When I started highschool I was shy...painfully shy.

I would just put my head down and walk through the halls without ever looking at a single person. 

Speaking up in class was hard. Delivering presentations was a nightmare. 

Then one day a theatre troop came to perform at my school. I sat there amidst the smell of gym socks and bubble gum and watched in disbelief as this woman took centre stage.

From her long blonde ponytail and dimpled cheeks to her skinny legs and white sneakers, she looked just like me. It was like staring into a mirror but I was 15 years older. 

And there was one other significant difference. 

The way she moved, carried herself, and spoke commanded the attention of everyone in the room.

So, I signed up for drama the next day and learned techniques to become more comfortable being in the spotlight.

In addition to performing and presenting with confidence, these skills helped me to speak up and take on leadership roles with ease. 

I started to feel more connected within myself, with my message, and with my audience.

But although I have confidently stood centre stage countless times and spoken for decades in front of hundreds of people, I had a big challenge in my life to overcome.

I struggled with high anxiety. It became an obstacle in my career.

I lost confidence, tried to overcompensate by being a perfectionist, and got burnt out.

I was smart, talented, passionate, and driven, but this huge barrier to my success was my own nervous system.

Learning how to manage my stress and anxiety became my passion. I wanted to understand what was happening and I wanted a solution.

So, I researched, learned relaxation techniques, and studied body-based techniques to overcome trauma and build resilience. I even travelled to India to study mindfulness.

Over time, these skills helped me to stay grounded and shift my mindset.

Despite living with anxiety, something profound would happen when I performed and spoke publicly. 

I would drop completely into the present moment.

It was another piece of the puzzle.

I realized I had developed a powerful skillset as an actor that helped me overcome the barrier of day-to-day anxiety as well as feel confident being in the spotlight. 

Now, I combine adult learning priciples, mindfulness techniques, Somatic Experiencing (SE™), and acting-based skills to help people become confident speakers in both workplace communication as well as formal speeches and presentations.

I can’t wait to meet you and help you develop the skills you need to share your expertise with authentic confidence!

Dayna Kneeland holds her Masters Degree in Adult Educaton, British Columbia Instructors Diploma, and BFA in Theatre and Development. She is an Advanced Oneness Meditation trainer with over 600 hours of training in India. She is currently training to become a certified Somatic Experiencing (SE™) Practicioner. 

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