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News & Blogs

Welcome to our News & Blogs page. If you have any questions regarding the articles included on this site, please email laurapeatman@rada.ac.uk.

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The findings of ‘High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes’, a report by the parliamentary committees for Petitions and for Women and Equalities, was published yesterday. The report urges the government to fine companies that force their employees to wear high heels, responding in particular to the case of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from her job after refusing to change from her flat shoes into high heels.

Nicola’s experience paved the way for many women to share their experiences of being forced into a uniform of high heels, causing pain and discomfort. Yet many women embrace high heels as a tool to boost their confidence in the workplace and gain height. There is a perception that a pair of heels can boost your authority – yet could it also cause adverse effects?

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US presidential election: TV debates

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The last fortnight has seen two TV debates in the US election campaign as Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump went head to head on 26 September and 9 October. Voice coach and Lead Tutor on our Executive Presence for Women programme Sheelagh McNamara was keeping a keen eye on their body language and public speaking skills at both debates. So – how did they do?

Click here to see our analysis of the second TV election debate.

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How can I make sure I'm heard at meetings?

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The Guardian money feature 'Dear Jeremy' regularly publishes career-related questions and concerns from readers. Recently the feature included one reader's problem about being listened to and respected in meeting scenarios:

"My contributions at meetings – formal, informal, by email or telephone – are always ignored... This is sapping my confidence and self-esteem, and probably the way I present whatever it is I would like to say. I am also aware that I am not a particularly assertive person. Can you give me some handy hints on how best to make effective contributions to meetings?...I sense that people switch off to what I am saying."

We asked RADA in Business tutor Claire Dale how she would answer the reader's problem:

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What can a business leader learn from the role of a theatre director?

A theatre director needs to act like a leader, bringing together a disparate group of people under a common purpose.

Client Director Charlie Walker-Wise has written on this subject for the blog of leadership coach Trevor Sherman, exploring techniques used by theatre directors that can be equally effective for leaders within business organisations - key principles that range from sharing values to maintaining status.

Click here to read the full article.

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CEO and author Margaret Heffernan, on the Board of Directors for RADA in Business, gives the keynote speech at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference 2016, titled 'The Voice of Leadership'.

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Tips from a Tutor: Personal Impact

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We've cherry-picked some top tips from our Personal Impact course.

1. Open your window
The next time you go into a meeting, before you put your hand on the door handle to open the door, check you are entering with an “open window”. Don’t’ get caught in the “OK, here we go…” frame of mind; as you will be entering anticipating defeat or a battle. Before opening the door, stop. Breathe. Raise your eye line so that when you enter the room your head is up and able to see who is in the room and where they are. This will help you feel more confident as you enter and signal to the people that are already in the room that you are open and ready to engage.

2. If in doubt, breathe out
Make sure you are balanced and grounded. Make sure your knees are not locked, put your hands on your belly and breathe out. As you exhale make an “s” sound. As the air leaves you think about squeezing toothpaste out of a tube from your centre. Be careful not to add any tension to your throat or chest. Become aware of the muscles that engage to help expel the air. This will give you great strength and support in your voice.

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