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21st Jul, 2014

Take the lead, have fun and achieve!
by Soraya Bowen on July 21, 2014 11:17


By Adeola Akintimehin

I'm on my way home after one of my most interesting evenings I have had in JCI, I'm not sure how Soraya and Rafael managed to fit everything into the session but it was a fantastic event.

In traditional JCI London style the event was both educational and interactive The event began with an introduction to JCI, its history, its core beliefs and some interesting facts. I was amazed to find out JCI has over 200,00 members in over 100 countries.


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Rafael Tselikas JCI London Training Director

Next up Soraya the current JCI London Deputy President told us her story. She has had the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, travel to different countries and meet Tim Campbell(MBE) the first winner of the TV show The Apprentice.


Then came the interactive part, a series of leadership quotes were placed all around the room and we were asked to stand next to one we felt most defined our idea of good leadership, all the quotes were impressive but we you could only choose one and then share with the group our thoughts and experiences on leadership.

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Andy sharing his leadership thoughts

Finally we went thru all the various positions on the partnership which all members will be encouraged to put themselves forward for when the board elections come up later this year. You will be interested to know that you don't necessarily need to have the experience for a particular partnership role just a passion for whatever it is you want to do.
Don't despair if you couldn't make it to this event as this is the first of a series of events covering the leadership roles in JCI London. Keep your eyes open for more events coming up soon, where you can learn all about how JCI London can help you develop your leadership skills

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26th Jul, 2012

Public Speaking Club
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on July 26, 2012 14:03


"There have always been great public speakers and great public speeches in our societies – from the great Greek and Latin philosophers to the modern political activists and visionaries. And despite the fact that ideas and styles may have changed in time, there has always been one common ground – the audience and the need to address the audience in an inspiring, convincing way that can touch them and make them share our ideas in order to make a change for the better around us.

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And how can we actually do that? On Wednesday evening, one of the greatest public speakers in the UK Simon Bucknall shared his ideas in a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All presentations, no matter the topic, are in fact conversations between you, the speaker, and your audience, Simon told us. And the more you shift towards your audience looked upon as an interlocutor, the better.

And what exactly does your audience need? Well, they need good rapport, a roadmap to see where you take them and most importantly they need to see a purpose, a goal. Once the public speaker manages to build these three elements, the road to success is almost guaranteed.

However, what I do believe is missing from this triangle is its very centre, which is the honest belief and passion for what you are putting across – and on Wednesday 18th July at the London Chamber of Commerce, I could see passionate speakers talking from their hearts about the things that touched their lives in such meaningful ways

Thank you so much for sharing! Thank you so much for the opportunity, JCI London Training Team!

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By Roxana Pascariu

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24th May, 2012

'Financial Fitness' with Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion
by Simon James Bucknall on May 24, 2012 10:49


JCI London members were treated to some expert advice on personal finance, recently, by guest speaker Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion. Previously in Private Banking, vivi has expertise managing the wealth of some of the world's wealthiest people. She has now turned her hand to promoting greater financial literacy among young people in the UK. In the current economic climate, what hotter topic could there be than managing personal finance?

Click below to view a brief video interview with Vivi, conducted by JCI London President, Simon Bucknall.

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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.

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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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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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6th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy-part 2
by Soraya Bowen on March 6, 2012 19:35


Kathryn's story continue.......

Sunday morning at 9am isn’t a slot I would envy the speaker. I’d expected a slow, gentle start to the second day, to ease us in, but that’s not what we got. Local businesswoman, social media coach and motivational speaker Kym Hall, came and fired us up for the day in addition to delivering a fantastic training on harnessing the power of social media, focusing particularly on Twitter.  

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Social media session with local business women Social Media Kym

I’d always avoided it myself, uncertain about the platform’s etiquette or whether I would even have anything interesting to say. Kym talk about her tips and experiences was a real highlight of the weekend, leaving us all feeling energised, and me in particular inspired to start putting her advice into action. Although I’m still just a baby chick, my Twitter confidence is growing daily and I hope soon to spread my wings even further! Current JCI National President Solveig Malvik also very kindly came to train us on how to manage and edit the JCI website: a vital tool for any would-be local (or national) JCI Marketing Directors. The final session was on measuring the impact of your communications and marketing activities – after all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The most important lesson I took away was to try things out, and if something’s not working, stop doing it. The more I thought about it on the way home, I realised this was good advice for life, not just for marketing!

