Who We are

Alison Rooper, In Focus Media trainingAlison – founder and Managing Director of In Focus Media - is a television executive producer with over 25 years experience working for major broadcasters. She coaches chief executives and senior directors of leading British companies and organisations in their media message, presentation skills and interview techniques.

Alison began her career as a financial journalist. She then joined ITV and worked on current affairs and history programming before moving to the BBC where she became senior producer on The Money Programme and the editor of the current affairs series First Sight. She was deputy editor of Tomorrow’s World, and series editor of documentary series Children’s Hospital. As an independent producer she produces science and history documentaries for the BBC and international broadcasters.

Alison coaches tv reporters and presenters and works closely with chief executives in both the public and the private sector to produce tv coverage which enhances public understanding of their organisations. These include leading PLCs, government departments, the police and charities.
As a media trainer she draws on her inside knowledge of the broadcasting world and her experience as a programme maker to prepare clients for all types of media encounters.


  • In depth understanding of the news and current affairs media agenda
  • Hard interviewing skills
  • Understanding audience perceptions and predjudices
  • Getting information across succinctly and clearly
  • Identifying and delivering key messages in all types of media
  • Angling a message for maximum impact
  • Script writing for internal and external audiences

Kate Firth, In Focus Media TrainingKate is a voice and personal impact coach with more than 20 years experience working in the field of human communication. Her background in theatre, psychology and applied linguistics gives her a unique skillset for working with all aspects of human communication through the voice, body, and word.

Kate coaches high level executives to present themselves skillfully and authentically in a range of situations from stand up presentations to media interviews and board room settings. She uses practical techniques to transform their speaking voice, body language and the clarity of their message. Clients leave her sessions with more charisma, presence and gravitas, as well as greater sense of confidence in their sense of professional identity and their ability to influence others.

With a BA in Drama and Spanish, Kate’s career started in California where she worked as a sexual health advisor and managed a family planning clinic. She taught writing at San Diego State University whilst studying for an MA in cognitive and psycho-linguistics. She acted with the Royal National Theatre and then trained as a voice coach at the Central School of Speech and Drama. For eight years she ran management courses in presentation skills at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital. She gained a PG Cert in Psychosynthesis Therapeutic Counselling in 1997 and is currently completing a MA in Psychology.

Kate has coached groups and individuals in corporate and public sector organisations. Clients include BT, Aviva, Bristol University Medical School, Capita, Ministry of Defence. She has worked with high level politicians and also works as a voice coach in film and television including for Channel 4.


  • Identifying and designing outcomes and key messages.
  • Practical techniques to improve voice and speech to engage an audience within minutes.
  • Physical impact and body language skills to build effective working relationships.
  • Coaching in spoken and written language to make content more persuasive, whether in meetings, one to one settings, or formal presentations
  • How to influence others to hear key messages and to act on them.

Louise Collins, In Focus Media TrainingLouise Collins facilitates individuals to communicate with authenticity, commitment and flexibility whatever the situation; allowing them to draw on their own resources through a series of techniques and methodologies drawn from theatre and adapted to the media and corporate environments. Her background in languages, drama and neuro linguistic programming allows her to focus on the effectiveness and power of words and speech and how these can be transmitted to compelling affect.

Louise gained a BA in Latin and Ancient Greek before working with the British Council, WHO, the EU and the United Nations in the Middle East and Africa. She studied acting, voice and drama education at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has a qualification in phonetics.. She has worked at senior management levels providing coaching in personal impact, presentation skills, negotiation skills, influencing and media training.

Louise has recently worked as a voice coach with Mitsubishi Electric, Verifone, Aviva, the Ministry of Defence, The Whitehall and Industry Group, Unipart, HMRC and Reed Business Information.

  • Developing vocal resources and flexibility for interviews, presentations and one to ones.
  • Troubleshooting vocal blocks and limitations.
  • Techniques for managing state in response to environment.
  • Reading an audience and influencing through gesture and body language.
  • Developing credibility and approachability as an authentic process.
  • Creating an awareness of language and its ability to bring about a desired outcome.

