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20th Mar, 2015

Secrets to becoming a world class networker
by Kathryn Haines on March 20, 2015 18:46


The first training session of the year was "Stepping up - Secrets to becoming a world class networker" hosted by Joe Dilger, JCI Senator 62404.

We discussed the use the use of online networking and how most people still prefer to have the face to face contact when networking. There's something about meeting someone in person that makes it easier to trust them and build a future networking relationship. However, it is often a great way to begin making contact with new people or to follow up with after a meeting.

We also realised that almost every opportunity is a networking possibility and could result in a new contact, even with VIPs. A chance meeting in a lift with someone who appears to be a total stranger could in fact be the VIP speaker at the event you are attending!

Next, Joe explained to us about the Japanese way of giving and accepting business cards. How it is to be treated with respect and should always be given and taken with both hands and then never simply placed in your pocket uncaringly! 

The session was extremely informative and was very fun and interactive. It was a great session to build up our knowledge and confidence with networking. Thanks Joe!

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18th Nov, 2014

This weekend was the 2014 JCI UK National Convention, hosted by JCI Canary Wharf and JCI London with the theme of the Phoenix Tale: “How we deal with challenges makes us stronger!”. The National Convention is the highlight of the JCI UK calendar - a weekend where JCI members and non-members come together from all around the UK and from across the world to train, socialise and celebrate with a true JCI spirit. Although I wasn’t able to be there for the whole weekend I was very fortunate to be sponsored to go to the JCI UK Annual Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening by my local chamber - which I was especially grateful for as I had been nominated by them for the JCI UK Most Outstanding New Member of the Year Award! :)

Canary Wharf at night

I travelled up by train and tube in the afternoon, meeting Michelle Bustos, IPP of JCI Portsmouth at the Travelodge in London Docklands around 5:30pm to get ready for the evening.

The evening JCI UK Annual Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony was held at the Museum of London Dockyards in Canary Wharf - quite a dramatic venue with the backdrop of all the lit up high rise offices all around. We started off in the Rum & Sugar bar next door with a welcome drink chatting and catching up with other jaycees before heading through to take our seats.

JCI UK 2014 National Convention- venueIt was an outstanding evening - but it all felt like a bit of a blur. Drew and Jasmine did a wonderful job hosting the evening and in true JCI spirit there was a great atmosphere throughout. The level of genuine support, encouragement and celebration for each other in JCI always amazes and humbles me - this occasion was no exception. The whole evening from the meal to the speeches and the award ceremony were fantastic. Well done to JCI Canary Wharf and JCI London for pulling it off! I was sitting with the rest of the JCI Southampton team who could make the weekend and we enjoyed sharing a table with representatives from JCI Malta. We were all very excited to see everyone who went forward to receive an award or certificate of merit and be recognised for all the hard work they’d put into this year. I know that this was only a small snapshot of all the effort, development and changes that have happened throughout the chambers in the UK - so to all those who didn’t get a mention - well done and keep going! :)

Of course, there were a few highlights in the Award Ceremony for us…

  • Best Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project Award for JCI Southampton and our collaboration with JCI Kortrijk which started when they came over to visit Southampton in March. The highlight of this collaboration for me was being able to  visiting them and JCI Waregam in Belgium in July. We’re in the process of finalising the next meet up in the new year and look forward to what the future may bring.

  • Most Outstanding New Member Award for me? Total honour even to be nominated by the JCI Southampton council team - it’s still not quite sunk in that I’ve won it… wow!

  • Drew Charman (our 2011 and 2012 JCI Southampton President) stepping into his role of 2015 JCI UK National President, receiving the Most Outstanding Legacy Award and being recognised with a Senatorship, which our 2013 JCI Southampton President Michael Steel was able to present!

