At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

Trisha Lewis

 

 

We had a chat with Trisha Lewis who founded her own Communication Coaching business to discuss what it takes to be a leader and what the big fear of public speaking is all about.

 

 

 

RISE: What is your name and what is your ‘title’?

 

Trisha: Trisha Lewis – Communication Coach – my own business – just me!

 

RISE: A ‘Communication Coach’ can you describe to us what this entails and what a normal day in the life of Trisha looks like?

 

Trisha: I help people communicate better! That’s a bit simplistic I guess – but it is the ultimate goal.  That might mean communicating better with themselves, their team or their audience. Communication is a foundational skill and once you start unpacking what it involves, well – it’s a fascinating gift to unwrap!

There is no such thing as a normal day – which kind of suits me! I have developed good multi-tasking skills and I have a fair bit of energy – even at my age!  I am constantly curious and like the aspect of my work which involves meeting so many fascinating people as well as finding ways to communicate with and grow my network. I rarely say no to an opportunity to get to know someone or brainstorm a possible collaboration.  Oh – and I am also writing a book!  All this means my days have a pretty random quality to them.

However – I do try and put a little structure around the randomness.  If I have a day with no client coaching sessions or company workshops/talks etc… then I will often start early by walking down to my favourite coffee shop – laptop in bag.  I like to work with a little buzz around me rather than silence.  I will then make sure I do at least 30 minutes of business development before getting stuck into blog writing, social media engagement or book writing.

Then there will be days when I have clients coming to my home based office for coaching or I am going out to deliver talks or workshops to groups and organisations. Oh – and some days that mean a very early start or evening trip out for a networking event!

 

RISE: We’ve chatted in the past about this but can you outline what Imposter Syndrome is and how you begin to tackle this?

 

Trisha: I will share with you the definition I give in the introduction of the book I am currently writing!

A nagging feeling of self-doubt that feels real but does not stand up to scrutiny. A feeling that you are on the outside looking in but ‘they’ all have the right to be there. A feeling that if you do not work very hard at being loved, clever and perfect – you will be thrown out into the wilderness by a jeering crowd of haters who have discovered just how useless, bad (or both) you ‘really’ are. A feeling that when people do praise you – they are going to regret it as soon as you leave the room or put the phone down.

 I could delve deep here – but hey – I want people to buy the book!  Having said which I do give a lot of free tips in the various blog posts and videos I share!

In brief – you tackle it by getting real! You equip yourself with a good dose of knowledge about what it is – and what the symptoms and consequences are – and then you use some tactics that involve pressing pause between feelings and actions, talking with others to reveal that you are not alone and ‘bigging yourself up’!

There is no cure – it is not an illness! What you do is become more aware of the signs and quicker at pressing pause!  Again – much more in the book – or for now on my YouTube channel (plug!)

 

RISE: Why do you think that public speaking is such a huge fear for so many of us?

 

Trisha: Ah – again I could go on! So I will try to keep this brief…

Actually I used to be very shy when I was younger – belief it or not!  They do say a lot of actors have a shy streak!

The fear is the same as any kind of fear – fear is a powerful force for all us humans! We are wired to see the negative – it is a survival tool that can get triggered off in an unhelpful way these days! There are rarely sabre-toothed tigers to watch out for.  It is a mind-body thing – and it is far worse when you keep sending signals to your brain that you are afraid – because then your body responds even more – and a viscous cycle is set up!

The main tactic involves getting ‘out of your head’! You need to be present – remember that it is about them not you – and they are not out to get you!

Our biggest fear is often fear of rejection and fear of judgement – again down to ancient wiring! If you acknowledge what is going on and get rational about the reality of the situation (no tigers) you calm you body and brain down!

I also think people get hung up on an idea that they must be like someone else – some version of a good speaker that they have in their head – but isn’t them! The more you try to be like someone else the worse the fear gets.

You also need to be at one with your content – plenty of preparation and a sense of excitement about what you are delivering.

Again – loads of tips on my YouTube channel (did I already mention this?!)

 

RISE: As a member of a community like YATM, do you think these ‘safe spaces’ give a platform for those that wouldn’t normally want to speak or share knowledge?

 

Trisha: Definitely!  I love spaces like YATM.  As the host of events like this it is crucial to create an atmosphere where people realise that no question is daft!

