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Email: dee@simplyamazingtraining.co.uk

Simply Amazing Training Score a Hat Trick at SME National Business Awards 2018


Simply Amazing Training, specialist executive presentations skills coaching and management training of Bournemouth and St Albans, have been named as an award finalist in three categories in the SME National Business Awards 2018. Winners from twenty one categories will be crowned at a black tie gala dinner taking place at Wembley Stadium on Friday 7th December 2018.

Simply Amazing Training was one of only a few businesses to be announced as a finalist in three categories: Enterprising Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Dee Clayton and Business Woman of the Year, Dee Clayton.

Photo caption: Dee Clayton (4th from left, 3rd from right)

delighted to be announced a Hat Trick Finalist.

supported by Simply Amazing Training Fans.

 

The SME National Awards were launched in 2016 to raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SME’s Nationally. Business awards are a sought after accolade of achievement, a veritable endorsement of success in business which offers exceptional marketing opportunities as well as increasing credibility and standing out in the eyes of one’s peers and customers.

Dee Clayton, Founder and Director said, “It is an honour to be recognised at the SME National Business Awards and we thank all our clients who supported our application with testimonials. We also thank the judges and award sponsors for voting for us. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding results with our Public Speaking Monkeys (trademarked) technique so it is wonderful to be acknowledged at these awards for helping hundreds of professionals over our ten years in business. We would like to extend our congratulations to all the other finalists and look forward to what is sure to be a very inspiring awards final.”

Daniela Busseni, Head of Category Development – Sweet Treats at Premier Foods commented,

”Congratulations to the team at Simply Amazing Training on the Hat-Trick at the SME National Awards! I worked alongside Dee, over 15 years ago when she worked as Marketing Manager for Jacob’s Creek wine. She had a clear plan for success and in true entrepreneurial fashion has reached that. Dee wanted to start a business and help hundreds of professionals have life-changing experiences. Dee used her Marketing skills to create the “Monkey Taming” USP and survive then thrive in a tough market. Dee has guided the business to achieve its original goal (and more) whilst adapting the strategy along the way. I use Dee’s services frequently – both 1:1 and with my team. I’ve also recommended her to others countless times and seen what fantastic results she’s had working with them too.  Best wishes for every success at Wembley!”

Simply Amazing Training offer specialist executive presentations skills coaching and management training throughout the UK and internationally.

They are famous for their Public Speaking Monkeys (trademarked) technique. The mind chatter or fear monkeys are the voices of self-doubt which cause so much anxiety.   Their innovative technique gets to the unconscious in an approachable manner by helping clients “Tame” their monkeys and become confident speakers with a 99% success rate.

For more than 10 years, Simply Amazing Training have been working with companies and individuals, at all skill levels.  They have delivered training for national and global brands including Toyota, RBS, Boston Scientific, Volkswagen, Babybel and Kimberly-Clark, to name a few, to improve the performance of their key people. Businesses know that if their employees develop then not only will they be more successful, but they will represent and promote the brand in a way which delivers better results.

For further information please visit www.simplyamazingtraining.co.uk and follow on Twitter @Dee_Clayton

SME triple finalist!


Yay! I’m delighted to say that we’ve been selected as Triple National Finalists in the SME 2018 business awards. Simply Amazing Training is a finalist in “Best Enterprising Business” and I’m personally a finalist for “Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Business Woman of the Year”. Thanks to Marion for joining the team and believing in the vision to all our clients and supporters. Our fingers and toes will remain crossed until the Gala Dinner at Wembley in December!

If you want to see more about why we feel that our award successes help our clients, or if you are thinking about entering an award and wondering if you should, then take a look at my thoughts on this here.

Good luck to all the other finalists.

The power of pausing in presentations


Think about the speakers you admire, and you’ll notice that they share a common trait: they have all mastered how to use effective pauses. The humble pause is often overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be underestimated. It serves an important purpose for you as a presenter and also for your audience. Remembering to pause ensures you come across as a calm, experienced speaker; it can help eliminate ums and ers; and it keeps your audience interested, alert and engaged.

Here are some of the ways you can use pauses to maximum effect:

Opening pause
A common public speaking problem is when the speaker launches straight into their talk. A combination of nerves and rushing to start leaves them breathless, and they spend the rest of their talk chasing their breath. This puts them and the audience on edge. It’s important to take a moment before you begin – to pause, breathe and look at your audience before getting started.

Reflection pause
Pausing after a key point will allow the audience time to reflect and process what you have said. If your audience’s first language isn’t English, you will also need to add translation time into the mix before they have a chance to digest what you have said.

