Our Board of Trustees sets the overall strategy and direction of our charity, ensuring Speakers Trust works as well as possible and in the best way possible to fulfil our mission.
Trustees are unpaid members of the charity who are either elected by the other members or invited because of their specialist knowledge.
Meet our Trustees below – and find out what happens at their meetings via the Chair Reports.
Following an early career in marketing and public relations, Sue has spent the last 25 years working in the voluntary sector. She set up the hugely successful Speak Up! Speak Out! programme and is the Founder of the charity as it is today. Sue is a Trustee of the Joseph Rank Trust and a Fellow of the RSA; she is also a Greater London individual National Training Award winner and holds a Highly Commended Beacon Fellowship Award.Read more
“As someone who reached the age of 45 avoiding speaking at all costs, it was quite literally life changing when I first visited a speakers club and felt that this is what was needed – both for me personally and in the voluntary sector. We all feel passionate about issues but most of us will fail to speak up and speak out when the opportunity arises.
Finding one’s voice changes lives. Self-confidence is a direct result of our training, but even more important is realising for oneself the feeling of self-worth and that we all have something to say. So often we are our own worst critics – particularly as adults. We all need to hear what we do well, to hear specific praise for a job well done and then suggestions as to how we could improve. The focus of our work is ensuring that the training is available to those least heard and when ‘allowed’ to speak will often say more than everyone else in the room.”
Sean is a property investor and an investor in new and early stage businesses. Previously, he was a Director of Speakers Bank and instrumental in the creation and delivery of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! He joined the Board in May 2015.Read more
“Becoming a better speaker is one of the most important skills a person can develop. It can be transformative – creating confidence which leads to inclusion and achievement. That was the reason I became involved with, what was then Speakers Bank, in 2005 and developed the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! with funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation. As Chair of the London Irish Centre and Governor at City and Islington College, I believe firmly in a strong civil society.”
Andrew has held a broad range of senior posts including Chair, CEO, Grant Maker and Fundraiser. He established and until 2008 ran the Jack Petchey Foundation, which has given more than £100 million in grants thus far. He was Founder Chair at The Petchey Academy and previously CEO at the national charity The Winged Fellowship (now Revitalise).Read more
“One of the most successful programmes we initiated at the Jack Petchey Foundation was the “Speak Out” Challenge! It has had a profound effect on the lives of over 166,000 trained to date in the skills of public speaking and a key factor in my decision to join the Speakers Trust Board in May of 2015. I devote the majority of my time and energy to the third sector and act as Trustee at Mercy Ships UK; Vice-President of UK Friends of Mengo Hospital in Uganda and Patron of the Billington Vocational Training Centre, Uganda. Previously I have been a Board Member of London Legacy 2020; Chair of East London Connexions 2000 and Vice-Chair at ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives in the Voluntary Sector).”
Fiona Wilkinson is Chief Officer, corporate communications at Visa Europe. She has over 30 years experience in financial services with specialisms in marketing, sales and communications. She is responsible for protecting and building the company’s reputation and advising its Board and CEO. She is an experienced conference organiser and speaker.Read more
“I ardently believe in the power of individuals to express themselves clearly and concisely. I know from personal experience that doing that, in public, is not easy. It takes preparation, practice and guts. All of the people who take part in the Speakers Trust training and events are brave and deserve to be rewarded with that valuable lifetime skill. I hope to enable more people to gain that experience.”
David has been an Army Officer since 1982, serving in the UK and overseas in various roles. Latterly he was a member of the small executive team that delivered the inaugural Invictus Games. He has significant Board level experience in strategy, operational planning, cross-cultural leadership and change, public affairs, communications and team building.Read more
“Throughout my service, I have witnessed the importance of being able to speak up and speak out about what matters – and the peril of silence. The ability to speak can transform lives and is key to addressing issues.
I leapt at the opportunity to support Speakers Trust because its focus on delivering a critical life skill is vital. This is a skill that all too often is neglected, but one that has the very real ability to benefit the individual, the community and society.”
David held senior international roles in marketing and advertising with WPP before becoming an independent management consultant, facilitator and coach. Alongside his work with business, government and professional service firms, he is a Kilfinan Trust mentor to charity leaders, a consultant to Impetus-Pef young lives charities and a Board member of The Globe – promoting the study and appreciation of Shakespeare in performance. He has been a Trustee since 2015.Read more
“I believe the confidence and ability to speak and to engage others, the essence of communication throughout civilisation, is a critical success factor for life in the 21st century. Working in the world of professional media communications, I became aware of the relative lack of attention paid to the medium of live spoken communication. In 2005, I qualified as an IAF-Certified Professional Facilitator and have since run many live forums and workshops to help teams engage, communicate and collaborate. I also became a public speaker, a regular TED participant and a presentation and public speaking trainer.