 

RISE: How useful is communication and the understanding of this in the marketing and PR world?

 

Trisha: Massively useful!  Maybe I would say that – but it is true. There are 2 particularly crucial aspects to good communication that are needed for marketing and PR – connection and clarity.  Connection involves resonating with your audience and building trust – and clarity involves the audience being able to ‘get’ your message and know what to do next!

 

RISE: What path have you taken to get you to where you are today? What advise would you give to someone else looking to do something similar?

 

Trisha: Wow! I am old! I won’t give you my life story!  In brief – I have embraced life – the good and the bad.  I have never stopped wanting to learn and I am curious!  When things felt wrong – I changed them and when things felt too comfortable – I took up new challenges!

Whilst I had a number of different mini careers and the job of bringing up a family – I had a constant passion for acting.  It was my career as a professional actor (theatre not TV!) that led me along a random path to various connected opportunities – all involving masses of communication and trust building skills!  I built a good reputation as a speaker on a ‘non-business’ circuit – but decided I wanted to rise to the challenge of using my combined skills and experience in the business world. Just under 3 years ago I took the plunge and up my coaching business. What a learning curve!

I had to be prepared to keep pushing myself over the obstacles and not retreat! I also had to rewire my brain a bit – blending the creative with the business/sales side of things – not easy!

The main constant throughout has been my instinct that offering value, listening and relationship building would be the most effective way to grow – and I am glad to say my instinct was correct.

Making others feel empowered is about fostering an environment of trust and recognition.

When you provide others with a platform to be recognised, it can help create new paths or just give others a sense of reward.

Our 2019 Rock Star Awards were held at the O2 Bournemouth during March, with an initiative to put the spotlight on a younger audience with incredible talent and resilience.

Let’s take a look at the experience, from the perspective of three of this years’ winners.

 

What It Truly Means To Be A Rock Star Winner

“It feels incredible to receive this recognition for the efforts I have put in,” says Oliver Cooper, this year’s Teaching Star winner. A 25 year old with a self-defined unwavering dedication to his pupils at Shaftsbury School, Oliver understands the importance of being a role model to others.

As someone who aims to overcome diversity, and has so far succeeded, Oliver became the mould of a perfect Rock Star Winner:

“I work hard like everyone else in this profession, but knowing what I am doing is being appreciated in the community is an amazing feeling. I gained a massive amount of respect after winning, making all the late nights and hours of work feel worthwhile.

“I don’t need applause for what I do, but the respect from those around me now is lovely.”

Tasha Clarke, winner of our Creative Star award, shares this strong mentality too.

From working a Saturday job in her mum’s Bridal shop, Tasha knew she wanted more, demonstrating the drive our Rock Star Winners all share:

“There is a lot of pressure for young people to figure out what they want in life, let alone do well. Winning this award was a lovely confirmation that things are heading in the right direction.

“Being noticed is a real honour, and representing Rock Star Awards was fantastic.”

Inspirational Star Tom Douris has a story nothing short of exceptional. Diagnosed with arthritis at the tender age of 8 in every joint in his body, life “sucked”. This predetermined disadvantage had affected his life for years, but at 8 years old the arthritis burned out. However it left lasting damage which resulted in two hip replacements before the age of 25. It’s fair to say that Tom has far succeeded his peer’s expectations in life:

“I feel like I have never been listened to or believed in throughout my life, but when I was nominated for this award it felt like I was given a voice.

“It’s given me hope in my future and the want to help others along the way. Even though I have had arthritis, there is still a massively bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

A Behind The Scenes Look At The Ceremony

The evening is always much more than a quick grab and dash. It is a celebration of success where all of our winners and nominees are treated with the upmost respect and given a star-studded reception they each deserve for their achievements:

“It is a really beautiful event in a wonderful venue. The atmosphere was full of energy too, and with everyone being in black tie it felt very professional,” explains Oliver.

“For someone who spends all their time working in a classroom, going to an event like that was so different. The efforts that had gone into it, especially with the vibrant and energetic community mural made the place look fantastic.”

Tom and Tasha agree: “It was an amazing experience getting to know everyone there, all the nominees and everyone’s stories about how they got where they are today. The evening couldn’t have gone any better, and winning the award couldn’t have meant more to me.