Confident pause
Pauses make you look like a confident and calm speaker. They also prevent you from using filler words too much, such as ‘um’ and ‘er.’

Spacer pause
Sometimes if speakers haven’t “Tamed Their Public Speaking Monkeys” they are so intent on racing through to the end of their talk that they forget all about the poor audience. Or sometimes adrenaline speeds things up without them even realising. You have undoubtedly heard your presentation many, many times, but it’s likely to be the first time your audience has heard it. They need time to process rapid speech, so use spacer pauses to separate one thought from the next.

Dramatic pause
Don’t rush through your key points – they are important, so give them the space they need. Pausing before a key point will increase tension and add emphasis.

Sincere pause
Many speakers use questions – or tag questions – to engage with their audience. But if you ask a question then move on without a pause, it seems insincere. Think of your talk as a real conversation, and allow time for a response. Whether your audience does actually answer or not, it has to feel genuine and not like a gimmick.

We’ll leave you with the wise words of Mark Twain, who once said: “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” See…silence really can be golden.

What stresses you out at work (and what you can do about it)


As a leader, you might believe you should be calm and in control at all times. But the truth is, as well as being enjoyable, work can sometimes be stressful. Working with a team made up of very different personality types brings variety, but with that sometimes stress. Once you understand what it is that could make your blood pressure rise, you can learn what to do about it. Taking control and making positive steps is always a great start.

That’s where the Insights Discovery profiling four colour energy model is invaluable. By discovering whether we are Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, Cool Blue or Fiery Red helps us to understand why we behave the way we do and our strengths and weaknesses. This allows us to communicate more effectively, strengthen team relationships and mitigate the risk of stress.

The colour of your stress relief

Here are the four colour energies, along with their individual stress triggers and actions that can be taken to minimise stress.

Sunshine Yellow
As a Sunshine Yellow, you are enthusiastic, impulsive and active. You get stressed out when your ideas aren’t listened to; when there’s a lack of flexibility in your workload; and when the working culture is too serious with no room for fun. So as a leader, what can you do about it?

  • Gather the ideas of your team and send them up the chain – there’s power in numbers
  • Hold Happy Hour once a week, where you and your team have the flexibility to work on something you really enjoy that might not be a main task.
  • Introduce Fun Fridays – dress down, tunes on and pizza delivered for team lunchEarth Green

 

 

Earth Green
Earth Greens are accommodating, reflective and reliable. The things that stress you out are enforced tight deadlines; sudden changes to priorities; and too many interruptions. As a leader, what action can you take?

  • Enlist the whole team’s help to complete it on time – you can get there together
  • Ask for reasons, so you can understand WHY changes to priorities are happening
  • Try to give the fullest details before beginning a project, which will minimise interruptions.

 

 

 

Cool Blue

 

Cool Blue
If you are Cool Blue, you are logical, concise and structured. You get stressed out by a lack of obvious structure in a team member’s work; poor quality work; and irrelevant chatter. Here are a few ideas for mitigating those risks:

  • Be fair to your team by being transparent about the structure you’re looking for in their work
  • Let go a little and trust their instincts if their output is generally good
  • Set aside ten minutes an hour for a chat with your team to minimise irrelevant chatter.

 

 

 

 

Fiery Red

Fiery Red

As a Fiery Red, you are assertive, determined and realistic. The things that stress you out are decisions taken by committee; lack of immediacy; and feeling out of control. Here are some ideas for action you can take as a leader:

  • Make sure everyone feels listened to, but be clear that the final decision will be yours
  • Have short, regular checks with your team to ensure everyone understands priorities
  • Try to let go of being in control all the time – upskill staff by giving them responsibility.

So what are you waiting for? Give these actions a try, and see if they work for you. Your team (not to mention your blood pressure) will thank you for it!

Interview Presentations


The presentation is your chance to shine. You are away from the constraints of just answering questions.

“What’s your X-Factor?”

Treat it as your opportunity to show others what makes you unique.

Always read the brief carefully before beginning – like reading an exam paper properly. Make sure you know how long you have to present and if it includes time for questions. Check any terminology and consider what equipment or props you may need. Consider what their purpose is for setting this task and what they are looking for.

Do your research. Research the organisation or department and the key positions. Research the people on the panel if possible and of course the position. Know the job description thoroughly and understand any key competencies they are looking for. Match your personal strengths to the key competencies required in the role.

