Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Speaker Training Workshop, Saturday 15th September 2018, Edinburgh





Even though I have been speaking in public for many years now – representing charities or speaking at conferences or in churches – I still do occasionally get nervous if I am asked to speak in an environment that is somewhat out of my comfort zone! This happened a few weeks ago when I was asked by friends to speak at their wedding. I have never given a wedding talk before and although I felt really honoured to be asked to play such a special part in the wedding day, I was a little nervous as to whether what I would present would be what they had hoped for. 

My brief for the talk was a little challenging  in that I was given the fabulous text from John 10:10 - about life being lived to the full - to speak on and just 7 minutes in which to share my thoughts on the subject! I wasn’t sure that I could do justice to such a text in 25 minutes – let alone 7 – and so I needed to hone my thoughts and consider the key thing that I wanted to say? This took some consideration. Consideration is good...

Did you know that the shorter the talk or presentation that you have been asked to give – often the more amount of time is needed for its creation? Woodrow Wilson (28th President of the USA) once said:

“If I am to speak for 10 minutes, I need a week for preparation; if 15 minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”

For any talk that you are asked to give you should be prepared to give the time to construct it carefully and thoughtfully. For any presentation, it is imperative that you begin with the end in mind; what key message do you want your listeners to take away? 

I knew that my friends were passionate about hospitality and community. I felt that these themes were also key to the passage and so using them and the word “Gather’, (that I had asked a friend to design into a picture as a wedding present that could hang alongside the newly - wed's dining table), I constructed my talk, about living life to the full, around these ideas. It is impossible, in any length of presentation to explore every angle of a subject, therefore it is always key that you decide clearly what you will include and what you will leave out.

A talk needs to take your listeners on a journey. From the moment that you begin to speak it is as if you take them by the hand and lead them from one place onto another. The more thought you give to that journey and the more carefully you create your talk, the easier it will be for them to follow were you lead.

If you have ever wanted some public speaking training and would like to know how to prepare a talk – long or short – I am hosting a one day speaker training workshop on Saturday 15th September (10:30am – 4:30pm) in Edinburgh.

Throughout the day I will take you on a journey.

 Initially, you will be introduced to some of the key features needed for a presentation that will inspire your listeners to hear what you have to say. We will then open up the fact that authenticity and vulnerability are the key traits of an effective communicator and we will look at what it means in practice to present yourself effectively and honestly in order to engage your audience.  We will spend some time focusing on the personal stories we carry that will be important to hold in focus when we present a talk to others.

We will learn that the word ‘Why’ is actually the starting place when we want to motivate others support and engagement. A good communicator never manipulates, focusing on ‘Why’ helps us to inspire.

The use of story will be a dominant theme throughout the day. We will discover that story is the medium that our brains respond to; we will learn how to tell a good story.

Finally, we will learn how to create a story - based talk, a presentation that will keep an audience engaged from beginning to end.

The workshop will be held in my home. I have found this works really well in providing a relaxed and warm environment. Lunch, homemade cake and good coffee will be provided! You will also receive ‘Cue Cards’ to take away that will aid you when writing your own presentations. The cost of this one- day course is £125. On the day there will be the opportunity to book a further session where you can present a talk of your own and put into practice all that you have learnt and where I can also help you to hone your presentation.  For more information or to book a place please e-mail jenny@jennifercornfield.com

And to Ruth Donaldson – Cameron and Mark Cameron – HUGE congratulations on your marriage! Thank you for asking me to be part of your beautiful day, it was fabulous and so are you!







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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Soul Food Edinburgh

                                                                                    Christ of the Breadlines - Fritz Eichenberg




It was four years ago this Spring that Soul Food set its first table, cooked up a storm and opened the doors of St Paul’s and St George’s Church in Edinburgh on a Saturday evening and invited anyone in the city – in need of a meal – to dinner.

