Understanding the basics of photography - Workshop Review
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on April 9, 2012 14:46
Review by Lynda Harwood
I would just like to say a massive 'thank you' to Marco for taking the time to prepare and present a great photography workshop for us at JCI Reading.
I've always loved taking photographs with my digital camera but never knew exactly how I should be taking them, in order to create the best photograph. From Marco's workshop, I learned about the 'essentials of photography' such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed and the rule of thirds.
In addition, what I will also take away from the training is Marco's advice for capturing a great photograph...trust yourself. He told us that, "If it's interesting enough to catch your attention, it will most likely make a great photograph". Very true, indeed!
Branding and Communication Workshop Review
by Clare Franklin on December 14, 2011 16:43
December's workshop entitled 'Branding and Communication: It's not what you say it's how you said it' raised a question for me - of what relevance was it to me? As an employee of a firm already with branding in place did I need to know about communicate a companies message throught it's brand?
Still with questions in my mind, I signed up, knowing that JCI Reading trainings were always of use, whether it be a nugget of information that I didn't know before, or the learning of knowledge and skills that I may draw upon in the future. After all, JCI Reading is all about 'Tomorrow's leaders today!'
The workshop presented by Wesley Buss of Yewtree Marketing, also a JCI Reading member, covered many aspects of branding and communication, a topic I had not given much thought to previously. Out of what was all round an interest and thought provoking workshop, the topic of Communication Management presented itself as one of great relevance to me. Being an Associate Solicitor, BNI Oracle Member and JCI Reading Board Member, the amount of communications I need to be doing often causes me worry and stress as I have no way of managing them.
Now armed from the workshop with an understanding of all the communications that I am expected to do as well as those that I want to do, from JCI Minutes, BNI Visitor Invites, work marketing campaigns and many more, I set about listing them all, their frequency and identifying the steps that I need to put in place to make such communications easier to complete and in turn easier to keep up with.
Now as I work on setting up my Microsoft Excel spreadsheet 'Communications Dairy' I realise how from a workshop I went along to as it 'might' hold something of interest, has in fact given me a much needed tool that as it develops will change the way I handle, plan and complete communications, bringing calm to the otherwise busy and sometimes unordered thoughts of 'I must do that', 'I must email them' and 'I forgot to send that this week'.
Therefore I would encourage you to look at all future events with an open mind as to how they can help you, for I am sure there will always be something.
Say Hello to the Real You (Reading) - Review
by Elaine Koczubik on November 3, 2011 18:36
The ‘Say hello to the real you’ workshop by Stephen Wells (President of JCI Reading and Owner of AIM to Succeed Ltd) was introduced as ‘a chance to be introduced to the real you, possibly for the first time’.
I was interested to see what I found out about ‘The Real Me’ and would it match what I had always assumed about myself, so I decided to go along.
Steve initially asked us to consider the things that we use to define ‘who’ we really are, this prompted a lot of discussion within the group, a theme that continued throughout the night and was actively encouraged by Steve.
Things like our physical appearance, as well as our roles we assume in life and at work. These thoughts continued to grow as we worked through and began to refine our definition of ourselves more and more as the workshop went on.
The discussions enabled us to reconsider how these points defined us and it was interesting to find that other members of the group had different views on ‘us’, which really highlighted the difference between how we see ourselves and how others perceive us on a day to day basis.
As the night progressed Steve reinforced to us that by learning about ourselves we gain a new insight into our lives and how we can make decisions. Enabling us to choose how to control and react to events around us.
At the end of the workshop we were given the opportunity to make a promise to ourselves, and write it down so that Steve could post it back to us at a later date (It should be arriving back with me any day now). We all agreed to personally commit to ourselves to work towards achieving these goals, or focusing on the new learning, to make the positive change in our lives, in doing so changing how we define ourselves.
It was really good to step back and look at how what I learned about myself on that night compared to what I had initially thought, thankfully for the good!
Steve was keen to encourage debate within the group and also with himself on some of the statements that he made in the process. I’m sure all of us learnt a lot more than we initially thought, and also got to know other members of the group better in the process.
Since that night I have been consciously referring back to that promise that I made to myself and it has made a big difference on how I think about myself and as a result how I present myself, which in turn has paid off at work and at home.
Debating - Stand up and speak 27th October- Review
by Clare Franklin on October 28, 2011 08:59
Previously I have never been someone who felt comfortable with public speaking and even less so with thinking of my feet during a presentation.
JCI Reading Debating allowed me to face both of these uncomfortable situations in a safe and fun environment, where I had no fear of anyone laughing or criticising me, enabling me to push myself out of my comfort zone and improve my skill set.