Tame your “Public Speaking Monkeys”. Ensure nerves don’t get the best of you and you can represent your best self.

Read “Taming Your Public Speaking MonkeysD.Clayton on Amazon.

See things from their point of view. Consider what problems the organisation or role may face.
Demonstrate you understand and have the solutions they need, or at least the right attitude to address the challenges and start to solve problems.

What benefits do you bring to the organisation or role? What can you help them to achieve or gain that others can’t? Do you have evidence of achieving targets? Will you help the department to improve or better justify the budget?

Preparation is worth its weight in gold. Mind Mapping is a great tool for dumping all your ideas into one place visually. Look at all the information and ideas and narrow them down to three main points. Avoid the temptation of verbal diarrhoea!

Structure your presentation – how will you position your main points? Use examples whenever possible. Telling stories with a beginning middle and end is a great way to convey information that humans naturally tune into.

For each section or point, use our Simply Amazing Structure™ (SAS) summarised below.

Using SAS structure in presentations

  • WHY? A short introduction giving the audience reasons why they want to listen to what you have to say.
  • WHAT? The content: This covers the facts and information, the evidence behind the why.
  • HOW? The Usability & relevance: this section covers the answer to “how will they benefit from the information or proposal?” Perhaps you will suggest that they could investigate similar solutions.
  • WHAT IF? Future benefit: This briefly describes the difference in the future, if the audience buys into your way of seeing things. This also serves as a motivational summary.

Bananas found to cure public speaking fear


After years of study, multi-award winning Bournemouth based entrepreneur Dee Clayton has found the cure for Glossophobia or speech anxiety. No one has to feel nervous or worried about public speaking any longer! You may think it all sounds bananas and that’s because it is -because bananas are rich in potassium they can help overcome presentation anxiety.

It all started, Clayton says, in 2015 when she read on the BBC website that “We use it [potassium] to help generate an electrical charge which helps the cell function properly. It helps keep your heart rate steady, it helps trigger insulin release from the pancreas to help control blood sugars, and more importantly keeps blood pressure in check”. Shortly after she saw The Daily Mail had published an article entitled “How a banana a day can keep strokes at bay”.

Banana on gluten free toast

The time was ripe to experiment on a bunch of public speaking clients, to see if using bananas could peel back the layers of public speaking anxiety. But with more than 1,000 varieties of bananas the research took longer than expected and her timetable slipped.

Today Dee finally shares the research which shows split results. Clients in the Brown group who spread ripe bananas on gluten free toast every morning fared slightly better than those in the Yellow group who ate theirs with custard. Both groups outperformed the control group.

Dee warns “don’t eat too many though” – as the BBC website warns: “if the level of potassium in the body is too low or too high it can result in an irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhoea”… just the very symptoms public speaking anxiety brings on in the first place!

My first visit to Virgin Start Up in Bournemouth


Last week I enjoyed attending my first Virgin Start Up at THIS Workspace in Bournemouth (a very cool work area in the Echo Building). I really wanted to hear from both speakers, Bournemouth based entrepreneurs and I wasn’t disappointed.

The speakers were Jimmy Cregan from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee (stocked in Ocado, Selfridges, Londis, Waitrose and Tesco) and Rupert Holloway from Conker Gin (Dorset’s first independent gin distiller who only 3 years ago was a chartered surveyor!)

To start the evening off they both gave a slightly more formal presentation and I liked that they allowed their personalities and personal stories to shine through. (I’ve made a note to self to share my personal stories more too – what about you?)

Then they did questions and answers section and I wanted to share this clip with you. Rupert says if you’d asked me to speak on my last career I would have “sweated myself into the grave. I’d hate it…but because it’s my passion …it doesn’t faze me”. (note: If you aren’t running your own business but still need to present well get in touch, setting up your own business isn’t the only way to get comfortable speaking!)

Take as many learning’s from it as you choose and specifically I noticed:

  • It’s important to know why you are talking, what does the message mean to you
  • Believe in your message make it “totally true” to you
  • Being relaxed and comfortable with a conversational style makes the audience feel like friends

If you want to learn more about how you can be relaxed, authentic and engaging in front of an audience get in touch with us today or connect with us on Facebook to be the first to hear about my new book “How To Avoid Career Limiting Presentations – Your Guide To Public Speaking In Business.”

Importance of authenticity, transparency and sharing meaningful messages


I wanted to share with you a case study clip from a talk I went to recently with two Bournemouth based entrepreneurs Jimmy Cregan from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee (stocked in Ocado, Selfridges, Londis, Waitrose and Tesco) and Rupert Holloway from Conker Gin (Dorset’s first independent gin distiller who only 3 years ago was a chartered surveyor!)

