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9th Jun, 2018

Deaf Awareness Training - 24 May
by Zoe Toseland on June 9, 2018 14:57


By Ashleigh Harris, JCI Southampton Training Director

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On Thursday 24 May we met Kim, Mark and his Hearing Dog, Erin. They were speaking to JCI Southampton members about Deaf awareness. The training was themed to fall inline with the national event within JCI UK about deaf awareness.

Kim and Mark both work with Hearing dogs for Deaf People in different volunteering capacities. Mark was there is demonstrate and discuss the practicalities of how having a Hearing Dog changed his life for the better. Kim came in her occupational capacity as a Specialist Employment Advisor with the organisation Actions On Hearing Loss.

She explained that 40 years ago when she left the support of her family and the education system she realised there was a gap in support as being deaf was a barrier to getting employed to the job roles she wanted. After 15 years working in the city council, Kim described her unique role to us and those who can access her services through the Access to Work incentive.

Kim helps clients aged 18 plus with any hearing loss in getting ready to enter to the workforce through to offering training employer's on how they can support an employee. Both client and employees are educated about how to access funding from the scheme. She also networks with different organisations and employees on offering training about the lack of deaf awareness and how perceptions that they can't afford to support a employee with additional HR needs are not true.

She covers a mixture of needs from wellbeing, financial awareness, literal translation, to training for get ready for employment to being placed in a job. She helps her clients through interpretive needs, training, meetings and equipment. She gets to know her clients individually and often helps them with their reading and writing capabilities as they maybe low due to lack of formal support in their education and no services offered as an adult.

Mark was raised as a hearing environment and was schooled in main stream schools with Hearing impairment unit.  He had not received any training or specialist services growing up as his family did not identify him as deaf. Mark described working within roles identifying as a hearing employee and only later in his life started to identify as being on the deafness spectrum.

Mark described his journey in finding his local deaf community and how Kim guided him through the everyday events of working within employment and learning to cope with everyday scenarios from a support role. Mark took on a placement with the Hampshire Constabulary with the help of Kim who offered advocacy support through the city council at the time.

He explained that his role developed with them as he was able to display quick and adaptive approach to the tasks given to him. He expanded in to more competencies over a year’s period whilst his confidence with administrative skills such as reading and writing grew. Mark talked about his time as working within a managerial roles within Asda's bakery and beginning to realise he identified as being deaf as time went on.

Mark introduced his 8 year old, black female cockapoo Erin. He explained how he applied and then waited 3 years for his puppy to be placed with him. Each puppy currently costs 40k to train and are trained over an 16-20 month period. Erin is 1 of 4 specially trained dogs who go out and can demonstrate their abilities. He applied for a small dog due to currently working in an open plan office.

Erin supports Mark in opening up his socialising by being alert to others seeking his attention, being aware to his environment both at home and at work. For example getting up for alarms, to being aware of fire drills. A demonstration was given of these two aspects. This are many of her roles she is trained to support Mark in.

The headquarters for the Hearing Dogs in the Buckinghamshire, ‘The Grange’ has a new visitor centre that people can now visit to understand the charity more fully. The session was engaging and we learnt a lot about the awareness of the service's and advocacy availability for the deaf in the community. The session was fun and interactive with Erin’s involvement.



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11th Jul, 2017

Stephen Simmons is a JCI Southampton Member and delivered a training session to members in June. Read more about Using Magic in Business and his experience:

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Using the skills of a magician in business

My name is Stephen Simmons, I am a professional magician and this week I gave a talk on how to use the skills of magician in business.

One of the things magicians tend to be very bad at, is business. The vast majority seems to think show business is 90% show, and 10% business. I know this because I was one of them for many years. My idea of how to get more booking was to sit at home, practising my magic, going out once or twice a week to perform magic, give out a few business cards at the shows I did and wait for the phone to ring. Now don't get me wrong, I made a fair income just from doing this, but I just was not progressing as fast as I would have liked.

Then it hit me, I have to get off my arse and get those gigs! I had to make it 90% business and 10% show. There are a few areas that really helped project me towards a far better income, and a far better lifestyle just from doing a few tricks. In this blog I'm going to cover a few of the area I covered in my talk.


If you are self employed and want to better your chances of success, in my opinion, you need to go to networking events. If you are not already doing it, you should. Although they can be a daunting place to go to, its worth it, to build long term relationships with people who can propel you forward, and hopefully even get you more work. One of the tricky bits of networking is standing out (for the right reasons.) Far too often I get home after an event with a wad of business cards mixed in with pocket fluff, where do they go? Well more than likely into the draw with all the other business cards , or even chucked into the bin. And im fully aware that unless someone has a specific reason for keeping my card handy, it too, will end up in a smiler situation.