I am committed to working with Speakers Trust to create greater awareness, resources and impact so that more people of all ages can experience the transformation and liberation that confidence and ability in public speaking can bring – not to mention the benefits to their audiences.”
After reading Economics at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Manchester, he spent most of the next twenty five years either at the Bank of England, or at The Economist. During this period, he also had several spells as a consultant to the World Bank. Rupert was editor of The Economist from 1986 – 93 and Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 1993 – 95.
He then went into business, leading a buy-out of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, which the Government was privatising. Rupert has been on the Board of many companies, both private and public. His current directorships include; Royal London Insurance Group, Chairman since June 2013, the Economist Group, Director since 2006, Chairman from July 2009, PGI Group, Chairman since 1997 (de-listed 2009), Times Newspapers, Independent National Director since 2003 and in the social sector Chairman, Shakespeare Schools Festival, since 2001 (and retired in August, 2015).Read more
“The sooner you learn how to speak in public, the more confident and persuasive you will be – and that will be true all through your life. Speakers Trust gives people this opportunity. It will help them change their lives.”
Cindy Rampersaud is a senior executive with Board level experience in global and UK-based organisations within the education, commercial and third sectors. She joined City and Islington College in February 2011 as Deputy Principal, having spent all of her previous career in private sector organisations such as EMI Music, Warner Brothers and Virgin Retail. She has a strong track record of financial, strategic and change management. Cindy is currently a trustee of The Children’s Society and a Governor of the Kensington Aldridge Academy, where she is Chair of the Business Committee.Read more
“I am passionate about education as an enabler and the role it can play in supporting access to further study and/or employment. All leaners should be equipped and supported to achieve their full potential; enrichment is a key component of the learning experience – providing learners with the skills to express themselves and their ideas with confidence, clarity and conviction is invaluable. All the people who take part in Speakers Trust programmes are to be applauded for their bravery, insight and commitment. They gain a lifetime skill, but also inspire others to engage with the excellent training.”
Shaninga Marasha is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for London based youth charity, the BIGKID Foundation. Shaninga has over 15 years experience working with young people, specialising in engaging with those deemed ‘hard to reach’. He is responsible for building and nurturing external networks and partnerships, as well as spearheading major projects and fundraising. Shaninga has a background in business development and alternative education.Read more
“I am passionate about seeing people succeed where no one else thought they could. I’m especially keen to see young people use their voice to positively express themselves, impacting not only those around them, but their wider community as well. Speakers Trust is a vital part of a person’s journey to success, I hope I can help it continue this important work.”
Martin Clifford-King has spent the last 25 years working with a wide variety of consumer businesses. Most recently he was an Operating Partner with the private equity firm Sun European. Prior to this role, Martin ran his own business for 9 years providing Interim CFO services to clients in retail, restaurant, healthcare and gaming sectors including Wiggle, Clinton Cards, The Practice, Office Shoes, HobbyCraft, Whistles, Costa Coffee, mkone and Leisure & Gaming plc. Previous jobs include CFO at MFI Furniture Group Plc, FD at Harveys Furnishings plc (both listed on the London Stock Exchange) and 9 years in various positions at Debenhams and the Burton Group. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells.
“The ability to speak and communicate effectively to a group of people is a crucial skill that I believe everyone should have the chance to learn. When the opportunity arose to work with Speakers Trust, I was delighted to join the team.”
Michael has been a trainer with Speakers Trust for over seven years. In that time he has made significant contributions not only to developing confidence and speaking skills across a wide range of our Speakers Trust students, but also in supporting and mentoring many of his fellow trainers. He is no stranger to the pressures of standing up and speaking, delivering regular talks and seminars on communication skills for professionals, as well as having been a National Speaking champion for the UK Association of Speakers Clubs on four occasions.
As a Director of the College of Public Speaking Michael’s specialises in training courses in storytelling skills for businesses and for government departments, as well as a range of advanced presentation skills courses and accredited programmes in Training the Trainer.Read more
“My real attraction to public speaking training, and particularly to the special contribution made by Speakers Trust, is not so much from the point of view of ‘public speaking can be fun’, but precisely because for many people it is not!
When looking through my own feedback from students, I am less aware of those who arrive confident and say they had a great time and enjoyed the experience, than those who say they came dreading the experience but now leave with a greater sense of self-worth and a new realisation that they can speak out if they need to.”
The energy of the trainers is infectious!
6) Keep To Time
It’s a simple rule, but an important one. Don’t go over your allocated time; make the time you have count.
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