Olive Strachan North West Export Champion 2016
Inspiring Business North West
phone +44 (0) 161 209 3950

Webinars

I recently delivered my first webinar, something that I had previously resisted. I enjoy the face-to-face element of my work, whether it is a presentation, delivering a workshop, coaching or mentoring. I think understandably I had reservations about how I would transfer my skill of engaging others and retaining their interest without full visual contact.

When I face a challenge, my mantra is prepare, prepare, prepare! So I made sure to cover all bases.

I discovered that my first webinar would be using WebEx, so I had half a day's training from an expert, mainly focusing on the mechanics e.g. loading slides, recording the session, how to mute and unmute delegates, etc. I then had additional training on adapting my training style to suit webinars. Both of these training sessions gave me the confidence to deliver my first webinar.

At the end of the two-hour webinar, I felt euphoric! Most of the delegates participated, and I was able to gauge the needs of the group and create some interaction between them. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to delivering more webinar sessions soon.

In case you're thinking of running a webinar yourself, I thought I'd share some of the challenges I experienced:

  1. Technical Problems - Although in the introduction you do cover some technical issues, delegates can have problems that you are not in control of at their end, which impacts on their overall experience.

  2. Location - One delegate was taking part whilst sitting in a local café, which meant there was a lot of background noise when she was speaking to us.

  3. Engagement - Some delegates do not want to engage, so when you ask a question or ask them to type questions in the chat box, some are reluctant to take part.

  4. Distractions - Although you ensure that everyone is aware that you are not to be interrupted for the duration of the webinar, sometimes unexpected phone calls or someone accidentally knocking on the door can be distracting.

To avoid some of these teething problems, next time I will be less fazed if delegates have technical problems - it comes with the territory, and I can always send them some notes afterwards. In future, I will also email all of my delegates in advance and encourage them to participate, explaining that the session will work better if everyone engages. Additionally, I will suggest in the same email that delegates watch the session in a quiet environment so that they are not distracted. Lastly, I'll check that my own phone is on silent and put a 'do not disturb' sign up on my office door to remind people that I'm on air.

If you have any hints or tips that you would like to share with me on how to deliver webinars, please do get in touch.

"A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road." - Henry Ward Beecher

Humour in the workplace

Why I use humour in training

During my career, I have been fortunate enough to have worked for organisations who have invested in my development and sent me on many training courses. I always left home with a feeling of excitement, looking forward to meeting new people and learning something new, but often the way the training was delivered lacked humour, did not engage and I was often left wondering how soon it would be over.

The idea came to me that I could deliver factual, well researched, up to date content, but in a fun and engaging way. Hence the reason I opened my own training consultancy.

The benefits of using humour in learning

Research into neuroscience reveals that humour systematically activates the brain’s dopamine reward system.  Cognitive studies show that dopamine is important for both goal orientated motivation and long term memory. Also, research into Accelerated Learning Theory indicates that people retain information in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Humour is beneficial in the following ways:

  1. It can break the ice and enhance the enjoyment of the learner
  2. It can build a sense of community amongst delegates
  3. It can establish rapport quickly
  4. It aids knowledge retention
  5. It helps keep enthusiasm at peak levels

Dr Richard Bandler in his interview for NLP LIFE, reveals why humour is important in learning and coaching, he says, “Humour is a tool that, as far as I’m concerned, shields you from the stupidity that’s rampant on the planet”.  He goes on to say that he tries to get people to look from a different point of view, which is what humour is really about.

Possible pitfalls

Humour must be appropriate – we want to make people laugh but not to offend them. Avoid jokes around religion, race, gender or weight.  Also cruel or inappropriate comments, sarcasm and too many jokes. There must be a balance between humour and instruction so that respect for the trainer/facilitator is maintained.

