Kate is a qualified coach and experienced manager and trainer, working across the public and private sectors in the UK and Australia for the past 15 years. She’s held senior creative roles within the digital divisions of leading global companies, where pitching ideas and communicating complex information were core skills.
Kate has designed and led a variety of workshops and training and development programmes for teams in digital media, ecommerce, education and government. She’s also the founder of the ‘Get it Done’ community in Bristol, where monthly workshops help empower members to overcome procrastination one task at a time.
1.Please describe your job in detail?
I have two sides to my working life. Firstly, I’m self-employed as a user experience designer. My role is to help create software and digital products that really work for the people using them, so they can get things done much more easily. Communication is at the heart of this: from talking to users about their needs, to presenting solutions to business stakeholders, and finally creating user-friendly instructions and guidance within the product itself. I’m also growing my business as a coach and trainer, which is equally focused on understanding and meeting people’s needs.
2.How would you describe yourself?
I’m a people person: I’m really inspired by fresh ideas and people who are passionate about their interests. I enjoy listening and love to learn from the experiences of others. I like exploring new places and spending time in the great outdoors.
3.What attracted you to being part of the judging panel?
I’m passionate about ideas and communication, so I’m really looking forward to hearing from the finalists. Plus, I was very honoured to be asked!
4.What advice would you give to beginner public speakers?
Relax! Nerves are our worst enemy when we speak. Slow down. Breathe. People want to listen, so just take your time and you’ll do a great job.
5.What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt throughout your career?
Know your audience. Whether that’s the client you’re pitching to, the room of people you’re training, or the customer you’re creating a product for. It doesn’t matter how you intend your words to be heard, it’s how they land with the other person that matters. You need to meet their needs, so always work with them in mind.
6.What do you love most about public speaking?
Most of my talks happen in a workshop environment. I really enjoy designing the best way to deliver information for each particular group of people – it makes every session unique. I always go in with a plan, but have to be ready to change my style, content and flow depending on the needs of the people in the room. It’s fun to be kept on your toes! I love the sense of setting up a space in which others can share their own ideas and knowledge too: I always learn a lot.
7.What are you hoping to see from the contestants?
I’d like to get a feel for their true personality: what they think and what they’ve experienced. Authenticity is very engaging, and helps speakers to make a real connection with their audience. It’s so powerful when a speaker’s body language is in sync with their words too, so I’m hoping to see some great command of the space.
8. Have you had the opportunity to contribute to any magazines or national/local
Not yet, but it’s on the to-do list.
8.What do you feel is your contribution to the world of public speaking?
My career has always been about storytelling, in one way or another. I’ve worked to engage people with words in the digital sector, but my true passion is to connect with people in a face-to-face environment. Plus, I’m an enthusiastic learner! I don’t think you ever stop building your own communication skills.
9.Are you a member of any specific speaking clubs and/or groups?
I’m the founder of ‘Get it Done’, a community that supports each other to focus on what matters so we can bring a bit more balance into our lives. I organise monthly workshops around a specific topic, like running a successful side project, dealing with the dreaded ‘life admin’, or de-cluttering your space. We work through relevant tools and ideas together, and then share our progress to keep ourselves motivated.
10.Please list your own website, twitter, LinkedIn details.