Best Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project Award Blog » Most Outstanding New Member Award 2014.jpg Michael Steel speech

Drew Charman - Senator 2015 JCI UK National President Drew Charman

2014 National Convention - awards JCI 2015 Banner

Although we had to finish the evening in the pub next door due to venue issues outside our control it felt very fitting to be sat closely together rather than spaced out for the Friendship Speeches and formal keynote speeches late into the night. It was a very memorable end to an evening celebrating this last year and it reminded me of what a difference a year can make. So, whilst we all revel in the successes of the awards and delight in the memories of the past year the challenge of what we do and how do we continue to fulfill the JCI mission and vision both locally and worldwide in 2015 and onwards still remains.

It’s going to be an exciting year! See you on the other side...



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22nd Jun, 2014

JCI Southampton - European Winning Chamber!
by Michael Steel on June 22, 2014 19:58


European Conference 2014 - Malta. When you say it out aloud it sounds amazing...and for JCI Southampton and JCI UK it really was.

Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » IMG_6328.jpg

JCI Southampton attended the conference with four members, which made up a strong JCI UK delegation of close to seventy members. The opening ceremony had the usual JCI pomp and the setting was really spectacular. For those who have not been to a JCI international event - it really is something special. Over 45 countries represented and flags galore. Seeing members representing their countries and chambers really is something.

The training on offer... actually, we just need to jump ahead before we all combust!

For the first time in our 56 year history - JCI Southampton won TWO European Awards!!!
...and were shortlisted in five from seven categories.

Naturally, we all went crazy with excitement and the moment was absolutely euphoric.

The European awards we won were:

- Best Local Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme - Costa Academy & Apprenticeship Training Scheme

- Most Outstanding Local President - Michael Steel

Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » MS Pres 2014.jpg  Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » Academy screen shot 2014.jpg

The CSR award for the Costa Academy & Apprenticeship Training Scheme really was reward for a two and a half year long project aimed at Southampton's disadvantaged young people getting into employment. A project costing £30,000 and part funded by a National Lottery grant for which JCI Southampton wrote, submitted and managed while the project was being built. We've made real impact supporting new apprentices in Costa Coffee - six of which came to the European Conference 2013 in Monaco.

Most Outstanding Local President in Europe = wow. Just so overwhelmed. I remember at my first European Conference in 2011, Tarragona Spain, when Claire Evans from JCI Leeds won the award for the UK (the last UK president to do so). I thought back then how hard it was to be local President let alone winning in Europe - and then my name was called out. Those who know me well will know generally how well composed I am...all out of the window! I just remember everyone screaming and me jumping to my feet - madness and Katie Ogley from JCI Doncaster screaming at me to get to the stage to get the award...great moments.

Being local President in 2013 for JCI Southampton was an amazing honour and we had an amazing year. I must say I had a great council team who all put in many many hours of hard work and I thank them greatly. A special mention goes to Drew Charman, previous President to JCI Southampton and now Deputy JCI UK President. Drew has been a constant support to me through the years with the Costa Academy and my time as President - very much appreciated.

Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » M&M Euro Awards 2014.jpg Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » Group euro 2014.jpg

Malta did an amazing job and delivered a conference many of us will never forget. The gala dinner setting was breath-taking and the parties...oh the parties...were utterly fabulous. There was a moment at the Finnish party when a girl fell in a swimming pool and had to be rescued by a James was Eurotastic!

As well as JCI Southampton winning European awards, JCI Sheffield's Mark Able Smith won 'Most Outstanding Member' in Europe - amazing! JCI UK had members in the final of the debating and public speaking competitions, which was a fantastic achievement - it really was a Union Jack party!

We now move onto the World Congress which will be held by JCI Leipzig in Germany. Promises to be another classic!

Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » JCI UK Euro Winners.jpg Events » International events » European Conference 2014 » Gala dinner 2014.jpg

Remember anyone can attend the conferences, so if you're thinking it could be fun...IT WILL BE!

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We'll be speaking about the many benefits of attending at future JCI Southampton events.


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4th Apr, 2014

Alabaré Sleep Out at Salisbury Cathedral
by Joy Trewin on April 4, 2014 09:37


I took part in my second annual sleep out to support Wiltshire’s homeless on Friday 21st March.

Around 40 people left the comfort of their beds and chose to spend the night sleeping rough in the cloisters of Salisbury cathedral.