Humour and culture

Nik Peachey, a trainer for the British Council wrote an article called ‘Sense of Humour’, he talks about how by understanding a person’s humour it helps to understand their culture and language. One of his ideas which resonated with me was to get students to try to translate a joke from one language to another and observe cultural nuances as often jokes can mask some negative underlying prejudices.

My experience of laughter and learning

It has been nearly 20 years since I delivered my first training programme based on my ethos of making learning engaging with humourous content. This has had a big impact on our success. Content is tailored to the needs of the learner, we encourage high participation amongst our delegates and all of this is underpinned by current research and theories.

We do live in a politically correct age, and sometimes unintentionally a word or a phrase may cause offence. If you have strong reservations then don’t do it. As a trainer/facilitator we ask for and receive feedback from our delegates, but also, we can read body language and facial expressions which tell us if we have got it wrong. Having delivered training to audiences in over 20 countries, I have built many contacts and networks who use my services because I am authentic and provide a safe environment where learning is energising, memorable and fun.

Olive Strachan Resources announces their summer line-up of training programmes with a focus on inspiration and motivation.

Olive Strachan - OSR

Olive says, ‘Both of our country's leading politicians suffered from some rocky moments on the campaign trail, but it was Jeremy Corbyn who eventually smashed the polls to achieve a huge political upset. So how did he do it? The answer is, of course, knowing how to lead.’

But can you learn how to lead people? Does the ability to inspire and motivate people come naturally or is it something you can pick up? For Manchester-based entrepreneur Olive Strachan, it's definitely the latter.

For the past 18 years, Olive has been working to teach professionals how to lead, how to inspire, and how to engage their staff members at her firm, Olive Strachan Resources. She's just announced her summer training programmes and there's a clear focus on delivering the inspiration that managers need to refresh the energy of their staff over the summer months.

July will see OSR delivering training in areas including 'Influencing and Persuading Skills', 'Driving Performance', and 'The Strategic and Inspiring Leader'.

The summer months can also be a time of flux and change in workplaces across the country and that's why Olive will also be sharing her expertise in 'Diversity Inclusion & Unconscious Bias', 'Handling Difficult Situations', and 'Managing Change' towards the end of July.

From August, Olive and her team are slightly switching up their output to focus on how leaders can provide insight and inspiration to their colleagues. 'Delivery Through People', 'The Effective People Manager', and 'Effective Communicator' will all be running from OSR's Manchester office throughout August.

A full list of OSR's summer courses can be found on the OSR website.

Of course, the summer months can be a seriously busy time for some businesses and that's why OSR have announced that all their summer courses will be echoed in September and October. Even if you don't find the time to book a course in summer, there's no need to panic!

From their Manchester office, Olive Strachan Resources have worked with some huge clients including the British Council, Odeon, and CIPD, and has even broadened her horizons globally.

With courses aimed at managers, leaders, and anyone else looking to boost their intrapersonal skills, Olive has something for everyone. Perhaps Theresa May will be wishing she'd taken part in Olive's 'Influencing And Persuading Skills' course this week.

Commercial Director, Sam Ashton of Packaging Automation Ltd – a global engineering and manufacturing company says: “The effect of the OSR Employee Engagement programme has had on all the staff is truly rewarding and promising for the future.”

She adds: “The culture change is evident and everyone is more motivated, it has been an enriching experience for everyone involved.”

OSR's courses are accessible to anyone and very affordable, costing between £150 and £299 + VAT per session, and aim to exponentially increase your workforce's output, helping you to deliver real, workable solutions to every challenge you might face.

If your workplace has questions, then Olive and her team have the answers!

OSR networking

In my previous career in the recruitment industry with Reed, Blue Arrow and Adecco, we were taught the importance of networking. This was in the days before LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, so we had to do it the good old-fashioned way: go out and meet people! This involved running events, assisting clients (such as Astra Zeneca and Matalan) with 'Learning at Work Day' events, and speaking at as many events as possible. The important thing was to get your leaflets out and speak to as many people as you could, as well as collection loads of business cards (which all then needed to be followed up). This had to be undertaken within the first 3 days of meeting that person before they went off the boil. At this time, the word 'Business Development' was a dirty word!