Jonathan Rooper, In Focus Media TrainingJonathan Rooper (a cousin of Alison’s) has been a media and presentation trainer for almost 30 years. He is a former journalist with BBC TV News programmes and prior to that worked as industrial correspondent and chief sub-editor for IPC Business Press. At the BBC he specialised in producing and directing short films and was head of BBC News Features Department from 1987 – 1990. After leaving the BBC, he edited Mohamed Al Fayed personal website, alfayed.com, before spending five years as a director of the financial PR consultancy Cardew Group.and two years as an Account Director at the digital communications agency CTN.

Since the end of 2008 he has specialised in media training and corporate video production. Clients include Tesco, BP, Random House, Starwood Hotels, Xchanging, Electricity North West, Nestle, Lonmin, PostComm, Wetherspoon and Thornton’s Chocolates. His approach is based on teaching a few cardinal principles and providing as much practical experience as possible through a variety of media interviews.

  • Many years’ experience of conducting and editing news interviews.
  • PR experience of campaign and crisis communications.
  • IPO and bid presentation training.
  • Select Committee training.
  • HD and DV camera and sound recording.
  • Video editing.

Polly McDonald, In Focus Media Training Polly McDonald is an executive coach and trainer with over 10 years’ experience. Previously she was Managing Director of Crucial Films, an award winning TV production company chaired by Lenny Henry. This was the culmination of many years as a programme maker working all over the world on projects ranging from the Moscow Olympics to period dramas. At Crucial she executive produced all output, including a South Bank Show (ITV), three series of Lenny Henry’s hit sitcom ‘Chef!’ (BBC), a long form documentary on British Soul Music (Channel 4) and various dramas and sketch shows. Her work as MD means she has first hand experience of the realities of running a company with all that entails. It was this that brought Polly to the world of coaching.

Prior to her television career she had an eclectic career including restaurant manager, broadcaster, lady’s companion and saleswoman.

Polly holds a Diploma in Coaching from OCR. She is a certified NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner and is also proficient in a new coaching method based on Clean Language and Emergent Knowledge. She is a member of the Association of Coaching and adheres to their Code of Ethics.

  • Hands-on experience of running a company.
  • Expertise in working with individuals to help them understand how their behaviours and the language they use impact on those around them.
  • Ability to look at the big picture while also acknowledging the importance of the detail.
  • A deep understanding of how we communicate, both verbally and non-verbally.
  • How to build and maintain rapport, whatever the situation.

Laurie Mayer, In Focus Media TrainingLaurie Mayer is a highly experienced broadcast media mentor and consultant with 40 years experience in radio and television.

He was senior news anchor at Sky News from 1993 to 1998 and prior to that presented BBC Breakfast News for five years. From 1986 –1989 he was a regular presenter of all the BBC1 News programmes. His earlier presentation work included Nationwide, South East at 6, Around Westminster ,Radio 4’s World at One and BBC1’s Six O’Clock News for which he also worked as an investigative reporter. He received the Royal Television Society’s Reporter of the Year award for Home News in 1986. From 1998 – 2000 Laurie was Director of Public Affairs at Harrods. From 2001 – 2002 he was the main anchor of the BBC South East Today regional news programme -the BBC’s first fully digital news programme.

Laurie has created media courses in radio and television presentation for the National Union of Journalists which he now tutors at their headquarters in London. In 2005 he was awarded the NUJ’s Gold Badge – the union’s highest honour. His clients include a wide range of senior and chief executives from major corporations and recently, a head of state.

After a degree in history, Michael started his career as an actor appearing on television and stage and then as an award-winning presenter for the BBC. He went on to write, direct and produce highly-rated factual entertainment series for the BBC, Channel 4 and Five.

Having won the Evening Standard Scholarship, Michael received an MBA in Leadership and Strategy from Henley Business School. His thesis on Charismatic Leadership is published as a Henley Working Paper.

Michael’s training and experience as an actor and BBC presenter, combined with his academic research and management experience, gives him a unique approach in developing skills that build relationships and increase personal influence. He works with leaders and leadership teams to develop effective, compelling interpersonal and communication skills. His clients include BP, The Treasury, Shell, Philips, Pacific Life Re, and many smaller media and design companies in the UK

1. Developing clarity in your message
2. Building rapport with your audience
3. Engaging physicality – making sure your non-verbal communication doesn’t get in the way
4. Delivering your argument with impact
5. Dealing with difficult conversations
6. Coping with nerves
7. Presenting with Purpose