The evening started with an overview of the rules and format of JCI debating by JCI London member Diana Lowe who had travelled from London especially to train us and facilitate the evening. (Big thanks to Diana).
We then ran practice debates, JCI London members Marco and Euan acting as team captains to help guide the first two teams. Throughout evening everyone, both members and non-members, had the opportunity to debate and also to have a go at scoring and applying the strict scoring rules.
I now look forward to JCI Reading being able to practice debating by running our own debates and even enter regional and national competitions.
Finally it was really great to meet Peter Reitano, a member of JCI Australia (former JCI Australia National President) who was in the UK touring round chambers before heading out to the JCI World Congress in Brussels next week, making it a truly international event for JCI Reading.
How JCI Can Help You – Thursday 22nd September - Review
by Sian Lias on October 19, 2011 13:26
On Thursday 22nd September, JCI Reading welcomed current and prospective members to an information evening at Shirlaws UK.
This was my first experience of JCI after being invited along by Clare Franklin and I have to admit I was slightly unsure of what to expect having heard little of JCI before, but was pleasantly surprised by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere I found myself in. The evening commenced with drinks and nibbles reception, and the room was filled with the hubbub of introductions from current members of JCI, genuine questions of aspirations, and the sharing of the wealth of experiences that JCI members can get involved in once they join.
The evening continued with a warm welcoming from the charismatic and enthusiastic Steve Wells, JCI Reading’s President, who outlined some of the events he had been involved with, and led as a member and president of JCI, ranging from simple office based events such as this one, to a trip to Japan.
Steve also listed some of the many events that are on offer to any prospective, or current, member of JCI, including “Say Hello to the Real You”, which I have also since attended after joining!
Steve’s introduction and background to JCI was followed by enthusiastic presentations from current members who told of the skills they had gained and learnt since joining JCI.
The passion of which JCI members spoke about their experiences really sold the organisation to me and those in the room. As I have mentioned on the night I made the choice to join and I would definitely recommend finding out more to all those who are serious about expanding their network, skill set and employability.
We would like to thank Shirlaws UK for letting us use their Offices and Training room for this session, you can find out more about their services and download their Free Ebook 'More Money, More Time, Less Stress'
JCI Reading will be hosting another ‘How JCI Can Help You’ event on Thursday 10th November, this time at Odd Fellow Hall, Oxford Rd, so you too can experience the passion, commitment and opportunities that can be open to you through JCI. I look forward to seeing you there.
‘Say Hello to the Real You’ Workshop - Training Review
by Diane Edgington on July 19, 2011 17:07
Date: Thursday 14th July 2011
Venue: Dexter Montague LLP Solicitors, 105 Oxford Road, Reading, RG1 7UD
Trainer: Stephen Wells - AIM to Succeed
This highly interactive workshop was be facilitated by Stephen Wells, founder of AIM to Succeed. Steve coaches Businesses and Individuals to help them reach their full potential by identifying previously hidden strengths and unbridled ambition.
In the literature for the event Steve suggested that we would be introduced (possibly for the first time) to the real you - the aim of this workshop. This was the part that really grabbed me!
As a group, we identified the following key objectives:
- Who is the real me?
- What is it that makes me?
- What defines me?
Learning about yourself and what influences the decisions you make. Building on the positives and learning to look at the old negatives in a new light. Fascinating stuff and I'm confident that all those who attended the session agree that we certainly achieved this and a whole lot more!
We all have different experiences and what they mean to each of us. Steve opened the workshop by asking each of us to introduce ourselves to the rest of the group, by stating what it is that defines us. Tricky!
Introductions done, we moved on to try to define 'what I am' by compiling a personal list.
My list began...
- I am Diane
- I am a wife to David
- I am a soon to be mum
- I am a member of JCI Reading Board of Directors
- I am an HR Business Partner etc etc
Exploring these lists we discussed them and Steve took us deeper into how we use them to define ourselves. As I thought more about my 'what I am' list, my list began to grow at rapid speed including:
- I am happy
- I am loving
- I am a foodie
- I am motivated
- I am not creative
The list is endless and will have to be rewritten continuously as I reflect.
While reflecting on the lists Steve also talked about perceptions and how we can each have very different views of the same story. Steve provides an excellent example of this theory by reading us a detailed story. It's fascinating how we each process and filter information so differently.
This moved onto how we all use language patterns and how we process the world around us (as it happens) :
- Delete, distort and generalise information
- Are influenced by values and beliefs
- Posess internal representation
- Intrasinctly link our state to our physiology
.....attitude, passion & self belief
Which lead us to some interesting NLP concept, including Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
- Higher purpose / Identity
In summary, Steve explained the theory that by learning about ourselves we will be able to move forward with a new insight into 'our' world and how we are really in control of it. Setting us up perfectly to set new goals and ensure that we achieve them.