On that first Saturday we cooked Chicken and Chorizo with Hassleback Potatoes and served Eton Mess for dessert. We welcomed 25 guests. The next week, over 40 guests arrived. The week after 60 and from then we have been sharing dinner tables with 80 - 100+ guests every week, many of whom have become Soul Food volunteers.

It is a Soul Food value that the food we serve is truly delicious and healthy! We talk of the menus we offer being just like those we would cook if we were inviting a friend to our homes for dinner. We set tables with cloths and napkins and freshly filtered coffee flows freely throughout the evening. We would like anyone, stranger or friend, who walks through our doors to feel that they are honoured and that they are cared for.

Believing that hospitality is at the very centre of what it is to be a Christian, Soul Food has always been more than just a meal. It is a declaration that the church cares deeply about the fact that people in our city are hungry and it is a statement of intent to engage in any way that we can in this issue of grave injustice.   With an invitation to dinner we wish to offer friendship and solidarity to those who feel themselves pushed to the edges of society and it is a promise that we will walk alongside those who are living with the grim realities of food poverty and inequality.  As Murphy Davis said of Open Door, “Without supper, without love, without table companionship, justice can become a programme that we do to other people.’ Soul Food is not a programme.

Many of those who come along every Saturday night to Soul Food are homeless. Quite a number are rough sleepers or night shelter users. Others are living on friend’s sofas or are housed – temporarily – in a B&B by the council. (In Edinburgh there are over 650 people living in B&B’s. 650 people who have no access to kitchens and opportunity to make themselves a hot meal).

There are many reasons for homelessness, but the reasons that we hear the most regularly are: relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse, welfare sanctions, too few available and affordable housing options, being asked to leave your accommodation, mental health issues, addiction, debt or that you have just come out of prison or hospital.

 It has been said that most of us are just two pay cheques away from becoming homeless.

As I am sure you can imagine, being without a home can be a completely isolating experience. It is also relentlessly hard work. If you would like help with your situation you can find yourself having to tell your story again – and again- and again – to all the various agencies who may be able to offer you support. You can find yourself robbed of your dignity as an overloaded system does not always treat you with respect. You can feel alone in your fears about the future and hope can become the hardest thing to hold onto. You will often be consigned to walking miles every day for food, or appointments or even shelter. It can feel as though nobody cares or sees you as the person you actually are. You are having to be defined by what you don’t have – a home – rather than what you do have; talents, gifts, skills, history.  It’s no wonder that people’s mental health can begin to suffer.

At a Soul Food meal we hope that we can offer some respite and support to those of our guests who are dealing with situations like this day in and day out. Agencies working with those who are homeless or in situations of great anxiety due to poverty regularly come along to Soul Food. We are grateful to CAP, Streetwork, the Samaritans and Streetreads who regularly offer specific and specialist support.

We have no plans for Soul Food to become a large agency engaging with the issues of homelessness, we do not want to become a service provider, rather we just want to live out, through the local church, the call to hospitality that we feel is uniquely intrinsic to our Christian faith. In the act of setting a table and inviting anyone in need of a meal – to dinner – we hope to begin a ripple of resistance that declares a desire to step into the stories of injustice and inequality that our cities and towns hold. Just as God once told Hagar that he was the God that sees, we want to say to the hungry, we see you.

If you read the Gospels you cannot help but notice that Jesus spends a lot of time sat at dining tables in people’s houses. In fact, the table is such a key place to him that he uses it as a metaphor to describe what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like (Matthew 22; Luke 14). The table is also the only piece of furniture that he suggests is needed to be present when we who follow him meet together as church (Mark 14, Luke 22, 1Cor 11:24). It was around a table that Jesus sat with those who often found themselves excluded from society. He intentionally sought the company of the poor, the broken hearted, the persecuted, the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the sick and around a meal he would make clear to them that they were his friends and that they were no longer alone.

