Halina St. James
When a KGB agent decided he didn’t like Halina St James, it almost ended a Canadian-Soviet summit meeting in Moscow – even before it had started.
She was under fire in the Romanian Revolution; in Baghdad for the start of the first Gulf War; and in Kuwait for the liberation of that country after the defeat of Saddam Hussein.
Her plane crashed as it tried to land at a remote airfield, during a Canadian election tour.
Through all this trouble and turmoil, she found the inspiration she now shares with others: problems are simply life lessons - and we learn from them if we just say 'This is a good thing'.
Halina got into her share of scrapes in more than 20 years as a producer and reporter for CBC, Newsworld and CTV.
From her own life-changing experiences, she’s developed a technique and a philosophy that helps others people change their lives.
Her philosophy of life – based on her globe-trotting life as a top-level TV producer – is simple. Embrace and enjoy change. “The only way you can find out what you can do – is to do it. A lot of people are uncomfortable with change. But change is a great catalyst to drive you to be better and bolder than you ever imagined possible.
In the Romanian Revolution, Halina and her team found themselves trapped in a hotel, pinned down by sniper fire between rival factions. They couldn’t get to a phone or fax machine. So they powered up their portable satellite unit and started broadcasting a hand-written sign that said ‘If you can see this we’re still alive… start recording.’ That was how she got pictures of the gunfight out to the BBC, NBC and CBC – and how she got the title for one of her keynote speeches.
Halina also uses her experiences and expertize as a broadcaster and actor to help people be at ease making presentations and speeches.
She has developed a breakthrough technique, which she calls Talkitout®. It’s for all those people who have ever dreamed of holding an audience spellbound. It turns nervous novices into good speakers, and good speakers into great ones. No matter how experienced they may be, speakers say Talkitout® helps them touch the souls and win the hearts of their audiences.
“We’re not about teaching presentation tricks. We don’t want to make it slick. We want to make it stick,” says Halina.
Talkitout® is all about transforming people. Helping them find the confidence to stand up in front of a crowd. Helping them find their true, authentic voice. In the feedback she gets from her workshops, people tell her the technique changed their lives.
Halina delivers workshops in communication skills and media management to corporations, governments and broadcasters around the world. She is the author of two books.