(Like Brenda without the “da!”)
I’m a professional actress turned holistic communication coach and CEO.
My goal, and “the why” behind everything I do, is to empower you to show up (and speak up!) as the YOU, you most want to be.
If you’re a big-hearted leader looking for practical tools and tips to help you express yourself clearly and confidently, I’m honored that you’re here, and you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve helped hundreds of leaders and business owners find that sweet spot between conveying their expertise and staying true to themselves when the pressure’s on.
I've Trained Leaders At
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to
people, performing, and the power of a point of view.
Playing The Part (And Not Just On Broadway)
I started my career off on the National Tour of a Broadway musical.
I love-hated being a professional actress in NYC. I loved the thrill of working on a role, the collaborative and playful spirit of a rehearsal room, and the magic that happens in a theater when the lights go dark and suddenly a bunch of strangers are in sync with their shared humanity…
At the same time, I hated the second-guessing and uncertainty that came with the audition process and my career in general. “Am I ‘right’ for this?” “Can I give them what they’re looking for?” “What ARE they looking for?!”
The constant pressure to prove myself to industry executives (who held my professional fate in their hands!) was, in a word, exhausting.
Baby Cheeks + An Upcoming Press Tour = The Birth of My “Side Hustle”
Cut to: I was playing a teenage rebel in a coming-of-age film (as you do when you’re in your early 20s but you’ve got late bloomer baby cheeks!). And I got to talking to the mother of an *actual* teenager in the cast.
Turns out, this badass mama had just written a book and was about to start a giant press tour. She was brilliant, confident, and super relatable, but she was admittedly: “not into public speaking.” The readings, the morning show interviews, the talks she was scheduled to give…
“I just want to be myself and feel confident in what I’m saying,” she told me.
So, in between “takes” on set, I began coaching her. I leaned on my acting training to help her workshop her messaging and *own* the ideas she wanted to share. I helped her leverage her quirky, fun-loving personality so she could actually enjoy talking about the work she was passionate about.
And that’s how my coaching “side-hustle” was born…
A Whole New World: Discovering A Skill Set
All of a sudden I found myself working with various high-powered women around New York City—helping them elevate their messaging for upcoming presentations and build confidence in their speaking abilities.
These women taught me that I had a whole other skill set I wasn’t aware of… coaching people to “perform” at their best while staying true to who they are.
As this coaching side-hustle grew, and my drive to pursue acting full-time faded, I felt I needed a mentor to turn what felt like a new dream into a sustainable day job…
So, through a series of serendipitous events (involving a well-timed train, a stroll on the NYC High Line, and a hastily printed resumé) I met my mentor, Cara, and became a principal trainer at her prominent leadership and communication training firm in the Bay Area.
For six years, I facilitated trainings and coaching sessions around the world. I worked with leaders from every industry you can think of—teaching them how to project credibility and confidence through simple, but game-changing body language cues.
I learned SO much through this “paid education” and was genuinely thrilled to be leveraging my gifts to empower others.
But here’s where my story takes a turn…
Imposter syndrome all over again
Despite how prepared I was to lead these corporate workshops, I’d often hear a voice in my head saying: “Who are YOU to teach these accomplished leaders how to project confidence under pressure!?”
Five years into this work and I was STILL butting up against that familiar impulse to PROVE myself. To prove that I was smart enough, capable enough, and experienced enough to be there…
You see, even back in my acting days, I was more prepared than I gave myself credit for. I knew my lines and the character choices I wanted to make, but as I entered those cold New York audition studios, I was quick to contort my personality into who I thought others wanted me to be… *Quick, Brenne, read the room. Play it cool. Play it sweet. Turn up the charm.* It was as if the acting began before the actual audition.
And now, here I was, making strides in my career, but on the inside, still dealing with that same voice in my head: *Quick, Brenne, read the room. Play it more authoritative. Play it more relatable. Turn up the charm.*
I caught myself acting again. In another kind of “audition room.” Exhausted by the non-stop hustle for worthiness.
I knew that coaching and empowering others was the path for me, but I also knew that if I was gonna continue down this path, I had to:
STOP abandoning myself to act like some “perfect, polished” person I thought I “should” be.
START trusting myself to show up as the intrinsically powerful (and yes, completely imperfect!) person I already am.
Determined to figure out for myself and others a more authentic and empowering way to convey credibility under pressure…
I developed a holistic, step-by-step curriculum to help YOU cultivate confident communication skills from the inside out.
At SelfSpoken, we’re on a mission to help you project the qualities you want others to see in you, but from an AUTHENTIC and ALIGNED place…
So that when you’re on the spot or it’s your turn to speak up, you know how to:
dial down nerves
express yourself with confidence
and articulate your message more clearly and intentionally than ever before.
Quit being “soft-spoken.”
Don’t settle for “well-spoken.”
Instead, become SelfSpoken.
What is SelfSpoken?
SelfSpoken is a coaching firm, online education company, and global community dedicated to helping you dig deep and build practical skills, so that you can express yourself clearly and confidently when it matters most.