If we read the prophets of the Old Testament and look at the words of Jesus we see clearly that God’s heart beats passionately for those who find themselves pushed to the edges of society. Those our towns and cities so often devalue. Throughout the prophets God declares time and again that the way in which we truly worship him is by placing ourselves alongside those dealing with the injustices of poverty. How can we forget that Jesus himself identified completely with them? In his life he experienced the vulnerability of being a homeless infant, refugee child and was an adult with no place to lay his head, reliant on the hospitality of others.

Jesus talked of the Kingdom of God being like a banquet. A free banquet – for everyone – no price to pay. In the stories of the tables where he sat you can hear the echoes of the prophets of old:

                                                     Come everyone who thirsts,
                                                            Come to the waters,
                                                     And you who have no money,
                                                            Come buy and eat!
                                                        Come buy wine and milk
                                                Without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1-2)

We have been greatly inspired by the story of the great banquet in Luke’s Gospel, where Jesus describes the Kingdom of God being like a banquet to which everyone is invited. A banquet that the host – literally - searches the streets for people to share this incredible meal with. At Soul Food our values have always been one of the warmest hospitality, the kindest of welcomes, and an offer of relationship, commitment and community that extends way beyond a Saturday night. Something of the hospitality that Jesus offers to us all.

We believe that lives can be changed around a table.

Our lives have been changed around a table.

For those of who have been involved with Soul Food it has been one of the greatest privileges of our lives.

Inviting people to supper is truly holy and transformational thing…

Soul Food has grown out of the ministry of St Pauls and St George’s Church and last year we planted a church called Mustard Seed on Easter Road (hosted on Sunday afternoon at St Margaret’s Church thanks to their generous hospitality) that had the particular brief to develop Soul Food. Soul Food, St Margaret’s will open its doors in May this year. It will be a smaller venue than St Paul’s and St George’s but should comfortably be able to host 50 people every Thursday evening. Hopefully too, by the summer there will be a third Soul Food meal operating from another larger venue church in the city centre midweek. We are also in conversation about the possibility of a Soul Food breakfast venue and a Soul Food Sunday lunch (a time that it is really tricky to access a hot meal in the city).

Soul Food is about to become a charity in its own right and we are currently recruiting a steering group to take it forward across Edinburgh initially and then – maybe -  throughout the churches in Scotland. Most positions on the steering group have been filled but we would like to recruit one further person who would be interested in helping us to develop Soul Food. We are especially interested in someone who is experienced in building social enterprise businesses.  We hope, in the near future to have a social enterprise arm to Soul Food that can offer employment and experience to any Soul Food guest or Soul Food volunteer who applies.

We have quite big hopes and dreams for Soul Food. Our biggest is our hope to buy a house from which we could operate and also offer a home to those who have – quite literally – nowhere else to go but the streets or a night shelter. Working alongside other agencies and also the council we would hope to offer accommodation and support that would enable those in need of such a place to find work and homes of their own. The difference that an address, a safe place to stay, food and a friend can make to someone’s life is transformational. But that is a story for another day and another blog post!

Today as I write, I am aware that many of our Soul Food guests have struggled to get a hot meal this week as most of the few places available that that they would normally visit of an evening have closed for the Easter holidays. As we develop Soul Food we hope that this sort of situation does not continue to happen. If you think about the number of churches that we have situated all over the city, wouldn’t it be incredible if we could coordinate together (and alongside other organisations who are addressing issues of food poverty and hunger), to ensure that nobody goes hungry in Edinburgh?

I apologise for this long blog! I am aware that there is so much more that I could say but I have already overrun the length of a normal post! I will write again, but for now could I finish with three requests? Could I invite you to step into the story of food poverty and inequality that exists on the streets of our city centre, lurks in our tenements and occupies the houses on our estates?

Firstly, could you be the right person to join our Soul Food Edinburgh Steering Group? Please do get in touch at jenny@jennifercornfield.com if interested.

