Santa Barbara’s only public-speaking coaching group starts a new six-week session on April 6. Meetings will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Santa Barbara Business & Technology Center, 402 E. Gutierrez St.

The course is led by Lisa Braithwaite, a local public-speaking coach who works with individuals and groups to build their skills and confidence as speakers. Group coaching is more affordable than individual coaching and, with a group size of only six people, it’s more personalized than a seminar. Group coaching emphasizes building skills and confidence in a safe and encouraging environment, and includes exercises, discussion and opportunities for practice.

Some of the topics covered during group coaching include managing fear and anxiety, engaging the audience, structuring a presentation, creating a strong opening and closing, PowerPoint design, proper preparation, relaxation tools and more.

Before launching her coaching, speaking and training business, Braithwaite worked in Santa Barbara’s nonprofit sector for 16 years as an advocate, educator and trainer, creating and implementing programs, curricula, and training materials for nonprofit organizations. She has been quoted in Men’s Health Magazine and on, and her blog, Speak Schmeak, is one of the top public-speaking blogs on the Web.

Click here for more information or to register for the public-speaking coaching group.

Lisa Braithwaite is a public-speaking coach in Santa Barbara and author of the Speak Schmeak blog. You can follow her on Twitter: @LisaBraithwaite.