Anthony Garvey is combining face-to-face training and online courses to help companies and individuals master the art of public speaking. He does this in scenarios ranging from job interviews and board presentations to sales pitches and wedding speeches.
A former head of public relations at the handheld computer company Psion plc, Garvey has been running his own marketing and public relations practice in Tralee, Co Kerry, since 2001.
It was after he was elected area director for Toastmasters, the voluntary public speaking organisation operating a network of clubs worldwide, that he spotted another business opportunity.
“I was mentoring speakers and it was incredibly rewarding to see them going from nervous to accomplished,” he said. “Through word-of-mouth, I began to get enquiries from companies like Kerry Group and Astellas asking me to do one-on-one sessions with their executives or train their management teams.”
Encouraged by the response, Garvey set up Confident Presenting last year and held his first presenting course over eight weeks.
“Many people dread speaking in public, but they have to be able to present as part of their jobs,” he said.
“If you’re going for an interview or have a top table role at a wedding, you’ll more than likely have to rise to your feet and address an audience. A lot of people wish they were able to manage their nerves and speak more effectively, so we have a ready market because it’s a skill that can be learnt.”
Garvey charges €995 for a one-day session offering corporate presentation and public speaking training to companies in Ireland and Britain. He has also used a trading online voucher from the Kerry Local Enterprise Office to develop an online course priced at €195, with a special introductory offer of €95 for early bookings made on confidentpresenting.com using the coupon code launchdiscount.
“We offer tailored one-on-one classes to people who are giving a speech at a wedding or a function or who just want to manage their nerves and improve their public speaking skills,” he said.
“The price for one-to-one bookings depends on what you want, and companies that buy our one-day training course get our online presentation course for all employees for free. We’ve also developed a public speaking and presenting live course for primary students, which we’ve delivered to more than 30 schools in Munster. We’d like to roll that out nationwide,” he added.