Secondly, could you become a ‘Soul Foodie’?! We are looking to begin to find financial support for Soul Food.  Although St Paul’s and St George’s Church and Mustard Seed fund their own meals we would like to begin to offer support for our other new Soul Food venues. We would like to recruit our first member of staff who will manage Soul Food Edinburgh administratively, offer practical support in helping our new venues to establish a Soul Food Meal and will commit to the ongoing training and recruitment of volunteers.  It will also be their responsibility to fundraise for and develop Soul Food in regards to a social enterprise arm and a house that could home those who especially have no recourse to public funds and housing.

A meal at Soul Food costs about £1.50 per person. If you could give £5 a month to Soul Food then that would be 3 meals, £10 would be 6 meals, £20, 13 meals. You get the idea! Again, please contact me if you would like to find out more. Until Soul Food is a registered charity, Mustard Seed will manage all donations.

Thirdly and finally, would you like to volunteer at a Soul Food meal or establish your own Soul Food meal at your church? We are looking for volunteers for Soul Food St Margaret’s and also for the potential breakfast Soul Food and Sunday lunch we hope to begin. We can promise that it will become a highlight of your week!

As I close, let me leave you with the powerful words of the American Activist, Theologian and Writer of the last century, Dorothy Day. The story of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew 25, (probably the ultimate verses in terms of Christian hospitality)   convicted her of the fact that God was present within every person that she met and so whenever we offer hospitality it is as though we serve him:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you have me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35

These words of Jesus shaped her entire life and they led her to be  instrumental in establishing places of refuge and community for those who were homeless, she wrote:

‘There He was, homeless. Would a church take him in today – feed him, clothe him, offer him a bed? I hope that I ask myself that question on the last day of my life. I once prayed and prayed to God that he never, ever let me forget to ask that question.’ Dorothy Day

May we too, never forget to ask that question and ever be the church that takes Him in.



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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

How to Speak so that People Listen - 20th, 21st & 27th March 2018




I wonder, did you know that the first couple of minutes of any presentation or talk are the most important? (Top tip alert!!)

These minutes are a gift.

 For 120 precious seconds you will have the attention of everyone in the room and so the words that then come out of your mouth need to be the most thoughtfully woven. Squander your beginning and you can lose your listeners for your talks entirety. Grab their attention, pique their interest and you will find that they travel with the words that you speak, interested as to where you will take them.

There is a definite art to creating an inspirational presentation and simply being shown some of the important things to consider can revolutionise the impact that you make as a public speaker. If you have to speak on behalf of a charity, a business or even within a church and would like to learn how to create a compelling and powerful presentation then my speaker training course, ‘How to Speak so that People Listen’, could be just the thing for you.

Looking at presentations that have changed worlds and drawing on my own experience of working in the Charity Sector as a communicator, story-teller and fundraiser for the last 14 years, my course will look in details at the components that make up the perfect presentation.

The next course takes place in the beautiful city of Edinburgh  on March Tuesday 20th –  Wednesday 21st and then a final day on Tuesday 27th March 2018

On March 20th (10am – 4:30pm) we will begin to discover some of the key features of a presentation that will inspire your listeners to step into the story of the organisation that you might be representing or the sermon that you are preaching.

We will open up the fact that authenticity and vulnerability are the key traits of the effective communicator and we will look at what it means in practice to present yourself effectively and honestly in order to engage your audience.

We will spend some time focusing on the personal stories we carry that will be important to hold in focus when we present a talk to others.

We will learn that the word ‘WHY’ is actually the starting place when we want to motivate others support and engagement. A good communicator never manipulates, focusing on ‘WHY’ helps us to inspire. The missing factor in most ineffective communication is humanity.

The use of story will be a dominant theme throughout the day. We will discover that story is the medium that our brain responds to. If we want people to listen to us – to really hear – we need to understand the importance of story.

On March 21st (10am – 4:30pm) we will look at the fact that a good story holds key components. We will unlock what they are and consider how we can learn to tell good stories that help to develop our presentations key messages.