“Everything was fantastic, smiles lit up the room.”

 

Looking Into The Future

 Oliver has a clear vision of what it means to be a successful teacher, something he intends to push forward into his career: “To understand a pupil’s progression you need to understand the pupil. It’s about knowing what makes them tick.”

“As a newly qualified teacher I need to finish my induction period, but after that my main focus is to become a better teacher. There is still so much I can learn and I’m eager to enjoy those experiences.

“Having the award makes what I’m doing feel so worthwhile, and I am now in a position to push forward in my field. I am soon taking on older students, so I can teach the kids I’ve watched grow through school.”

“My life has become so much more than I ever imagined it could be at this age,” says Tasha.

“I’m making my first clients wedding dress which is an amazing thing to be able to say. By next year, I hope to be opening up my own store and taking it from there.”

For Tom, his obstacles have been anything but minor although this is no barrier for his mental strength. He’s storming through an Occupational Therapy degree at Bournemouth University:

“I want to network with people in the Bournemouth area and whizz through my business plan, to share ideas and support each other in the healthcare and therapy fields. I am looking to volunteer too, and help others with arthritis or similar muscular-skeletal conditions.”

 

Ensuring Success of Future Generations

 As someone who has produced exceptional work in their field of expertise, Oliver had some helpful words to offer to potential Rock Award nominees:

“If you’re thinking about these awards, I would encourage you to go for it. I was tentative about it at the start, but the guidance and support given to you by Rock Star Awards team throughout the process is priceless. It is an amazing thing for someone to do, no matter where you are in your career.”

Tasha wants to instil the self-belief she has in young Rock Star hopefuls:

“To feel the gratitude from someone else just by being recognised is such a special experience. You should give it a go. Ignore the doubt in your head and just go for it, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”

Tom also has some important words for those who desire to be more than they are today. Amidst what seemed at times endless obstacles, he has powered through the other side, achieving greatness incomparable to the expectations of others:

“The whole process has been unforgettable. I felt like I’d won just being listened to, the award was the icing on the cake.

“This award has really given young people like me a better name, to show there are young people who want to make a difference in life.”

Being a Rock Star is not just in your actions professionally, but in the person you are.

Despite the challenges you face in life, it is the way you overcome them that counts. The progress they made in such a short amount of time is what makes these three people exceptional.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

Steele Raymond

 

 

We spoke to Lee Taylor the Business Development Director at Steele Raymond about how business development has changed and why Bournemouth is great.

 

 

 

RISE: What is your name and title?

 

Lee: Lee Taylor, Business Development Director at Steele Raymond LLP Solicitors

 

RISE: What does your day to day look like?

 

Lee: Like many people there are no one day the same. Every day is different. My role is to help implement the business strategy across firm. Every day I work with incredible legal teams who are all working exceptionally hard for their clients. Juggling client work and business development can be challenging, particularly when with much of the business development we do, timing is everything. After all clients do come first (quite rightly) so planning and communication is key in my role.

 

RISE: As someone that has worked in Business Development for a long time, do you think the way we ‘business develop’ has changed?

 

Lee: Very much so. I’ve been working in business development and marketing for nearly 20 years now and the change from when I started is incredible. When I first started in legal marketing it came at a time when the restrictions on what law firms could and couldn’t do were relaxed. In a positive way it was like starting with a blank canvas for law firms. That in itself had challenges as a lot of my time went in to encouraging legal teams to step outside of their comfort zone. But even back then people knew when they were being marketing to. I think everyone does. For me the biggest change has been advising lawyers what not to do rather than what to do.

Placing your trust in a law firm is a big decision and one not to be made lightly. The ability to market to the everyone is easier than ever with marketing tools at the end of everyone’s finger tips. But just because you can market to everyone, doesn’t mean you should. Far from it. I take a very responsible view on marketing and business development. Much of my work involves an audience of one. We are now at a time when the one-to-one relationships have never been more important and I actively work with my legal teams to help develop those relationships.

 

RISE: How would you say that Steele Raymond ‘do it differently’?