So the first area I spoke about was how to stand out and how to be memorable when networking. My job as a magician for weddings and corporate events, is to be memorable, and make the event stand out. I knew I could use these same skills I use in my magic performances at networking events to leave a lasting impression and make sure my card is not thrown away. In the talk I gave away a few great tricks to use at these events that are universal and not strictly for use as a magician. I wont give away the secrets here, but I can explain the psychology behind them. First, you have to make your business card personal to the person you want to keep it. I use a trick where I reveal a piece of information about a person I couldn't possibly have known, and I use my business card to write this information on. Now this card has meaning, it has a story, and what's more important it has a personal touch relevant to the person i'm giving my card too. I taught to secrets and we all had fun practising them on each other.


An important question to ask is who are you marketing to? What/who is your target market?

Although a concept almost everyone will have heard of, far less actually put this into action. I spoke about how to identify your markets, mine for example breaks down into 3 groups at first. Cheap, value for money, and premium. When I first started out I would have tried to appeal to the cheap group, basically getting paid anything just for the chance to perform. I speak about how I went about targeting this group, and how I worked my way up the professional ladder, up to where I am now, the premium market.

For the sake of this blog, allow me to briefly speak about the value for money section. This is the largest group, around 68%. It is the group that want a quality service for a fair price. They will shop around and try to get the best fit for their event. When I targeted this market, I needed to think like them, and think how they would go about booking a magician. I had to consider my perceived value. I couldn't look cheap, but I also couldn't look too high end which would put people off before even enquiring. I had to make a balance, and make everything about my business appeal to this market. This includes the website, business cards, photos and videos, even down to how I answered the phone. In short, everything has to appeal to your target market. I also spoke about how you can transition from one market to the other seamlessly, and re brand for a new target market over time.

Marketing 2.0

One of the most important thing I have done is to track my marketing efforts. Again, it sounds simple, but after talking with countless people they are aware of it, but don't put it into action. In my talk I broke down exactly how I keep track of my enquiries, so I can make informed decisions about where to put my money. If for example I kept track of my marketing, I can know exactly what brings me more booking and what does not. If I know that I got 10 bookings from cold calling, and I spent, as an example, £100 paying for a sales person to get me those bookings – It works out at £10 per booking, which is very good! So I know I should continue, if not even increase my cold calling efforts, because I am seeing a good return on my investment. I give away the secret to how I track my enquiries and exactly how I handle them.


I won't talk too much about what sales tactics I use in a public domain, but I will give an overview of what I talk about.

Umm Ahh technique.

Let's be honest, we all want as much as possible for our time. I talk about how you can easily use add ons to increase your profit margins, and what's better, is to know if your client if going to buy into them before offering them.

Handling objections like a magician.

Answering objections before they are asked is an essential part of any sale. Being a magician and hypnotist, there is little tricks and tips that can easily help to close a sale. Sometimes it is just about asking the right way.

It's great to think like a magician when working in business, and you too can learn some of the skills a full time, professional magician puts into his business to make it stand out.

"Thank you so much for your session today, it was great. Can't wait to try the phone trick" - Sophie Delaporte, JCI Southampton President.

If you would be interested in me talking at your event, or for your company, you can contact me at –

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18th May, 2017

‘Feel like you’re going up creek without a paddle? Use your O.A.R.S.!’Blog » Training Courses » hannah coaching.jpg

By E3 Consulting

Last week Helena and Zoe attended the third module of the JCI Southampton Being a Young Leader Programme, in which leader Hannah Hastilow explored how coaching can be used to inspire and motivate. Hannah works at the University of Southampton Students' Union, and introduced coaching techniques to her office with great success. 

Coaching often draws many sporting connotations, however it is increasingly finding a place within businesses as a useful tool to improve productivity and staff morale. This is something we have recognised for some time at E3, and have made part of our support processes within the business. Everybody has the ability to coach or be coached – be they an employee or a manager. Cultivating the skills to coach others and help inspire them can work in improving performance both up and down the workplace hierarchy. This is also pertinent for E3 where we have a flat level structure; coaching is relevant for all levels of experience and is essential for reinforcing learning points from formal or informal training to encourage continual development.

Hannah was a great leader, and was enthusiastic, engaging, and really made you think – which is the whole point of coaching in the first place. She taught the group some of the key things to consider when coaching someone. These fall into the popular coaching acronym of OARS Open questions, Affirmations, Reflection and Summary, which encourages coaches to be as open minded and empathetic as possible when coaching another.

Helena and Zoe came away really motivated, and are already trying out the techniques on each other and others in the business!

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10th May, 2017

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JCI Training 2017 – my 3 favourite sessions so far this year

By Fee Francis

I’m a self-confessed management and development nerd. I love books about management techniques and new ways to work on myself and tend to spend my free time watching TedX talks and working on my time management and goal setting. Told you, super nerdy. I’m also a manager of a team of 6 and only 21 so the JCI Southampton training series ‘Being a Young Leader’ is right up my street.


