Letting My Hair Down!


Myself and Clare Abell
at the Switched-on Awards

Hello again everyone,

Some of you have pointed out to me from time to time that I am a bit of a workaholic and should take it easier. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that I took your advice and let my hair down not just once in October but twice within 3 days!

On the 1st of the month, with my husband Stewart and three business friends in tow, I put on my glad rags and headed for the New Bingley Hall in Birmingham. I had been nominated for an award at the Switched-on-biz/Business Link event for ‘Women in Business with B**ls’! (no tittering at the back please). so I downed my champagne and ate my dinner with the 400 others present and clapped all the category winners before mine came up. Needless to say I didn’t win – I couldn’t really compete with the lovely lady who won (she has a transport company with a turnover of £80 million!) However, it was great fun and a good time was had by all.

Two days later I was at a film premiere! O.K. not in Leicester Square but just as important for the 8 youngsters taking part. I will put you in the picture (if you’ll excuse the pun). Several months ago I was approached by a local charity, Y4U who work in schools, to provide actors for a short film which is to be shown to young teenagers on the subject of sexual pressure and how to deal with it. I provided 8 teenagers who rehearsed the original script for several weeks before filming it on location locally and we were all invited, with family and friends, to view the finished product at a local hall in Hinckley. we dressed up, had fizzy plonk (non-alcoholic!) and tucked into a pizza supper. What a great night – I was so proud of them and also of the fact that the film will be used as a teaching tool, with a facilitator from the charity, in all the Leicestershire upper Schools.

So October started with a bang and I continued to be over-fed when I attended the 3 day British and International Federation of Festivals Conference in Durham. Lots of sitting and listening to interesting speakers and being entertained but not great for the waistline! I have been fortunate in being an international adjudicator, under the umbrella of BIFF, for the last 18 years and I shall be heading for Hong Kong on 13 November for 5 weeks as a judge at the National Speech Festival – but more of that next month….

On the 8th I ran another of my ‘Dynamic Speaking’ open workshops at the Marriott Hotel, Leicester. I had 4 ladies and 4 gentlemen this time and we all had a great time. My next course for this subject is on 26 january 2010 and I’m delighted to say that it is already full.

I was meant to be in two places at once in the middle of the month which caused some difficulties! Due to a misunderstanding one of my clients thought that they had booked me to take two voice protection and projection workshops but I didn’t know and had arranged my drama school’s annual Open Day on the same date. Both went ahead, I’m pleased to say but for the first time ever I missed the Open Day. Never mind, everyone seemed to enjoy it anyway so perhaps I am more dispensible than I thought!

I attended 13 different networking organisations during October (some of them several times) which I think must break my previous record. I also spoke for the Institute of Directors, leicester; 4 Networking at Daventry; Futures Networking at Coventry and the Federation of Small Businesses in Nuneaton.

One of my most enjoyable mornings this month was spent at a local high school where I was a business volunteer at an Enterprise Day run by Leicester Education Business Company. I found myself on a ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel, assessing the games that different year groups had invented and vetting them as a viable business product. It was great fun and some of the ideas were excellent.

I also managed to fit in a one-day exhibition at Stratford and a day’s examining for LAMDA in Bedford.

I don’t often mention the work I do with my 1-2-1 clients in my blog but I do have a very interesting and varied selection of business people coming through the door. I was delighted to see Brad Burton and Tim Johnson, managing director and director of finance respectively of 4 Networking for a session. I don’t get to see them too often as they live in Somerset but I was especially pleased to see Brad’s new video at and to see my article ‘Speak your Way to Success’ in print in the ‘4 Community’ magazine.

I was pleased to welcome professional magician, Steve Short, for a chat. Wwe are hoping to develop a pretty unique workshop involving presentation skills and magic – watch this space!

I was also delighted to be able to help an individual with a pretty unique problem. He has only one functioning lung and half his diaphragm is collapsed so that acheiving power in the voice is tricky. We managed to put some techniques in place which made a real difference and I am looking forward to working with him again early in 2010.

Well, I think that’s quite enough for this month. I’m not quite sure whether December’s blog will appear as usual because I will be on the opther side of the world but I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Time for a tip before I go. If you have to read anything aloud try these techniques:

  • Take your time
  • Use the punctuation marks for sense pauses
  • Make frequent eye contact
  • Make sure the text is at the right height for easy communication
  • Remember that practice makes perfect

Oh – almost forgot. My two ‘Voice Matters’ sessions in November are full so I’m booking forward to:
2 February – Marriott Hotel, Leicester

26 February – Hogarth’s Hotel, Solihull
£80 deposit by BACS secures your place – I hope to have the pleasure of your company.

Speak Wisely
Speak Well
Loud & Clear!

Contact me on 01455 230317
Web: www.loudandclearuk.com

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