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Anyone for tennis?

business development Jun 02, 2023

Tennis is one of my favourite games and I’ve been playing it for longer than I care to remember.

I’ve recently been playing against someone 20 years younger than me, is much fitter and faster, and hits the ball much harder.

And yet we’re always evenly matched and have a great game.

So what’s my secret ingredient?

Firstly, I’m reasonably fit and fast around the court. But my real hidden tool is the consistency that comes from years of experience, all those hours of hitting a ball against a wall, imagining myself as Virginia Wade or Billy Jean King before my opponent was even born.

Somewhere in the mix of winning shots and less errors I manage to hold my own.

Are there some parallels here you could draw in your business?

How does your experience keep you afloat among competition that’s fresher, bolder and seemingly brighter? Never underestimate the value of experience.


Would you like to investigate this further?
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How many P’s in presentation

It’s probably no longer a shocking secret that you have just 7 seconds in which to make an impression and this applies to any scenario in which you are in front of someone new. Whether you’ve just walked into a room for an interview, been introduced to a prospective client or just taken centre stage to give your stunning presentation, the 7 seconds still applies.

No doubt we can all think of an example where we did change our mind for the better about someone who didn’t do so well in that 7 second test but in my experience, but why take the risk?

Why not make every effort to prepare that stunning preparation so that it’s stunningly good rather than stunningly poor?

Plan, prepare, practise are the well known alliterative maxims for a good presentation and I would add poise, presence and being pithy.

There are many more but let’s focus on those for now.



Plan what you want to say ahead of time. Choosing to wing it or letting the words come to...

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A Simple Process for Producing a Professional Profile/Bio

preparation speaker bio May 04, 2023

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have found it a real challenge to produce a professional profile, or bio.

  • Where do I start?
  • What should I say, (without sounding too cocky and yet still getting across my expertise?)
  • How can I make it sound interesting?
  • How can I adapt it to fit different requirements or length, purpose, etc?

These were just some of the questions that went through my mind, and probably yours too.

I’d been advised to pre-prepare 3 different length bios that I could ‘use for any occasion’ but everyone seemed to want something different – a different angle, a different length, for a different audience or a different purpose so even when I’d created 3 different length versions of my ‘standard bio’ they still didn’t always fit the bill.

And yet I know that a good bio is important. It creates interest in you and what you’re about to speak about. If your bio isn’t compelling people may well assume...

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What do using a running app and working with a coach have in common?

storytelling examples Apr 25, 2023

A somewhat reluctant runner, I must admit that running has its benefits as means of keeping fit.

It’s relatively quick, it can be done almost anywhere, and I can do it while ‘walking’ the dog.

Using one of the many running apps available changed my perspective on running.

Before using the app, I would run for 20 minutes in the hope of completing 2 miles, or close enough.

With the app, I set 2 miles as the target, and on the 1st attempt took 22 minutes 47 seconds.

So, I set myself the relatively small goal of working towards running 2 miles within my 20 minutes.

I was much more excited about my running with that achievable target to work towards. I had increased motivation, greater output, and an inner confidence that this could lead to greater results.

While I was running, it occurred to me that the role of this app is similar to the role of a specialist coach.

Working on your own, it’s all too easy to set targets and hope to get near enough ’to...

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Why what you think are good ways to engage an audience might not be enough.

creating your content Apr 21, 2023

Back in the day, before I knew better, I used to think that well-delivered good content with a clear call to action would be enough to get around the one glaring thing that was holding me back from being a great speaker.

Now I know better and want to explain why, in case you’re still one of the many business professionals who still believe that good content is enough.

So, let’s have a deeper look at those beliefs and then I’ll go on to explain why, on their own, they’re not enough to get that all important audience engagement that leads to more business.


Confident delivery

This is the biggest grey area or blind spot I come across when it comes to public speaking and presenting your business. I have literally had people say to me ‘I’m really lucky not to need your services as I’ve always been a confident speaker’, only to watch them go on to deliver a really boring, badly structured talk – but confidently delivered, for...

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So you think you don't have a story

 If you’re fed up with being told to include more personal stories in your presentations, I know how that feels.

For several years, having entered the world of speaking as part of my business model, I struggled to find my own stories.

Despite the assurance from anyone offering me feedback that ‘you do have a story, everyone does,’ I still couldn’t see why anyone would want to hear my very ordinary and unexceptional story.

What didn’t help was that I had the good fortune to hear a lot of excellent speakers sharing their incredible, awesome and powerful stories, making mine seem even more insignificant and unworthy of being aired in public.

Does any of that resonate with you?

I tried to convince myself that I could get around the story issue by making sure I gave good content and delivered it competently. What more could I do, because you can’t make stories up, can you?

I still don’t really know what happened to shake the penny down, but...

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How can you make a wider impact?

What stories do you tell yourself that hold you back from achieving fulfilment?  

Perhaps you want to achieve something at work or in your business but worry about what people will think of you for going for it. If you want a promotion, do you worry about being accepted at that next level? Will people think you’re out of your depth to even apply? Will you be seen as the skilled professional you are, or will you be dismissed out of hand?  

Thoughts like this can hold you back from taking the next step.   

We worry about how the people around us will perceive us – and when we do that, it holds us back from having the impact we can make through our professional services on the people who really need it.  

Many moons ago it was suggested that I apply to become a Justice of the Peace. I was working within the juvenile justice and care systems at...

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How to plan the content for your 15-minute presentation

Standing up in front of a group of prospective clients and/or potential collaborators is such a useful thing to do, and yet so many business owners shy away from it or worse still, do it badly. 


Having a well-constructed 15-minute presentation up your sleeve allows you to say ‘yes’ at the drop of a hat when an opportunity to present your business comes up, perhaps at a networking meeting or at a professional seminar.  


Speaking about your business gives you an opportunity to present yourself as an expert in your field and will ultimately help you get more clients – when you do it well. 


I’ve heard a lot of business owners give lots of valuable information, and often do so with confidence and clarity, and yet the audience remembers little of what was said. 

Putting your content into a simple structure that can be easily followed, understood and remembered will make you more memorable than the next speaker...

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Be a voice, not an echo. Einstein

finding your stories Mar 30, 2021

What does ‘being a voice’ mean to you? 

For me, it’s about getting out there to speak your truth, share your story and convey your message – not waiting for others to get there first. 

What do you feel strongly about enough to speak out about? What’s been your experience of life that others would benefit from hearing?  

When are you more comfortable being an echo, happy to go along with the opinions of others? 

To be original on every single issue would be exhausting and maybe even impossible. Being a voice requires time for thought and consideration. Save your energy and focus for the things that are really important to you. 

Perhaps it’s also about not taking ‘no’ for an answer. If someone tells you that you can’t do something, you have a choice on whether you listen to them.  You don't always have to take up...

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Your Story of How – finding your niche

business development Mar 23, 2021

If you’re a small business owner, do you have a niche? 

If not, maybe, like me, you’ve had various business coaches niggling at you to find one. 

Maybe you’ve resisted and continue to work with anyone you possibly can. 

Maybe, again like me, you’ve experimented with several niches along the way. 


Why have a niche? 

Here are some really good reasons I’ve been given: 

  • It makes it easier to write your marketing copy 
  • It makes you stand out among others in the same field of expertise 
  • It makes it easier for people to recognise themselves as needing your services 
  • It makes it easier for people to understand and remember what you do and most importantly to know who to refer to you as a potential client 
  • It keeps things simpler for you 


So why is finding a niche so hard? 

Certainly, in those early days of your business,  you probably didn’t want to ‘narrow...

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