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SpeakersBank training boosted the skills of our people to recruit allies and persuade decision makers for community change.
Carrie Supple – Citizenship Foundation

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Development Team

Sue Warner: FoundingDirector

Sue Warner is the founding director of SpeakersBank, and has worked in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors for over 20 years. She headed training and regional development for the National Centre for Volunteering. She also coordinated volunteer training for the Directory of Social Change and led the ‘People: a Force for Change’ conference.

Her own fears drove her belief in personal development through speaking: “I lacked confidence. I died speaking – couldn’t face an audience. At meetings I stayed silent even if I had a point of view”. Her first visit to a SpeakersClub changed everything “ But it’s a long time to wait until your 40s to find you have a voice. I resolved there and then that everyone has something to say, and to devote time to giving a voice to the silent – to promote active citizenship”.The result was that she founded the Speak Up! Speak Out! initiative, from which grew SpeakersBank.

To read a recent interview with Sue click here

Jez Sweetland: 
Executive Chairman

Jez is a former corporate lawyer who turned his back on the City to work as an operations manger for a youth work charity. He read Law at university, followed by a post-graduate legal practice course and two years with the solicitors Eversheds in Norwich. He moved to London and spent four years with the City law practice Berwin Leighton Paisner, working on corporate finance clients.His unusual combination of speech and drama experience, legal training and practice and charity sector work encouraged the SpeakersBank team to offer him the chair in September 2005.

Dallas Leigh Hill: Programme Director

Dallas is SpeakersBank’s programme director. She has international experience in journalism, public speaking and presentation skills training. Dallas graduated in her native New Zealand with a degree in International Politics. She spent six years travelling before working as a journalist on a variety of newspapers and magazines, covering everything from politics to women’s features and rugby.

After five years as communications director for an IT company, she took an MSc in International Politics at the London School of Economics. As Global Corporate Communications Manager for Shell plc, she set up international speaker programmes focussing on all aspects of public speaking including speech training, content development, speech writing and delivery training.

Sean Kennedy: Regional Director

Sean is a trainer, speaker and businessman who now devotes an increasing proportion of his time to public speaking and vocational training work with young people.

Sean came to the UK, in 1987, working on building sites in London before starting his own successful construction company, subsequently a property development business and latterly a property investment company. He is a Regional Director of SpeakersBank and currently the Project Co-ordinator for the Jack Petchey Foundation “Speak Out” challenge, the largest public speaking programme in London.

Board of Directors

Kelly Drake

Ann Cameron – Profile

Cliff Hunter – Profile

Barry O’Connor – Profile

Jez Sweetland (Chairman) – Profile

Sue Warner – Profile

The SpeakersBank Timeline:

  • 1998/9 – Sue Warner’s vision. To read a recent interview with Sue click here
  • 2001 – UN International Year of Volunteers – Speak Up! Speak Out! (SUSO) becomes a central part of the theme, in England. Home Office secondee appointed.
  • 2002 – SpeakersBank launch at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund offices. Millennium Commission contract commissioned to run national training programme.
  • 2003 – SW receives Individual National Training Award. The start of the education programme in Islington – “Find a Voice Find a Job”.
  • 2004 – National Exemplar Fund grant from the Home Office. First part-time Programme co-ordinator appointed, Dale Rees-Bevan.
  • 2005 – 35 Associates and 40+ potential associates in place. Close to 10,000 trained.
  • 2006 – Jack Petchey Foundation grant received to take training into London secondary schools.
    • SpeakersBank Australia launched.
    • SpeakersBank and Speakers Trust merger.

trained to date


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