Sunday, 30 October 2016

Women, Leadership and Entrepreneurship; the Speakers Clubs Website and Dinner

What has a national training day at the Association of Speakers Clubs and the Speakers Club President's Dinner got to do with saving the rainforest?

One of the workshops
1. If I learn from it and become more efficient I can achieve more for the Rainforest Fund
2. If you learn from my notes below, especially the tips here, perhaps the same can apply in your efforts in wildlife conservation.

The meeting was held at Samlesbury Hotel, Preston, which was a brilliant location. Near the intersection of the A59 and the M6.

1. The 1st training workshop, by Bernie Morgan of Thanet Speakers Club was "Women into Leadership and Entrepreneurship " 

2. The 2nd workshop was on the Association of Speakers Clubs new website

Suggestions were given on how to improve it. and a plea made to keep individual speakers clubs up to date.

1. Pictures

Bernie (centre) leads the workshop, and has invited one of the participants (right) to speak
At the beginning she had asked everyone to sit at the front.
Well done!!
This makes a good picture having no empty chairs at the front!

Above two pictures: Bernie, the workshop leader (centre) invites participants out (after small group discussion)  to tell us some of their leadership needs and experience.

Neil, the President, thanks Bernie for her workshop

Jackie Mafi and Nigel Thorne announce the launch of the new website:
There is then feedback. One person rightly says she does not like to see empty chairs in a picture.
I assure you, there were lots more people further back.
 The President's Dinner

The lady with her hand raised later helped collect the raffle money. At the beginning of the dinner the lights were  bright enough to take good photos, but below, when the lights were lowered it was harder.

A table just starting on the sticky toffee pudding phase of the meal


Prizes and speeches then followed after the meal.

2. Women into Leadership and Entrepreneurship

At speakers clubs we practice doing evaluations. Here are points I like about the way Bernie's workshop was presented:
  1. Bernie asked people to sit in the front rows.
  2. She had us working in paired discussion almost right at the beginning. This was excellent for breaking the ice and filled in time whilst late comers arrived
  3. More small group discussion, and asking several people to come out and share their experience, worked well.
  4. Bernie wrote down points that people raised during these discussions and talks on a flip chart. Then in her talk she elaborated on these points.
  5. She told some of her personal experience. This made it interesting, gave examples to refer to of points whe was talking about and showed she had expereince to give the talk.
  6. She had good eye contact, posture, smiling face, and thing we learn about in Speakers Club; and she had good knowledge of her subject - So it was an excellent workshop
Points I gained from the workshop:

1. Have a vision and be able to communicate it. Create a vision of what you want to do; and where you want to go.

2. Have to believe in yourself and stand your ground. Be Bloody minded.

3. Get a support group. If one does not exist set it up.  Being a leader can be a lonely position. You can't necessarily discuss your problems with your subordinates or your boss - It is often better to find someone from out side of your job.  We found that one lady had actually done this. (formed a group of leaders with a similar position to her)

4. Dealing with criticism: (sometimes rephrase this as dealing with feedback). Sift through it. People are just angry and venting their spleen. Work out what is valid and what needs dealing with.think "What is the nugget".

5. Ask Questions. Be curious.

6. Tell someone about your idea. People want to help.

7. Don't make assumptions.

8. Time management - suggestions from floor etc: Get up earlier; Do it immediately. set Priorities. It is deeply frustrating the the other person can't make a decision.

9. Be flexible. in the charity sector people are much more willing to be flexible. They thus learn a lot. Bernie said she used to put her hand up and say "Yes I'll do that" so learnt more and became more employable.

10. Negotiation is about timing - think of what the drivers are for the other person.
Write down: who makes the decision?
Who influences him?

11. She asked "What barriers are stopping you taking on the role of being a leader.
i) . One president of a local speakers club said "It is difficult to get other people to commit to doing things. they are volunteers. In a pad job with paid employees it is different".
Ans: Sit down and speak to the person, and tell them why. 
Even when not giving some a contract or sacking a person:
tell them your vision
Tell them your thought process
and then why giving them a contract/ continuing their job does not fit in with this. At least they will understand. And feel better about understanding

12 Another difficutly: ii) lack of self motivation, and difficulty in making decisions.
Suggestions varied from reading "One Minute Manager" to Prioritising, to writing down the problem then leaving it on oneside whilst you do something completely different for a while.
Read a book by Pink "We're all salesmen now"

13. You as an individual - what is your brand?
Leaflets and website have to convey your brand.

... This leads us into the second session. which I may eventually transfer to a new webpost

3. The ASC new website

Jackie Mafi and Nigel Thorne introduced the new website.

There was a lot of feedback about the site, some of which I hope Nigel will find helpful.

It gave them opportunity to explain to us the reasons for aspects of the website.

He showed us the excellent pages of testimonials, and some of the videos of speakers.

He recommended the site (For a usability site, the sentences do have rather a lot of long words per sentence.  I'll try and read it another day.)

One good feature about the website which I learned is that you can flick quickly through the pages of the website by hitting the forward (or backward) arrow on your keyboard. Try it.

It was a helpful session - especially for Nigel  and Jackie to get ideas across to participants.
 - now it is up to us to pass on the news to other members of the clubs.

Jackie and Nigel announce the launch of the new website:

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