workshop

3 REASONS YOU'LL ENJOY BEING MORE CONFIDENT & CHARISMATIC

1) Frankly, who wouldn't want to be? The objective isn't to turn you into someone else - that's one of the problems people have with this in the first place, trying to be something they're not or using alcohol or drugs to fake personality. Truth is, what people respond to is authenticity, and getting to that is mostly about unlearning what we think we know. The benefits, personally and professionally, are incalculable.

2) One of the big problems we face is fear. Which is about the unknown. And confidence and charisma both relate to your ability to face the unexpected. Change how you perceive situations of that sort, and everything else changes in small powerful ways. Imagine doing more of what you've longed to do, and fear not being a problem - more often than not, the problem is imagined, and can be unimagined.

3) Doing a performance that's rehearsed with lines you've learned is one thing, and it can be impressive. Far more so is the ability to deal with the unexpected. With that capacity you can enter into uncharted territory knowing that what you're doing is learning, and that you have a lifetime of resources to take you forward and benefit from new situations, however scary you might have made them in your mind.

How come I'm running a workshop on Confidence & Charisma? Well, I used to be nervous about talking in public, and unsure about myself. And now I'm not. The reasons for that are many and various.

I had to present ideas when I worked at a leading London ad agency. I believed my ideas were good, and to get that across I became better at speaking up. Then I got involved in scriptwriting, and early on found myself in a meeting with Tim Bevan, who produced Four Weddings And A Funeral. It really wouldn't have helped to be awkwardly silent around him, and I've got better still in pitching story ideas to filmmakers with increasingly positive responses.

It helps too that I've been mentored by some of the smartest and most successful people in the personal development world, and been invited to work with them too. Getting to see professionals of that calibre behind the scenes has been instructive. And what I learned in that context was invaluable in working with vulnerable and volatile people in a hostel, some of them that way in part because of their refusal to engage with unknowns that many of us take for granted. Anyway...all of that, and more, is why I'm doing these trainings. Come to this one, or even better - come to all 3.

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

3 REASONS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE CONSIDERED WHY BEING MORE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE COULD BE HELPFUL

Professionally, I've been trained to come up with good ideas to a deadline. When I worked for a major London ad agency, newspapers wouldn't stop the presses because I was stuck for an idea that morning. I had to create.

I've done the same as a screenwriter, faced with constraints as a result of budget, and working with a team where juggling the input of others to make a script shine was more important than getting my own words down.

I learned more when I was a member of an invite-only group learning cutting edge psychology with Eric Robbie, who in his copywriting days came up with some classic TV commercials, and worked as a journalist and editor too before leading workshops along with Richard Bandler, the co-creator of Neuro Linguistic Programming. (Never mind if you've not heard of NLP - suffice it to say applications are used widely within both the therapeutic and business communities, covering topics including learning styles, communication skills, and fast phobia removal.)

All of that, along with experience as a support worker in a hostel for people with mental health problems where the job required being more flexible than them, helps explain why this second session is about Creativity & Innovation. You can come to this session on its own, or attend all 3.

1) Look around you. Pretty much anything that didn't start off growing in a field began as someone's idea. And with the ease of getting your ideas out there thanks to digital media, 3D printing, and crowdfunding, there are more opportunities than ever before to turn your concept into something real that can increase your income and lead to new opportunities.

2) Whatever it is you're doing, it can help to get ahead if you make it stand out somehow. That applies to the concept you're developing - you can't always rely on an idea's inherent appeal to stand out, sometimes you have to think about how it comes across too. And that can mean considering new ways to present yourself too, online and off. Finding ways to become more memorable is a real asset. That counts if you're working within an organisation, and it counts even more if you're making your own way forward in the world. Innovation is sometimes about the big ideas, but without getting the small ones about how you're perceived sorted out, you might never achieve the bigger goal.

3) The more ways you have to solve problems, the less problems you have. Having ways to tackle issues can transform not just your own life and fortunes, but the happiness and effectiveness of the people you care about. 'Being there' is great sometimes. Being able to make a difference puts you in a different league.

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

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.