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5th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy - part 1
by Soraya Bowen on March 5, 2012 13:06


Read Kathryn Kneller account on attending her first national training event:

Bright and early on the first sunny Saturday of spring, 19 JCI members from up and down the country met in Sheffield for the JCI Marketing Academy course. Some were already professional communicators; others had marketing roles within JCI; still others were entrepreneurs keen to improve their skills: all were keen to learn how to market our products, services and brands more successfully. The weekend agenda was jam-packed, and I’ll admit to having my doubts about whether such an ambitious schedule could do more than scratch the surface.

But the mix of classroom-based teaching, round-table discussions, and practical exercises over the weekend, led by JCI Marketing and Communications Directors Kate Senter and Claire Evans was incredibly effective. The first session, on generating effective PR, was full of useful tips and takeaways on subjects from writing style, to good photography, to cultivating relationships with journalists and editors. We learned how to write a press release which gets read, makes it onto the pages of the publications your target market is actually reading; and, crucially, which generates the kind of buzz you want.

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16th Nov, 2011

And the winner is...
by Sarah Beckwith on November 16, 2011 23:27


Improving confidence in presentation skills is one of the core opportunities on offer through JCI. And what better way to improve than to take part in the JCI London Public Speaking competition?

Blog » Training » Vamsi.jpgTonight we heard three JCI London members deliver 7 minute speeches on the topics of:

* How can JCI UK members prevent a reoccurrence of the riots we saw earlier this year?
* If I could meet one person from history it would be......
* Will the 2012 London Olympics be a positive thing for the whole of the UK?

Well done to Vamsi Majety, Sophie Gill and Alexandra Illsley, who each delivered a different, interesting and fun speech.

 Blog » Training » Sophie.jpgBlog » Training » Alex.jpg

Big thanks go to Training Director Saket Modi for organising the event, fellow judges Joe Dilger and Marco van den Heuvel and MC Simon Bucknall, who had also held a private masterclass for the participants last week.

And the winner is...Alexandra Illsley. Alex will now go on to compete in the JCI UK National Public Speaking Competition at the National Convention in Sheffield next weekend (there's still time to book if you want to come along for what promises to be a great weekend).

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14th Nov, 2011

JCI Achieve - Learning to Create a Vibrant Local Chapter!
by Sarah Beckwith on November 14, 2011 09:02


Blog » Training » Achieve.jpgWe were all sitting excited at St. Mary's Community Centre in Kent Street, East London, on a Saturday morning in early October ... and we were not disappointed. The JCI Achieve course, which was organised by JCI London on 1st October 2011 from 9 am to 6 pm, was definitely not only a useful learning event packed with information but also an inspirational treat. The course was facilitated by Margaretha Eriksson as Head Trainer -- a JCI Senator from JCI Sweden -- and by our very own Solveig Malvik as her Assistant Trainer. Attendees were mainly from JCI London, but JCI Reading was also represented.

JCI Achieve is an official JCI course intended for those who want to know more about the dynamics of a local JCI chapter. The course makes use of discussions and case studies with which the participants can explore what JCI really does and how. The course can be thought of as a 'pair' of JCI Admin, whereby the attendees learn the 'nuts and bolts' of the administration and governance of a JCI chapter; on JCI Achieve, they can then learn about the 'branding' and ideas involved, and how to attract active members and keep them motivated to achieve.

At the event on 1st October, we participants reflected on the identity of a JCI chapter and discussed the purposes that such a local organisation can have, all related to the mission and vision of the worldwide Junior Chamber International. We considered the characteristics of today's demographic groups, and how young people of today can best fulfil the JCI mission and make a difference in their local communities whilst making best use of the learning opportunities provided by JCI.

Blog » Training » Achieve II.jpgMargaretha and Solveig were excellent trainers who made the day interesting by encouraging splendid, in-depth discussions. The group was very international in its composition, which made the exchange of ideas and experiences particularly interesting. The best parts of the day were the numerous 'mini-presentations' given by the attendees in groups and pairs; it was good to explore and express ideas both in words and in creative flipchart drawings!

All in all, JCI Achieve was a great learning experience and definitely to be recommended to all members of JCI who want to understand more fully the identity and purpose of JCI as well as all those ways of building of an attractive, versatile, motivational and functional local JCI organisation.