Throughout the course of the workshop, Steve guided us through:
The current you:
- All the things that we are
- What made us think that is us
- What we have achieved so far
- The Real you:
Steve challenged us to step into ourselves with new knowledge and identify who we really are, asking us to let yourself go and dream our dream.
This was our opportunity to ensure we know why we want to be where we want to be. Allowing us to set ourselves ambitious and honest goals knowing that we committed to achieving them.
Steve closed the workshop by asking each of us to write a postcard which we addressed to ourselves with a short note of what we had promised ourselves personally. Steve committed to post these to each of us in 21 days time as a reminder. What a great idea - thanks Steve!
Personally, I thought this was an excellent workshop provided by an excellent, passionate and highly knowledgeable trainer. I got a lot from it, it really makes you think about who you are, what you want to be, how you will get there and what you already are and that's only scratching the surface!
Training was provided by Stephen Wells, founder of AIM to Succeed
AIM to Succeed:
Steve is also JCI Reading President 2011.
Other workshops by AIM to Succeed include:
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Setting a DREAM goal
Finally, on behalf of all those who participated, thank you sincerely Steve for a fabulous workshop, it was highly interesting, informative, provided food for thought and good fun!
Review written by Diane Edgington (JCI Reading Training Director / HR Business Partner for the EMEA region Seagate Technology)
JCI Reading Training Review “The Speed Reading Coach” with Alex Garcez
by Diane Edgington on July 4, 2011 13:49
JCI Reading Training Session Review
“The Speed Reading Coach” with Alex Garcez
Date: Thursday 30th June 2011 @ 7.00pm
Venue: Positive Computing, 252-256 Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4HP
In the 'experience what speed reading feels like, live!' workshop Alex Garcez, the speed reading coach, opened the session delivered to JCI Reading members by measuring everyone's reading speed. i.e. how many words can you read comfortably in 1 minute? Most of us could read somewhere between 150-300 words. It’s interesting to understand that we tend to read at the same speed that we talk. Therefore, if you normally speak quickly, you probably read faster than people who speak slowly. Interesting!
Alex then progressed to explain what happens with our eyes while reading so that we could begin to understand the principles of speed reading.
We think at least 10 times faster than we talk, isn’t that incredible! We can use this power to learn how to read faster and remember more of what we read. Alex explained that even though we may not have noticed previously, that we’re probably sounding the words inside our heads. We need to learn to silence this imaginary voice!
Alex estimates that we skip back to re-read about 30% of the time. If we become more focused and skip back only 10% of the time, we will be speed reading without even applying any of the techniques available.
Through use of stories and by comparing the act of speed reading with playing a video game Alex explained; whenever you start a new game you fail quite quickly but if you spend a few minutes practicing, your mind speeds up and you feel comfortable again and keep improving because our brain loves speed.
Alex continued to differentiate between the left and right sides of our brain:
- Can comprehend
- Detail orientated
- Sequential and linear
- Words and language
- Time orientated
- Past and future
- Knows Name
- Can ‘get it’ (i.e. meaning)
- ‘Big Picture’ Orientated
- Symbols and Images
- Not time based
- Knows Face
- Risk Taking
To close the session, Alex presented a short video where everyone was required to read text which flashed one word at a time on a screen at a speed of 350 words per minute. It was interesting that we could all understand the text, even when the speed was increased dramatically to 500 words per minute and 3 words per line.
In summary, throughout the session we covered the following key points:
- What your actual reading speed is
- The tricks to learn how to speed read
- That your brain loves speed!
- How to do it and you will experience how it feels...
- Slow is boring and fast is fun!!
Further information, including a tutoritial is available at:
Alex has made a special promotion of his 4 hour training session for JCI Reading members and friends:
Please click the link below to view all the dates available and to book yourself onto one of
his public courses in London, or for a minimum group of 5 people in Reading.
To receive the special discount and pay £130.00 pp:
- Choose a date from the list and enter the number of places they want to book
- Please email Steve to get the promo code
- Click “Apply Discount” and the price will be “£130.00”
- Click “ORDER NOW”
This discount code will be valid until 31st July 2011.
Following the training, Alex would expect to see an improvement from 50% to 300%.
Finally, on behalf of all those who participated in the session, thank you Alex!
For more information Alex Garcez follow the link
Confident Presence - Training Review
by Diane Edgington on June 2, 2011 16:44
Confident Presence - Training Review
Date: Thursday 19th May 2011
Venue: Positive Computing, 252-256 Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4HP
“Confident Presence” is an excellent, highly interactive training session which was led by Solveig Malvik, giving participants an opportunity to explore how to build a confident presence through the use of body language, spoken words and positive status.
