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18th May, 2012

The Art of Blogging
by Sarah Beckwith on May 18, 2012 20:19


One of the most important elements of a blog post is...

...a catchy title and/or opening sentence! These will pique the reader's interest and make them more likely to click through to read the post.

This is especially important for blogs (and events) on the JCI London website, where it is the title of the blog post and first sentence which appears on the home page.

Top Tip - if the blog is by a guest blogger who won't be posting themselves, put the "by member's name" at the bottom of the post, otherwise this is the only thing seen on the front page of the website. Likewise don't just repeat the title of the post.


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16th May, 2012

Interview with Simon Bucknall - 2012 President of JCI London
by Simon James Bucknall on May 16, 2012 13:37


This week, we caught up with our current Chamber President, Simon Bucknall. What's his JCI story - and current perspective on membership and what it can offer?

How did you first hear about JCI?Council team » Simon - coach.jpg

JCI found me! Back in late 2007, I had had some success in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Tina Strack, President of JCI London at the time, got in touch and invited me in to run some public speaking workshops for the Council. It wasn't long before I joined - and I've never looked back!

What do you feel is the biggest benefit of being a member of JCI?

OPPORTUNITIES! We're living through perhaps the toughest job market in a generation. Economic malaise is rife and there are countless thousands of young people out there with so much to offer... but in need of opportunities through which to do so.

Unless you've secured an internship with literally your dream organisation, JCI membership beats unpaid internships any day. Why? Not because you get paid here - you don't. None of us do - not even the President! But because the opportunity for you to make things happen are limitless - and all within a safe environment. You have complete flexibility and scope to use your initiative, while all the time working with like-minded ambitious young people from across a wide range of professional backgrounds.

If you want project management experience... you can help organise speaker events in business and in training. If you want to build an international network... you can connect with a global JCI network of more than 170,000 young professionals (last weekend saw JCI Berne in Switzerland host 'European Capitals Meeting'). Next month, JCI Braunschweig in Germany will host JCI European Conference - and it'll be HUGE). Equally, if you want to gain confidence in the public speaking... you can join our newly launched public speaking club. Simply make new friends and have fun... come to our regular socials.  I could go on!

We get the idea! Sounds like you feel quite strongly about this?!

You bet. What baffles me is why there aren't more young people approaching us and seizing these opportunities! Of course, as a chamber, we take responsibility for part of that - it's up to us to get the message out there more; to hammer away at social media, blogs like this, via email, eNewsletters, calling friends, text messages and the rest. But we have events running pretty much every single week - and we're not hard to find on google! The need out there is so strong... So, if you're reading this and know someone who's in search of practical skills and experience, get in contact! I'll give you my email at the end...

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How has JCI membership benefited your career?

in countless ways. I'm a professional speaker and have been running my own business since August 2008 (great timing, huh?) My first corporate client was Shell plc... would never have happened without JCI. One of my (now) closest colleagues is Richard Mullender, former hostage negotiator from Scotland Yard. Would never have met him... without JCI. I've had the opportunity to speak to audiences in India, Finland, Denmark and Japan. would never have happened... without... well, you get the idea. Honestly, and I really mean this, JCI has been a massively positive influence on me and my business in so many ways.

Are you saying that you have to become President in order to reap the benefits?

Not at all! None of the above personal benefits have had anything to do with being President. I was first introduced to Richard through JCI more than four years ago! Like anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get back. But even if you were simply to attend, say, a couple of events a month, the rewards you reap would be huge. They really would.

But you have to make a commitment - you have to invest in your own success.

But if you do that, you'll hear from quality speakers like Vivi Friedgut (former Private Banker and now personal finance expert at Black Bullion) or Delfin Vassallo (Social Media Ops Manager at Nokia) or Lee Warren and James Harwood from InvisibleTraining. i met Lee after the first event in their 'Business Magic@Work Series' (run specially for JCI London) He's a serious, serious expert at what he does - he's got testimonials from Prince William for goodness sake! Nowhere else would you get access to this level of expertise - unless you're prepared to fork out an absolute fortune. Deep breath... so, there you go. Hope that answers your question!

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Uhm... yup! So what's your top tip for readers of this article?

