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28th Jan, 2012

Inspiration Day 2012
by James Mitchell on January 28, 2012 21:48


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JCI Cambridge Vice President Lisa Bredahl Thomsen, writes about JCI Inspiration Day held in Birmingham at the end of January.

JCI Cambridge had 7 delegates who went to Birmingham to attend INSPIRATION DAY 2012. 

The big inspiration for 2012 started with an introduction by our National President 2012 - Solveig Malvig. We then had an introduction of Marketing, personal development, and international opportunities coming up in the first half of 2012.

Richard Tong and Emma Eastwood then had three minutes each to talk about why we should select them to be the Deputy President 2012 and President 2013. This was a really good way to get to know more about where they want to take JCI UK in 2013.

An important part of JCI is community projects such as "World Clean Up - 13 May 2012. The hours we all contribute to the community can now be logged and we get awarded for the hours we give back.

A mentoring training opportunity is available for JCI members at  - Here we can attend training, or get a trainer to come to our local Chapters before the end of March. This compliments JCI Cambridge's mentoring of Anglia Ruskin's University students.     

The key note speaker of the day was Noam Kostucki, who made some great points how to "Turn Passion into Actions". Mr. Kostucki made us aware about how important it is to talk about what we didn't achieve last year, and what we learned from it. Did we really want it in the first place?

It's important to think about the next step, how can we take the next step?

Mr. Kostucki also spoke about how important it is to not only to put words on your visions, but to actually be able to draw pictures of your visions. This will make your visions more clear, and touchable. Another point about your visions is to share them with others, not just your plan on how to get there.

It's always important to remember to get feedback, and to get both negative feedback and positive feedback. So, know your friends, who will give you unbiased criticism of your ideas to help you gain clarity.

After lunch we have a short introduction to JCI Active Citizen Framework, which is to help the local Chapters to understand the local community, identify areas where we can help in either big or small ways.

Our big task of the day was to go out in our teams and raise awareness of JCI in Birmingham, especially regarding the re-launch of JCI Birmingham on the 9 February 2012. This was approached in different ways by each team, Many people in Birmingham saw JCI logos and talked with current members of JCI about the work of the organisation. We were very pleased that we did a fantastic job of making JCI more visible in Birmingham.

JCI Cambridge finished the day by passing over a gift to Jen Little, our past president 2009-2011, to thank her for her amazing work restarting JCI Cambridge and building it from just two members to a thriving Chamber of around 60 members in two years!

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9th Nov, 2011

Close the Sale!
by James Mitchell on November 9, 2011 11:14


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Marcus Evans, November's JCI Cambridge speaker, tells us how the workshop went and give us spme tips on how to close a sale:

It was a wet and windy night on the 8th of November and the JCI were having an event to hand over presidency. There were flowers and awards and the old president stepped down in style.

Then it was a case of on to the workshop. I was taking a short training class on sales. I work as managing director of an office relocation company, but also run an I.T company that helps people with their systems and computer hardware, with no company to small. The most enjoyable part of my job is sales training which allows me to talk to people one on one, or as a group and teach them about the art of sales. If anyone is interested in this just drop me an email to

Over prepared I had four topics to go through but in this case we only went through one. This is to the credit of the JCI as they asked a number of questions and had a higher level of engagement to normal audiences. We went through a number of ways to deal with objections and then split into groups of three to see how these worked in practice, with one person playing the client another the prospect and the third observing. The pitch was to sell Coca Cola to a restaurant. I chose this as everyone is familiar with Pepsi and Cokes rivalry and also it's an easy concrete product to deal with. A service based product would have been much harder to deal with.

After five minutes we broke and then one by one the observers reported back what had gone well, what badly, and how the pitch had gone. By and large the feedback was positive, and each group used different objection handling techniques to deal with the questions that arose. As with all groups it was mixed as to what jobs people did and how experienced at sales they were but it was gratifying to hear the techniques and was also a great bonus to see so many good budding sales people there, especially as I had picked the groups at random.

The techniques themselves are relatively simple with each being a logical response to an objection. Some work by using the objection as a method to close, (Conditional Closing) whilst others allow for a slow moving in on the client by building credibility and overcoming specific difficulties (LAARC).

After this we went through a round of questions before I started onto the second round of objection handling. Before I knew it an hour had passed and we were nearing the end of the talk. People asked more questions as we went and I rounded off with a very brief chat about telesales. Below this blog I have included the more lengthy chat about objection handling and if anyone who was there or anyone who missed it wants to contact me or ask me anything further please let me know.