Blog » Community Projects » Alabaré Sleep Out at Salisbury Cathedral.jpgSee picture of my humble ‘home’ for the night to the right.

Armed with a roll mat, four layers of clothes (including my skiing salopettes) a sleeping bag and some hot food and drink we all bedded in for the night.

It was pretty unnerving as I woke at one point to realise I wasn’t alone and technically lying across flagstones and someone’s grave! I tossed and turned throughout much of the night, as the wind showed little mercy in howling its way around the cloisters and the cathedral bells chiming every hour only served as a constant reminder that I still wasn’t asleep!

At 7am and feeling somewhat bedraggled I retreated home to grab a few hours power napping. I’ve never been so glad to see my mattress!

Comfortable it wasn’t but great to support a local charity and do something different.

Next year’s sleep out will be Friday 13th March 2015 and it’d be fantastic if some more JCI members could to join me then.

You can learn more about the charity at or download their leaflet from this event here.

Alice Biggar

Membership Director

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1st Apr, 2014

Charisma in Networking
by Joy Trewin on April 1, 2014 15:08


We had the privilage of hearing 2012 JCI UK National President Solveig Malvik talk at our previous training event about Charisma in Networking on the 12th March at BPP Southampton. She has kindly send us a blog post going over some of the theory of the evening. Have a read if you missed out or would like a refresh.

Our next training event on the 22nd April is an Employability Taster Session run by Anita Singh from CDG. Find out more information about the event or book in here.

We are always looking for new ideas on types of training which we can offer our members (and future members) - subjects that they would really like to take part in & benefit from.  If you have any ideas please contact our Training & International DirectorJames Lambert, by emailing,uk.

Blog » Training Courses » Training Event 12.3.14.jpg

A lot of people find networking scary, intimidating and uncomfortable. But networking can be fun, it can be a great way of meeting new friends, business partners and acquaintances. I believe good networking is about making the experience easy and comfortable not only for yourself, but also for the people you network with. If you can make networking enjoyable and fun for others, people will love you for it and networking will be a walk in the park. 

Most of us need to network, either for our job, in JCI or to get a new job. Here are three very simple tips for making networking easier for both yourself and others.

1.     Comfort = confidence. Make sure you are prepared and comfortable at the event. For the ladies, this often means making sure you have comfortable shoes and that the handbag isn’t wearing you down. For the men it can mean your tie isn’t too tight, the jacket not too warm etc. Also make sure you wear something that you feel both comfortable and confident in and that is suitable for the occasion. It’s easy to use accessories to dress up or down. Men can remove or put on a tie. I find that if I’m a bit too dressed up, wrapping a casual scarf around my neck makes me less overdressed. In short, you don’t want anything taking your focus away from what you are there to do, which is to pretend to host the party.

2.     Be the host of the party. Adopt the mind-set you would have if you were hosting a party at home. What’s the difference? When you’re a host, your focus is on making sure everyone around you are comfortable, having a good time, are entertained and have what they need. This is the mind-set that makes you a star networker. Talk to people, ask them how they are doing, how they got there, if they’ve been to the same type of event before. Ask them if you can get them a drink, if they’re looking to find someone in particular. 

3.     Use an open body language. An open body language doesn’t only make you look more open and approachable, it also makes you feel more open and approachable. Open body language means an open posture – chin up and shoulders back. Hands out of the pockets, out from behind the back and uncrossed. Use your hands with your palms open and upwards. Toes should point either straight forward or slightly outwards.

For more tips on charisma in networking, get my ebook on or check my blog on



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25th Feb, 2014

JCI European Conference 2014 in Malta
by Joy Trewin on February 25, 2014 17:03


Blog » International Events » JCI European Conference 2014 – Malta

There’s still time to register for the highlight of JCI in Europe, the JCI European Conference 2014!

Every year JCI Area Europe holds its European Conference hosted by one of the member nations.  This year it is taking place in St. Julian’s, Malta and we have an exciting line up...

