Speakerstrust Notes

Our Staff Team

Julie Holness
Chief Executive Officer

Julie has thirty years’ experience in international communications training, business development and management. A former language school Director of Studies and IELTS examiner and a Toastmaster past President, she has created and managed several successful businesses, including residential language courses for French students and property development, interior design and professional lets.

Julie joined Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! during its pilot scheme in 2006 as a trainer and regional coordinator and subsequently held the role of Programme Director from 2009-2011. She brings with her commitment, focus and passion and the desire to see everyone recognise and realise their full potential.


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Frankie Rushton
Director of Programmes

Frankie Rushton is the Speakers Trust Programme Director. Frankie has extensive experience coordinating and leading programmes across the public, private and charity sector, both internationally and in the UK. Having previously worked for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in South Africa, she delivered high profile events and visits and led on human rights policy.

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Katie Taylor
Director of Fundraising and New Programmes

Katie is inspired by the power of words to change the world. She has worked extensively in the cultural sector, including as a fundraiser on the capital campaign to relocate the Design Museum and as the manager of Cambridge Literary Festival. Her willingness to get to know people and find out what motivates them runs across all of her work.

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Victoria Costello                                                          Business Development Manager

Victoria has a robust background in education, youth work and public speaking – as well as a degree in History from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She loves to meet and work with a variety of people. Victoria strongly believes that everyone should have a voice to speak about whatever it is that is important to them.


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Anna Newsum
Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Anna arrived at Speakers Trust with an eagerness to tell our story and promote our work. She believes that being a confident and clear communicator makes life easier, most likely because it is one of the harder things to achieve.

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Becky Griffiths                                                           Programme Coordinator: Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge!

After graduating from university, Becky spent nearly ten years at EMI Classics gaining valuable experience in the Business and Artist Contracts department.  For the last two and a half years, she has been working in a secondary school supporting children with special needs which, although at times challenging, has been very rewarding.  

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Charlotte Hindle                                                           Programme Management Support: Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge!

After travelling to Australia, Charlotte worked at Lonely Planet’s Head Office in Melbourne for three years. In 1991, she returned to England to set up LP’s UK office – which she ran until June 2002. Since then, Charlotte has worked on several Lonely Planet guides; The Career Break Book, The Gap Year book, The LP Guide to Travel Writing, Australia, Mediterranean Europe, Walking in Britain, England and Britain. Her travel photos also appear in publications all over the world.


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Hilary Lyons

Hilary joined Speaker Trust in March 2014. She has worked as a communication skills trainer, mentor and voice coach for over 17 years.

Her background in the Performing Arts, as a professional actress and theatre director, provided the skills and experience to create a series of personal development  courses, which she shared with groups around the world.

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Vedyamala Reddy
Finance Manager

Having graduated with a Management degree and having attained CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting, Vedyamala has worked for several years in the private and third sector.  She has also been actively involved in charities as a voluntary treasurer for the last eight years.

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Participant Quote

Excellent training – the attendees haven’t stopped talking about it!

Jamie Cooke

Top Ten Tips

5) Use The Power of Pause

‘Silence is golden’, as the saying goes. Use a pause to give your audience time to process what you’ve told them and to add impact to your statement.

Recent Clients

Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland
Young Women’s Trust
Harris Academy Falconwood
Raleigh International