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28th Apr, 2012

Big River Clean Up Update
by James Mitchell on April 28, 2012 20:38


River Projects 2012 Update

As part of the World Clean Up 2012, JCI Cambridge members took part in the "Cambridge Spring Clean" organised by the Cleaner Cambridge Campaign on Saturday April 14th 2012.

The JCI Cambridge Committee would like to say well done and thank you to all JCI members who attended this event - there were more than 100 volunteers in total on the day and it has been confirmed that more than 80 full sacks of litter were collected, ensuring a clean and beautiful River Cam in readiness for the Summer!!

As the second part of our "River Projects 2012" we will be organising a team to clean up a river near Sturmer on Saturday 21st July 2012.  If you would like to get involved in this rewarding and very social event, please get in touch via!

Remember - all volunteer hours can be logged as part of JCI ACE, where the efforts of JCI members will be recognised through an awards scheme - please check out our blog post for more information.


You can find out what you missed by watching our JCI Cambridge River Cam Cleanup 2012 video on our new Youtube video.


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23rd Apr, 2012

Following on from the very successful Present Youself with Confidence session presented by Kate Atkin of Aspire 2, Kelly Tennick provides a round-up of the evening's event.

We began with an informal networking session which as usual was a great warm up for the evening. It was nice to be able to catch up with some regular faces as well as meet several new ones. No two people that walk through the door are the same so it's great to meet such a variety of fantastic people, as well as enjoy the nibbles and wine which are always lovingly prepared for us as we arrive!

As a person who feels pretty lacking in the confidence department, this month's JCI Cambridge work shop 'Present Yourself With Confidence' was one I simply could not miss, and thank God I didn't! As usual, the workshop surpassed all my expectations and I came away at the end of the evening feeling very positive and ready to take on the world....

Presented by the wonderful Kate Atkin, the workshop provided fantastic ways to 'train' your thoughts to help you feel more confident, from re-directing negative focus to positive focus as well as providing hints, tips and tricks to help you appear full of confidence, even when you may not feel it inside!

The fact that all the information Kate presented was given in small chunks, along with supporting scenarios and member participation (Eeek!) made it very easily digestible and understandable - even I sat there believing I could put her methods into action.

We began with the topic of 'Self Talk' and discussed that a big step to becoming more confident within yourself is to accept that you are only human. Stop believing you have to be perfect, that you cannot make a mistake. Don't grill yourself for forgetting something. After all - we are all only human and we all make mistakes.

Something I found very interesting is the fact that when you tell yourself 'Don't Forget....." your brain doesn't always register the 'Don't' part and so we are in fact often telling ourselves 'to forget!' Maybe this is why I have a brain like a sieve. A better way to phase this so you DO remember is 'I Must Remember....' mmm, I must remember that!

We then discussed working with negative self talk and how to refocus it to more positive thoughts. My main area for negative thoughts is with driving. I have had two crashes in the past both caused by bad weather conditions, therefore causing me to be very nervous when driving in bad weather. I would focus all my thoughts on 'Oh no, bad weather, I'm going to swerve into the other lane or off the road and I'm going to crash.' Kate advised me that I was focussing on driving off the road rather than staying on it and that I needed to focus my thoughts on positive scenarios such as 'I am going to stay straight on my side of the road, everything is going to be ok'. Something which sounds so simple, yet it is very effective and can be applied to almost any scenario - what more could you want?!

A simple but what I think will be a really effective technique to help me focus on the positive things about both myself and around me is to create a list or picture board that represents all the different positive, proud and happy situations, memories, people and achievements.  this can be anything you want such as getting a new job, memories of a particular holiday, completing an important course.  You can then pin this up somewhere obvious so you can see it on a daily basis, such as on the fridge door or the back of the bedroom door, to remind yourself of the most important things around you.  A technique that I definately plan on putting nto practice.


We then discussed a few techniques to help you appear confident even when you don't necessarily feel it, such as:

  • During presentations, stand still with both feet flat on the floor when you are making a key statement or stressing a point/important information.

  • Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. For example, if wearing red makes you feel happier and black makes you feel dull and less confident, then of the two wear red.

  • Visualise things going positively.

  • Remember the three V's:

Verbal - What you say is important

Vocal - How you say it is important

Visual - How you look is important.


We then finished the workshop by writing three things we thought about somebody we didn't know very well, to highlight the fact that how we may feel inside is not necessarily how others perceive us. Very effective as everybody suddenly became very chatty and positive after receiving the words written about them!

The evening concluded with more networking and finishing the last of the nibbles, which is always very enjoyable especially as by this time I am rather hungry!

Another great workshop from JCI Cambridge, I had a fabulous time and am very much looking forward to next month's Business Skills Day.

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15th Apr, 2012

JCI Cambridge All Stars need YOU!! - 2012 Challenge
by James Mitchell on April 15, 2012 13:29


Blog » Community projects » Arthur_Rank_Logo.jpgThis year JCI Cambridge is calling upon its members to take part in our 2012 Challenge, a great way for JCI Cambridge members to celebrate the Olympic games, have fun, get fit and fund raise for our charity of the year - Arthur Rank Hospice.


So, what is the 2012 Challenge? 

The JCI Cambridge team (aka "JCI Cambridge All Stars") will cover a total of 2012km (1250.198 miles) by the end of the year via as many sports as possible. So far we are planning to include running, walking, cycling, kayaking, rowing, punting (is this a sport we hear you ask!?), sky diving and any other sports that create a "challenge".

Blog » Community projects » gold-challenge-logo_411x355.jpg


Fund-raising events planned:

  - Summer Party punting
  - Cambourne 10km Run
  - Race For Life
  - Various marathons


Interested? please join us!

If you would like to get involved with the JCI Cambridge All Star team, please contact us at:



As an additional limb we are aiming to raise £2,012 for Arthur Rank Hospice, the JCI Cambridge Charity of the year 2012. There are a number of ways you can sponsor us:

any donation, no matter how small, is gratefully received.


So, how are we getting along?

You can track our progress with our online Totalizer at All stars

You can also keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates

Facebook -

Twitter -


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3rd Apr, 2012

Making the most of networking
by James Mitchell on April 3, 2012 19:19


JCI Cambridge's March 'Speed Networking' session, led by James Mitchell, was a great success in giving our members and guests the chance to both learn and brush up on their networking skills as well as making lots of new connections. Read on for James' roundup of the evening and his top tips for making the most of any networking opportunities.

Delivered in 3 parts, the session first consisted of splitting attendees into smaller groups, where each person took it in turns during timed rounds to talk about themselves in relation to one of the many important elements of effective networking, such as "What makes your business unique?" and "What is your role within your business?". After everyone had had a go at each of the 5 timed rounds attendees were asked to deliver an elevated pitch to their group where they combined all of the previous rounds' topics.

The second part was for attendees to volunteer to share this elevated pitch with the rest of the room.

Now that everyone had practised their elevated pitch and heard form others, the final stage was for the floor to be opened up to allow everyone to speak to anyone or chosen individuals in greater detail.

"The speed networking was a great opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of business backgrounds, and also develop networking and self promotion skills. A really good evening!"  Amanda McDowall - IPULSE

Below is a short "Top Tips to Networking" which will help refine what was covered in this event help the people who missed out on attending.  The most important of which is to follow up - there are so many tools available to us to make it easy to do. For example when you are given a business card the chances are that they are on LinkedIn. Make sure you connect with them and send them a quick thank you and if possible recommend a contact that maybe useful to them.

To Practise the art of following up we are holding a competition! ANYONE to write a comment about this event on our Facebook page by Monday 16th April will be entered into a prise draw to win a bottle of wine at our next event on Tuesday 17th April.


Top Tips to Networking (downloadable version available here)

1.  Have a plan

Before you attend, always have an idea of what your goal is for each event you attend. Know beforehand what outcome you want for yourself or for the people you meet at each event, such as:

 - Do you want to meet 3 people and focus on getting to know them really well?

