading towards retirement helping them uncover and follow their new path and career in Life After Sport. Mike is forthright, practical and thought provoking, students and clients alike appreciate his uncomplicated approach first hand because it works. He is a professionally accredited performance Coach, Speaker, Master of Ceremonies and Author.

Sophie Peach

Sophie’s first career was in business. She spent 3 years working as a buyer in Paris, before transferring back to the UK spending 5 years as a Product Manager for a multi-national distributor. Sophie then moved into charity work encouraging children to develop a love of reading. In 2007 she took on the role of Chair of Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest & since 2010 has been running the Book Award for Shropshire primary schools. Inspired by the Book Award she explored options to link this with an opportunity to develop pupils’ confidence when speaking up.

Tim Perris

Tim’s passion is empowering individuals to live a life of purpose, intrinsically motivated and able to take ownership for their learning and their life whist enjoying their ‘Work in Progress’. ​ For 20 years Tim has coached and tutored individuals and groups in music and performance alongside a 12-year career teaching and leading in Maths and Science across all phases, from Primary school to A-level.

Max Poole

Max has been working in education and special needs for the past sixteen years. Alongside Talk The Talk, he runs his own online EFL teaching business and has worked in five different countries. An ability to develop rapport with students helps Max in his passion, helping young people realise their potential and gain in confidence.

Abigail Rhodes

Abi has been working as an actor for over 25 years and also runs her own theatre company Bespoken Theatre. She has worked in the worlds of theatre, TV, film, voiceover, teaching, storytelling, workshop facilitation and live interpretation where she can be found in a wide variety of museums playing various historical characters. It's safe to say that in her daily work she does a lot of talking! But it was not always this way as when younger Abi was very shy. Her experiences have made her feel passionate about helping others to feel more confident and to find their own voices.

Joe Rowntree

Joe is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer and presenter. His TV career started in 2001 writing put-downs for Anne Robinson on "The Weakest Link". He has hosted 2 UK tours of "Brainiac Live" which culminated at the Hammersmith Apollo after appearing in all six series of the award-winning hit Sky 1 show "Brainiac: Science Abuse."Joe has worked in business and education delivering workshops in a number of motivation, mindset and memory techniques. He is passionate about helping young people reach their full potential and find their voice by equipping them with the necessary skills to have the confidence to speak up for themselves.

Jo Slater

As a passionate linguist and 12 years’ experience teaching Spanish and German in secondary schools in Derbyshire, Jo understands the importance of communication and oracy skills and the role they play in everyday life. Leading visits and exchanges abroad were her favourite part of this role, where Jo saw many of her students blossom and excel in both their listening and communication skills, not only in their first language, but also in an additional foreign language.
In her current role working within Higher Education, she is fortunate enough to work within widening participation; helping students who may traditionally face more barriers when progressing to higher education when compared to their peers; something in which she strongly believes.

Dave Smith

Dave has performed comedy all over the country with the likes of Peter Kay, Lee Evans and Rich Hall. Transferring his writing skills into print, he also wrote for numerous magazines as a columnist, and for the Sunday Times as a travel writer. He appeared on TV shows and as a columnist on Radio 4’s Home Truths with John Peel. Dave has now visited over 600 schools, running creative writing and public speaking workshops, helping young people overcome the fear of expressing themselves. He realises the enormous part self-esteem and confidence play in enabling young people to fulfill their potential, both professionally and socially.

Felicity Smith

Felicity has worked in secondary education for 16 years. She began her career as a teacher of Business studies before moving into senior leadership and spending 4 years as a Headteacher. She is now a Director in her own events business. In order for young people to succeed in life, Felicity believes passionately in ensuring that all children have access to good education and that as well as the academic curriculum, they should be exposed to a wide range of careers education opportunities including the development of their communication skills. In her experience, even the most academic students can be held back by a lack of confidence and the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively.

Gregory Smith

Gregory A. Smith trained through Lee Strasberg Method in Los Angeles, California. He has worked predominantly in theatre for the past twenty years including several Shakespeare plays. Gregory has acted in feature films, television, and short films. He has toured in the United States, France, Germnay and across the U.K and so understands the importance of communication skills, speaking French and Italian fluently. Previously a drama and comedy tutor with Pauline Quirke Academy, Gregory is also a faciliatator of historical workshops in the U.K, and with drama workshops in France. Gregory also writes novels, poetry a play so far, and paints in oils and pastels.

Sarah Steed

A qualified CIPD training professional with a passion for the arts, Sarah draws on her background in theatre, and 25 years of business experience to develop high impact training and audience engagement.

Her passion for social marketing underpins many creative ventures. Projects have ranged from multi-media performances to promote sustainability in business to designing and leading anti-bullying roadshows.

Sarah works with young people and adults to create non-judgemental environments, where everybody feels comfortable to contribute and has fun learning. She is adept at working with all abilities and SEND, both in mainstream schools and alternative provision.

Andrew Tidmarsh

Over the last twenty years, Andrew has been a theatre director, writer and university lecturer. He has taught at various UK drama schools including Drama Centre London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was a course lead at both of these drama schools. Andrew also taught Shakespeare and Approaches to Playwriting for fourteen years at Goldsmiths, University of London to both undergraduates and postgraduates. He still lectures in playwriting for The Lir, Trinity College, Dublin.

More recently, Andrew has devised and taught courses for RADA Business where he works with clients on their presentation skills and story-telling. He has written two books: An Attitude for Acting and Genre: A Guide to Writing for Stage and Screen. His comedy short films have been shown at festivals all over the world where some have even won awards.

Lesley Wilsdon

The first 25 years of Lesley’s career was in the music industry. However whilst bringing up her 3 daughters she discovered a passion for education!

Nearly 15 years later, Lesley brings her experience as a Special Needs Assistant, Learning Mentor, English teacher and Year 7 Transition Coordinator to delivery of the Talk The Talk workshops.

Working with young people continues to be the single most rewarding thing I’ve done in my 40 year career to date. Being part of their individual journeys during the workshops – and witnessing those “lightbulb” moments - is just priceless.

Steve Wright

Steve has been working as an actor and stage manager in theatre for over 25 years and as well as his work as a Talk The Talk Trainer he also currently teaches drama and acting to children and young adults as well as teaching adults philosophy and ethics at Aberystwyth University. He says his passion is for knowledge and truth and his desire is to help people of all ages and all backgrounds find knowledge and truth within themselves.

Nicola Vincent

Nicola began her career in marketing; spending 6 years developing the brands of household names. After taking a sabbatical to travel and volunteer overseas, Nicola was inspired to move into education and start working with young people. Having spent over 12 years in the classroom Nicola is passionate about giving every student a voice. She particularly enjoys helping the quietest, least confident student develop over the course of a Talk The Talk workshop.

We are recruiting; please click here to see our trainer recruitment page.

We are also looking for new trustees; click here to see our trustee recruitment page.