Laura and I are back with another conversation lesson for you! This time we talk about people and people who inspire us in life.

Laura talks about two people who have been ‘role models’ for her as an actress and business entrepreneur. 

In this lesson you can vocabulary and expressions to talk about people. 


You can also practice listening to both a native Australian English Speaker and a native English speaker – from England! 

Use the transcript below to follow the conversation. The highlight phrases and vocabulary in the transcript are also noted in the video with some explanations. 


  • A play (noun) = a live theatre production on stage with actors.
  • To inspire / Inspiring / Inspiration = To encourage or motivate people to do or feel something. 
  • “I’m just going to go with….” = I’m just going to choose. 
  • To transform / Transformative = To become something new in appearance, nature or attitude. 
  • Work ethic = A belief that hard work is very important. 
  • Minority groups = Groups of people in society who are not the majority of people. They have less power and are often overlooked or invisible to general society. 
  • To run a business = To manage or own a business. 
  • To come across = To appear or seem a certain way.
  • A bundle = a group of materials put together or ‘wrapped up’. 


You will also notice that I use a lot of ‘active listening’ in this conversation. I actively show I am engaged in the conversation and listening to Laura by using phrases or indicators such as;

  • Yeah.
  • Right.
  • Mmm-hmm.
  • Absolutely. 
  • Exactly!
  • That’s right. 
  • Oh, really?
  • Oh, ok. 
  • Wow!
  • That’s great! 

and so on. 



You can also download the transcript HERE

So, hello! And here we are doing real conversations at Real English Speaker! And I’m here today with my special friend Laura Huxley. Hello!

Hi Nick! Thanks for having me.

We love to have you… from real ..from, no not Real English Speaker, from Speakers Little Secret!

Yes! From Speakers Little Secret. That’s where I work with people in regards to public speaking and presenting on camera.

Yeah it’s great! So maybe first you could just tell us a little bit about you and… and what’s your background? And your work.

Well, I’ve been in Australia now for nine years, so I’m originally English, as you can probably tell and I started Speaker’s Little Secret just over three years ago when I realised that I was working with a lot of business people who weren’t able to communicate what it was that they were offering or that they had a fear or phobia of public speaking.. getting up in front of people and speaking. So because I’ve got lots of training in acting like you do, Nick!

That’s right.

And many, many years of voice training and all the physicality and how to use the stage, I decided to start Speakers Little Secret as a way to help other people.

Yeah and it’s so inspiring, working with the voice and giving people confidence with their voice. So we actually met as actors, didn’t we?

We did! Years ago.

That was like, ages ago. And we did a play together, we’ve done a few plays together, I think we, haven’t we?

Do you remember the first one we did? I was the Queen Mother.

Yeah that’s right, you were the Queen! And it was a play set in England and um yeah it was a little play that we did and then we formed a theatre company. So we did a lot of acting training and voice work and so um and now Laura is still doing act- ing but also this amazing work as speaker’s little secret.


So what we’re going to talk about now is people and people who inspire us. So that means people who make us want to do great things in our life and make us feel motivated in our life, inspire. So I want to know, because you’re a very inspiring….so we can say inspiring person. You’re a very inspiring person with all the work that you do and how you live your life.

Thanks Nick!

Yeah so and you inspire a lot of people with your work and with your voice coaching and the inspirational coaching you do but I want to know about people who have inspired you in your life. Can you think of two or three and tell us about them?

Well there’s different… there’s many different people who inspire me and if I look at it from an acting point of view. I’ve got actors and actresses who inspire me who I’d love to either work with or do some sort of work like they do.


And then there’s also, within running a business and being an entrepreneur… there’s many people who inspire me to keep moving forward and you know have that vision of where I want to take the business. So from an acting sense I’m going to choose one person and then I’ll choose somebody from


From business, if that would work?

Yes, very good yes that’ll be great. Tell us.

And so I’m just going to go with the good old Meryl Streep. Oh yes!

You may or may not, I’m sure you have heard of Meryl Streep and… and the reason she inspires me is because she is able to completely transform herself. So the word transform… maybe you can kind of explain a little bit

Yeah so transform, it means to change, you know, to… to become something else. So and we can say the adjective is ‘transformative’. She …. she gives transformative performances where she becomes this other person, you know and you can’t… you can’t tell it, well you can, you know it’s Meryl Streep! But… but she just slips into this… she becomes this other life and this other person.

