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Monday, 29 September 2008

20th UK Test Management Forum

I just noticed details for the next UK:TMF have been posted:

http://uktmf.com/index.php?q=node/127

This is the free and informal meeting that happens each quarter. Well worth a visit to enjoy a conference that's run in a way that encourages open debate and knowledge sharing.

Hope to see some of you there.

Mark.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Communication Training or your life

MSB Executive http://www.msbexecutive.com/

I've just had one of the hardest days of training, heck one of the hardest days, I've ever had.

NMQA kindly set me up with Martyn "I will rebuild you" Barmby of MSB Executive for a day of Communication Training.

It started gently enough with some discussion about how I approach presentations, why I dislike sales (activity, not people) and moved into everything from how I stand and walk, enter a room, make small talk and greet people.

Later on we covered the SPIN technique (Situation, Problems, Implications, Needs) which can be used to structure presentation of products and services. Then came the role play, walking about while speaking to control breath and delivery, followed by a 'therapy session' on any mental blockers I might carry about with me that impede my performance.

This type of training is so hard because in order to benefit the most you need to set-aside what you think and know and think you know. You need to take on board every comment, engage in activity that makes you feel uncomfortable. It drains you physically and emotionally.

Has it helped?

Following the training I had a Client meeting where they opened with "You probably can't help us.." and ended with them agreeing product presentations, collaboration on developing testing standards for thier industry and sending a pilot job to us as a trial. Yes, it helped!


The next meeting with another Client I proposed a spend on testing equal to 10% of total annual revenue. Hey, testing's important dammit ;] I gave the best presentation of my life, addressed all needs and managed all issues. They agreed to the proposal and we're now two people on site.

I admit it, Martyn has taught me how I can enjoy Presentations AND Sales, wonders never cease.

Yes, the training works. This is the website you need:

http://www.msbexecutive.com/

Mark "I should have had this training 10 years ago" Crowther.