Not only am I wildly enthusiastic about my subject, I am also an experienced Manager and Leader who understands the challenges of working life in terms of politics, pressure and expectations! I know how important it is to make the right impression, no matter where you are in the organisation, and I know how rewarding it can be to find your voice and get your message across well.
As a Writer I have an excellent command of the English language – so you can trust me to help you put your best foot forward.
As a Speaking Coach / Trainer I empathise with your anxiety, and promise to provide a supportive and safe space in which you can “fail forwards,” step up, and achieve your speaking goals. I provide what you need to master the skills in a simple, accessible and effective format.
As a Facilitator I understand how important it is to be well organised, and to strike the balance between control and flexibility. I have the ability to think on my feet and identify important information in the muddle of interaction. I can synthesise multiple streams of concurrent input, and assist less expressive people to articulate clearly. I am not easily intimidated by “difficult” participants, and my output turnaround time is efficient.
As a Speaker, I enjoy entertaining and educating – putting my point across using anecdote, analogy, and humour.
I aim for Excellence, Influence, and Impact – for myself and my clients.
A lifelong interest in Public Speaking and effective communication began as I grew up in Zambia, England and South Africa. Exposed to a variety of cultures, I became involved with Debating, Amateur Dramatics and Performance from an early age.
As a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Australia in 1982, I spoke to many diverse audiences and on my return I completed a rather unusual Science degree at WITS with dual majors across Faculties in Computer Science and English!
My career began in Software Development but I moved rapidly into the people-facing domain as a Business Analyst and then Project Manager for companies including the Premier Group and Boumat (Now Imperilog). A 180 degree move into Management Consulting for 4 years followed.
In 1996 – as a side interest – I published a life-skills guide called Things You Need To Know, but Nobody Told You which achieved best-seller status despite being launched at the same time as Long Walk To Freedom! My short stories have also been published in several books and magazines.
After a stint in IT recruitment whilst my children were very young I subsequently spent 13 years with Old Mutual South Africa where I looked after the Project Management competency centre in IT, ran projects for the Central Strategy capability, and finally, as Program Manager, headed up the Mass Market Division Strategic Delivery Project Office for 8 years managing a team of up to 48 people running up to 28 deliveries.
In mid 2015 I decided to focus exclusively on Magnetic North which I originally started in 1999 as the channel for my keen interest in all things word-related.
I have comprehensive business understanding, having worked for both small businesses and major Corporates in very diverse roles. My management experience extends to sizeable teams of senior resources in complex environments and I have good insight into the dynamics at play in the world of work with particular insight into Financial Services, HR and IT.
As a very well organized and energetic individual I have always gravitated towards leadership roles: I am a Past President of Cape Town Toastmasters and former Finalist in the South African leg of the Annual Toastmasters International Speaking Contest. I also held a Regional Executive position with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) which subsequently merged with the BWA.
A passionate advocate for People-centred Leadership, I spent 6 years as the Chairperson of OMREB – the majority Trade Union representing Old Mutual Employees. In this role and in my Line function I had extensive dealings with C-Suite Executives and formed sound relationships based on mutual respect.
I have designed and delivered development programs for groups and individuals since 1994 and Public Speaking programs specifically since 1999.
I believe that Individuals have the power to change the world one person at a time and that we all have the responsibility to be active citizens. One such undertaking was volunteering as Business Communications Tutor for TSIBA for several years.
In addition to the formal offerings listed I continue to perform limited Consulting assignments on the subjects of Project Office, Project and Change Management.
AndrewCEO, Financial Services Company
"Liz brings a skill set which complements my own as a Senior Executive, enhancing my ability to perform as a Leader, and that takes a weight off my shoulders."
GustavStrategy Manager, Petrochemical Company
"Liz has exceptionally well developed facilitation skills, which were applied with tremendous success in facilitating a wide section of personnel ranging from Senior Executives to Operational Staff. She is meticulous in planning of workshops to meet her client’s requirements, the execution and more importantly, the timeous delivery of quality workshop output."
ShirleyCEO, Research Company
"I attribute so much of my progression at work to my increased confidence in speaking. Not only am I getting a fantastic reception, but I am LOVING IT! Somehow I always knew that I had it inside me somewhere, and it’s such an amazing reward to finally see it. This was a major life lesson for me, and I am so proud to have overcome it. Again, thank you for your fantastic expertise, energy and support on my journey.”