If you're a JCI member, deicde to commit. Now. How? By registering for an event - any event! - right away. If you're reading this article before 6pm on Thursday 17th May, then come to our Social Media workshop with Delfin. How can anyone serious about business NOT be interested in mastering social media? I know I am! Book your ticket and come along. This year's programme is packed with value - we'd hate you to miss it. If next week, then how about Meet The Members? Or Business Magic 2? Here's the link to all upcoming events...

If you're new to JCI, then we'd love to see you at an event, also! But you may prefer first to take a look around the website - have a read and if you like what you see, drop me a line. Also you can check out our facebook page if you haven't done so already... 

Finally, if you think any of this stuff could be of benefit to someone you know, then please forward this article to them - or forward the link. Too many young people are suffering from a lack of quality opportunities in this current climate. Maybe JCI can help?

And money needn't be an issue - in fact, at 7pm on Wednesday 23rd May 2012, we'll be hosting the second in event in our 'Meet The Members Series'. Informal social in the City - all are welcome; tickets are free. you even get a free drink! Now how's that for a bargain...?

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Simon Bucknall is the 2012 President of JCI London.

His email is

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14th May, 2012

The City of London Needs Your Help!!!
by Soraya Bowen on May 14, 2012 07:53


Guest blog: Emma Plouviez from City.COM who is supporting the community team 

The City of London has under 10,000 residents – which is about the same population as one ward in any other London local authority. The majority live in the Barbican area, in the two famous architectural landmarks of the Barbican Estate and Golden Lane Estate. The other population concentration  is in the east of the City, around Aldgate, at the Middlesex St and Mansell St estates.

People living in the City are generally happy to live there, happy with the services and resources that are available to them, and feel well-supported by the City of London Corporation – and this is perhaps also a reflection of the fact that they are generally  not economically deprived and can expect continuing good health . However, as in any urban community, there are homeless and  marginalised people; there are lonely, isolated and unwell people. And in the east of the City, there is a concentration of  poverty and ill-health in Portsoken Ward which places it in the top 25% most deprived areas (‘lower layer super-output area’ as defined by the Office for National Statistics).

The City of London also takes seriously its responsibility for those less-well off communities which surround it. The City Fringe Partnership (CFP) was established as an economic development and regeneration partnership in 1996. Set up by the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,  it was soon joined by Hackney and Islington and Camden.  The CFP's principal objectives were to increase economic growth and social inclusion in the area to the north and east of the City of London, which includes some of the most deprived communities in the country.


Blog » Community » Lord Mayor in 2011, Alderman Sir Michael Bear, at the launch of the Portsoken Community Centre in June 2011.jpg

2011 Lord Mayor Sir Michael Bear at the launch of the Portsoken Community Center in June 2011

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5th May, 2012

JCI UK confirms 2012 Deputy National President - Emma Eastwood
by Simon James Bucknall on May 5, 2012 12:48


At JCI UK Presidents & Deputies Day in Southampton on Saturday 28th May, Emma Eastwood was confirmed as Deputy National President for 2012. This means Emma is now National President-elect for 2013.

Congratulations Emma!

On a personal note, I've known Emma for a number of years - and feel hugely positive about 2013. If you've ever met Emma, you'll know that she has energy a go-go! Really exciting...

Emma said a few words by way of acceptance at the weekend event - which you can view by clicking here...!

Onwards and upwards!

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4th May, 2012

Public Speaking Club
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on May 4, 2012 09:15


A couple of years ago, I heard that the thought of speaking in public are amongst the top fears for humans, just right after death... that is pretty telling and this is one of the reasons why I decided to do something to improve that skill.

Blog » Training » Public Speaking Launch.jpg

Many of us probably have countless experiences of preparing an executive report and having to get up in front of our colleagues or friends, present our ideas and findings, often with PowerPoint slides, wishing to be somewhere else... and simply hoping to get to the end of the presentation without losing anyone, no one sleeping or snoring, asking the wrong question or simply stating 'they heard it all before and the presentation was useless'... Sound familiar?

Now, who also recalls the scene with Colin Firth in the King's Speech, when his mentor leaves him alone in front of the radio microphone to deliver his crucial message to the nation and the King is utterly incapable of muttering a single word for a few seconds, yet the whole nation was waiting for the King to speak and guide them through these difficult times? I am sure many of us felt for this monarch and were somewhat relieved we were not in his position, although one can recall being totally petrified at the beginning of his/her speech during the latest company meeting.