Objection-handling techniques and methods


Boomerang: Bouncing back what they give you

LAARC: Listen, Acknowledge, Assess, Respond, Confirm

Reprioritize: So ones you can't handle are lower

Renaming: Change the words to change the meaning

Objection Chunking: Taking a higher or lower viewpoint

Writing: Write down objections then cross them off as you handle them

Conditional Close: Make closure a condition for resolving their objection

Humour: Respond with humour rather than frustration

LAIR: Listen, Acknowledge, Identify objection, Reverse it

Pre-empting: Handle them before they happen.

Pushback: Object to their objection

Reframing: Change their cognitive frame

Deflection: Avoid responding to objection, just letting it pass

Feel, felt, found: A classic way of moving them

Justification: Say how reasonable the objection is.


Don't attempt to answer an objection until you are certain you know you have identified the true objection. E.g. 'It's too expensive' could mean:

Costing more than I thought

Outside my budget

More than I can authorise

I'm not convinced of the value

I don't need the product

Four don'ts

Pouncing: Don't pounce, let them talk

Glibness: Don't be glib, you'll sound like you have eaten the sales manual and appear slippery

Don't argue: If you argue you become the enemy

Don't point score: Bluntly proving them wrong will make them unhappy



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12th Oct, 2011

JCI Cambridge goes speed networking!
by James Mitchell on October 12, 2011 11:22


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As a change to the usual workshop style business events JCI Cambridge are famous for, this month we decided to mix things up a little!

Speed networking. It's like speed dating. Fast, fun and frantic! 

We are extremely grateful to the highly energised and incredibly organised Sarah Butler-Ford for organising and running the event. Using a chart that I can only describe as looking like some sort of explanation on aerodynamics, speed dating is more than just a stop watch and some chairs. People have to be numbered, some people move seats, others stay put. Using a mathematical formula that is beyond the comprehension of us simple folk, Sarah ensured that every single person in the room got their chance to pitch to every other person for 60 seconds. 


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That's no mean feat!

A fantastic turn out of 25 attendees ensured a mix of all professions and personalities. From graphic designers, to tax accountants, event organisers and fruit sellers, we all got the chance to chat. 

Thank you once again to Sarah Butler Ford for all your hard work. Sarah ensured JCI Cambridge had a fantastic evening, creating an amazing buzz and ensuring everyone made many new, valuable connections!


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3rd Oct, 2011

Do something amazing and become a blood or platelet donor!
by James Mitchell on October 3, 2011 10:01


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You can do something amazing and become a blood or platelet donor!


Blood is something we all expect to be there for us when we need it, yet only 4% of us give blood. Many people would not be alive today if it wasn't for the generosity of our donors. The NHS needs 7000 units of donated blood daily and one donation is broken down into three live saving products. These donations are used to replace blood loss after accidents, childbirth or surgery and to treat people with blood disorders and those undergoing cancer treatment. To be eligible to give blood you need to be aged 17 to 65 (for a first time donor), weigh over 7 stone 12 (50kgs) and be in generally good health.


There is always an urgent need for whole blood but you may not be aware that there is always the same need for platelets as well - every bit as urgent. Most platelet donations are given to patients who are unable to make enough platelets in their bone marrow. For example, patients with leukemia or other cancers may have too few platelets as the result of their disease or treatment. Platelet donation takes place in a special clinic on the Addenbrookes site (there is free parking for donors) and we ask our Platelet donors to give at least 10 times a year. You need to give a small sample to see if your platelet count is high enough and if it is, and you can make the extra commitment, we will welcome you as a platelet donor.

The need for both whole blood and platelet donors is a great one so if you are interested please visit or call 0300 123 23 23 to find more information or to find a local blood donor session. 



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3rd Oct, 2011

Eversheds hosts Social Media workshop - BOOK NOW!
by James Mitchell on October 3, 2011 09:58



Get the Inside Track on... the rise of online social media.

"To what extent can we discipline employees for comments they make on Facebook?"

"How can we best use sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to boost our online profile and recruitment reach?"

"Can we control or monitor the way in which our employees use social media sites, especially if there is a risk of employee bullying or harm to our business's reputation?"

The rapid rise of social media has added an exciting but often bewildering dimension to business activities. Although there has been a broadening of opportunities for businesses who use their online presence effectively, this has been accompanied by a variety of new and unfamiliar challenges for HR professionals. These challenges include issues of privacy, online misconduct and liability and implementing effective social media policies. 

If you are interested in these issues, then Eversheds' first Inside Track event is for you.  We are hosting a roundtable discussion on Wednesday 12 October 2011 to address the ever-increasing use of social media and the employment law implications of this trend. The discussion will be held in the private Wine Shop section of d'Arry's Cookhouse restaurant in Central Cambridge and will be the first in a series of roundtable discussions on topical employment law issues that are affecting HR professionals today.