Not only do I love that there’s a name check for “my” beach (Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth) but that they are talking about sharing what they are doing on a day to day basis to add to their brand story.

They promote showing authenticity, transparency and sharing meaningful messages. The talk is in online marketing context, but public speaking and business talks are similar because it’s your personal brand at work, your product/service brand or your company as a whole. When communicating especially speaking, authenticity is the way to go.

Much quoted and still true…Be yourself, no one else can do it as well as you

If you want to speak up in an authentic manner like Jimmy and Rupert, get in touch today or join our Facebook Page to be the first to hear about my new book “How To Avoid Career Limiting Presentations – Your Guide To Public Speaking In Business.”

 

 

New Year goal-setting


There’s no better time than the New Year to focus on goal-setting – to look at what you’ve achieved over the past year, and think about your direction for the next twelve months. Goal-setting provides focus, boosts motivation and increases your self confidence. If you want to stay happy and motivated, it’s important to do this for both your personal life and your career.

Insights Discovery has produced a useful goal-setting template. It prompts you to think ‘This year I’ll…’ about the following:

  • Travel to…
  • Read about…
  • Ask someone…
  • Do more…
  • Do less…
  • Make an effort to…
  • Challenge myself to…
  • Be more curious about…
  • Learn to…
  • Learn not to…

This template works well for your personal life and your working life and is far more effective than making New Year’s resolutions. It steers you towards setting realistic, achievable targets, so there’s every chance you’ll be able to accomplish everything you intend to. Print it out here, fill it in, and keep it somewhere visible as a constant reminder throughout the year.

Get into the habit of regularly reviewing your goals, and check that you’re still on the right track. You might find that you do so well that you have to do another goal-setting exercise after six months! But if it takes longer than a year, so be it. The main thing is that you’re continuously making progress and moving forwards.

In terms of the new year at work, perhaps it’s time to get out there and raise your profile? Whether a small or a large opportunity, there’s always a way to raise your profile at work and be noticed for all the right reasons. Could you, for example, volunteer to:

  • Present at a conference?
  • Hold a new meeting?
  • Train someone?
  • Attend a lunchtime learning event?
  • Speak at an industry event?

If the thought of any/all of the above fill you with dread, it’s time to get in touch. Our Public Speaking Monkeys approach uses proven NLP techniques to work on mind-set before skill set. Once your monkeys are tamed and you are free of fear, your confidence will soar. Then we can start working on advanced presentation skills techniques, and you’ll develop into a strong presenter.

Perhaps you are someone who isn’t scared of public speaking, but are you really the best you can be? And are you really pushing yourself forward at every opportunity? If the answer is no, our Advanced Presentation Skills Mastery Programme could be for you. It has been designed for people who are already confident and competent presenters, but really want to master the art. And that reminds me…my new book on ‘Career-limiting presentations’ will be out this spring.

Go on, I challenge you to make that one of your goals for 2018 – to be a calm, confident speaker.

 

Gold and silver award-winners!


An award winning end to 2017 with a gold international award and a silver national award.

One of our licensed practitioners, Marion Hewitt, who works as an independent coach alongside her work with Simply Amazing Training, was awarded the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Coach of the Year Award at the TCA International Coaching Awards. And on December 1st, Simply Amazing Training took silver at The SME National Business Awards. Although we were pipped to the post for first place, we were thrilled to come second out of 13 finalists and to be acknowledged for showing “outstanding initiative” and “sound management practices.” You can read about all the other awards we have won here.

Simply Amazing Training founder, Dee Clayton, says of the recent wins: “It is great to have all our hard work and success recognised in this way. I’ve been developing my innovative and fun presentation skills training for the past decade, and I’m glad that other people see the value in my unique monkey taming approach for dealing with public speaking fear. But it’s not just about self-gratification – these awards are a positive thing for our clients too. They can be confident that their trainers have comprehensive skills, continuously updated knowledge, and new ways to support clients to reach their goals.”

If you know someone who would like to join our award-winning team, we are currently expanding the business nationwide. We are licensing other trainers to join us and use the Simply Amazing Training monkey taming approach. We are currently looking for licensee trainers in Reading, Southampton and Hertfordshire so please contact us for more information. As a licensee, you could earn extra money alongside your main job or work on a flexible, part-time basis.

We hope to continue this run of success into 2018 and beyond!

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