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MASTERCLASSES & conference presentations

Working with larger groups, our masterclasses are by definition less interactive, although here, too, we welcome questions and discussion. They are ideal for evening (or lunchtime) events, and also work well within a conference setting. Lasting between 45 minutes and 2 hours (as required), they provide intensive, ‘bite-sized’ learning opportunities. Group size is unlimited.

The Innovation Effect

How networks foster innovation and creativity

In today’s challenging climate, it has never been more important to stay ahead of the game. The recipe for successful innovation demands many ingredients, in just the right quantity and quality. This masterclass unravels one of those ingredients – the power of networks.

If you need to boost the innovation capacity of your people or your organisation, harnessing the innovative strength of networks is a good place to begin. This masterclass explains the social origins of good ideas… elucidates the thinking behind the gay concentration index… helps you to recognise connectors and bottlenecks…and demonstrates why trust matters.

There is some overlap between this masterclass and ‘The Network Advantage’.

Crafting Elevator Pitches

Ways to make people want to talk to you

All too many of us either resort to clichés or get tongue-tied when asked that ubiquitous question: “And what do you do?” If you’re going to get people on your side, you need to be able to give a good account of yourself. The right body language helps – but so do carefully chosen words. As any actor will tell you, spontaneity and sincerity both demand a lot of effort.

This masterclass looks at the anatomy of a good introduction, and then works with participants to construct their own story (or stories), so that they come across as interesting, engaging and, put simply, worth talking to.

The Network Advantage

How networks really work

We all know that networking is crucial. But do you still regard it as an ‘optional extra’? Do you go to events, conferences or parties and routinely come back with new opportunities? And can you always find the right man (or woman) for the job, no matter how specialised the task?

If you understand how networks really work, you’ll be able to capitalise on your communication skills so that you don’t waste opportunities or, worse still, don’t even recognise them. So, if you’d like to be able to turn a handful of business cards into something more valuable than wood pulp, you’ll find this masterclass useful. You’ll learn an interesting fact of life from a telephone directory… find out what chain letters can teach us… consult the Oracle of Bacon… explore the paradox of the strength of weak ties… and find out why lumpy porridge is so good for you!

Face to Face

A practical guide to active networking

Networking is a key door opener to new possibilities and new opportunities, both personal and professional, yet many of us find the process daunting and difficult – and if we find something difficult, we tend to avoid it!

This masterclass focuses on the practicalities of face-to-face interaction. It ‘unravels’ the typical flow of networking events, and provides practical tips for breaking into groups, building rapport and, of course, making a diplomatic exit. So if you’re not always at ease walking into a room full of strangers, or would like to create a better impression when meeting people for the first time, this practical session will boost your personal toolkit.

The masterclass can follow on from ‘The Network Advantage’ or stand alone

Pleased to meet you

The power of first impressions

With so much communication being non-verbal, how we do and say things is often under-valued. Whether you’re making a new contact, entering into a negotiation, establishing your position in a hierarchy or simply trying to get along with colleagues, an appreciation of the importance of non-verbal communication is an essential element of the manager’s toolkit.

This masterclass takes a close look at the ‘vocabulary’ of this non-verbal communication and how it affects that all important first impression. The subjects discussed range from eye contact (how much? how long? how direct?) to handshakes (one hand or two? how firm? how long?). We also look at the space bubble, show you a simple way to create rapport, and suggest why Margaret Thatcher’s voice changed so dramatically as she rose to power!


If we can’t beat them, do we have to join them?

It is a commonplace that networking is crucial to our professional lives. It is also a cliché that many decisions are taken on the golf course or at the bar. Can women reconcile these two apparently irreconcilable facts? Must we try to beat men at their own game or can we alter the rules to suit ourselves?

During this session, we’ll consider the whys and hows of networking, with special reference to the issues faced by women. We look at glass ceilings by way of grass ceilings, dismiss the old boys’ network in favour of the new girls’ network, and examine the contrasting approaches of the hunter and the gatherer to harnessing the power of the network.

There is some overlap between this masterclass and ‘The Network Advantage’

Guidance in a global world

Navigating the cross cultural minefield

One might be forgiven for thinking that, in a globalised world, we all refer to a similar set of cultural norms. Nothing could be further from the truth: the global village is, in fact, made up of many many different villages, and in each one, people do things differently. They also think different things, and believe different things.

Even if you don’t plan to leave the UK, you still need to boost your cultural intelligence quotient. Finding a safe path through those differences isn’t easy – and while it simply isn’t possible to provide an answer for every cultural dilemma, we’ll provide enough insight to help you avoid making the most obvious mistakes. And if you go wrong, we’ll consider ways of putting things right, and defusing potentially awkward situations.

Person to Person

Speed networking event

A well-organised speed networking event provides an opportunity for people to make new contacts in a structured and unthreatening environment. Within organisations, staff often develop a siege mentality and confine their relationships to their own department, location or profession. Similarly, students and alumni can be hesitant about opening conversations with strangers.
Loosely based on the concept behind speed dating, speed networking can help to overcome these divides in a practical – and fun – way.

The exact format is flexible, but usually involves allocating pairs of strangers or acquaintances a few minutes to exchange introductions before they are required to change partners. The moderator introduces and wraps up the event. It is also possible to introduce a (real or virtual) Wall Of Requests on which participants can post appeals for help, advice, information or introductions so that the benefits of networking can continue after the meeting ends.

Person to Person can stand alone, or serve as an interactive and practical follow-on to another masterclass.



A guide to making – and keeping – the connections that make your, our and everyone else’s world go round.

The book walks you through everything you need to know about connecting with other people.

Judith and Tony’s goal in the book is to get away from the manipulative ‘working a room’ concept of networking. Instead, they use the results of research into human interactions coupled with real case studies to justify the hints, tips and suggestions they propose.


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