Goal setting – ‘Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be – January

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This was the first training session of the year and a great start to a new year. I’m not a fan of setting New Year’s resolutions for the sake of it as they always end up being fairly generic, unachievable or forgotten after a few days. Instead, I’m a big fan of setting quantifiable goals with a deadline to achieve them and this session was perfect for this.

The trainer, life coach Lesley Strachan, had us pair up and sit face to face with our partner and take it in turns to ask the other person “What do you want?” repeatedly and write down their answers. This felt slightly unnatural as it’s a pretty personal question but the repeated asking allowed us to give honest answers and mine ranged from owning a puppy to owning a house, getting out of debt, learning to drive and cooking from scratch more.
We were then given a sheet to write our top goals in the following categories: financial, career, free time, health, relationships, personal life and making a difference. We had to write what we wanted and why we wanted it to give us something to aim towards and a deadline date of when we’d like to achieve it by. This was great because we had then said our goals out loud to another person and physically written them down which really helps to cement goals and give some accountability for getting them achieved *insert muscle arm emoji here*

Strachan is a Jack Canfield qualified life coach and follows the principles in his book The Success Principles which I added to my amazon basket at the training and finally purchased today so I will report back on how I get on!


Coaching to motivate and inspire – April

This session hugely appealed to me as I’m constantly working on being a better manager and coaching can be a huge part of this. The session was led by Hannah Hastilow from University of Southampton Student’s Union where coaching is the norm in the workplace. During the session, Hannah shared that 91% of highly engaged employees state their manager as the reasoBlog » Training Courses » fee-coaching.pngn for their engagement (Engaging for Success – a government report on employee engagement) and she also shared the findings of Google’s Project Oxygen which is the 8 top behaviours of good managers in order of importance:

  1. Be a good coach
  2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage
  3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
  4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented
  5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team
  6. Help your employees with career development
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
  8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team

Being a good coach is the number 1 skill that Google need for a good manager and Google are the best company in the world to work for so I think they know a thing or two about management! These two statistics really highlighted to me the importance of being a good manager for my team and how coaching can be a huge part of this.

Hannah defined coaching as facilitating the development of an individual’s skills through targeted discussion and reflection but in keeping with the session, she only gave us this definition after we had already written down our own definition and had a group discussion about what we thought coaching was.

The main thing I took away from this training session is that coaching is about helping people find the answers rather than giving them an answer. This is something that I know as a manager I need to work on as it can be too easy when approached with a question to just give an answer rather than helping that person to find out the answer on their own.


The Art of Networking – May

Last Friday, 4 members of JCI Southampton took a road trip down to Pompey for JCI Portsmouth’s relaunch training event – The Art of Networking which was delivered by our JCI Regional Group Chair Jasmine Lambert. This was a great and informative session which covered dos and don’ts of networking, types of networking sessions to attend and tips for introductions.
My favourite tips were

  • Don’t get a drink straight away – this closes you off to the group and also if you don’t have a drink, you have a built in excuse for leaving a conversation once it dries up!
  • When someone asks “What do you do?”, try to reply in a creative way instead of just stating your job title. These can be funny or meaningful and an excellent way to break the ice and stop people’s misconceptions about your job before you’ve had a chance to explain it!

The examples given included

  • Don’t say “I’m a financial adviser”, do say “I protect and grow your wealth”
  • Don’t say “I’m a cleaner”, do say “I give you back valuable time with your family”
  • Don’t say “I’m a graphic designer”, do say “I draw shapes on a computer all day”

At the end of the day, a lot of the time networking is networking but these handy tips gave me a fresh perspective on going into my next networking session. It also helped to hear that even Jasmine, who has been networking for a decade and set up her own networking group, still gets nervous which made me feel slightly more normal for always feeling a little bit sick before solo networking!

Networking comes in all shapes and sizes, especially with our JCI Southampton sessions. Why not come along to our bowling tournament on May 19th, practice your networking skills and get a bit competitive! Details here

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29th Apr, 2015

April's Training Event was 'Starting your new business and what to consider' with Sandeep Sesodia.

Sandeep is the Relationship Manager within the Corporate Banking Lending Business and Healthcare sectors at RBS and has an active role in the business community and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. He has over 30 years experience in banking and finance, business development within the sectors and in the wider business community.

He aims to work with customers to develop their business and to achieve strategic and long term goals, originate and structure new businesses to meet client needs and provide appropriate lending solutions and develop new customer relationships by collaborating with colleagues and with key business partners and professionals within the Business and Healthcare sectors.

When people say to think outside the box, he asks "why does it have to be a box?"


