Language & Persuasion

3 COMPELLING REASONS TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS WITH LANGUAGE & PERSUASION

I learned a lot about language and persuasion as a copywriter with one of London's leading ad agencies. The work I did for clients like Coca Cola, Debenhams and Motorola was experienced by a national audience, and it was effective.

I learned even more when I started to study the psychology of communication, mentored by trainers who had skilled up students including Paul McKenna and Derren Brown. That knowledge transformed the way I worked, and equipped me with capabilities useful when I worked in a hostel for vulnerable adults.

All of that then came together in my scriptwriting. My first film idea won me a meeting with the producer of Four Weddings And A Funeral. That led to TV drama writing with the BBC, and now I'm in the running for feature film projects with experienced directors. All of that explains why the first of the 3 sessions in the Hone Your Professional Edge series is about Language & Persuasion. Here's how you'll benefit as a result of attending:

1) You're undoubtedly familiar with situations where you're talking with someone, and get that sinking feeling you're not connecting. It's one thing to have that recognition, another to be able to do something about it. And the stakes could be high, in the context of a pitch or presentation. The material we'll explore in this workshop will give you practical steps to take, derived not from academic theory, but by paying attention to the person you're dealing with in new ways.

2) We're all aware of the idea that a picture is worth 1000 words. What you might not have considered is your ability to create powerful images within the minds of people through the way you use words. Comedians do it, poets do it, and we'll be building that skill to increase your range as a communicator - with loved ones, in meetings, and in written form.

3) How much attention do you actually pay to the people you're talking with? One way and another, we all present a wealth of signals and patterns in the way we engage. Some of them are in the words we use. And there's useful information too in the gestures people make, where we look, even in the speed we talk. All of it is incredibly useful if our goal becomes to communicate with people using their own preferences, rather than imposing ours.

Places on the upcoming courses are limited. Go here to find out more and secure your place now.

THE 3 BEST REASONS TO HONE YOUR PROFESSIONAL EDGE

These are tricky times, whether you're self-employed or with an organisation. And that's something I know about, having worked in both contexts, in the private and public sectors. I was one of a third of the staff let go by a leading London ad agency only a couple of years after headhunting me. That led to adventures with the producer of Four Weddings And A Funeral, and writing TV drama for the BBC. I moved to Nottingham, and joined the team at a charity-operated hostel for homeless people with mental health problems. Great experience, and one I wanted to move on from. That's when I returned to self employment.

Putting together what I've acquired through my own training with mentors who skilled up the likes of Derren Brown and Paul McKenna, plus adventures in film, advertising, coaching and more, I realised that what enabled me to keep moving forward could be summed up under three categories. And they're covered in the sessions that I'll be presenting: Language & Persuasion (Oct 20), Creativity & Innovation (Nov 10), Confidence & Charisma (Dec 8).

The banner heading for the sessions is Hone Your Professional Edge. It took a while for me to spot what the initials spell, and it made me smile. Which is the attitude I'll be taking into the trainings too. So, what can you look forward to when you join us?

1) The theme connecting the sessions, which will be practical and (I promise) roleplay-free, is freedom. What that boils down to is being able to make more choices. Like, having options for what to do when you're meeting someone who isn't responding to what you've said so far. Like, coming up with new ideas for your future, and some sense of how they can be realised. Like, finding that entering the unknown is a whole lot easier than you might have expected.

2) The more resources you bring to what you do, the more valuable you are to others. That's true if you're working within a system. And it applies if you're self-employed, as well. Being the person others come to rely on for ideas gives you leverage that's valuable across contexts. It also puts opportunities within your grasp that may have eluded you so far.

3) Turning your capacity to engage with people up a notch can be invaluable for professional networking, and it has social and personal benefits too. Feeling more comfortable with talking expressively and with confidence can open doors as well, especially when you're more secure in your ability to deal with unexpected questions.

Places on the upcoming courses are limited. Go here to find out more and secure your place now.