Coaching for Public Speaking and Performance

Reading aloud is an art, and can be fun as well as an important sales tool for authors. But the personality, skills, and training that make a good writer are frequently not those that make a good performer, and many authors who have worked so hard on their writing don’t do it justice when they read it.

Authors are not alone; many people dread speaking in public. I can help you be more comfortable and effective in a variety of situations:

  • Author readings
  • Interviews
  • Auditions
  • Business presentations
  • Court appearances

Please email me to discuss how I can help you!

Bona Fides

I have a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a Certificate from the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, a year-long British professional acting training program. I have extensive experience performing on stage and film, and am a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

I founded and served for ten years as the artistic director of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company, producing thirty-seven critically acclaimed shows, nine of which I directed. I also produced and directed numerous concert readings for the PSC, and have directed for other theatres.

I’ve worked with hundreds of actors in auditions and rehearsals. In addition to coaching authors privately, I’ve taught workshops on giving effective public readings at the annual Romance Writers of America Conference, for three years at the Gold Rush Writers Conference, and at chapter meetings of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America.


At a recent Gold Rush Writers Conference, Gillian turned a bunch of introverted writers into a constellation of stars through her deft, inspired coaching on performance reading.” 
– Antoinette May, novelist and founding director of the Gold Rush Writers Conference

“Gillian’s experience as an actress is invaluable for coaching writers how to read their books aloud with flair and energy.” 
– Mary F. Burns, author of Portraits of an Artist

“I had been giving readings and leading workshops for years, feeling quite comfortable with my presentation skills. But Gillian’s coaching showed me where I could improve. I hadn’t realized that my voice dropped at the end of each sentence; I was swallowing my words. I was in a hurry, not pausing enough in the right places. And I wasn’t making eye contact with individuals in the audience. Now I stand confidently before large audiences and small, knowing listeners can better grasp what I have to share.” 
– Lucy Sanna, author of The Cherry Harvest

“If only our words sounded as fabulous to others as they do in our head. But they don’t. So call Gillian! I did. First we laughed over my way-down-deep voice. (‘I’m reading a male character!’ I said. ‘But we can’t understand what you’re saying,’ she said.) Then Gillian helped me relax, and reminded me to speak slowly, but not so slowly as to put anyone to sleep. She reminded me to emphasize key words and to make eye contact. Yes! My reading became so much better. Treat those listeners like lovely future readers and maybe they’ll become just that.”
– Sue Mote, author of Thorolf Viking: Boy and Man