She does and that’s what admire about her, is her work ethic she works really hard yeah she’s so committed yeah to doing a great job and really looking at that transformation and she’s able to use her voice!

Yeah that’s true. So many different ways she uses it and she just changes it so well

She matches the pitch and the tone of her voice. She completely changes with different characters that she plays.

So you should check out her movies and you can listen to different accents. She does Irish.. British American, you know..

She does the Russian. Everything! Australian!

Yeah, she has done Aussie! In a movie called Evil Angels, so yeah. Wow! So that’s and because of her transforming….her transformative ability is what inspires you and her voice?

Absolutley! And the stories that she chooses to tell yeah. She doesn’t go with um any old story it’s usually a movie or a film that has a really deeper meaningful mes- sage behind it. I think she’s quite strategic when it comes to choosing what she does and what is it.

She wants to send a bit of a message or she wants to…. I heard that she likes to tell stories of people who don’t really have a voice like… who don’t you know, minority groups we call them. Smaller groups in the world who may be underprivileged or um who are overlooked. So meaning people don’t see them…. a bit invisible


Or they’re suffering or struggling in some way and she likes to give them a voice so I think that’s….

And I identify that with that a lot. That was another one of the reasons I started Speakers Little Secret.


Because I wanted to and still want to work with those groups who don’t necessarily have a voice.


So it’s not just about working with people who want to get over a fear of speaking or may need to grow their business or get that business out there. I want to be able to help people who may not feel like they’re being heard.

Mmm mmm Wow!

Oh so that’s a great… that links up. I can understand why, you know, she’s kind of a role model for you or an inspiration. That is really great and, you know, it’s the same with learning English as well. Learning a language is giving yourself a voice in another language and which can give you confidence and open up your life and your opportunities.

Absolutely! And the people that you meet and you can build relationships with exact- ly once you’ve got that confidence in your own voice.

Yeah and it’s about connecting, isn’t it? Finding more connections with people. And so what about the business person?

So business person… I would say…well coincidentally they’re both women.

Yeah well, yeah, that’s good!

But the lady that inspired me to start my own business initially yeah was a lady called Marie Forleo.

Oh yeah Marie Forleo, yeah I know her. And she’s American as well.

She’s amazing!

So Marie Forleo runs an online business training program for initially it was for female entrepreneurs but now I think she’s been doing it for quite a few years…she works with men as well right. But basically watching her videos and seeing how she put herself out there in the way that she used marketing


To get the message out there, really inspired me.

Yeah… yeah

to kind of go “I can do something like this”

Yeah yeah.

I can try and see what I can bring together.


And so I did her program.. I did her business course.


And that’s what helped me to get started and I was out there and the thing that inspired me about her is that she’s continuously learning.


Yeah she’s always looking at what’s changing in social media, what’s changing in marketing, what’s changing in how you can grow your business and she will then adapt to it and and the look and feel of what she does as well …

Hmm, and how would you describe her? I mean you haven’t met her really, have you?

Yeah I’ve worked with her husband, who’s an actor! In New York.

Oh really? I didn’t know that! He’s an actor. Yeah that’s interesting and she has a dance background, so she’s….

She has, so she’s a performer, she comes from…. from R&B dance, that’s what she used to do and…and as a person she comes across anyway,, I’ve not…I don’t know her. What comes across… comes across is she’s really playful, she has fun and she doesn’t take herself too seriously she’s also very smart and intelligent and she knows how to communicate that. I think she’s a great writer


Because I receive her emails, yep so she’s managed to have a look at her strengths.


And bring them all together.. in a…in a bundle.

Mmm bundle, yeah.

Which works really really well.


And now you know she has a following of thousands and thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands!


She’s built this, you know, million dollar business, online.

Very inspiring and very… very creative.

And well it that’s… they’re two really interesting, fascinating role models and inspirations.

Yeah! There’s many more.

Yeah! And that’s really great! So um thanks for sharing that!

You’re welcome!
(c) Real English Speaker


Laura and I in a play called “TWO ROOMS” by Lee Blessing
Sydney, 2013. 

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