Does your business or brand have aspirations or limitations? I ask this because when you are a sole trader or an SME, it is easy to get into a comfortable rut and bob along happily on the surface of a mainly calm sea………………..enough of these extended metaphors!
I suppose what I’m trying to say is the sky is the limit if you take up all opportunities offered and think BIG even if you are SMALL.
I am writing this month’s blog to tell you about some interesting developments in my own business this year in the hope that they will inspire you to look beyond the everyday and see the possibilities.
Most of my coaching work has been focussed in my Hinckley, Leics studio but 2018 has produced a series of challenges which have come to fruition in the last 6 months.
As many of you know, I have been an examiner for the LAMDA drama college in London for over 30 years. When I joined the board in 1986 all examinations took place in the UK but in the late 1990’s they were offered internationally for the first time. In fact, I did the very first session in Singapore in 1996 and later I did the first centre in Tyler, Texas. All of these foreign centres are an interesting challenge for an examiner. It isn’t like a holiday where you can plan every detail. You are usually on your own and you have to cope if something goes wrong.
Last year, in china, I found myself at Beijing airport trying to get a taxi where nobody spoke English. This was unexpected but after a lot of gesticulating and looking forlorn, someone arrived who DID speak English. So this year when I was offered 4 days in Vietnam I jumped at the chance to see a new country and, to make the most of it, my husband came too and we had a short break after the work. I intend to keep taking these opportunities while my health allows.
Today I join a cruise ship as a guest speaker – the first of two cruises this summer. I’ve been doing this for 4 years now and it came about as a result of a conversation when I was a passenger. It was suggested by a member of the entertainments team that I should be a guest speaker. I suppose I could have just laughed it off but I thought the idea was interesting so back on land I looked into it, applied, auditioned and I was accepted.
The first time I stood in front of an audience of 700 people it was scary but also exciting. Do you have something exciting to share with cruising passengers? If you do, next year it could be you.
My next challenge is going to involve a lot of work. I have been approached by a Chinese drama teacher in Shanghai to help her with a project involving the local education authority. The idea is to train 30 Chinese English teachers to use drama and performance techniques in their English lessons. I will be devising the 3 day course and we will be delivering it together in late October. Where might this lead……? Well, there are 200 state primary schools in Shanghai!
I will only be home for 2 or 3 weeks and then I’ll be back in the Far East in Hong Kong for the Schools Speech Festival. As some of you know, I have been going out regularly since 2000 and this is my 10th visit as an adjudicator. But something is different this year. 18 months ago I was asked to set the syllabus for 2018 and so the entrants will be performing my choices of poetry, prose, dramatic scenes and public speaking topics. In addition I may be helping to collate a new collection of duologues for future use which will take up a good chunk of my summer break, as the syllabus did last year. Sharing your knowledge with others is tremendously satisfying and if it means you are helping people to speak better English, it is doubly so.
For those of you who coach, I hope you are exploring the possibilities of working by Skype, Facetime, Zoom etc. Make sure you spell out the availability of this option on your website because you never know who you may reach.
At the moment I have a client in Armenia – the sky and world are the limit. Small is beautiful so get out there and market yourself.
Speak Loud & Clear!
Phone: 0800 083 4082