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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Work/Business section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • Sunita Sehmi - Walk The Talk
    Founder of Walk The Talk, Sunita has been training, developing and now coaching Business Communication skills in both companies and educational establishments for over twenty years.  She has a passion for helping people to maximise their potential and created Walk The Talk with the sole aim to drive each and every client to perform their best.

  • Claire Doole - Claire Doole Communications

    Claire is a former BBC correspondent and international spokeswoman who is passionate about helping people communicate with confidence. Since 2006, she has successfully trained hundreds of professionals in the art of presenting and public speaking, talking to the media, managing communications in a crisis, and writing for the web. In addition, she has coached C-level executives and public figures to give powerful TEDx and TED style talks in Europe and the Middle East. A Swiss and UK national, Claire trains and coaches in French and English.

  • Robert Harris- Forth Capital
    With over 25 years experience working for some of the major financial institutions in the City of London, Robert is a founding partner of Forth Capital, the leading expat financial advisory company in Switzerland. Regulary quoted in newspaper articles and magazines, he is well placed to advise expats on a variety of financial issues that may arise during their time living in Switzerland.

  • Debbie Croft - Croft Coaching

    As the founder of Croft Coaching, Debbie has a passion for helping people overcome challenges, embrace change and live life to the full; with an ethos of “work hard, play hard”.

  • Samiel Carolina Rodriguez Barros - Dare to Glow

    Samiel’s work is based on a lifetime of studying the feminine. Her personal journey to fully embrace and embody her femininity in an authentic way has taken her from exploring diverse body work techniques to fashion and modelling, to quantum psychology, alternative therapy, energy healing and spiritual South American traditions. She offers women a way to access their unique gifts that enable them to thrive, love openly and to come back to a place of peace, clarity and creativity whenever they need it.

  • Sarah Santacroce - Simplicity
    A certified social media, internet marketing, and virtual event specialist, Sarah enjoys every aspect of small business marketing. Through her own business, Simplicity, it is her mission to help other small businesses and solopreneurs increase their visibility and use social media tools as part of their marketing strategy.
  • MJ Cabanel - MJ Cabanel
    As a personal and executive coach living in Geneva, MJ's passion is helping people unlock their own passions and accompanying them on a personal and professional journey of discovery and self mastery.
     
  • Diana Ritchie - Spouse Career Centre
    A Director at Swiss Career Connections, Diana will provide you with some useful tips for job hunting.

  • Crissy Mueller - Writing that Works
    An expat entrepreneur based in the La Côte region of Lake Geneva, Crissy Mueller is using her writing skills and experience gained in setting up her own business to provide us with a blog offering practical advice on starting your own commercial enterprise.

  • David Cooper - Fund Advisers
    Director of Fund Advisers Europe, David will provide you with the latest financial news and offer some useful tips for managing the financial “issues” in your life.

CDC Gabor the coach
Photo by Deborah Berlinck

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

I know very little about classical music, but I was privileged to have a front row seat to a master class given by Gabor Takacs-Nagy. As I watched Takacs-Nagy in action, I realised much of what he said applied to public speaking – a world I know more about.

Takacs-Nagy, a renowned Hungarian violinist and conductor, is Director of the Verbier festival chamber orchestra. The festival, in the heart of the Alps, runs from 21st July to the 6th August, and is a key event in the classical music calendar.

CDC Verbier inthe mountains

Photo by Deborah Berlinck

So what does playing in public and speaking in public have in common?

Emotion is everything

Being a musician was like an emotional striptease explained Takacs-Nagy to aspiring professional musicians. The remark made the well-heeled audience laugh but resonated with me. Musicians he said needed to go beyond their technical prowess and convey the emotion of the work so that the audience connect emotionally.

It is the same principle in public speaking as Aristotle pointed out some 2500 years ago. If you want to persuade people, you have to not only have logos (facts) and ethos (credibility) but pathos (stirring the audience’s emotions).

The US author Maya Angelou goes even further: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Context is vital

Takacs-Nagy painted a vivid picture of what it was like to be a gypsy musician in the 18th century to help today’s young musicians convey the emotion of Brahm’s piano quartet number 1 in G minor, which is inspired by gypsy music.

A Masterclass by the Director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra from Claire Doole Communications on Vimeo.

If you are speaking in public the most effective way of getting a message across is to tell a personal story or anecdote. In both cases you need to explain the context – what is happening, where and when to whom, so that people care about the characters and the situation they find themselves in.

Show don’t tell

Tackacs-Nagy often picked up the violin and showed what he meant. He said he hadn’t played for many years so it was not about him showing off but helping the musicians hear what he meant.

In public speaking, it can be more powerful to describe a situation and let the audience form their own opinion, rather than telling them what to think. People in the professional world are often reluctant to show emotions as this can be seen as a sign of vulnerability. When I ask someone to share a personal story, I always share one first.

