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Who We Are

About Marisa Sarfatti

Originally from an acting background, Marisa graduated from the internationally acclaimed Theatre & Film College, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 1995. With her 15 years of experience as a theatre, radio, film and television actor and coach, she realized the vital need for the corporate sector to develop strong and productive communication skills. Having established her coaching and consultation services in this specialised field of Conscious Communications, she has built up both a unique methodology and long-standing client relationships.

Marisa has developed her programmes to focus on creating material that develops the individual and group communication skills according to each clients’ specific requirements. Incorporating discussions, acting techniques, creative exercises and filming of some sessions, the programmes are highly interactive and engaging. The training value comes from participants being able to integrate sessions practically and effectively and to put the course content and exercises to daily use.

She coaches key/senior staff, middle and senior management to CEO/Director level.

She has developed her role as coach and facilitator into a consultative role for her clients. Due to the ongoing work with some clients, she has been able to assess the broader business’s needs and a strategy to develop staff to support those needs. Over the last 2 years, Marisa has given communication analysis that has directly impacted on strategy, staff structures and creative solutions for addressing what seemed to be insurmountable issues or previously unidentified or misdiagnosed issues in the business.

Marisa has worked with a diverse range of companies in a variety of industries such as Sasfin Bank Ltd, SYSPRO, Merchants, ACSA, LRMG, The Cape Chamber of Commerce, The Vineyard Hotel & The Red Carnation Hotel Group, Red Bull International, and Environ Skin Care Products, to name but a few. The facilitating in these companies has covered a broad spectrum of formats and has been tailored to each industry and company’s requirements.

Passionate About Creating Conscious Communicators

Speak Easy Facilitators was started in 2002 by Marisa Sarfatti, a Communications Coach and Facilitator with more than 15 years’ experience as a theatre, radio, film and television actor.

During the past 10 years, Speak Easy has grown into a well-respected training company with many long-term clients who continue to see the value in Speak Easy communications training. Our Business Communication clients include SYSPRO, Merchants, 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, Sasfin, and Red Bull to name but a few.

With coaches and facilitators in both Cape Town and Gauteng, Speak Easy Facilitators is able to conduct training workshops across the country.

“I found these coaching sessions of huge benefit, as it allowed me to practice and apply the skills learnt. Marisa is able to engage one in a light-hearted manner, which makes work seem like fun and she is able to take very real issues and assist one in resolving them. I found these so useful that I started wishing that the sessions could be a permanent feature to make me focus on a continuous coaching style of management. My staff and other individuals, who I coached, responded really well to the coaching techniques and I was able to resolve numerous issues facing my department. This allowed me then, to focus my time on the other strategic and pressing matters.”Marisa has a knack of being able to know when to cajole and when to push harder for results.I would recommend her personally.Sylvia Bruckner
Executive H.R. Manager ACSA CT

The Speak Easy Team

About Benita Doria

Benita completed her BA Honours Drama with distinction in 2003. Since then her experience has evolved and she has worked with a wide range of companies including Transnet, Sasol, Murray & Roberts, Barloworld, Anglogold Ashanti, Nokia, The JD Group, SYSPRO, and The Department of Water and Forestry, just to name a few. She has worked in various roles as a corporate actor, director, production manager, voice coach, facilitator and National Activations Manager. Benita has taught and consulted with a variety of people in her career from trainee level up to CEO.

Benita has been involved with Speak Easy Facilitators for the past year and a half, when she came on board as a co-facilitator for the Red Bull/Cell C Brand workshops, which were rolled out to staff early in 2011. She has co-facilitated alongside Marisa Sarfatti and coached both the Individual Communications and Clear Speech Programmes for entry level staff.

The essence of what Speak Easy Facilitators stands for is helping staff with effective communication within the corporate environment and reaching their fullest potential. Benita is able to develop staff who are first points of contact with the public, or junior management who are identified for fast tracking but need to develop their people skills. Benita is able to address a variety of areas with these staff, whether in the form of voice coaching, attitude of mind, awareness of self and others, or effective listening and communication.

About Michèle Levin

Michèle started her career as a ballerina and is an extensively qualified ballet, contemporary, Spanish and tap dancer. She has worked with Maurice Béjart’s 20th Century Dance Company in Belgium and for NAPAC and PACT. She is also a Cecchetti ballet teacher. She then went on to study and has an honours degree in Dramatic Art from Wits University. Her curiosity in human behaviour lead her to further her studies, and she has an honours in Psychology and a Life Coaching Diploma.

As a performer, she is well known for her performances in Thoroughly Modern Millie; Nunsenations; Stepping Out, the musical; Grease; Jo’burg Follies; A Chorus Line; Crazy for You; La Cage aux Folles; Hamlet; Macbeth; Annie (FNB Vita Nomination) Heel Against the Head; (FNB Vita Award for Comedy) Running Riot; Caught in the Net; as well as numerous Janice Honeyman Pantomimes.
Work in Television includes Rhythm City, Scandal, Generations, Big Okes, and Scoop Schoombie. She has starred in a number of international movies including Dredd 3D, released in September this year, as well as Duma and Cold Harvest. Local movies include Heel Against the Head.

Throughout her career she also directed, choreographed and facilitated for corporate and industrial theatre, working with a diverse range of companies including MultiChoice, Sun International, Barloworld, Nokia, Standard Bank, Edcon, Absa, Momentum, to name but a few. In 2011, Michele joined the writing team of the M-Net daily series ‘The Wild.’

About Lee-Ann van Rooi

Lee-Ann has played an active part in the Professional Entertainment Industry for over 20 years. A proud member of the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) and the South African Council of Educators (SACE,) she has credits stretching over the various mediums of Film, Stage, T.V. and Radio both locally and internationally. She has recently won …and just been nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award.

A keen storyteller, puppeteer, educator, writer, director, and curriculum planner, her interests and skills are wide and varied. Particularly interested in supporting, growing and creatively educating audiences in a responsible and challenging way, she utilises her performing skills to empower the development of others, preferring to cultivate a culture of thinkers, doers and courageous but responsible risk takers, qualified to escort us into the next century.

One of her favourite quotes: “If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius” Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel.”