Experience JCI spirit during the Opening Ceremony, broaden your mind in exciting workshops, get in touch on the trade show, enjoy sightseeing tours and rock the night at the hot ‘Festa Maltjia’, the oriental ‘Turkish Night’ and a cool ‘Finlandia Night’.  To close this exciting, we can expect a magnificent Awards Ceremony followed by a glittering black tie gala!

First International Event?

If you have not been to a JCI international event before there is nothing to be worried about.  Monaco in 2013 was my first conference and I had an amazing time.  There is a first-timers programme to welcome you and, as well as lots of other friendly members from all over the UK and Europe, both our wonderful JCI UK International Director Debbie Worthington and I will be available to answer any queries you may have.

Here are the facts

When: 11 – 15 June 14

Where: St. Julian’s, Malta

Registration fee:

Members €405

Non-members €505


Direct flights available from Gatwick to Luqa Malta International with easyJet (currently £114).

Air Malta offers a special discount of 5% on direct flights to Malta!

Check out this link for special offers:


The JCI UK delegate hotel is the George Hotel in St. Julian’s.  Please note, the conference committee has reserved only a limited number of rooms for JCI and quotes €176 per room per night for sharers.


I am pleased to confirm that Southampton already has five members who are booked in to attend including our 2014 President, Max K-Thompson.


Please contact me if you have any queries (no matter how silly or trivial you think the question is). Also, if you are planning on attending and are looking for a room-mate to share hotel costs and transport with please get in touch.

I am excited and can’t wait – come join me on this ‘knightly experience’!  Check out and follow on Facebook ‘JCI European Conference 2014’ or Twitter @jciec2014Malta.

See you in Malta!!


James Lambert

2014 JCI Southampton International Director

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6th Feb, 2014

Official Chamber Announcement - New 2014 President
by Michael Steel on February 6, 2014 17:18


Being a member of JCI Southampton brings opportunities for learning and development locally, nationally and internationally. One of our members and this year's President Ryan Slaughter has accepted a role internationally and therefore will be leaving the UK in May - congratulations! Due to this, we can announce that Max K-Thompson has been confirmed as our 2014 President with immediate effect. We wish Ryan all the best in his new role and look forward to continued success under the leadership of Max.


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30th Nov, 2013

JCI Southampton sail to victory at the JCI UK National Convention
by Michael Steel on November 30, 2013 19:45


What an amazing weekend we had in Leeds at the JCI UK National Convention last weekend!

We began with our friends over in JCI Portsmouth arriving in Southampton in the chartered minibus and collecting us on a cold Friday morning. The road trip began! A few hours later (and plenty of bags of chocolate devoured) we arrived at Oulton Hall in Leeds, the setting for the National Convention. It's all about celebrating the UK's achievements whilst participating in some great training, key note speakers, public speaking competitions &, of course, social evenings.

We didn't have to wait long for the key note speakers as Andy George (CEO at Asda) began proceedings - a great insight into one of the UK's biggest supermarkets.

Afterwards, I ducked in to watch the Public Speaking competition, which was a first time for me. A great standard this year and I wasn't envious of the judges at all to find a winner. In the evening I hosted the Extempore competition. Being last year's winner, it's tradition that the current champion presents the following year...and as usual in an 'off the cuff' spontaneous public speaking competition...we had many laughs and a few shocks!

Blog » Leeds 3.JPG       Blog » Leeds 2.JPG

A huge thank you to all of the JCI Leeds team and National Board who organised the event.  They truly deserve the congratulations. I personally had an amazing weekend and also marked the last National Council for me as local President of JCI Southampton.

We move onto the part of the weekend I was excited/nervous about the most...the awards evening. With JCI Southampton achieving massive success in Belfast the previous year, we had worked extremely hard to continue with that success. Well, we had another fantastic awards haul & I am immensely proud that we were recognised for our programmes & achievements by JCI UK. 

JCI Southampton won SIX awards on the night...more than any other chamber in the UK...for the second year running! What was even more impressive was that the awards we triumphed in were in different categories to those won last year...demonstrating the chamber's strength and innovation.

So what did we win?

