“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”

- Anna Freud     

Rena Cohen M.F.A. is an award-winning professional theatre director, published theatre critic and acting teacher who is dedicated to working with clients from every occupation and profession to help them to develop their individual strengths as communicators.

Rena is relaxed and easy to work with. She operates from the premise that public speaking is about communication, not perfection. She is committed to helping you articulate your message so that you can successfully impact your audience in a way that is comfortable and authentic to you.

She has served as professional adjudicator for speech arts for the National Professional Music Teachers’ Association (2004) and the Westcoast Speech Arts Festival (2006, 2008) and is also the founder/coordinator of a recognized community educational program for Gateway Theatre.  Maintaining her close professional attachment to the performing arts, Rena is also the Managing Director of Realwheels theatre company.


  • Best Director Award from the Quebec Drama Federation (two-time winner)
  • Certificate of Special Recognition for outreach programming: Richmond School Board
  • Presentation to Rena Cohen "In Grateful Appreciation of Your Talent, Vision & Dedication to Gateway's Educational Outreach Program" (2002-2012) - Gateway Theatre


Hi Rena: I can’t thank you enough. Everyone, and I mean everyone, complimented me on my speech. I knocked it out of the park thanks to you.

Gerald F. Hooper
Promark Aviation Services inc.

I regularly present but an upcoming event was going to have a larger crowd than I was use to, and I knew I needed coaching to polish my delivery. Rena provided me with tools to calm my nerves, and helped identify key components to deliver important messages to my audience. I felt energetic and confident on stage and received positive feedback on my performance. Three different audience members have since asked me to present to their group or membership. Couldn’t have done it without Rena’s help!

Name withheld (privacy requested), Consultant.

Public speaking was once my biggest fear. With Rena's guidance, my confidence has improved greatly to the point where public speaking is almost fun. Engaging the audience properly has also improved the impact of my presentations. We've covered breathing techniques, ways to work with nervousness, presentation format, audience analysis, authenticity while speaking, and overall flow. Collaborating with Rena is a wonderful experience.

Annie Frind, Founder, Just Do 1 Thing.

In three sessions, Rena's expertise helped me do a great job with my speech. She helped me to craft my talk so it felt comfortable to me, and my audience really 'got' my message. My confidence has increased in my personal life as well as professional. Thank you, Rena!

Sheila Werner, Professional Women's Group, Dress for Success.

My preparation was really helped both by our meeting and by drawing on your notes.

Kathleen Speakman, Principal at Kathleen Speakman & Associates.

Working with Rena not only builds confidence for a strong presentation but she is a reminder of the value of having fun, not only in a presentation but throughout her step-by-step conversational process toward success.

James Sanders, keynote speaker, recipient of the Coast Mental Health Courage to Come Back Award (2013); Canadian Paraplegic Association's 2011 Christopher Reeve Award.

Rena Cohen is an excellent speech arts coach and a wonderful adjudicator. She has adjudicated the public speaking classes for the Westcoast Speech Arts Festival on several occasions and we always found that she provided the participants with excellent advice, helpful evaluations and creative techniques that they could easily understand and put into immediate use. Rena connected with the students, their parents and their teachers as she was warm, friendly, and entertaining while all the while sharing her knowledge and experience. She brings this same attitude and ability to her coaching. I can recommend her highly!

Sheena White, B. Ed, LTCL - Speech, Drama, and Effective Speaking

Vancouver, BC

Rena's help was invaluable and gave me the confidence to be able to stand up in front of people - 10,000 people, actually. Working with Rena made all the difference between a speech that would have been adequate to one that still stands out for people when they think of that event.

Karen J., Olympic Athlete
Vancouver, BC

Rena's exercises are fun and practical, and I'm glad I took the opportunity to develop this part of my professional life. She gave me a context for public speaking that helped me become much more comfortable and effective in front of any audience.

Villa P., Director, Financial Rewards and Educational Advising
Vancouver, BC

Working with Rena is adding some tools to my "kit", polishing skills, increasing insight and awareness, overall making me better prepared for this part of my work and career. She provides concrete new things to try, and her overall approach to public speaking is about keeping my own style and making it better.

Name withheld (privacy requested), Vice President (in HR)
Vancouver, BC