Harry Sellwood

University Student, 2023

I enrolled in Glenda’s course in pursuit of improving my public speaking ability - to stop “freezing” whenever I had to present to anyone. Before beginning, I was a bit uncertain as I thought that public speaking could only be improved through practicing in front of a live audience. However, I quickly learned that Glenda has a super effective individualised approach that enabled me to learn the foundations of speaking in front of a crowd, which gave me supreme confidence and coping strategies. I thoroughly recommend university students to take on Glenda’s course. It will help you “deliver” when you need to. 

Monica stowers

Professional motivational speaker
Adult student

It is a delicious decision to push yourself to achieve. Earlier this year [2019] I studied to sit an internationally recognised public speaking examination with Trinity College, London. I am indebted to my vocal coach,  the amazing Glenda Pearce,  who is absolutely excellent to work with, and I am grateful for her patience and expertise. She is truly at the top of her field – her knowledge and experience is phenomenal. 

Raewyn Doherty

Satisfied Parent

To whom it may concern,

Being of Samoan heritage and seeing my mother with no academic education and myself leaving school at 15 it was always important to me that my children would have the best education I could provide.

When my children were 10 and due to start year 7 they started in Glenda’s class. One of my children, Tiffany, lacked confidence. Under Glenda she thrived not only with general school subjects but also with Glenda’s private tuition in Speech and Drama. With Glenda she competed for 7 years with her Speech & Drama winning many competitions. At 16 in Year 13 she became a Prefect and also in that same year sat and passed her final exam with Trinity College in Speech & Drama.

Along the way I was in awe of Glenda’s ability to get the best from all her students and the time she seemed to be able to give them all individually, and still have time to address any concerns we parents may have had eg. My daughter thought one time she should have got a particular role in a play and was upset, so a meeting was had with Glenda who was able to explain why she gave Tiffany the role she did and why the other student had been given the role she thought she should have and everyone came away happy with Tiffany understanding the reasons behind Glenda’s decision.

I found Glenda’s organizational skills outstanding so much so that with one production she managed to organise me to sew about 80 costumes!!!
It was also great to see the senior students involved in all aspects of a production taking responsibility for lighting, make-up, set and programs.

My daughter went on to teach Senior Drama.

Meredith caisley

Fellow of Speech New Zealand
Director of Caisley Communications Consultations

I have just had the privilege of hearing Glenda speak on Shakespeare, someone who has studied at the Globe, who was able to share the amazing revelations she has experienced herself and further researched in depth. She has a vibrant and energetic delivery style – and it was worthwhile coming to conference just to hear her. 

Emma Keeling

Professional TV News Correspondent

I am working currently as the foreign news correspondent for a Turkish company based in London. Before that, I was the TVNZ European Foreign correspondent in London.  Formerly, I was working on TVNZ in 20/20 and previously seen on Campbell Live TV3. I have been involved in radio and television for 20 years.

As a child I loved performing. If there was a play on at school I wanted to be in it. Making people laugh was what I did best although my stories did take a wee while to get to the point. At 7 years old I joined my mother’s ballet class because I thought I should but it was rather obvious that I was a right little actress, to put it politely. That’s when my long suffering mother discovered there was a new drama teacher in town by the name of Glenda Pearce.

I was only 9 years old when I had my first speech and drama lesson but instantly knew that Glenda was going to be my favourite teacher ever! Glenda was born to teach. She has a wonderful sense of fun and possesses that uncanny ability of knowing what each child needs to be the best they can be. I naturally gravitated towards comedy and Glenda gently but firmly pushed me to explore my serious side where the real learning began. It was in her weekly lesson I learned how to communicate, tell a story, think on my feet, be creative, explore different emotions and styles, develop my strengths and be aware enough to realise where my weaknesses lay. I studied everything from mime, improvisation, poems, plays, stagecraft and public speaking, culminating in gaining my letters to be a qualified Trinity speech and drama teacher. In moments of laziness or struggle, Glenda was always there to pull me through. All her pupils flourished. We regularly cleaned up at the Speech and Drama competitions, not because we were stars in the making but because Glenda was and still is a talented teacher. She gave us the confidence to be ourselves.

Through the eight years she taught me I don’t think I ever used the same material twice. She had an endless supply of poems, readings, plays and theory. I performed everything from Pam Ayres’ Clive the Fearless Birdman to Electra. No pupil’s body of work was the same. We were all individuals and Glenda worked hard to find the best material for us.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s I realised what an important influence she had been in my life. They say you always remember your favourite teacher and I will never forget what Glenda has done for me. I have no doubt Glenda’s skill as a voice teacher has aided me throughout my career. Without her the viewers of Campbell Live would be subjected to poorly told shaggy dog stories voiced in a horrible kiwi accent with no pitch, tone or inflection. You could say she’s done New Zealand a great favour!

Jonathan Natusch

Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand

Throughout my time learning from Glenda, I was always struck by her unflagging passion for getting the best out of people. I have a huge respect for the constant support she provided for all of her students and their parents.

When I and my fellow pupils struggled with the extensive preparation required for the theory components of the Trinity College exams, Glenda readily sacrificed her free time to arrange numerous weekend study sessions, going well above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we achieved at our best.

I would especially like to note the level of support I received beyond Glenda's role as a Speech and Drama teacher. Whether it was providing career guidance, advice for tackling job interviews or emotional support when my grandfather died, Glenda was always a trusted figure in my life whose support I could always count on.

I became aware, many years after the fact, that Glenda had intervened at High School year after year, to ensure that I and several friends remained in the same class. As she put it, she wanted to ensure that we gifted boys had challenge and like-minded peers.
Such examples show the level of interest that Glenda showed in all of her pupils. She was dedicated to ensuring our personal development and achievement of our potential.

To this day, I would describe Glenda as being one of the most important influences on my life, outside of my family.

It is a testament to her interest in people that she is the only one of my teachers that I remain in contact with.