By Anne Craven, Regional Group Chairman for JCI UK Southern Region

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19th Oct, 2011

JCI Training - demystified
by Solveig Malvik on October 19, 2011 21:44


If you had told me, when I joined JCI London in 2008, that I would become a JCI Trainer traveling the world giving training courses and becoming as passionate about training as I have become, I would have looked at you as if you came from outer space (that goes for a lot of things I've done through JCI btw, but that's for other blog posts).

First of all, the JCI Trainer courses are not only for those that aspire to become trainers.

The first course on the training ladder, JCI Presenter, is for anyone who wants to learn more about presenting and being more confident when speaking in front of people. People pay buckets of money for these kind of courses from private providers and through JCI you get a brilliant course for next to nothing. And there's no doubt learning presentation skills will benefit your career. If you can talk about topics confidently, present your arguments without faltering, you stand better chances to be promoted and noticed positively in your job.

The second course, JCI Trainer, is for those who have graduated from JCI Presenter. Again you do not have to want to be a trainer in order to benefit from JCI Trainer. JCI Trainer is great for anyone who want to learn more about how to present things, how to structure a presentation so that it makes sense, how to work with different personality types and how these different personality types take in information. It's a two day course, very interactive and lots of fun.

Start with a friend
After graduating from JCI Trainer you can start giving training courses yourself. There's many ways to do this. I started working with a friend, Sarah Beckwith, and we developed a couple of courses together. Starting out with a friend is great as you don't have to stand there all on your own, you have someone to feed back on your training ideas and you learn and grow together .JCI London also offer Train the Trainer evenings where you can learn and meet other trainers.

Choose a passion!
When it comes to choosing what to train, there's so many options its hard to choose. Though the techniques we learn as JCI trainers makes us able to train any course, in reality it is good to pick a topic you have knowledge about, feel confident in and can speak freely about. JCI has a number of ready made training courses with manuals and slides all waiting for you. Its a good idea to start out with one of those to get a feeling for how a training course is structured and to get some experience.

Read! Study!
If you want to really become a trainer, nothing beats going to other trainers' sessions and seeing how they do things. Use your time smartly at World Congress and European Conference to see the ITFs (International Training Fellow) and IGs (International Graduates) do their courses and learn from what they do. Take notes. What did you enjoy and what did you not enjoy?

There are also a lot of books out there with good tips and advice. I particularly favour a book called "The Trainer's Toolkit", but there are also many free resources online for things like ice breakers, time outs and more.

Get hours!
To advance in the JCI training system you need to count your hours, and log your hours on the website. Only hours trained under JCI counts, not hours trained for say your company or other organisations.

You can get hours by approaching the JCI London Training Director, ask nearby chambers if they would like you to come train, and do like me, when you go on holiday somewhere you talk to the local JCI chambers and ask if they want some training to. If you don't know how to get in touch with people, just talk to your local President or Training Director.

It never harms to ask, but make sure you are specific. Be as helpful as you can. Provide information about yourself, what you have trained, what you can train, and when it would be possible for you to come. It might sound helpful to try to be as open as possible, but that leaves very little for a Chamber to act on.

The JCI Training Ladder
JCI Trainer course + 25 JCI hours trained = Certified Local Trainer (CLT)
CLT means that you can start being assistant trainer for courses such as JCI Presenter, JCI Achieve and JCI Admin (but not JCI Trainer)

CLT + 25 JCI hours trainer + graduation from JCI Designer Course = Certified National Trainer
CNT means that you can be assistant trainer for JCI Trainer and you can start working on your international trainer career

CNT + Head Trainer Course = Head Trainer
This means that you can become Head Trainer for JCI official courses you have trained sufficient times

CNT + 25 international hours + written 1 hour training course incl manual, slides etc = International Graduate (IG)

IG + 25 international hours + written half day training course incl manual, slides etc = International Training Fellow

Please note that none of the advancements from one level to the next is automatic. Your advancement will be reviewed by the JCI Training Commission and either approved or rejected. Therefore it is important that you are diligent when filling in hours and give information also about who the course was open for if that is not self explanatory in the course name.

The JCI Training Commission puts a lot of importance on their perception of your understanding of JCI and how your training helps develop our organisation. The purpose of JCI Training is to help us develop our organisation and it is important to keep this in mind when giving training sessions and developing training courses.

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