 

Lee: Our lawyers and legal teams give businesses more than just legal advice. We are an integral part of their business. We listen to our clients to understand their business and work to realise their ambitions. This all goes back to people and relationships. The people that I work with on a daily basis have developed such hard-earned relationships with their clients. Something that they have invested years and even decades in nurturing, getting to understand their client’s business inside and out. We are at heart a people business. And in that we believe that the law needs to have a human side too.

 

RISE: After working in other various places around the country, how does Bournemouth compare to them?

 

Lee: I’d flip the question the other way around and say how do other places I’ve worked compare to Bournemouth and Dorset. My answer is that they don’t compare. I’ve had an amazing start to my career and have worked in some of the UK’s largest cities; London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Cambridge and Norwich to name but a few. But the thing that makes Dorset stand out the most is the vibrant business community and the work-life balance. Dorset has such a vibrant and friendly business community that in some ways it doesn’t feel like work at all. Because it has such a close knit business community there is also no place to hide and business ethics goes a long way.

 

RISE: Within the industry of lawyers and solicitors do you see a lot of young people coming through? Do you think it’s on the rise?

 

Lee: We have some incredible young talent at Steele Raymond and we work very hard to attract the best legal talent from across the UK. Young professionals are the future of the business so attracting the key talent early on in their careers and nurturing them throughout the business, investing significant time in helping their achieve their career ambitions is one of our key goals.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

 

We spoke to Lee Hill the Managing Director at Insightful UX about the definition of User Experience and getting into the industry.

 

 

 

RISE: What is your name and your role?

Lee: Lee Hill MD Founder of Insightful UX Ltd

 

 

RISE: What does user experience really mean?

Lee: For me user experience is about figuring out a way to help people utilise things better, when it comes to our clients this is websites and the products and services they offer.

 

 

RISE: What are the most common mistakes with websites and apps that people make?

Lee: The most common issue we see is that websites are built based on the assumptions that the business owners, marketing people, designers and developers know best, instead of finding out from the end users i.e. potential customers how best to develop a website for them. Its scary, we often see the slightest assumption made when building a website can have grave consequences to how it is then used by real customers. We see this all too frequently unfortunately. This means that a website that could be amazing for a business may be failing, due to a few small snags that nobody understands or is aware of. We love spotting and fixing these things as the commercial gains for our clients are often incredible.

 

 

RISE: Your business has expanded and developed dramatically since you started, could you tell us a little bit about this journey?

Lee: It’s been fun, emotional, scary, hard, enjoyable and immensely rewarding. Year one was me working full time whilst Chris my co-director worked behind the scenes, by year two Chris and I started to expand the team with George Beverley joining us as a director. Year three has been us really trying to find our place in the market. Its been really hard, but we are now setting the foundations that I feel will see us grow and more importantly be able to service our clients with a stronger way.

 

 

RISE: If I was a customer with you what would my journey with you look like?

Lee: Typically we will start by auditing your website, current marketing channels and channels you are not using, along with competitor activity. This allows us to produce a prioritised action plan. Phase two then involves feeding in insights from real customers to help improve websites, marketing and or products/ services. Its here that we can really help our clients stand out from the crowd and dramatically increase their profits which we have done and have had the pleasure of seeing client’s grow and develop using this process.

 

 

RISE: If you were to give advice to someone starting up a new business with a digital platform what would it be?

Lee: Before you invest, make sure there is a need for it. Often we see tech first and humans second. If you focus on people’s needs and can do this better than the competition, then you have a chance of success. Even then it’s not easy, it requires focus and often big pots of cash. This is where investment is often required and that’s why we are now helping clients by providing investment decks to help secure funding. Our investment decks are unique as we validate the customer need within this process. This gives everyone confidence that the idea/ business will work.

 

 

RISE: As a business owner what would you say to a young person looking to get into UX or digital marketing?

Lee: Digital/ tech is the unknown frontier, it is there to be explored and pushed. So don’t be fenced in by existing practises, push boundaries and challenge thinking. Also with UX don’t assume you know the answers, test, research and repeat this process again, again and again. Markets, people, competitors are always changing, so you need insights to be able to stay ahead of the game. You may have heard the saying that if a business is not growing its dying. Well I don’t think that is true. I would say if a business is not constantly evolving it will die. So focus on keeping your brand relevant and you will be rewarded. If anyone is ever looking to get into digital/ UX point them our way. Always happy to grab a coffee with people who need some guidance and to show them the realities of our day to day lives. Its not all cool tech and creative wizardry. The day to day can be formulaic, involve lots of number crunching (which I love but others don’t), managing clients and admin. But those moments when you uncover a real nugget of insight that you know could be a game changer. for a sector or for a client. The hard work is worth it.

