The drought was finally broken with a storm of biblical proportions that started well before we all arose and prepared for our journey to Calcutt. It was still there when we filtered into the meeting. There was thunder, there was lightning and I suppose it could have been described as exciting or very very frightening! We were likewise decimated and cut down to almost half of our membership number. It was still shorts temperature so it would be fair to say that 15 of us braved the elements and where ready for the meeting’s commencement at 7:15 AM. Pride of place for being the most affected member by the weather was the Mayor of Gants Hill Village who, but for the fact that he was not wearing one but rather a more traditional shirt, appeared to be an entrant for a wet T shirt competition.
Stuart Smallcombe was this week’s presenter and his topic was the importance of valuing your services and more importantly, your time. Engaging with customers/clients for the first time or with a new problem poses problems. We should be careful to distinguish between informing the customer/client what we can do but not going into detail of how we do it. Be conscious of the time that you spend for which you are not going to be paid and ensure that you accurately reflect this and build it into your costings. A good reality check.
The 60 Second Round
Lower numbers allowed some leeway over the length of members presentations which were carefully monitored by Vincent Goode in his role of timekeeper and the tone of the meeting was also set by him as the current Oscar holder by his insistence upon the use of props if you wished to be considered for this prestigious award.
Vincent of course got things under way with what appeared to be a hark back to gentler times when your headed note paper told the story of who you were in a business sense. He exhibited various examples of such.
There then followed the varied presentations from the members present that relied on equally varied and bizarre props. John Freeman had brought a Power Sander which of course was entirely appropriate; by contrast Mike Rogers gloried in the benefit of selling yourself to your client over a nice cup of tea with one of our venues teapots. This week’s prize for most revealing prop was perhaps Toby Action’s collection of rubber ducks. All shapes and sizes and colours made all of the members realise how much fun it would be to have a bath with Toby………. if you are a rubber duck!!
Paul Dulieu produced a book which could be separated out into three parts and shuffled. Thus illustrating that he was the man to go to for getting your words right and in the right order. I suppose Paul’s was a prop that was directly related to what he does. Mike Skinner was even more on the money with a light filter which is essential to his product.
I suppose I cannot be surprised that I did not win the Oscar as my prop was the green tape that I used to sew up my client’s wills
Tina Walker produced a white hard hat whose relevance is contained in notes that I cannot read but it stood out.
he Oscar was won by Melissa Jackson as she illustrated the various stages of taking instructions from a potentially insolvent client with half a dozen items that included a model of a bull and various other carefully chosen pieces that illustrated the process that she went through. She was the obvious choice.
Thanks to Vincent for helping create an interesting and lively round.
10-minute presentation by Hannah O’Shea
Hannah O’Shea, despite her nervousness in producing her first 10 minute presentation, gave us a confident run down of how she got to where she now is and then produced a really entertaining illustration using all of the members to produce two separate Tic Toc presentations involving a blow up business case and a hammer to assist in representing a lawyer and a builder. Ben Golding and Scott Griffiths were the main presenters. It worked really well and most importantly, Hannah produced a 10 minute presentation that gave us a real insight into what she does, which for the more Luddite members was absolutely necessary. Congratulations Hannah.
Referrals and Testimonials
Not bad for our reduced numbers and an ending to the meeting that sent everybody out into the rain again.