People and the ways we communicate have been central to every phase of Trish’s noteworthy career. She has an extensive background in psychology, media, theatre, teaching, and corporate recruitment.
- University of Melbourne, Psychology (BA honors)
- National Theatre Drama School, Melbourne, Australia
- San Francisco State University, Core Strengths Coaching Program
In addition to coaching, Trish is a working actor and Casting Director. She was a journalist and radio announcer in Australia and Europe, and recruited for major corporations in the US, coaching hundreds of IT professionals and hiring managers, before focusing on presentation and communication skills.
I’m fascinated by human behavior and the myriad of ways in which we communicate – how we respond to each other and situations, and how all of the elements of communication – conscious or not – play into the power dynamics of any given situation. How is it that some people have the gift of the gab and convey an easy, likable sense of authority while others are riddled with tension and self-doubt? I’ve been on a long quest to find out and along the way I’ve gathered a pretty comprehensive skill set.
I have been a confident performer but I also know what it’s like to be struck by stage fright. I take comfort in knowing that even the most accomplished actors have coped with dreadful stage fright at the height of their careers – Sir Lawrence Olivier is one famous example. High octane anxiety can deliver rocket fuel for a powerful performance if the nervous energy is harnessed. This process is exciting and empowering!
When the stakes are high our default settings can undermine us
Coaching professionals on public speaking and performance utilizes a spectrum of my skills and experience. I have an honors degree in Psychology (University of Melbourne) and I’m a graduate of The National Theatre School of Drama, also in Melbourne. In both schools, we put human behavior under the microscope, breaking down all of the elements of how we communicate, striving to decode and understand.
Drama school led me to a successful career in radio at two of Melbourne’s tap-rating radio stations – first as a journalist and newsreader, and later, hosting my own shows. I won the Pater Award for Best Newcomer in Australasian radio. It was the 1980s and I got to interview many of the major international music artists of the time. It was pretty thrilling and I learned a lot – like the art of “getting through the speakers” to make a real connection with your audience.
I remember vividly going to the microphone to introduce INXS as they were about to go on stage, supporting David Bowie on his “Let’s Dance” arena tour. Used to being a disembodied voice in a studio, I trembled before facing the huge crowd. I thought I’d throw up. But once on stage I was absolutely energized. (Who wouldn’t be in front of a stadium that was roaring and packed to the gills.) Admittedly, I only had a couple of sentences to say, but it felt like jumping through a hoop of fire, and I felt taller afterwards.
Converting fear to rocket fuel
I was successful in radio but frustrated in my career and so I took off looking for new experiences in Europe, which is where I met my husband. We got married in Venice and I worked on radio stations in Italy and France. We had two fabulous kids and moved to Australia where I wrote comedy for television, did voice-overs, and picked up a variety of media projects before moving to the US and getting back up on stage. I’ve been working with Berkeley’s Shotgun Players theatre company since 1998 and I’m currently the company’s Casting Director. I’ve played at theaters around the Bay Area including A.C.T., The Aurora Theatre and San Francisco Shakes, and from time to time I teach acting. For 10+ years I supported my work in theatre by building a strong practice in corporate recruiting. I learned a great deal about behavior and power dynamics from a privileged backstage position in the corporate arena.
Communication is critical to outcomes in recruiting. Powerful presentation – telling clear and compelling stories – is key to successful job interviews. Technical expertise is secondary to the ability to communicate effectively. In recruiting, intuition about people, empathy, and coaching people for success are major aspects of the job. Making corporate matches where everybody benefits is exhilarating. And helping people overcome challenges is enormously rewarding. I enjoyed working with candidates, and hiring managers, who were struggling with rejection. Over ten years I coached thousands of accomplished IT professionals through job searches and career growth. In recruiting and in teaching acting, I helped people have big shifts forward, becoming sure-footed and able to think on their feet, with heightened awareness and confidence.
Nothing beats a combination of practice and strategic coaching to make a powerful presentation a sure thing.
They say that outside our comfort zone is where we’re most likely to grow. But it’s also where discomfort can hobble us. Our communication style is a complex repertoire of calls and responses, intentions and habits. When the stakes are high our default settings can undermine us. Decoding communication is a big step towards shedding the habits which don’t serve us, and awakening a whole new world of potential.
Email me to schedule a complimentary discovery session to see how/if I can support you.