We will learn how to create a story-based talk – a presentation that will keep an audience engaged from beginning to end.

And finally, for those who work for charities & businesses we will spend some time looking at how to invite our listeners to ‘step into the story’ we have been presenting. How to ‘ask’ them to be involved in the organisations we represent.

On March 27th (10am – 4pm) each participant, taking on board the previous weeks training, will present a 15 minute talk that represents the charity, organisation or church that they work or volunteer for. The aim of this day is to leave with a finely honed presentation that will be a good template for future talks. You will also leave with the confidence that you know how to speak so that others will listen.

In January I hosted my first course of the year. A great time was had by all! Here are a few things that some of the course participants had to say:

I found the training incredible useful, practical and inspiring. It will be so useful for my current role in particular and more generally in how I speak in public in other contexts too.’ Charlie Bevan – Tearfund

‘Very useful…both clear and engaging. I wasn’t bored at any point and the material was laid out very simply and easily to follow and understand. I would feel confident in recommending it to others as it was really helpful. Even for people who don’t normally give speeches!’ Drew Van Tiem - Communitas

‘Incredibly useful…it was so clear and engaging, friendly, inspiring, encouraging and very gentle. So much food for thought and inspiration. I would definitely recommend and already have!’ Lauren Forbes – Scottish Churches Housing Action

I have 5 spaces available for March’s training. The cost for the whole course is £275. If you are a volunteer speaker for an organisation and funding the training yourself, I would be happy to offer a discount of £50. Also, if you are a student I would be happy to offer a further discount.

I often get asked if this training is suitable for people who are shy or unconfident. It is! I intentionally keep the number of participants small and I have found that hosting the course ‘at home’ (with lots of coffee and good food!) helps people to relax quickly and feel at ease.

If you would like to take part or have any questions, please email me at jenny@jennifercornfield.com. If the dates advertised are a problem please let me know and I can let you know the dates of other courses in 2018. 



   







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Monday, 5 February 2018

Talking of Servant Leadership


It’s funny how something completely innocuous can provoke a stream of thoughts.

Just this afternoon I was scrolling through Linkedin (the social media site that does slightly terrify me with its notifications of ‘searches’ and ‘viewings’!) when I came across a post about ‘Servant Leadership’. It got me thinking about what it is that we mean when we talk of this style of leadership and of how I recognised in myself that I have become a little suspicious of the terminology - especially in an organisation setting - after witnessing it being enacted somewhat dubiously. It is a subject that I am very interested in though as I believe - wholeheartedly - in the premise but am concerned by the way in which it can be abused if it is not understood properly.  Brace yourself for a candid post...

Over the last year I have now lost count of the number of people who I have sat alongside who have shared stories – often in tears -  of grave mismanagement and mistreatment at the hand of Christian leaders, churches and organisations. Just last week I spoke to four people who shared stories that included sentences describing their being diagnosed with ‘post traumatic shock disorder’. Others said, ‘I was lied to’, ‘I think I am being bullied’, ‘they have left me completely broken’, ‘completely lost my confidence’ and ‘I will never work for a Christian organisation again.’ Two of the people worked for the same organisation. An organisation that espouses ‘Servant Leadership’ constantly.

Now this is a tricky thing to write about and as I tap these words I truly wonder if I should be doing so. Because the thing is, when we criticise an organisation or a church for their leadership style, their poor management or their misuse of power and loose relationship with the truth, we worry that we will either harm the good work that they often are doing or that we in some way bring the name of Jesus into disrepute. I think that there is also the concern that you could be challenged for sharing about your experience because it is just not the ‘Christian thing to do.’ And so pretty grim working environments continue unchallenged and people slink away from the whole experience very battered and bruised not quite knowing what to do with the confusion and the pain they carry.

