About Kirsten

About Kirsten de Bouter

About me

Kirsten de Bouter Shillam, TEDx Speaker, Toastmaster International, Author, personal development coach and mentor (ICF accredited)

After graduating from the Coaching University and completing a BSc Hons in Psychology, I largely worked with adults in companies whilst managing my own Coaching practice for over 25 years. I worked with many people on a wide variety of topics from life/career planning, working with new managers, building confidence, leadership skills and public speaking and to being a sparring partner for business owners.  The projects I did, the workshops I ran and the courses I gave, led me to specialise in behavioural / life change, as well as the process of personal and professional development.

During this time, I managed a number of exciting projects for schools, colleges and universities often around confidence, self-awareness, communication and resilience. In addition, I organised a form of TEDx events for young people, named NewGen, where young people were taught the art of presenting, leading to a public speaking event in front of an audience.

I am Dutch, but spent 26 years living in the UK, where I studied, ran my business and had my 3 children. In 2016 we moved to the Netherlands, which was an adventure and a half. The kids adapted and learned to speak Dutch and then we moved country again in 2019, this time to Spain (two of our kids were now teenagers). We arrived not long before the Corona crisis so within months we were confined to our new home, without new friends and unable to speak Spanish. We have now -against some odds- settled in Málaga, southern Spain, made new friends and learned the language.

My book “The Every Year Itch- Do Life Differently” came out just before the pandemic. All the public speaking events that I had subsequently booked were cancelled. Now, in the world after Covid, the message of ‘Doing life Differently’ seems more relevant than ever before and people seem more prepared to leave the comfort zone. After all, there is so much to learn when you do.

In all my time working with adults, people often said ‘I wish I had known/learnt this when I was younger’. I have a real passion for working with young people and I believe that the education system sells them short. Young people are resourceful and talented -every single one of them- but they are under pressure to perform in a conventional system that might not resonate with them at all. Therefore ‘Do life differently’ is a relevant message that I bring to young people, parents and schools, with workshops, training and building a toolbox of life-skills.

I am fully bilingual Dutch-English, I am learning Spanish and I speak German and French. I have been a Member of Toastmasters International in the UK and am currently member of Toastmasters Malaga. I took part in a TEDx event in the Netherlands.

I am based in Malaga and work with Zoom one to one and in small groups. I also work on location.