A Look at the 2019 Rock Star Awards

Looking at the new and rising talent around all of us, provides a glimpse into the future.

Let us take a reflective look at how the 2019 Rock Star Awards have been progressing and what we have seen this year.

Individuals in a workforce and people in society are driving themselves to the limit to produce results day in day out, or just to live a happier life. No matter how long you have worked in a company, people deserve recognition. Even if no one has noticed yet.

 

 

Finding The Diamonds

“Every year the calibre and the diversity for Rock Star Award candidates is amazing,” believes our MD, Angela Piromalli. Talent is peaking its eager head up in many different places. A shift is appearing, with more people from different backgrounds than before are standing up and wanting to be counted.

The underlying principles of the Rock Star Awards has never changed, since it started in 2012. Not only do they bring attention to certain individuals, but they show companies the features that make a successful individual.

“Deserving people are now being recognised outside of the status quo. There’s no underlying agenda there. It’s exciting for the future.”

By looking at skills and talents that were previously glazed over in industry, more adaptable candidates are sought out. With this new way of seeing people, we’re finding diamonds under rough rocks.

 

More Than Just A Company Initiative

 

A major factor in the Rock Star Awards is not only giving someone the recognition, but supporting their trajectory towards success. It is not just a shindig at the end of March, the Rock Star Awards present genuine opportunities to grasp for the future.

Fleur Cook, our Marketing Manager explains, “This platform showcases the right talent and projects it both locally and nationally.

“It puts the spotlight on young people, which extends beyond the one night.”

All of those involved in the awards, both past and present, interact on a regular basis, keeping the network pulse thriving. It has created a web of interaction that expands far beyond the awards themselves, focusing on growth and development for the future.

“Not only are new candidates offered the chance to see the success of previous award winners, but they can build on their own and reach out to people in this new database of marketing gold. The awards have a longevity way beyond the ceremony itself.”

“They are way more than just a trophy.”

 

The Rising Talent

 

Helping both company and candidates, there are two sides to these awards. Stars tap into our mentality at Rise, and help with initiatives from a fresh set of eyes.

A new perspective and a pool of people to lean on is something both sides of the process benefit from, with each award winner bringing something new to the table. There’s no set formula for the “Rock Star Award Winners” either; some may have tougher backgrounds than others, but all know how to work hard and work together.

Angela says, “Everyone who is involved in the awards are overcoming obstacles. We want to give as many young people as we can the chance to tackle these.

“We believe in support, and that’s what these awards are offering people. It’s ongoing and it’s permanent, the Rock Star Awards are the starting point of it. Every person we have come into contact with has had something magic about them. That’s who we want to support and that’s who we want to grow alongside.”

 

Why It’s All Worth It

 

Having such an event represents a lot of organisation and time, but what you get back from it is in abundance.

“When people come up to you and thank you for the event, it makes it all worth it. Whether they’ve won or not, we have endless amounts of grateful people approach us.” Angela says proudly.

Some nominees have not been given this kind of opportunity before, and being able to give them that platform to be appreciated means more than words.

Angela knows that planning, preparing and partnering with everyone involved is no easy feat, and it is a rewarding, but challenging process, to co-ordinate the entirety of the project. Seeing the smiles at the event and knowing we have made a difference to people’s lives on that night makes it worth it.

Angela concludes, “Grouping together talent, recruitment and sponsors we have a unique chance to do something different. By getting more involved in future partnerships and discussions we are able to create this mega-hub of resources in different industries, forming the Rise super-team. This will become a contender not just in the South of England, but on wider level.”

 

20/20 Vision For The Future

 

2019 for us is about growth, but it doesn’t stop there.

We want to give young people the biggest platform possible to express and debut their well-deserving work, something we’ll work towards and make a reality.

It’s about being inspired, and giving young people a chance on every level.

You can go on and achieve great things, and the Rock Star Awards can and will give others that leg up. This is our promise to the communities we work within.