I remember a meeting I once had with a director of a charity when I listened – not for the first time – to a story of how the charity had to dismiss an entire department of toxic and poisonous staff. I think the director may have wanted me to agree with the story that they were telling when in actual fact I was struggling with feelings of complete shock. And whilst I could imagine that the working environment within that organisation could have gotten very grim and people could have become very discontented and difficult to work with, I could also see very clearly, just having observed the organisation for a short time, why and how they came to that place.

Culture permeates top down and so if there was poison and toxicity to be challenged it perhaps needed to be challenged a little higher up.

Sitting in the director's office, I can recall saying with tears in my eyes, “we need to do things better, as Christians our churches and organisations should be the best places to work.” Very gently I tried to speak to him of the low staff morale and nervousness within his department. He told me that he categorically disagreed. 

We lead by story. This can be an immensely positive thing and something to engage with  intentionally, but when we lead with a negative story - often unintentionally - we create problems and instil a narrative to a work place that can be overwhelming in its effect. (An unintentional story is called an 'Untended Story'. See 'Leading By Story' by Vaughan S Roberts & David Sims for more info) .

For this organisation, their story of viewing staff as potentially ‘poisonous’ and ‘toxic’ was creating an environment of great mistrust and a culture of fear. In these sort of cultures people neither thrive or flourish, they just turn up to their job with an eye constantly on the employment websites looking for ways in which they can plan an escape route. 

When I left university my first career was in retail. I was a fashion manager for the House of Fraser. I remember during my management training being taught as to how the internal customer – the company’s staff – were the most important customer of all. The internal customer needed looking after. They needed to be valued and respected as highly as the external customer.  If your staff were not happy, your external customers would not be happy either. I think it would be good if we who lead in churches and Christian charities, businesses and organisations took this advice on board. If your staff are unhappy, the story that they carry of the work that you do, the church that you are, the business that you run, will be negatively coloured.

Whilst I am absolutely positive that it is not always an organisations fault that some staff are unhappy with their work situation and that there will be times that a member of staff was just not a good fit, WHEN it becomes an extensively repeated pattern that employees leave a place unsatisfactorily, then there is a genuine problem to be faced. And this is where true servant leadership could come in.

If we declare ourselves to be servant leader’s we set ourselves the high bar of learning with the greatest humility and vulnerability what it is to truly go lower.

 For me, the servant leader would be someone who could admit that they didn't always get it right. They would be keen to explore why so many staff leave their organisation and why so many are often off sick with stress type symptoms. They would be courageous enough to have the difficult conversations and resolution would be their aim. The servant leader would actively work to see a workplace thrive and flourish; they would have their staff’s back and their well being at heart. A servant leader would have the maturity to evaluate what it could be like to be on the other side of them and they would recognise that they have insecurities and rather than lie to cover them up, or gather people around a story that they have constructed,  they would hold their insecurities in balance as they dealt – servant heartedly - with the situation that had pressed all their wrong buttons. And anyone who claimed to be a servant leader would constantly understand that it is a truly tough gig because none of us naturally find it easy to put someone else’s well being ahead of our own. I guess the most powerful sentence a servant leader could frequently employ is, ‘I am sorry. I got that wrong.’

You see absolutely none of us are going to get it right all the time. As a wise psychologist friend of mine would say; we all have our shadow sides. The parts of  us that play 'rackets' and try to cover up our insecurities and our darker places. We sacrifice others in order to make ourselves look good and we are careless with people's lives forgetting that our treatment of them may leave very deep wounds that will take many years to heal. Robert K Greenleaf, who first coined the term 'servant leadership', wrote of how 'Good leaders must first become good servants.' 

Good leaders must first become good servants.

Good servants.

With some trepidation, I would love to open that subject up an awful lot more...


























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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Two Years On...



Monday held a breakfast date with my husband at Portobello Beach, a champagne afternoon tea at The Dome on George Street, Edinburgh as a treat from a friend and a lovely e-mail from a client who took part in my very first speaker training course that I delivered as a freelancer.