Move forward 20 years, and professionals - including accountants and solicitors - now have business development as part of their remit.

As an SME, and having run my own consultancy for 17 years, you may well ask what networking has done for me, and whether or not I have any hints and tips to share. For me, there are 3 key things that I feel are important in relation to networking:

Communicate

Decide what you are going to communicate. You have to ask yourself "what is my brand?" and "who are my audience?" before you launch yourself into any on or offline networking. At present, there are so many events that you could spend every day attending a different one. How will this benefit you or your business in the short and the long term? I often meet people at events who do not have a clear strategy as to what to communicate regarding their product or service. So clarify who you want to communicate to, what you want to communicate, and how you are going to do it.

Connect

You are now ready to make some connections. So, how are you going to do this? An obvious method is social media. There is so much choice nowadays; I find that Facebook is useful for long-term contacts that have been clients and are now friends. Twitter has proven successful for sharing my message, and LinkedIn for maintaining visibility and creating and reinforcing my brand. But I have found that, after the initial connection via social media, the face-to-face meetings are where you cement that connection and decide if you can do business together.

Netowrking isn't just about gaining business; you also give business to others when you meet them. One of my suppliers, Greenlight Computers, has taken care of my IT needs for the past 7 years, and this started from a networking event organised by the 'Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB). We met, connected, and have worked together ever since.

A good networker uses different communication styles to make their networking effective. With social media, look at the words you use and the tone of your communication. With face-to-face networking, look at the impact you make when walking into the room and put forward a compelling case to attract your fellow networkers to make contact with you. Don't do what one complete stranger did to me at a networking event: interrupt the conversation, invade someone else's personal space, thrust a business card into their hand, pitch your business, then move on to better prey without listening to a word from the other person.

Form an Alliance

This is about meeting someone, finding common ground, and getting them to commit to an ongoing relationship. Initially, just meet for coffee and explore the relationship, or - if they have a need - you can offer support; it could be 'I know someone whom I feel you should meet', or 'I am going to an event, would you like to come?' It is crucial that, at all stage, you remember the golden rule: 'Do not take and not give back'. There is nothing worse than the network grabber who asks for your help and takes it, but when you call them, they are never available. Then, when they want something, they give you a ring! Always give back, share, and try to help if you can.

Olive Strachan and others

If you would like to hear more about my knowledge of networking (spanning over 20 years) and how to make the most of your network, our next course, Networking for Business Success, will be hold 14th May at our offices at Regus, Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester.

Tel: 0161 209 3950 // Email: olive@olivestrachan.com

Influencing and Persuading Skills

An essential component of organisational success at all levels.

Top of Form

 

Bottom of Form

 Ideal for people who want to build strong relationships,exert greater influence and  project a positive image of themselves and their organisation.

 

Did You Know…

Previous workshops delivered by OSR enabled 84% of delegates to communicate effectively and to use their influencing skills to persuade others.

OSR can help you get your Managers back on track’ with our Influencing and Persuading Skills course delivered at the :

OSR Office

Regus,

Peter House, Manchester

 20th June 2014 

 

Help you to get your Managers hone their influencing and persuading skills to achieve optimum results from work situations.

The Influencing and Persuading Skills programme delivered by OSR Training will help managers to achieve optimum results from work situations that involve other people,and create effective business relationships.

For further information contact Olive Strachan, 0161 209 3950 email olive@olivestrachan.com

Nurturing Aspirations and Fulfilling Professional Dreams

https://www.olivestrachan.com/courses/influencing-and-persuading-skills/48 

OSR logo

5 SIMPLE STEPS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is a fundamental element of organisational success at all levels.

