"I didn’t have confidence and know how debilitating it is to have none."

Anna Coleman, Principal and Director, BA, LSB, Dip Tchg

When I stood up to speak, I wanted to disappear under the floorboards.  I did the gold fish, moved my lips, but nothing came out. I had just been blown up by my headmaster for a minor infringement, and he absolutely blasted me, just before an inter-school debate, I was taking part in.  I was so upset I couldn’t actually say anything at all.

Because of my bad experiences at school I didn’t don’t know how to stop dwelling on them, so every time I got up to speak, I found myself right back in that stuck, horrible place with no tools to help myself get out of it.


I had been very stuck for a long time.  I used to self-sabotage, where I would set myself up to fail.  I would run a tape in my head of really negative self-talk –‘I am not good enough, I can’t do this, I am not as good as they are, It’s too hard.’  After a while, I didn’t have a choice but to believe the negative thoughts I was telling myself. 

This inspired me to turn it into a positive and help others move to a better place and find their own voice and stand in the light.   I worked in radio, newspapers and magazines, then trained as a high school English and Media teacher.  I set up the speech and drama department at King’s School, in Auckland.  There I  helped numerous boys  unlock their confidence, speak up, find their voice and tell their story with confidence. I moved to work with adults and trained as a coach.  I worked with Mary Britton from Coaching Pacific.  She challenged me to use two powerful, visual metaphors.  I used the image of a grey cardigan to represent my negative thinking, what was holding me back  and the image of a powerful red dress to move me forward and that came to be known as ‘my red dress thinking.’  It helped me successfully complete the Speaker’s Training Camp in Portland, Oregon,and become a licenced trainer.   I became a total convert to the power of coaching and started working as a confidence coach.


        • Trained and qualified coach – Coaching Pacific’s Executive and organisational coaching course 2012. Aiming to be an associate certified coach with the International Coaching Federation, by the end of the year.
        • Trained InterPlay leader  – (InterPlay is a form of improvised play and storytelling, it helps to connect and collaborate with others, to make stuff up on the spot, to recognise your leadership potential) https://www.interplayaus.com.au/
        • Toastmasters International – Area Director for Hawke’s Bay, responsible for six clubs, have achieved Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG), member of Pania Club in Napier.
        • Organiser of the Hillmac Junior and Intermediate School Speech Contests at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, in Napier, 2016-2019.
        • Registered and experienced speech and drama teacher through the SCA, (Speech Communication Association). Set up the Speech and Drama department at King's School in Auckland. Recently taught at Karamu High School in Hastings.
        • Oral Assessor for Speech NZ.
        • Trained as a secondary school teacher in English and media studies and taught at Kelston Girls’ College.