 - Are you looking for an introduction to a certain type of client?

  - Are you looking for information or connections that will get you that information?

When you have a plan it is easier to stay focused and successfully achieve your expected outcomes. It also helps you to keep on track with helping others to achieve their goals, remind yourself to be generous with your own knowledge and connections.


2.  Be Prepared

To make the most of your plan utilise any additional information or communication services provided by the organiser prior to attending. This could include identifying key people from the supplied attendee list, connecting with other attendees via the organiser's or your own social media channels e.g. Facebook, Linkedin.


3.  Don't forget your networking tools

Always have networking tools with you at all times which includes:

 - an ample supply of business cards

 - your name badge

 - a pen

  - any marketing material such as brochures or leaflets.


4.  Arrive early so you are available to meet people as they arrive

By arriving early you are less likely to feel rushed and flustered. It also means you are able to identify the key people that you have already decided to make contact with, letting you focus on learning about the t relevant people. People do business with people they like and you will be judged by others, like it or not, based on their first impression of you.


5.  Leave your troubles behind

Put on a happy face at the door and remind yourself that it is 'show time', this is your time to sparkle and shine. People will look forward to seeing and meeting you if you are energetic, positive and outgoing. Again, people enjoy doing business with people that they like so do not burden or bore people with your troubles or problems.


6.  Be a Giver and/or a Connector

When you focus on 'giving' and being helpful to others, the 'getting' will come later ... and often in unexpected ways. Foremost to remember is that no one likes a person with a taker' mentality. When you are generous people will notice and respect you for your kind nature and people generally do business with people that they respect, trust and like.

Act like a host at every event you attend by connecting people. This can be a simple act of introducing 2 people to each other or as elaborate as giving a testimonial about a person and their services to an entire group. All of these acts allow you to focus on the 'other' and grows your social capital in the room.


7.  Be Genuine

Everyone knows when someone is 'schmoozing' so always be genuine in your interactions, because again, it comes back to building trust when showing brand 'you'. There is a huge difference between being INTERESTED and being INTERESTING. When you are genuinely interested in learning about someone and their business entirely for the sake of learning, you will leave a better and longer lasting impression as someone who genuinely cares.


8.  Listen with focus

When someone is speaking give that person your entire focus and LISTEN. The greatest gift that you can give to another person is to truly hear what the person is saying, so really listen and keep your eyes and ears focused. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by letting your thoughts wander from what is being said to you. You've heard this before and it's worth repeating: you have 1 mouth and 2 ears for a reason, listen twice as much as you talk.


9.  Do Teach, Don't Sell

The goal in networking is never the immediate sale of a product but the building of relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do. Word of mouth is the most cost effective and powerful promotional tool so at every opportunity teach others about in a focused way, who you are as a person and what it is that you do. Always present a clear explanation of the type of clients that you are looking for. In doing this, you will be building a sales force that is far wider reaching than you are on your own.


10.  Follow up

After the event send a thank you email to each person that you have had direct contact with. Mention something from your discussion in the thank you (it helps if you jot notes on the back of each person's business card). If there is a referral that you can supply to someone you've just met, include that in the follow up note. Showing up and following up are the two most important parts of networking. Showing up at an event is the easy part, the follow up is sadly the most neglected part of networking. Since so many people fail to follow up you can really stand out by just doing this simple act of reaching out to remind someone of who you are and what you do ... and that you are interested in exploring a relationship.


11.  Follow up some more!

Statistics show that on average it takes between 7 and 12 impressions for a consumer to make a buying decision, and those are old numbers! With the overload of information we all face every day, the number of impressions required is more likely to be 15 - 20 before you make the connections you are looking to build! Meeting face to face is the 1st impression, an email, a phone call, another email, a lunch date ... don't stop after 1 or 2 impressions, keep going. Good networkers know that to build strong relationships they must dig deeper and make a sustained effort to build and develop ongoing relationships!

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