Always looking to improve the skills of HAA’s people, when Hector heard of Women Speaking workshops run by Catherine McGrath Media, he had no doubt it would be beneficial. As a result, the women of HAA had a great time this week improving their public speaking skills at a one day workshop guided by former journalist, Catherine McGrath.

Giving a presentation or speaking up in a meeting can be daunting, especially for women. Our female architects are frequently the only women in the room at client, consultant or site presentations and meetings. Age and, for some of our architects, speaking English as a second language can be inhibitors to participating confidently. Women Speaking gives women the skills to actively bring their presence into those spaces.

Catherine reminded everyone that they are professionals and experts, and they have a valuable and important contribution to make. She explained how to construct a presentation, and also how to prepare for a meeting to ensure your key points are made. Everyone had the opportunity to give a short speech, receiving feedback from Catherine and each other at various stages.

A lot of fun and understanding was also provided by actor and voice coach, Lexi Sekuless who gave group and one-on-one sessions. Lexi explained the use of breathing to relax, locate our stronger voices and the technique of opening our mouths to bring our speech forward. She also provided useful tips on preparing yourself physically prior to speaking.

It was a great day, and everyone is looking forward to implementing their new-found knowledge. Thanks to Catherine and Lexi! And thanks to Hector who initiated the workshop; it’s a great idea for women in all professions.