A chance encounter in the Jordanian desert during the first Gulf War led to a lot of changes.
“I was on assignment for the BBC,” says Neil Everton. “I had no idea I was about to meet a red-head who would marry me and take me to a new life in Canada.”
The red-head was Halina St James – on assignment for the CBC.
“We’d both been working as journalists and also training other broadcasters,” says Halina. “We realized there was a real need for those skills in the business world.”
Podium Coaching was formed to take the pain and worry out of public speaking, making presentations and being interviewed.
Halina had been shot at in the Romanian Revolution. Neil had been arrested as a spy by Russians in Afghanistan. But a bigger threat came in 2012. Halina had a stroke. She lost the power of speech. Halina worked hard to get her voice back… singing her ABCs and re-learning how to write.
The test came when she gave her first keynote after the stroke, to the national conference of Kin Canada. Now the story of recovering from the stroke is part of Halina’s keynotes, along with her story of surviving a plane crash.
When they’re not delivering training, Halina and Neil can be found ballroom dancing, or hiking around the province they’ve called home for more than 20 years, Nova Scotia.