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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.

To prepare or not to prepare?

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Charlie Walker-Wise answers the question.

As the parent of a young son, I’m getting ready for the first time I have to announce “do as I say, not as I do”. It’s a statement I’m not looking forward to but whether so explicitly stated or not, it’s a dictum every child experiences.

On reflection though, it’s not only said to children. In a conversation with a non-training colleague recently I was talking about how I don’t always prepare in the same way to coach participants on my courses. This might seem something of a shocking confession. “Cheat” I hear you say, but this is not necessarily true.

The training that my RADA in Business colleagues and I deliver is based on an experience. The training might be a transformative experience or journey (I started here and now I’m all the way over here), but the learning itself is something that is experienced. It is not simply considered, or pondered, or discussed; it can be seen, heard, felt and touched by both the learner and the other people in the room with them. This work is inhabited more in the body than it is in the mind. It’s a way of learning that traditional education ceases to employ beyond the age of about five years old.

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Taking Executive Presence across the pond

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Last week, RADA in Business flew across the pond to deliver our Executive Presence for Women open course programme in Toronto – and we made sure that we packed our hats and gloves in preparation for the -10oC temperature!

Executive Presence for Women is a programme specifically designed for senior women in business, supporting them in overcoming the common challenges that women face in their business careers. Our senior tutors, Sheelagh McNamara and Lisa Åkesson equip delegates with the skills and techniques to find their voice, hold their space and make their desired impact in order to enhance their personal effectiveness and career progression. The programme has been running for two years and is highly successful in the UK and abroad.

This is the third time that we have delivered the course in Toronto. This time delegates included senior women from Accenture, Procter & Gamble, HSBC and Mawer Investment Management. We received fantastic feedback, with one delegate describing her experience as ‘outstanding’ and ‘transformational’.

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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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The Apprentice Final 2016

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We can finally talk about our role in coaching Courtney Wood, a finalist on The Apprentice 2016.

Courtney may not have won, but listening to him in defeat, and to everyone else who watched him develop throughout the series, you could be forgiven for thinking that his pitch represented an unmitigated victory. From Karen Brady to Rhod Gilbert of The Apprentice: You’re Hired, everyone seemed to breathe a sigh of disbelieving relief that his presentation had gone so well.

Courtney came to RADA in Business the day before his pitch for a crash pitching course. The techniques used became the dominating topic of You’re Hired, with everyone noting the extraordinary transformation. Even Karen, in the final scenes in the boardroom, complimented Courtney on how well the pitch had gone. Everyone agreed that it made a huge difference. Courtney himself said that he felt he was on safer ground talking about his own brand which he lives and breathes everyday, but that being pushed outside his comfort zone before he pitched was a great help.

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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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