Suzy Orr, Managing Director

“Sonya was recommended to me by a mutual acquaintance, and what a great recommendation. Six years after leaving the Corporate world to build my own business, and finding it becoming reasonably successful, I felt the need to review and refresh my speaking skills. Sonya was professional from the beginning; she listened to – and catered for – my exact requirements. Having spoken at many events, I was still able to learn, to recognise some bad habits, to improve, and to create a great story which means I can say “yes” to any speaking opportunity which comes my way! 

September 2018

Melissa Porter

As a seasoned TV host working across all five terrestrial channels for this past 15 years, you might be asking the same question as me:  Why do I need a presentation coach?

 I arrived to Sonya filled with shame and having low confidence.  I had learned to present in a style that was copied from other TV presenters and left me feeling inauthentic.  All my presentations were entirely scripted and were never spoken from the heart.  The effect was my style was incredibly polished but polarising.  My audience were unable to connect with my new subject matter; human psychology. 

 Sonya patiently identified my strengths and weaknesses and has empowered me to believe that my role is to simply deliver presentations of my ideas and to do my best.  My confidence is building and my natural irreverence is starting to filter through into my content. 

 Maybe one day I’ll decide to stop swearing.  Nah, fuck it!  Hire Sonya if you want to feel free from your limiting beliefs surrounding your presenting hang ups.”

June 2018

Becky Hewson

“I just wanted to let you know that you have worked wonders with me!  I managed the speech yesterday with no tight chest and despite a few nerves to start with I felt in control and apparently looked that way too from the feedback I received. I even managed a couple of little jokes and asides!

It was such an amazing day. We had around 200-300 people down, got coverage on Key 103, Manchester TV, Granada TV, Heart FM and the Salford Star. Andy Burnham showed up too and was really interested in speaking with people and has given me a way to take things forward and offered a meeting with him! So couldn’t have asked for a better day. 

I also got the outcome I wanted in terms of getting the audience to feel emotional – a couple of people said they found the speeches very moving and were so pleased that others understood.

Thank you so much Sonya!”

May 2018

Shani Kind

“I just got a call from someone in my BNI group saying he wanted to give me an extra call … he said ‘I thought your 60 seconds was the best in the group and I’m not just saying that I genuinely mean it and with that testimonial you just blew the whole room away’
It’s really nice to get good feedback, everyone was so supportive and yes, I’m definitely buzzing! I couldn’t have gotten to this stage – definitely couldn’t have got to this stage without you, so once again thank you so, so much.”

April 2018

Julie Scatterson, Business Relationship Manager

“I have benefitted greatly from having coaching from Sonya.  She made me think about how to structure my presentation and the content I should be using. 

I’ve learnt it’s about the audience and what value you can add for them, it’s always good to tell a story and practice, practice, practice so that you know your presentation and have confidence”

January 2018

Matt Fox

“I have recently attended a ‘Basecamp’ presentation skills coaching session with Sonya. I regularly deliver talks and day long courses but just wanted to sharpen up a few areas.

Sonya is clearly an expert in her field, made me feel at ease immediately and the session was fun and informative. I delivered an evening talk on Friday to 50 people, had a clear structure and felt at ease – all thanks to Sonya’s training. I have also improved my delivery of group exercise sessions using some tips and skills from Sonya.

If you talk in front of people, book a session with Sonya as she will improve you no matter what your level.”

October 2017

Steve Upham

“I’ve listened to Sonya speak at a number of networking events and have always found her talks engaging and extremely informative. Her ability to convey a message successfully to a diverse range of business people has always impressed me and over the last two years I’ve learned a lot on how to network and construct successful business plans from her. It actually gave me the confidence to present at a recent event and Sonya kindly offered to critique my 20 minute talk on marketing.

Over my commercial career I have attended a wide variety of training courses for presentation skills and I would rate Sonya’s feedback among the most beneficial that I’ve received. It’s apparent that she has presented at a senior level and trained in pressurised industries so her references are credible and are drawn from significant experience.

Importantly the feedback was positive and balanced with areas of improvement. The session felt constructive and tailored to my needs as opposed to a generic approach which I feel is so important in business. Sonya understands that we’re all unique and can develop independently to succeed in presenting. I would recommend her strongly for personal coaching or group training.”

August 2017

Tom Wilde

“Sonya provided me with some invaluable tips and advice to improve my presentation skills. I regularly present to large groups, but am very conscious that I have lots of room for improvement. Sonya highlighted the positive aspects of my presentation style, whilst also providing constructive feedback about the areas for improvement, offering practical advice on how I can make step-by-step improvements.

I was able to put this advice into practice the following week, when I presented to a group of around 30 people. I felt much more prepared and confident, and received some fantastic feedback from the members of the audience. I would recommend Sonya to anybody wanting support in improving their presentation skills.”

December 2016

Nick Langley, Senior Partner

“After spending time with Sonya, let me tell you, you may think you know all you need to about presenting, but I assure you, you don’t! Firstly, Sonya attended one of my presentations and a week later, when we had our 1:1 session I couldn’t believe how much detail she had recorded.

She split our session into 2 sections – my presentation style and the content / slide quality. Although she pointed out a lot of positives, there were some negatives, which Sonya explained really well and gave me some fantastic solutions. No surprise from the above that I would have no hesitation in recommending Sonya’s services to anyone!”

November 2016

Julie Hadfield – Superintendent Registrar

As a team bound by lots and lots of legislation, we found we had very specific training needs for our staff.  Sonya and Steve were great in listening to what we required, devising courses especially for our needs and delivered each course in an easy-going, informative and engaging manner.

The feedback from staff has been great, all enjoyed the content and pace of each course and were so pleased there was no role play! They are already starting to use the techniques discussed, and indeed the very next day after our ‘soft sales’ course, one of our ‘non sales’ members of staff upsold by over 250%!

I would recommend Stratus training to anyone looking to learn new skills as well as hone existing skills of their team and am already thinking about what training we can look at next.

Thank you!

Josie Elson – Head of Organisational Development & Training

“We have been very pleased with the service you have provided. Feedback via course reviews has been consistently positive. I’ve had a number of people tell me in person how useful they have found the training (including the PA to the HR Director!).

Stratus has worked very professionally with my team and colleagues in other departments who have a stake in this training to ensure that the training meets our requirements.
Stratus has also been very adaptive to changes in requirements and has adapted the content accordingly.

I would not hesitate to recommend you to my HE colleagues.”

Rosie Ottewill – Organisational Development Manager

“Cheshire East Council has worked in partnership with Stratus for the last three years to provide training across a range of personal effectiveness and management development areas. From the outset Stratus have promised and consistently delivered high quality development solutions, cost effectively.

The team have worked hard to understand the challenges of our business and sector and have always responded quickly and creatively to meet changing needs.

A recent example of this has been the development of our “Creating a High Performance Climate” programme which has formed an important component in achieving cultural change across the Council. To meet the demand for this programme, creative licensing arrangements were suggested by Stratus to provide flexible delivery options and excellent value for money.

Active participant engagement is at the heart of the development experience from Stratus and this approach has resulted in improved confidence and capability, leading to performance enhancements”

Stratus Associates