The University Alumni team hosted another successful talk in their ‘What It Takes’ series titled ‘What It Takes to Communicate with Confidence’ on 26 November. 


Alumna Jenny Garrett, an award-winning Career Coach and Leadership Trainer, gave a presentation on how to communicate with confidence, covering topics such as how to structure your message, how to manage or overcome nerves, understanding and reading the audience and the importance of body language. She also shared her own top tips about how best to communicate. 

Garrett, who graduated from the Business Administration BA Honours course in 2000, now has over 13 years’ experience running a global business. She empowers people to make the transformation that they are seeking happen, including, for example, navigating their careers successfully, finding work that is more purposeful to them or getting the best from their team. 

Garrett’s work is always aimed at either advancing gender balance, creating inclusive workplaces or equipping young people with the skills that leaders of the future need.

She is best known for her book ‘Rocking Your Role’, which is a guide to success for female breadwinners and includes advice on delivering inspiring talks, career coaching, delivering leadership training, speaking in media, facilitating retreats and running teen conferences.

During the event, the audience had the chance to ask her questions both during the Q&A and informally after the event with refreshments and networking.

Speaking to the audience during the talk, Garrett said: “If you’re going to script out what you’re going to say, that’s useful. But actually how you’re going to say it, like hand movements you’re going to use, the way you project your voice, the tone of your voice, these things really matter. Often we are taking more from that than we are from the actual words that you’re using. Think about that the next time you’re communicating, you’re influencing, and you’re going to an interview. Do you care about what I said or the way I said it?

“When you think about communicating with confidence, you have to be confident in your gestures. So yes, you may be culturally someone who talks with their hands a lot and wants to share everything. That might be you. Sometimes that can be a bit distracting to other people but you can use your hand gestures particularly well when you’re expressing something. You can use gestures to accentuate your point and help people understand. Be deliberate and intentional about it instead of perhaps using them in a way that is distracting.” 

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