I have asked Rhoda’s permission to share her email:

‘I just wanted to encourage you that two years later and I’m still using your material. It has revolutionised the way I do presentations and I still tell others about it… Thank you again for your super course and I really hope that many people are benefitting from your wisdom and wonderful teaching style.’

Keeping this blog post short and sweet! But if you would like to join my next course (held in Edinburgh) on January 13th, 20th & 27th then please get in touch at jenny@jennifercornfield.com. For more information simply check the blog post below!

  
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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Perfect Presentation...



In my opinion, Bryan Stevenson (pictured above) gave THE best Ted talk ever. His talk was called; ‘We need to talk about Injustice’ and talk he certainly did! Weaving personal stories in and around the theme of identity and the grave racial injustices that have been and are still prevalent in American society, Stevenson gave a speech that was completely compelling.

 Stevenson is a civil rights attorney and the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit group that provides legal representation to poor defendants who have been denied fair treatment in the criminal justice system.

 In September 2011, the Roosevelt Institute awarded Stevenson a Freedom Medal for his work in the areas of social justice.  A representative from TED was in the audience and he asked him if he would give a TED talk. Stevenson didn’t know much about TED at the time and was inclined to turn the invitation down because he had a huge amount of work on. His staff went ‘ballistic’ and told Stevenson that he had to talk at TED. I would imagine that Stevenson is now glad that he listened to his colleague’s advice as the TED audience was so inspired by Stevenson’s presentation they donated $1 million to his charity, despite the fact he never once mentioned money and he also received the longest standing ovation in TED history. 

Looking at presentations like Stevenson’s and drawing on my own experience of working in the Charity Sector as a communicator and story-teller for the last 14 years, my next speaker training course (which will take place in January 2018)  will look – in detail – at the components that make up the perfect presentation.

If you have to speak on behalf of a charity, a business or even within a church, this course is for you!

On Saturday 13th January (10am – 1pm) we will begin to discover some of the key features of  a presentation that will inspire your listeners to step into the story of the organisation that you might be representing or the sermon that you are preaching.

We will open up the fact that authenticity and vulnerability are key traits of the effective communicator and we will look at what it means in practice to present yourself effectively and honestly in order to engage your audience.

We will spend some time focusing on the personal stories we carry that will be important to hold in focus when we present a talk to others.

We will learn that the word ‘WHY’ is actually the starting place when we want to motivate others support  and engagement. A good communicator never manipulates, focusing on ‘WHY’ helps us to inspire. The missing factor in most ineffective communication is humanity.

The use of story will be a dominant theme throughout the day. We will discover that story is the medium that our brains respond to. If we want people to listen to us – to really hear – we need to understand the importance of story.

On Saturday 20th January , (10am – 1pm), we will look at the fact that a good story holds key components. We will unlock what they are and consider how we can learn to tell good stories that help to develop our presentations key messages.

We will learn how to create a story based talk – a presentation that will keep an audience engaged from beginning to end.

And finally, for those who work for charities we will spend some time looking at how to invite our listeners to ‘step into the story’ we have been presenting. How to ‘ask’ them to be involved in the organisation we represent.

 On Saturday 27th January, (10am – 4pm) each participant, taking on board the previous Saturday’s training, will present a 15 minute talk that represents the charity, organisation or church that they work or volunteer for. The aim of this day is to leave with a finely - honed presentation that will be a good template for future talks. You will also leave with the confidence that you know how to speak so that others will listen!

I have 10 spaces available for this training. The cost for the whole course is £275. If you are a volunteer speaker for an organisation and funding the training yourself I would be happy to offer a discount of £50. Also, if you are a student I would be delighted to offer a further discount and if you are unwaged seeking employment, I can offer at least one free space per course.

If you would like to take part, please e-mail me at jenny@jennifercornfield.com. If for any reasons you cannot make one of the dates above an alternative day could be provided in the week. Also, if weekends are a problem I can organise mid-week training sessions or sessions that are bespoke to your team or staff group.


(Description of Bryan Stevenson taken from Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo)








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