To achieve the most favourable results from situations that include other people by enhancing your communication skills to inspire and generate effective business liaisons, there are 5 simple steps to maintaining effective communications:

  1. Understand your own personal communication style and how it impacts on those you are communicating with
  2. Identify the behaviours associated with good working relationships
  3. Use your communication style to influence others and develop effective relationships
  4. Understand the impact of relationships on personal performance, on colleagues and on clients
  5. Communicate effectively to 'gain the edge' and achieve your objectives

These 5 steps will enable the individual to consider possible motivators and can provide a simple framework for dealing with and managing people.

To achieve these simple steps...register now for The Effective Communicator programme. Workshop commences 14 October 2014 at:

OSR Office
Regus
Peter House, Manchester.

©olivestrachan.com

The Effective People Manager

In the management of a team, the human factor is crucial to success!

Once again, employee communications have made global headlines. Helping entreprenurial employees improves engagement and retention of top staff, according to L'Oreal HR Director Isabelle Minneci:

"All the best leaders I know have failed a lot in their career. If we encourage an environment where people are not afraid to try and fail, we will definitely reap the benefits in innovation and unlock worker's potential."

Did You Know...

Previous Effective Communicator workshops (delivered by OSR) enabled 88% of delegates to manage people effectively and to use their management styles to influence others.

OSR can support managers to feel more confident and get back in the fast lane with our Effective People Manager programme course, delivered at the:

OSR Office
REGUS, Peter House, Manchester
29th May 2014

We help your managers to hone their management and leadership skills to achieve optimum results from work situations.

The Effective People Manager programme will help managers to achieve optimum results from work situations that involve other people and create effective business relationships.

For further information, contact Olive Strachan on 0161 209 3949 or email olive@olivestrachan.com

The Effective Communicator
Effective communication is an essential component of organisational success at all levels.

Once again, employee communications have made global headlines. US-based AOL announced a change in their Communication strategy. Sara McAuley, CCP, WLCP. Member, WorldatWork 2014 Board of Directors quotes …

“With regard to manager involvement in employee communications, only 11% of respondents thought that managers effectively implemented and communicated total rewards to employees. In spite of these disappointing statistics, improvement of communications practices continues to be at the top of the list for rewards and HR professionals”

Did You Know…

Previous Effective Communicator workshops delivered by OSR enabled 94% of delegates to communicate effectively and to use their communication styles to influence others.

OSR can help you get your Managers back on track. Our Effective communicator course is delivered at:

OSR Office
Regus, Peter House, Manchester
20th May 2014

We help your managers to hone their communication skills to achieve optimum results from work situations.

The Effective Communicator Programme (delivered by OSR) will help managers to achieve optimum results from work situations that involve other people and create effective business relationships.

For further information contact Olive Strachan, 0161 209 3949 or email:
olive@olivestrachan.com

LIMITED PLACES AVAILABLE!

The Team Management course is provided by OSR and aimed at leaders who want to inspire their teams to work together and who can delivery results and services better and more cost-effectively.

2014 course dates:

  • 8th April
  • 18th June
  • 24th October

Book now to reserve your place.

“Olive provided very informative, exciting sessions on the Managing Skills Training programme in Egypt.  I benefitted from her expert knowledge and creative presenting of her skills programme.  I would recommend Olive and OSR Training Consultancy for any company or business who would like an injection of fresh ideas and fun in the complex art of management skills and training.”

Sue Cole, Director of Studies at British School, Melfi Italy.

This workshop is provided by OSR, and it is aimed at leaders who want to inspire their teams to work together and who can deliver results and services better and more cost-effectively.

Course Date: 24th October

Book now to reserve your place.

"Olive provided very informative, exciting sessions on the Managing Skills training programme in Egypt. I benefitted from her expert knowledge and creative presenting. I would recommend Olive and the OSR Training Consultancy to any company or business who would like an injection of fresh ideas and fun in the complex art of management skills and training."

- Sue Cole, Director of Studies at British School, Melfi, Italy

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