Most Outstanding President - Michael Steel

Most Outstanding New Member - James Lambert

Most Outstanding Local Growth & Developing Programme - The Membership Benefit Card

Most Outstanding Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project - Monopoly Event with JCI Cambridge

Best Long-Term Community Development Programme - The Costa Coffee Academy 

Best Debating Team - Michael Steel with Patrick McCrae & Ricky Kothari

Blog » Leeds 1.JPG

Huge congratulations to the team & to all our active members - these awards are down to all of your hard work in 2013.

This year was themed 'Renaissance' with the re-branding of the chamber implemented and completed. The chamber has now expanded out into new communities, new partner organisations and has more student members than ever before. Next year's challenge will be to keep the momentum going and expand on the path set. Our challenge in 2014? To be come the biggest chamber in the UK. 

As always, as a voluntary organisation we need you to help us!  If you are interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas, or just attending some events please contact myself, Ryan Slaughter (my successor as President next year) or a member of the 2014 Council team.

Blog » Leeds 4.jpg



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27th Nov, 2013

JCI World Congress 2013: Rio, Brazil
by Michael Steel on November 27, 2013 22:02


Well where to start? Where to begin?

As a JCI member, I've always wanted to attend a World Congress. With three European Conferences under my belt I knew a World Congress had to be bigger and doesn't get much bigger than Rio my carnival friends. Well what better time to attend during my time as local President I thought as I clicked onto the Air France website.

World Congress offers JCI members massive amounts of personal development. From superb training seminars to public speaking and debating competitions to networking with JCI members from all over the globe and let's not forget the parties...oh the parties.

Firstly, I arrived along with my JCI partner in crime, Katie Ogley from JCI Doncaster. As I was the only members of JCI Southampton to attend, you'd think I'd be nervous going on my own. I knew there would be JCI UK members in attendance and Katie and I met at the European Conference in Tarragona back in 2011 - we've been friends ever since. We arrived in our hotel and discovered other JCI UK members were about to set off to discover Rio - a good opportunity to check out the local attractions.

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The sights were amazing. Christ the Redeemer was a particular highlight as was Sugarloaf Mountain. Six of us went out exploring and the weather was as glorious as you've seen in the book.

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I even had time to get in a quick melon.

The World Congress started on the Monday and during the week I dipped in and out of various activities. One big highlight for me was to represent the UK at the World Debating Competition. Another great experience and although we fell to Norway in the Semi-Final...I personally lot's about myself. My debating style on an international scale gave me something to reflect on...ready for next time.

Blog » Debate.jpg     Blog » Japan.jpg

Lot's of parties followed. The Japanese night was a great success and we met friends from all over the world - old and new. Great to see our friends at JCI Malta who are hosting the European Conference in May 2014. The global village night was all about different countries coming together and giving out different items...such as alcohol from their countries. The UK...well the best gin in the land along with Cadbury's chocolate!

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Another great JCI international event. Massive amounts of new contacts made from all over the world. What for 2014 you ask? Well Malta for European and Germany for World...can't wait!


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13th Jul, 2013

Supporting our friends in JCI Portsmouth
by Drew Charman on July 13, 2013 15:58


James Lambert, 2013 Community Director, recently attended a training session organised by JCI Portsmouth. Here's what he had to say about it afterwards:


Photo: We're still buzzing from last night's training event on body language, confidence and presence.  Thanks to Solveig Malvik for coming over from Denmark to deliver the training!   JCI just doesn't get better than this... well, until the next event :-)


"The event was on “Body Language, Confidence & Presence” and was hosted by Solveig Malvik (2012 JCI UK National President).  During the evening it was great to receive some tips on how to improve self-confidence and also to have the opportunity to practice what impact body language could have on conversations.  All of this was held in a relaxed environment.  The added bonus was the ability to meet new people and catch up with other JCI members who I had met at previous events.

We are always looking for new ideas on types of training which we can offer our members (and future members) - subjects that they would really like to take part in & benefit from.  If you have any ideas please contact our Training Director by emailing,uk

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