We work with leaders who not only want to elevate their own communication skills, but who also want to see others step into their “next level” too!
In the past 6 months alone, our students have:
earned major promotions, landed new jobs, booked dream clients, increased their visibility, received less pushback on their ideas, started their own podcasts, and stopped scripting their webinars and presentations!
“Brenne’s coaching is spot on! I walked away with so many nuggets of wisdom that are immediately actionable. I came into this program focused on improving my speaking skills—what I found was a holistic program… helping me to embrace my value as a powerful woman who has so much to bring to others.”
“Before, I felt like I was never able to fully articulate my message the way I REALLY wanted to. But now, I have so many amazing tools, tips and frameworks to use! It’s a really beautiful feeling to finally be able to articulate my thoughts with confidence the way I’ve always longed to.”
“A game-changing experience. I’m more confident about my speaking skills and I’m in control of my meetings with execs. I don’t have to spend hours scripting and rehearsing my presentations because I can just be present.”
“I got the offer! And it’s a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your coaching! Through each step of the process, I leaned heavily on our coaching call notes and the feedback you and the amazing women in the community provided.”
want to work with us?
Through our unparalleled courses, training options, and special events, you’ll learn how to:
- Manage your own stress response so that you can dial down nerves within seconds
- Embody the qualities you want others to see in you
- Utilize go-to frameworks to communicate more clearly and concisely on demand
- Handle on-the-spot questions that used to throw you for a loop
- Trust yourself and your words to come out the way you want them to
At SelfSpoken, we’re here to:
provide individualized tools
and frameworks to
help you level-up
bring a sense of humor to professional development
help you experiment and expand into the truer, more powerful communicator you were born to be.
And, as you inevitably reap the benefits of integrating these skills into your daily life, we’ll cheer you on like it’s no one’s business!
At SelfSpoken, we’re on a mission to make fuzzy development concepts like “cultivating leadership presence,” “strengthening your communication skills,” and “projecting confidence” WAY MORE accessible and authenticity-centered.
you can come across like a pro while staying true to who you are, and that confidence can only come when you learn to integrate the two.
And full transparency here…there isn’t a finish line with this stuff! I use SelfSpoken techniques every day to turn panic into power and pressure into presence.
It’s a practice.
The fear and second guessing don’t magically disappear. BUT, when the waves of adrenaline or the whispers of self-doubt inevitably flood your system, you’ll know what to do to find your own communication “sweet spot.”
That empowering and fulfilling experience of coming across like a pro while staying true to the awesome, imperfect, one-of-a-kind human you are.
The Way We Roll at SelfSpoken
Intention and integrity over hustling for approval…
We serve big-hearted leaders, emerging leaders, and business owners who are here to self-actualize, empower each other, and leave our world a more equitable place than we found it.
We're here to serve our big-hearted community.
We are committed to creating a safe, supportive space for you to dig deep, build self-awareness, advocate for your own learning, and step into your power. We value kindness and authentic connection above all else, and we don’t tolerate bullying, harassment or a**-holes of any kind.
Self-awareness is the key to growth and wholehearted leadership.
The more deeply you know yourself, the more clarity you’ll have around why things trigger you or why certain situations bring out the best in you. It’s with this knowledge that you get to assess which habits are serving the highest vision you hold for yourself, and which are undercutting you. As you inevitably choose which habits to keep, which patterns to heal, and which skills you stand to gain…you’ll learn to lead others with more heart than hurt, and more intention than insecurity.
We strive to make our world a more equitable place.
We prioritize relationships with team members and clients who are actively learning about, and striving to dismantle systems of oppression. We believe that it is a basic human right for every person (of every race, religion, gender identity, ability status, sexual orientation, or any other marginalized identity), to feel safe, seen, and valued. We’re committed to using our platform and resources to spread awareness, take action against injustice, and to educate and empower diverse and inclusive groups through our programs.
Authenticity requires us to let go of who we “should” be to embrace who we truly are.
High-pressure interactions can make us feel like we need to hide all of our cracks in order to be a shinier, more “put together” version of ourselves. At SelfSpoken, we’re not interested in teaching you how to become “more polished,” so that you can meet our culture’s unattainable and contradictory ideals. We’re here to help you honor who you are and to leverage your unique gifts in a way that feels authentic and aligned with your values.
Your intention is your impact.
At SelfSpoken, we believe that the energy and motivation behind everything you say, think, and do gets reflected back. So on our team and in our community, we are extremely thoughtful about the energy and motivation behind everything we do and say "yes" to. Above all, we strive to channel Dr. Maya Angelou’s wisdom that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We’re here to make the most of our time together.
Time is our greatest nonrenewable resource, and we’re determined to spend it as intentionally as possible. When we’re working behind the scenes or with you inside our programs, we strive to be fully present and engaged. When we’re not working, we’re resting, playing, and doing whatever we damn please 😉 But most of all, we’re prioritizing weeknight/weekend boundaries, spaciousness over hustle culture, and freedom over “busy” as a status symbol.
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