At the Training Event, Sandeep explored what is required in a business plan and answered questions about how this should be dealt with. He said the three questions which should be considered when starting a business are: Where are you now? Where do you want to go? and How do you get there?

A business plan should be about 10-12 pages long, with a page for each section, with the last section covering the 'what if' scenarios. This shows the bank manager that you have considered the possibilities of where your business could go and how you would deal with them.

The training was very informative and helpful and had a very successful turnout by current and future members of JCI Southampton. 

Don't forget to keep an eye on our Events page and Facebook page to hear about our future training events!

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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.

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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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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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4th Jun, 2013

JCI Southampton Holds Training Event For Young Unemployed
by Drew Charman on June 4, 2013 13:19


On a monthly basis the JCI Southampton team organise and run a variety of training events for the city's young professionals.  On the 15th May at the Costa Academy in Southampton High Street, members and non-members were invited to attend our latest training event entitled "Getting Your Perfect Job & Interview Techniques".

This training event was run by local award-winning recruitment firm Future Employment.  Alicia Lidell and Frank Canonico, both experienced recruitment professionals, kindly took the time to impart their knowledge and experience to JCI Southampton members throughout the 90-minute event.  Frank and Alicia focused on key areas throughout the evening including writing and developing your CV, the job application process and interview techniques.

CVs and the Application Process

Alicia described and demonstrated a CV template that outlined the key information employers look for and a simple structure for our guests to follow and apply to there own Curriculum Vitaes.  She went into depth about the information you need to include, the best way to display it and the common faux pas candidates fall into when creating their CVs.  After this initial demonstration she moved onto the topic that was most commented on and sought after - how do I get my CV in front of employers?  This is the task that most find the hardest in such challenging times and here are Alicia's top tips to get your CV out there:

  1. Use jobs boards and online recruitment portals such as and
  2. Get your CV into recruitment agencies
  3. Network with your friends and peers to identify potential job opportunities
  4. Be persistent and resilient
  5. Think outside the box, Billboards, Video CVs - anything at all that will help you stand out.


Frank led this section and immediately started to ask everyone in the group about their experiences and what they thought were the most important things to do at interviews.  The obvious things such as appearance, turning up on time, firm handshake and being polite and respectful all came up immediately.  However, the main thing that really stood out was that the guests really wanted to ask Frank how they could best communicate to an employer their skills and attributes.  Interviews are nerve-racking and daunting, and many struggle to come across with confidence and fluency.  Frank recommended a few simple ways to help bridge this common problem:

1. Take a notepad into interview with you.  Firstly, you can have questions written down for the employer - this will allow you to show you're prepared and are interested to find out more about the role.  Secondly, it will allow you to take down notes and refer to examples you have already prepared on likely questions.

2. If they offer you a drink, use it to your advantage!  If an interviewer throws you a hard question, or you need to think about it, by taking a drink you can pause and take a few seconds longer to come back with that perfect answer.

The one thing that really struck me about the whole training event was how interactive and inclusive Alicia and Frank made it.  At all times they asked the guests to contribute with their individual experiences, questions and thought processes to ensure all the guests got as much out of the event as possible.  This made for a really relaxed and informal atmosphere for a subject that can be quite rigid and boring.

The event was extremely well attended and the majority of our guests were young unemployed candidates looking for help and advice to get them into work.  Guests enjoyed Domino's pizza and free refreshments throughout the event to ensure no-one went hungry.

I must say I was very impressed to witness the positive impact that JCI Southampton is having on young people in the city through the training events we run.  Overall, the event was a great success - it was great fun, very informative and helped achieve JCI Southampton's goals of supporting the city's young people and having a positive impact on the wider community.

Future Events

Our next training event is on the 12th June, at the Costa Academy in Southampton.  Former JCI Portsmouth President Jasmine Lambert will be discussing "How To Protect Your Wealth".  Back by popular demand the event is guaranteed to be great fun, very informative and will open your eyes to the world of investments and financial planning!

Josh Williams, Training & Events Director



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24th May, 2012

May 2012 Training Dinner - Essential Employment Law
by Drew Charman on May 24, 2012 22:27


Wednesday 16th May saw JCI members & non-members gather for a evening dedicated to learning all about the essential elements of employment law.  As employees & employers we all need to know where we stand in the thick of national & international employment law & the dinner evening provided a perfect platform for this.

Essential Employment Law - Claire Merritt - May 2012

Following networking drinks & a dinner of some great freshly delivered pizzas, Claire Merritt of Paris Smith LLP shared insights into her daily profressional life & provided interesting facts & case studies on a number of topics such as the many of elements of dismassal & resignation, equality protection & statutory rights.

The session proved to be a really interesting & fun interactive evening with attendees participating in discussions around the law & how it has played a part in their own careers & workplaces.

Essential Employment Law - May 2012

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