Of course, very few of us have the good fortune of having a personal coach or mentor like the King. However, the good news is the solution is one click away: many of us have access to free or very affordable JCI events like the public speaking event on Wednesday 26th April that could help us practice and improve without the fear of appearing ridiculous in front of our peers and quite frankly too shy to even try. They say the first step is the hardest and it is also true for public speaking. Signing up and attending your first event takes a bit of an effort but I promise everything after that is worth your initial worry and personally rewarding.

There is a key element of the Public Speaking Club: practicing in a safe environment. By safe, I mean the physical environment (yes the London Chamber of Commerce is a good venue for anyone new in the city and to the JCI organisation) and also the audience: knowing that almost everyone was there for the same purpose, albeit not at the same starting point, is quite reassuring. You would think two hours for a first meeting is quite a lot but time flies quickly and the session was very interactive. You get to meet and learn from people with different backgrounds and cultures. Best of all, we had the benefit of meeting a professional speaker, JCI London President Simon Bucknall.

Simon provided us with useful tips and advice. So for your next meeting (yes I am sure more of us will take the opportunity to join the meeting next time), remember to focus on the audience, not you, it is all about them. If you are attending as an observer, you may be asked to give some feedback so keep these acronyms in mind: "C.R.C." , Commend, Recommend and Commend again.

As Mihai said while mentioning 'the richest man in Babylon':  don't wait, don't put it off and start today, even with a small step. If you are serious about improving this essential communication skill, come to the next meeting on 30th May and check out the Toastmasters International website to practice at a club in the meantime.

Go on, click on the link and start your journey to a better communication!'

Written by Sandra Goetz



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26th Apr, 2012

World leading expert on persuasion, member of the magic circle and writer for the Royal Opera House: Lee Warren, one half of Invisible Training with James Harwood, taught us how to persuade anyone to do anything.

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Well, by his own admission he could not expect the sharp-witted JCI audience to believe that. Instead, he delivered an evening of applicable, real-world techniques through entertaining anecdotes, relevant tips, a memorable ‘ham pie’ acronym and the occasional magic trick.

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Before you move on from reading the rest of this blog entry, just do one thing for me – think of a time when you just could not get what you wanted. Think of the different strategies you employed, the people you approached and the mental effort in attempting to get your result.

What went wrong? It can seem such a psychological and political minefield. At this event I learnt that the ways and means of persuasion are, far from being manipulative or brain-washing, so simple that they really could lay claim to having some magical quality.

Afterwards I heard comments amongst the audience like ‘wasn’t that useful’, ‘some great tips’ and ‘I can apply this immediately’ – as could you. Invisible training will be presenting No. 2 in the Business Magic Series on the 22nd May. JCI will benefit from another attendee and you will undoubtedly be left with the same unforgettable impression that this event left with me.

Have I persuaded you?

Anyone who attended the session will recognise the four steps that Lee sprinkled into our minds – I’m credible; I’m fallible; work with me on this; a mutually beneficial outcome.

He convinced us of his authority and the rarity of his pearls of wisdom; he told us the weakness of his strategies just before their compelling strengths; he engaged that little bit of commitment from us by offering the session reading in return for our email addresses: the dark art of persuasion or practical steps? Either way it certainly worked on me.

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Maybe in a few days the thrill of new learning will fade and the key points forgotten, but the fact remains: what better session to attend than one where it is so enjoyable to be persuaded.

See you at the next Business Magic event.

Written by Julianne Ezra (Guest Attendee)


Gripping scene of tension, engrossed in the art of persuasion.

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24th Apr, 2012

Personal Branding from the Inside Out Workshop
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on April 24, 2012 11:04


Personal Branding from the Inside Out Workshop

Written by Trang Tran, JCI London member 

JCI events always provide me with a lot of essential knowledge and skills for my work. In the latest event, it was really useful for me and other participants to learn about Personal Branding. The event was co-presented by two well-known speakers - Malcolm Levene and Jorgen Sundberg. Hence, it did draw a lot of attention from both JCI members and external ones.

The seminar room was full of people when I arrived. It was started by the introduction of Malcolm and Jorgen about their experience. I was really impressed when listening to their broad and wide experience. Malcolm - a previous Personal Branding coach to Tony Blair and adviser to the Head of Production at the White House - has been a Personal Branding coach for 20 years. At the same time, Jorgen - a social media and branding specialist - helps position people for career and business success via Outer Personal Branding. With such a deep experience, they gave us a very profound picture of personal branding and practical suggestions on how to build our own brands.