About Inside Track

The series is aimed primarily at more junior HR professionals who are starting out in their careers and who would like to get up to speed with important issues, whilst gaining the opportunity to network with their peers from other organisations in a relaxed environment.

We aim to achieve a lively and informal atmosphere, where attendees feel confident in debating issues and sharing their experiences over great food and wine. Each roundtable discussion will therefore be limited to a maximum of 15 to 20 attendees, including both HR professionals and Eversheds solicitors specialising in employment law.


The programme will be as follows:


18:15 Arrival and drinks

19:00 Dinner and discussion

21:00 Close


The event is free to attend.  Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and this event is already proving very popular.  


We still have a couple of spaces left so, if you or one of your colleagues would like to attend, please email Frances Butler at to reserve a space.



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11th Sep, 2011

JCI European Academy 2011 – Was the TIME of my LIFE!
by James Mitchell on September 11, 2011 18:44


Blog » academy.jpgJCI Cambridge committee member, Lisa Bredahl Thomsen, recently attended the JCI European Academy in Sweden. She explains what the Academy is, why she enjoyed it so much and why you should go next year:

One of the best decisions I have made in my life was to go to the JCI European Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden this summer.

You are probably wondering how I can say it was one of the the best decisions of my life? Well, you experience intense training at the JCI European Academy. You learn that every single minute is about you and your choices.

You will learn new things about yourself and the people you work with. By being able to understand people, what motivated the and why they do things the way they do, you will know how to motivate and inspire them.

At the JCI Academy you also have the opportunity to use your own leadership skills and styles in a "safe" environment, with great feedback and support from your team-mates. This focusses you on your ability to do a great job; not focus on yourself but concentrate on getting the very best from the person you are dealing with.

Besides developing your own skills, you also get to experience all your team-mates leadership styles, and understand the importance in being able to adapt different styles. You will understand the team's development process, its strengths and weaknesses, in order to get the most out of the team.

In the Academy you also strengthen relationships with colleagues across JCI Europe. You meet around 100 inspiring people from Chapters all over Europe. These include future JCI leaders on a local, national and international level.

The skills learnt at the academy can be used in many scenarios; at JCI,  at work, and on a personal level. It will equip you with the skills to develop great opportunities for the future.

It's YOUR choice to make the best out of YOUR life!


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3rd Sep, 2011

Are you in the right job? Well, JCI Cambridge members found out...
by James Mitchell on September 3, 2011 22:20


Blog » sharon Ferguson Thomas International.jpgOne of our guest speakers this year has been Sharon Ferguson from Thomas International. Sharon presented a workshop to help JCI Cambridge members decide if they were in the correct job, or not!

The workshop consisted of behavioural questionnaires identifying their personality traits and Sharon provided individual feedback to all attendees. Sharon explains what the tests are and how the workshop with JCI Cambridge went:

Formerly a Personnel and Training Manager with a large Blue chip company, my passion has always been in developing people to be the best they can be.

After several years in a variety of H.R. positions, I wanted a new challenge and moved into a Regional Sales Managers Position for Sainsbury's Bank. Finding I had a natural flair and ability to develop people to achieve excellent sales results I realized that I had been stifling my natural talents and amending my behaviour to be successful in my previous career. But, it was much easier to achieve results in a role, which aligned my preferred behaviour and strengths.

I joined Thomas International in 2009 as a Business Consultant covering East Anglia with responsibility for developing a portfolio of clients across, Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Thomas International helps clients recruit, retain, develop and manage their people. We'll give you insight into your staff - what motivates them, their core strengths and limitations, and their potential. And we'll add a high level of certainty to all your people-related decisions.

Thomas is different because our assessments are straightforward to understand and quick to use, with rapid results. 

I tell people their PPA (Personal Profile Analysis) is the most important piece of information they have ever received. It is like holding up a mirror it really helps people to understand their behaviour and how others perceive them. By improving self-awareness PPA gives individuals the opportunity to make choices about their behaviour.

PPA gives an accurate overview of an individual's work behavioural preferences and describes it in terms of four opposing factors:

D = Dominance, I = Influence, S = Steadiness, and C = Compliance.

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It assesses an individual's behaviour in the work environment and can answer questions such as: what are their strengths and limitations? Are they self-starters? How do they communicate? What motivates them?  Providing a valuable insight into what careers might be suitable choices.

Once aware of the DISC profile this can be used in a personal capacity to identify characteristics and aid personal communication.

As a high I Influence my preferred approach to Sales is via networking, this is where I met Jo Evans from Emerald Frog Marketing, committee member for JCI Cambridge. Jo asked me to undertake a presentation to members to increase awareness of their personality types and strengths and limitations.

The presentation evening was extremely enjoyable proving to be a very interactive workshop, with lots of positive energy and questions from the members.