Light and shade

Too much emotion or too much of the same emotion is counterproductive as it will turn the audience off. Using the analogy of Da Vinci’s most famous painting, Tackacs-Nagy told the pianist playing Mozart’s piano quarter number 1 in G minor that he should see himself at certain moments more as the backdrop to the violinist’s Mona Lisa.

In public speaking it is vital that the speaker varies the emotional range – moving from “levitas” to “gravitas” to keep the audience interested, changing tone according to the message they are giving.

CDC Gabor demonstrating 2
Photo by Deborah Berlinck

The Master Coach

As a media/public speaking coach, I know how important it is to have good intent when helping people through transformational change. Earlier this year, I went on a course where the sole intent of the trainer – a doyenne in the acting world – seemed to be to knock our confidence.

How refreshing to see in the equally competitive world of classical music, a coach whose constructive approach helped the musicians reach new heights of excellence, even to my untrained ear.

CDC Gabor in full flow 3
Photo by Deborah Berlinck

Author's bio

clairedooleportrait 200Claire is a former BBC correspondent and international spokeswoman who is passionate about helping people communicate with confidence. Since 2006, she has successfully trained hundreds of professionals in the art of presenting and public speaking, talking to the media, managing communications in a crisis, and writing for the web. In addition, she has coached C-level executives and public figures to give powerful TEDx and TED style talks in Europe and the Middle East. A Swiss and UK national, Claire trains and coaches in French and English.

Claire is also a highly experienced moderator having facilitated panel discussions with government ministers, NGO activists, humanitarians and human rights specialists at major events.

www.doolecommunications.com

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Fleur Heyworth 2

Fleur Heyworth began her professional career as a Barrister and spent 5 years advocating in court, representing government and private clients in family law proceedings. She also worked with NGOs during UPR sessions and drafted recommendations.  She organised a number of events hosted by Ministers and Ambassadors, including one on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Disasters and Emergencies, and another 'Gender Equality: what will you do?'.

Most recently, Fleur was Impact Director for Women@theTable and worked closely with the International Gender Champions.  She engaged male and female leaders as role models for change and had a particular focus on Change Management: promoting a culture of inclusion and diversity and addressing perceptions, biases and structural barriers within organisations.  Fleur has a Geography Degree from Cambridge University, and took her post-graduate studies in law at Nottingham Law School.

1.     Tell us about yourself.  I grew up near Manchester in the UK as the eldest sibling of 2 brothers.  I have always been keen on sport and community activities, and met my husband on the hockey pitch.  I began my professional career as a Barrister, specializing in family law, notably child protection and domestic violence.  My husband and I have 2 children aged 5 and 6 and we relocated to Geneva three years ago.  We love the outdoors lifestyle here and the fact that our children have become bilingual – although we are sad to say we cannot keep up with them!

British PM Theresa May 500
Photo credit ©BBC Newsight

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

It amazes me that politicians still think they can get away with not answering the question during media interviews. Who are they hiring for media training? Certainly not me!

The web is full of examples of what not to do during a media interview. In my trainings I use an example of a Blackberry executive who is so on message but completely fails to hear the question.

Watch this as an example of a car-crash interview on BBC Breakfast News.

Sunita Sehmi copy

Earlier this year, you may recall I interviewed Ms Aradana Sethi, author of the book "The Entrepreneur's Wife: A Survival Guide".

Aradana ia also a writer for Namaste Switzerland, an online magazine for Indian residents in Switzerland or those who are Indian at heart.

It was in this capacity that she asked if she could interview me to write an article for the site.

Since I am always interviewing others for knowitall.ch, I thought her article might prove an interesting topic for this month's blog, so you can find out more about me, and see "where I am coming from".

Her article is reproduced in full below. I hope you enjoy it!

Walking her talk by Aradhna Sethi

“Don’t stop yourself from doing something because of the fear of failure,” says London-born Sunita Sehmi, who has made Geneva her home in 1992. Read more about her story.

“I was born in London in the sixties. My parents were Punjabi immigrants who left India for the UK, hoping for a better life and better days ahead. Having seen the partition in India, they were consumed by the struggle for economic survival, hence the move to London in the 1950s, where economic and financial stability were assured,” says a very elegant Sunita Sehmi.

CDC 72 artist and flu vaccine

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

One of the golden rules of moderating is that the moderator does not have a view. Your role is to remain neutral and stimulate discussion so that the audience is engaged, learns something new and ideally changes behaviour or takes action afterwards.

However, once my job was over, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) asked me to reflect on my experience of moderating two panel discussions at their event marking World Immunization Week.

The theme of the symposium was flu vaccines part of the solution for a healthier and more productive society. It is a challenging theme – perhaps not as immediately gripping as the panel discussion the day after on shortages and supply. As I know from my background as a BBC correspondent and PR professional, it is easier to sell problems than solutions.