The event was integrated with many interactive activities which enabled us to develop and position ourselves on our own brands. In the first session, we started by exploring structures and definition of Personal Branding Statement which represent ourselves in the public. Then Malcolm went through all inner and outer brands to make us understand the important components of our reputation. Followed up in the second session, Jorgen gave advice on how to use social media to develop and position the brand, specifically on Twitter and Linkedin. Some measurement tools of personal brands were also recommended. The talk was very well-structured, allowing us to easily remember all the necessary tactics and put them into practise right away. Although it was only for 2 hours I did learn a lot about my personal brand, and I believe most of us there did come up with our own personal branding statements in the end.  Finally, the most important thing I learnt from Malcolm and Jorgen is: "Be Yourself - everyone else is already taken"

Some participants also shared their thoughts about the Personal Branding event:

Rafael (Development Manager, MKG Hospitality): "It was a very interesting presentation with a lot of food for thoughts. It made me think that maybe it is useful for an individual to do as some companies do to build a brand. I think what they said about the fact that if we don't build a brand for ourselves the world will build it for us is true. It encouraged me to go and read some books about EQ. It encouraged me as well to get more involved in social media like for example Google + and Tweeter".

Alexandra (freelancer): "Great presentation, very informative and thorough, left me with the idea that if you want to succeed- become a brand manager of yourself."

For those who attended the event, you can download their presentation here:

If you have missed the event, no worries! Malcolm and Jorgen have their upcoming workshop listed at They also have a gift for JCI members. If you tap in the discount code 'jcilondon', you would get a 20% discount of the full price. You can't get much better than that!

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19th Apr, 2012

Community Team SOS: Cast off your workwear!!
by Soraya Bowen on April 19, 2012 18:34


Guest blog from Katherine Sparkes

JCI Member Katherine Sparkes wants your old suits to help transform lives!!!

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Katherine Sparkes with some very nice suits

These days, looking good is half the battle when going for a job interview and most of us will spend hours, if not days, before meeting a potential employer trying to decide on the perfect outfit. We want to look professional and stylish and it’s not unusual for job-seekers to buy a special suit just for the interview. But if you’re homeless or disadvantaged in some way and simply can’t afford a new outfit, how can you make sure you look the part?
Now in its second year, The Suit Amnesty, run by Katherine's CSR consultancy, Flamingo (, has been designed to directly tackle this issue. It calls on people right across the country to donate their unwanted workwear and last year's campaign received more than 2,000 suits in response. This incredible generosity even extended to designer items, and celebrities including Gary and Danielle Lineker got involved too.

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Katherine and Louise busying sorting out the suits  (Left :Gemma, Right:Katherine)

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15th Apr, 2012

JCI Citizen United Across the World
by Soraya Bowen on April 15, 2012 19:10


The best thing about JCI London is we also have international Jaycees joining. This blog is from Omotola Kukoyi JCI Festac Vice President about our attending our first joint business and community meeting

I've always wondered if the international opportunity of networking in JCI is all about. I had only experienced this at  area conferences and world congress, until my visit to London. Where I attended JCI London community/business meeting at the London Chamber of Commerce. My first contact was Soraya Bowen whom I saw her post online about the forthcoming JCI London business meeting. I emailed her stating that I'm a member of JCI Festac, Nigeria and would love to attend.

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Intense discussions between community and business team 

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15th Apr, 2012

How to manage conflict at workplace
by Alekhya Mukherji on April 15, 2012 14:43



It is a fact of life that most people in their working lives have had to face some kind of conflict situation. It is also a fact that most of us don't know how to deal with these situations and try to avoid it as much as possible.

The conflict resolution workshop with Jai and Louise from Lambeth Mediation Center highlighted that not only is it costly for businesses but also stressful on a personal level to deal with conflicts. But on a positive note it can be a key skill in the workplace that can enhance your career!

We engaged in many practical exercises understanding how people have differences in perception or have different work manners (organized vs spontaneous) that can lead to underlying conflict situations. We also discussed how it is difficult for managers in a work environment to be impartial and sometimes it may be better to bring in a mediator to resolve conflicts more efficiently. Overall a great experience to be more aware of conflict situations and learning about the right skills to face these situations head-on.


Events » Business events » Conflict Management photo2.jpg  Events » Business events » Conflict Management photo1.jpg


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