This session for JCI Reading was designed to provide practical tips and techniques for achieving a more confident presence, particularly in the workplace. Throughout the course of the session, Solvig demonstrated how the 10 participants could ensure their presence was appropriate for the situation and to make improvements through lots of practice.
The key areas we looked into were:
- First impressions,
- The elements of charisma, and
- How you can make the subconscious work with you, not against you.
The training workshop took place over 2 hours in Reading and was very much an interactive session that certainly kept us on our feet!
I particularly enjoyed the practice session role playing as an overly confident cleaner with a shy and lacking in confidence CEO. Its amazing how awkward you can feel acting in a role but with the wrong characteristics! Very interesting.
By the end of the session, we had a good understanding of the theory, as well as have practised, experienced the benefits and were well on our way towards a strong and confident presence.
The training was provided by Solveig Malvik, JCI UK National Deputy President 2011, Certified Local Trainer, Immediate Past President JCI London, JCI UK Marketing Director 2011.
What do people say about Solveig Malvik and the Confident Presence Workshop?
“I had the chance of attending the body language training given by Solveig in Beirut. Solveig’s dynamism and engaging style of delivery turned the session into a pleasant and practical experience to learn. Solveig added a new perspective into my understanding of body language."
On behalf of all those who participated in the training, thank you Solvig for a great session, it was very interesting, food for thought and good fun!
JCI UK Marketing Academy 1st-3rd April 2011
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on April 8, 2011 11:59
As I mentioned in the March Newsletter it was the JCI UK Marketing Academy from 1st -3rd April.
This was an opportunity for JCI Members to find out about how best to market something, in this case JCI. We started with an introduction to the concept of branding and then went into detail about how you personally associate with a brand and how you sell it based on your interpretation of the Vision and Mission.
We all had to come up with a one liner that encompassed our own hook that would get people asking us, What is that then? or How do you do that?
Mine was 'Helping people help themselves while helping others' to me this captures the personal reward that you get (helping yourself) with the local and global impact of JCI (helping others) and the advantages of the JCI framework in that the structure Helps people, to achieve what they set their minds on.
We went on to look at how this new knowledge could be used locally, within JCI UK and our own local chambers. This allowed is to move on to specific's implementing our message into Websites, Blogs, (SEOing them as much as possible) the use of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, yes we already know they are great and can give results, but we were actually told some of the top tips on what to actually do got get those results. Even going so far as to having our LinkedIn profiles personally reviewed by Jen Little.
“How To Sell Yourself With A Red-Hot Elevator Pitch” Training Workshop
by Diane Edgington on April 1, 2011 11:02
JCI Reading “How To Sell Yourself With A Red-Hot Elevator Pitch” Training Session
with JCI London’s Deputy President, Simon Bucknall
Date: Thursday 31st March 2011 @ 7.00pm
This intensive, evening masterclass session for JCI was designed to provide practical tips and techniques for achieving a stronger ‘connection’ in the workplace.
“How to Sell Yourself” is an excellent, highly interactive training session which was led by Simon Bucknall giving participants an opportunity to learn to develop their networking skills and to ‘sell’ their ideas more effectively. The session demonstrated how the 14 participants could structure and ‘sell’ themselves and their ideas more effectively throughout the course of the session.
The session opened with an amusing interactive group work, working in pairs counting up to 3 using a combination of counting, clapping and alternate numbers, working from level 1 to level 3…trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds!
We then moved onto answering the question “What do you do?” and providing responses both in partners and feeding back to the rest of the group. It was interesting how many of us didn’t really understand what our colleagues actually did for a living, especially if they use language or jargon or we can’t relate to their profession. It seems we all ask the question…”So What?”
Moving on a level, Simon demonstrated the concept of ‘selling’ yourself using a ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ technique and one which works very effectively. This approach saw participants delivering a very different message when asked the question “What do you do?” The focus was on how to structure a pitch for maximum impact, making your pitch ‘audience-centric’ and on practical delivery skills. It was clear that from using this method of ‘selling yourself’ that participants could structure a much clearer and succinct pitch and that colleagues could relate to and understand their job much more easily, thereby holding their attention and interest..result!
Participants had opportunities throughout the session to practice developing their skills and impact as they built and honed their own 1-minute pitch. In summary, throughout the session we covered:
• Engaging your listeners’ attention, right from the word go
• ‘Selling’ yourself and your ideas more effectively
• Building your personal brand and ‘be more memorable’ when it counts
On behalf of all those who participated, thank you Simon!
Simon Bucknall is JCI London Deputy President 2011.