About Us

Safe. Fun. Educational. These are the three tiers that make up our core teaching philosophy, with our students at the centre of each.

Central to our teaching philosophy is that students learn by doing. We keep our classes small to ensure every student has their turn, and receives extensive personal feedback.

As our founders know, can be hard to build the confidence to speak. We do our best to make sure every student is comfortable in their class to help them get over their fears.

The ability to speak in public is a lifelong skill. We do our best to ensure that each of our students learns something that they will carry with them for years to come.

Our Story

Speaking Schools Australasia began life as Sydney Speaking School back in 2014, and was founded in response to the lack of good quality education in public speaking and debating for school students on the North Shore of Sydney.  First opening its doors in January 2015 to a small group of less than 30 students in a single location, it has since expanded to help develop the communication skills of thousands of students across New South Wales, the ACT and abroad.

 

Using their combined skills honed through years of experience, the Speaking Schools Australasia team of experienced coaches bring excellence to the fore using fun and engaging courses targeted at improving the speaking skills of students of all ages across Australia and the world.

Public Speaking Coach Sydney

Since opening its doors back in 2015, Sydney Speaking School has helped thousands of students improve their speaking skills and develop their confidence.  With an emphasis on small classes, a welcoming environment and plenty of personal feedback from expert coaches, SSS aims to help every student bring their words to life.

Mark Slaven

National Director & Regional Director – NSW

Mark has been an avid debater and public speaker since high school. He has competed in more national and international competitions than he can count, reaching the finals in at least a dozen tournaments and occasionally coming out victorious. His personal experience in the debating scene has led him to (amongst other things) coach at a number of prestigious schools across Sydney, run the Macquarie Schools Debating Program for many years, and be appointed as the Chief Adjudicator of the FED Interschool Debating Competition.

Outside of public speaking, Mark has a Bachelor of Laws (with First Class Honours) and Psychology from Macquarie University, and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University. Having spent many years practising commercial and environmental law, he now manages a number of small businesses, including his role as National Director of the Australian Speaking Schools.

His contribution to the public speaking and debating world was recognised when he was granted life membership of the Macquarie University Debating Society.

Elise Bohan

Operations Manager

A highly experienced teacher and public speaker with a PhD in transhumanist ideas and technologies, Elise has shared a stage with a number of world leading academics and intellectuals. She has been an invited speaker at numerous Australian and international conferences, from the International Big History Association Research and Teaching Conference in Amsterdam in 2016, to the Australian Academy of the Humanities Annual Symposium in 2017 and 2019. Elise debated in High School, reaching the regional semi-finals of the Premier’s Debating Challenge. She also has close to a decades’ worth of experience teaching students of all ages and abilities in a range of subjects, including literacy skills and English as a Second Language, coding and robotics, and public speaking. Later this year, she will be a panellist at the NSW Writers Centre Speculative Fiction Festival.

In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Elise is the Operations Manager of Sydney Speaking School. She is passionate about education and is dedicated to the pursuit of helping young people stay competitive in a rapidly changing knowledge economy. Equally important is the cultivation of valuable life-skills, like strong written and verbal communication, which will stand students in good stead in every aspect of their lives.

Canberra Speaking School, the second member of the Speaking Schools Australasia group, has been bringing our fun and educational programs to students across Canberra since 2017.  With an emphasis on small classes, a welcoming environment and plenty of personal feedback from expert coaches, CSS aims to help every student bring their words to life.

Max-Profile

Max Kowlowski

Regional Director – ACT

Throughout high school in Sydney, Max did plenty of debating and public speaking. He was part of the team that won the prestigious GPS Premiership twice, a state finalist in the Plain English Speaking Award, and the national winner of the Evatt Model United Nations Competition. In 2016, Max was also part of the NSW State Debating Squad.

 

Now attending Australian National University, Max has been an active adjudicator and debating coach in Canberra. He has had experience adjudicating all age groups in the ACTDU competitions. He’s also continued to compete in the university debating scene – Max reached the Grand Final of the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships in both 2017 & 2018.

Mark Slaven

National Director

Mark has been an avid debater and public speaker since high school. He has competed in more national and international competitions than he can count, reaching the finals in at least a dozen tournaments and occasionally coming out victorious. His personal experience in the debating scene has led him to (amongst other things) coach at a number of prestigious schools across Sydney, run the Macquarie Schools Debating Program for many years, and be appointed as the Chief Adjudicator of the FED Interschool Debating Competition.

Outside of public speaking, Mark has a Bachelor of Laws (with First Class Honours) and Psychology from Macquarie University, and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University. Having spent many years practising commercial and environmental law, he now manages a number of small businesses, including his role as National Director of the Australian Speaking Schools.

His contribution to the public speaking and debating world was recognised when he was granted life membership of the Macquarie University Debating Society.

Mark-Profile