Kate Bennis is an actor, writer, trainer, coach, and clinical social worker.
Her presentation coaching practice focuses on helping clients to craft and deliver excellent talks and presentations, and to feel comfortable with cameras and the media. A professional actor with 30 years’ experience in TV, film and stage, Kate has coached senior and mid-level leaders at American Express, AOL, Deloitte and Touche, and The Federal Reserve Bank; Harvard Business School Executive Education, Columbia University Executive Education and Darden Business School Executive Education; and a dozen TEDx speakers. While with The Ariel Group, Kate delivered trainings around the world, developed training curricula, and served as Director of Outreach.
Kate’s communication coaching practice helps leaders engage in high-stakes, challenging and important conversations with influence, grace and presence.
A member of New York’s Circle Rep Lab, she has developed and taught programs with the National Actors’ Theater and worked extensively with the Barrow Group. She also started Keep Me Company, which performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and co-produced plays with London-based companies. More recently she taught Acting for the Camera at the Lighthouse in Charlottesville and has been a Visiting Artist at the Cleveland School for the Arts.
A licensed clinical social worker, Kate has worked with children and adults in a private practice as well as schools and prisons.
She holds a BA in theater from Wesleyan University and an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work, and lives in Charlottesville with her husband, two children, and two fish.
A leader herself, Kate Bennis understands first-hand the daily challenges that leaders face. As a coach and facilitator for senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, she has brought the intellectual curiosity of a scientist, the empathy of a therapist, and the broad vision of an artist. Anyone who works with her will benefit from her extraordinary wisdom, authenticity and creativity. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
I backed up a dump truck of expertise, statistics, metaphors and experience — and rather than cherry-picking vignettes, Kate Bennis methodically, compassionately, and decisively dove into the pile and helped me find my voice, my passion, and the talk I needed to give. After more than 20 years of standing on stages in front of audiences and delivering talks, Kate helped me greet and connect with 1200 people individually in a whole new way. For me, Kate was a magical mix of audience, director, coach, and guide. My work with her has been inspiring and transformative.
Dawn Averitt, The Well Project
Working with Kate Bennis was a tremendous experience, both professionally and personally. Her spot-on advice, enthusiasm, and encouragement helped me get from a place of insecurity to one of confidence and enjoyment.
Laura Mulligan Thomas, Conductor, Charlottesville High School Orchestra
Kate Bennis worked intimately with me to define my goals, my personal voice, and intensify the power of my communication. Her joy in her work, expertise, and professionalism were a god-send. Immediately, I felt more centered and at ease. Kate led me through an evocative, tailored process, using techniques such as brainstorming, physical and writing exercises, and role-playing to craft incredibly effective tools I use every day. Not only do I feel more confident speaking in front of groups and media, thanks to Kate, but I am finding joy in doing so. I feel more authentically myself.
Julie Hamburg, Artistic Director, Live Arts
Kate Bennis’ mastery as a speaking coach is rooted in her golden ears, generous, intelligent heart and actor’s ethic of rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. I work out with Kate in order to clarify–then confidently ditch–my keynote scripts and improvise my storysinging in a way that ignites audiences’ creativity.
Rachel Bagby, Keynote Speaker and Women’s Leadership Muse