I am an experienced stage and screen actor and I have spent twenty years working as a trainer/coach. I specialise in helping people to gain confidence and self awareness. With you I will develop bespoke, practical techniques that help you to shine.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
Personal presence & impact
Chairing skills and working in a committee
Job interview skills
Being a people manager
Influencing & negotiation skills
Questioning and listening techniques
- Tell me about your qualifications.
My formal qualifications:
I studied Theatre and Drama at Warwick University from 1983-86 2:1. I specialised during my degree on Theatre in Education and in the Community.
I studied singing as a mezzo soprano with Elizabeth Weir at Trinity Academy Edinburgh 1978-81 and then with Rosalind Roberts at the University of Warwick 1983-86 and Brian Galloway in London from 1985-1995.
I made a special study of Bb clarinet with Robert Martin in London from 2010-2013.
- How much do you charge?
£45 per hour is my introductory rate for Tutor pages and all other fees are based on this pro rata, unless I offer you a discount for booking longer or multiple sessions. This applies if you come to my studio in N17. If I travel to you, we will agree with you a reasonable extra fee to cover the time and cost of doing so.
Step 1 - We will begin with a free telephone/skype consultation for 20 minutes or so to establish what you'd like so that we can be sure I am the right person to help you. We may also use this call to set up some preparation exercises for the first session, if that is appropriate.
Step 2: Note that I usually recommend that you book at least 1:5hrs for the first session.
Step 3: I am very happy to negotiate lower rates for multiple bookings or if you would like a longer session.
- Where do you teach?
I have a studio at home in Tottenham N17, a spacious, professional and quiet space. It is very convenient for the North Circular, Victoria line and overground services from Liverpool Street Station.
I also spend time in Edinburgh and can sometimes work with clients there.
- When are you available?
My schedule is very variable so I have no limits on when I might be able to work with you- just ask.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I am comfortable teaching any adult student, as in 16 or over.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
My approach is to work with you and focus on what you need and want. I will listen very hard to what you have to say and be very observant of how you are in yourself before I make any suggestions. I believe that this 'coaching' style is always the most credible for long lasting and integral change to occur.
As I don't have any particular 'discipline' or 'technique' that I 'always' apply, I am not acting as a 'guru' or an 'expert' in that sense. What I am expert at is paying attention and inspiring you to have more confidence. I am lucky to have had a varied experience of work and life and have many, many ideas up my sleeve that I can share with you. Otherwise I believe that the answers almost always come from you. This means that the learning you experience with me helps you to become more authentic, have more integrity, be more comfortable and self aware and to feel empowered to go out and get what you want, whilst being entirely true to yourself.
- What kind of experience do you have?
Performance: Since 1986 I have worked as worked as an actor, musician, voiceover and singer as well as an artistic, musical and casting director - see my website for more details: nicolaburnettsmith.co.uk I am a classically trained mezzo soprano and play Bb and Bass clarinets as well as Alto and Soprano Sax.
(work includes: English Theatre Vienna, Citizens Theatre Glasgow, The Royal Theatre Northampton, The Riverside Studios Hammersmith, The Theatre by the Lake Keswick, Battersea Arts Centre, The Natural Theatre Company Bath/Hamburg, Royal National Theatre South Bank, Tim Pigott-Smith's Compass Theatre, Katie Mitchell's company at The Gate Theatre, TAG Theatre Company at the Edinburgh International Festival, Oxford Stage Company, The Kings Head London)
Audition coach: I am highly experienced at helping performers to develop their skills and build a relaxed, charismatic style at audition.
Facilitator/coach: In the private and public sector I have worked since 1996 with clients ranging from Hiscox Insurance to Peugeot via Law Firms Herbert Smith Freehills and Mayer Brown, major banks including RBS and HSBC and regulatory bodies including the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants and the General Optical Council. I help groups and individuals with the practical skills required to deal with all the challenges of working in teams and in business. Subjects covered include: Being a People Manager, Delivering Difficult Messages, Giving and Receiving Feedback, Questioning and Listening, Understanding Transactional Analysis Ego States and Drivers, Chairing skills, Induction sessions for tribunal panellists, Equality and Diversity, Unconscious Bias.
Recent one-to-one coaching sessions:
Interview Preparation: I have helped university applicants and senior lawyers to prepare for their interviews.
Managing difficult work relationships: I have worked on series of sessions to help individuals manage relationships with their bosses and peers.
Dealing with anxiety/presentation skills: Last year I worked extensively with a senior exec on managing his anxiety when presenting to his senior management team.
Chairing and Committee work
Lay Member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) 2000-2004
Lay Member of Investigations Committee, Taxation Disciplinary Service (for ATTA and CIOT) 2001-2009
Lay Member and Chair of the General Dental Council (GDC) Fitness to Practise Panel and Health Committee 2004-2014
Since sitting on the above panels I have become a popular trainer of committees and committee chairs, exploring the skills and attitudes necessary to make sure that the right decision is made. See xperient.co.uk for more details.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Not yet but I will get that sorted ASAP.
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
British Actors Equity
Federation of Small Businesses
• BA Hons Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts
• British Actors Equity
I worked with PT on four 2-hour coaching sessions on Personal Presentation and Impact:
'Nicola I want to send you my personal thanks for your time over the sessions. I really feel the input and advice you've given has been really valuable and will benefit myself and hopefully my team going forwards.
I coached MK on his presentations skills:
'I applied a lot of what we worked on (to my two presentations) and both worked much better. In fact, the word â€œbrilliant” was used in the feedback! ...As you can imagine I'm really happy with this as it specifically contradicts some of the worries I have had - just the tonic I need!
I helped coach BW to create a more interactive day of presentations for a professional audience in Hong Kong:
'Thanks for all the great help.Thanks to your guidance, my presentations went far better than I had expected. I think the boss will ask for some more help later in the year. When that happens, I will suggest the use of your skills.
public speaking lessons closeby? Here's a selection of tutor listings that you can check out.
|at her home||at your home||By webcam|
|1 hour||£45||£45||Not available|