All professionals can be memorable presenters. I can help with that.
My purpose in life is to lift people up by making them feel heard, respected, and understood.
I live that purpose through my business mission: to empower professionals to become informative, engaging, and memorable presenters – so that they can feel heard, respected and understood.
- I know the purpose of what I’m going to say before I say it
- I think about the other person’s feelings and experiences before I speak
- If I have an issue with a person, I discuss it only with the person involved
- I respond to people within 48 hours of receiving business cards or messages
- I create meaningful relationships with those I meet that I can help in some way
- I help people find other people who can help them
- I am open to experiences with others
- I focus on the positive
- I take action to increase happiness
- I am open to new experiences that will help me reach my goals
- I improve myself through education and implementation
Former lawyer becomes a presentation skills trainer and coach, and author
As a former transactional lawyer, I understand what it’s like to be asked to speak on your area of expertise when you’d rather just stay behind the scenes preparing documents and doing research.
The first time I delivered a presentation (nearly 30 years ago), I looked out into a sea of faces, feeling nervous – and I realized I had no idea what I was doing.
I joined Toastmasters to get over the nerves. (This helped a lot!)
But even after gaining experience and becoming a more confident speaker, I could tell the audience was bored and disengaged. They also weren’t remembering the important information I was sharing with them.
Something had to change.
I attended public speaking training. In the process, I received a lot of advice designed for inspirational and motivational speakers – or for people who want to “sell from the stage.”
While some of what I learned was useful, a lot of it didn’t apply to giving informative speeches of substance.
I took what I learned, reviewed research into the brain science behind learning and memory, and I developed my own method for developing and delivering informative presentations. (You can learn more about the method here: Why Hire Brenda )
As my presentation skills improved, I received invitations to deliver public presentations and to speak at industry education events and conferences.
When I retired from the law, I decided to begin a new career sharing what I learned about developing effective and informative presentations.
36-year career as a lawyer – including 28 years at the British Columbia Securities Commission
While at the Securities Commission, Brenda held roles as Director of Policy and Legislation, Project Head for the New Legislation Project, and Senior Corporate Communication Advisor where she:
- Taught securities law to paralegal students at Capilano
- Presented educational programs to investors on how to protect themselves from fraud and unsuitable investments
- Organized presentation skills training for staff to enable them to give engaging and memorable presentations
- Assisted staff in creating their presentations: coached on structure and helped them create effective power points
- Spoke frequently at industry education events, including being invited to speak several times at the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s NorthWest Securities Conference
Brenda retired from the law in 2018 and began her presentation skills training and coaching business.
Works well with many diverse groups
Brenda Benham works well with many diverse groups. She has lots of patience and enthusiasm, and gives those that need it inspiration to continue with their speaking goals and dreams. She is always supportive and makes sure that everything that is discussed is fully understood.
As a strong member of the community, Brenda has served as
- Chair of the board of Dress for Success Vancouver
- Volunteer Coordinator for the Professional Women’s Group Alumni of Dress for Success Vancouver
- Co-Chair of the Mentoring Committee of the Women Lawyers Forum of the Canadian Bar Association’s BC branch
During her 15 years of involvement in Toastmasters, Brenda has held most of the executive roles in her home club. She has also served as:
- Hospitality Team Lead for the International Convention in Vancouver in 2017
- Area Director
- Coach for a Toastmasters Club in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver
Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys classical and folk music, walking, NIA, and skiing.