Five quick questions with Catherine McGrath

3 August 2021

Our She Leads workshop on Building confidence in public speaking is less than a month away, and we couldn’t be more excited! In anticipation of the event, we sat down with our facilitator, Catherine McGrath to talk about her workshop, gender equality and overcoming leadership challenges.  

Catherine is a giant of the Australian media, a well-known Canberra identity, keynote speaker, writer, trainer, and businesswoman. For three decades, Catherine has reported for the ABC and SBS and was political editor for both public broadcasters.  

These days, Catherine speaks and hosts business events around the country and trains business and professional speakers. Catherine’s business, #WomenSpeaking, is a high-level speaking training program focused on presentation and communication skills for conferences, events and meetings. Since 2018, #WomenSpeaking has trained more than 500 women, and remains in high demand across the country.  

Describe yourself in 30 words or less. 

I am a passionate advocate for professional woman. My goal is to help women succeed. Many of us have missed out on speaking training in earlier years and now is the time to make up for that. We need to support women to develop the skills they need for modern work life. That includes training more women to speak at conferences, events and meetings. We need women to be visible in the workplace.   

 What can people expect to take away from your workshop, Building confidence in public speaking? 

Attendees can expect to discover that they can be great and successful speakers. This is a skill they already have, and it is ready to be unleashed. They will discover the ability to write and structure a presentation. They will also experience delivering a speech to the group. It will be a ‘hands on’ session. It will be fun and supportive.  

What questions are you tired of hearing about gender equality or women in leadership? 

 I am tired at hearing that women are not interested in speaking in public or leading media coverage. This is just not true. Women want to do this. It is understandable they want good training to ensure their skills are developed.  

 What is a personal challenge you have had to overcome for your leadership goals? 

 I have had to overcome lots of workplace challenges including in my early years in journalism in being taken seriously as a political and international journalist. I was the first ABC foreign correspondent appointed overseas as a ‘mother’. I was asked in the interview if I could seriously juggle my family responsibilities with work demands.  

 Imagine yourself in your 80’s. What leadership advice would your 80-year-old self-give to you right now?  

Be yourself, you do not have to try to emulate or imitate others. Who you are is just perfect. This also goes for all professional women. They do not have to try to be like anyone else. They are great as they are. They deserve support, encouragement and training as needed. 

Want to learn how to build your confidence in public speaking? Register for Catherine’s workshop Tuesday 24 August. Book your ticket today 

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