For more information on Thomas International visit:

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30th Aug, 2011

Book now for JCI Presenter Course
by James Mitchell on August 30, 2011 10:38


Looking to enhance your skills as a presenter? JCI London are running their much acclaimed JCI Presenter course!

Then JCI Presenter is for you!

This one-day course on Saturday 17 September will equip you with all the tools you need to develop and deliver an effective presentation, using visual aids and competent delivery, while keeping in mind the needs of your audience. You can use it as a one-off presentation skills course or as the first step to becoming an accredited JCI Trainer.

Why do JCI Presenter?

People who have strong presentation skills are promoted faster, paid more and are generally more successful than those who are less proficient. Learning to present yourself and your ideas effectively can improve your negotiation skills and also lead to stronger interpersonal relationships.

JCI Presenter forms the first rung of a structured global programme designed by JCI to equip members with all the skills you need to deliver first-class training in the workplace or outside.

Read more about JCI Presenter on JCI London's  blog


JCI members - £35
Non-members - £90

Places are strictly limited and advance booking is required.  Price includes training, lunch and materials.


The head trainer for this course will be Lina Derkeshli, a JCI Trainer since 2007 and Certified National Trainer since 2009.  Lina was an active member of the JCI Syria National Board for several years before her move to London. 

Lina will be assisted by Simon Bucknall, JCI London Business Director and Deputy President. Simon is a professional speaker who runs his own consultancy called The Art of Connection.  He won the JCI European Public Speaking Competition in 2008.




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16th Aug, 2011

September's JCI Cambridge Events - Mentoring
by James Mitchell on August 16, 2011 20:28


Katie Morris  - Employability/Careers Adviser at Anglia Ruskin University.  

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I have been running the Employer Mentoring Scheme in Cambridge since 2004.  Mentoring is increasingly recognised as an important skill to develop within today's business enterprises.  The scheme gives people in our business community the chance to gain some direct Mentoring experience, at no cost, within a closely managed timescale - and, in the process, to give something really valuable to a graduate preparing to enter the workplace themselves. 

The scheme is designed to match up students from the Anglia Ruskin University (in their second year) with people in relevant jobs who can help them gain an understanding of their work environment, its culture, its expectations, its demands and even its frustrations.  This is where you come in!  

Could you help an Anglia Ruskin student get a realistic picture of the workplace, the opportunities - and obstacles - they're likely to face? 

Find out more from Katie Morris at the next JCI training session on 13 September 2011

Venue: Eversheds, Kett House, Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2JY
Date: 13th Sep, 2011
Time: 6:30pm
Price: Free for members and first timers, £15 all others


For directions to the venue click here

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16th Aug, 2011

A word from The President!
by James Mitchell on August 16, 2011 09:22


Jen Little, JCI Cambridge President, looks back on the year so far and the Chamber's future plans.

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JCI Cambridge has had an amazing year so far! Having only been re-established for a year we have gone from strength to strength;  having new members join each month, a strong committee of enthusiastic and very capable young professionals, a vibrant business and networking programme of events each month coupled with the opportunities of the wider JCI UK programme.

It is difficult to pinpoint one experience of life within JCI Cambridge this year. In our first training session of 2011 business guru Philip Morley explained ""Why it pays to be clear - communication with clarity". Philips' session covered the commercial advantage of clarity and how dangerous it is when clients, customers, colleagues and investors get the wrong end of the stick. 

February saw the amazing Marcus Orlovsky give a talk on "Packed to be in the right place, at the right time" - a truly inspirational speaker! I was amazed at the power and strength of conviction of the conversations in the pub after this event!  We have also covered topics such as "Massively Improve Your Results : The Secret of Success",  "Time Management", "Personality Profiling in the Workplace", "Emotional Intelligence" and "Negotiation Skills". 

We also hold our social networking events once a month and have had a full house on most months - so much so we have had to find a new venue!

We held our inaugural Business Skills day in April and were the hosts of the President and Deputies day. We had a great night out with both JCI UK members and visitors where we were able to showcase our beautiful city.

We also had a very enjoyable JCI Cambridge summer party which included punting, cocktail making and dancing.

In August we held a Wine Tasting in Conjunction with Cambridge Wine which was very successful with over 30 people attending. 

We also hold special interest groups to give  LinkedIn training and shortly will be including Twitter to this highly informative scheme.

I have thoroughly enjoyed attending both the JCI Presenter and Trainer courses - a must for anyone and being a trainer at the JCI UK Marketing Academy was great fun. We are also extremely proud that one of our committee members attended the European academy.

We have built some strong business relationships and have corporate partners in place who sponsor our events - a big thank you to Eversheds, Emerald Frog Marketing, WKH, Pure Resourcing Solutions, Works In Print, Cambridge Wine and Oxbridge Tours.


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