Peter Jones Academy Students Practice Pitching to Perfection with Keep Your Fork

19th January 2015

When the team at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, based at Sheffield College, needed an expert guest speaker on presentation and pitching skills, they turned to award-winning local business woman, Faye Smith of Keep Your Fork Marketing & PR.

Faye, who in December won both the Yorkshire Women in Business best home-based business award and the Guardian Small Business Innovation Award for developing her unique 'BrandBooster' training programme, is also the marketing specialist advisor at Sheffield Hallam. For the last four years she has been conducting the pitching and presentation skills training of young Hallam entrepreneurs and individual coaching of business award finalists and at the annual Yorkshire Universities Bootcamp. Two years ago she was invited to bring these skills to younger students at the PeterJonesEnterpriseAcademy, one of only two in the country, as a volunteer mentor with the Entrepreneur Exchange. Graeme Tidd, business enterprise manager explained the vital importance of this kind of training to the students. -Being able to present professionally is vital. Building confidence and self-esteem, and being able to communicate effectively, is crucial to business success. Faye has delivered yet another highly valuable workshop that will positively- and significantly- impact our students, helping them prepare to impress at our Pitch for Investment event at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills next week in front of a panel of 24 business owners. Glenn Roberts, Academy lecturer enjoyed the presentation as much as the students. "The event was a fantastic opportunity for our enterprise students to participate in a master class in pitching and presenting skills. Faye is an excellent trainer, highly motivated with a great energy, which helped to enthuse and motivate the students. The session was very interactive which put the students in the spotlight right from the word go. The performance poetry exercise to help them break through public speaking nerves and use their bodylanguage was inspired. A thoroughly enjoyable session which added enormous value to the curriculum." Student comments included: -Fantastic, brilliant words and great inspiration for my business. I will take Faye's advice and apply it to my own business. Christeena Grain The Night Owl -Exceptional talk! Broadened my knowledge and understanding! Sofia Hayat -Today helped me to overcome my fear of pitching. Nazdar Jasim -Faye is full of so much enthusiasm! Jack Crofts, Victoria Royal Faye- who last year won two Yorkshire Trainers Awards for customer experience and training innovation- concluded, -I love nothing more than empowering others by building their confidence and skills through imparting the knowledge and tricks of the trade I have built up over 20 years of hard experience from running Europe's first retail academy at Meadowhall to training small business owners in personal branding and entire school sixth forms to present themselves at interview. We covered what you say, how you say it and how you look and act while saying it in a packed two hours. Students learn how to dress, creating a persuasive vocal tone, bringing enthusiasm and passion into their body language and key emotional hooks those clients and investors want and need to hear. Everyone needs to know how to pitch, whether it's to get a job, a promotion, secure a business investment, a refund in a shop or even to get a date! These are life skills I'd love to see being taught in all education settings and it's a pleasure to be able to -give back to such bright, motivated students who have some tremendous business ideas. I'm only sorry I wasn't able to be a 'dragon' aswell this year- judging from some of the improvements I've seen today, those business owners are in for a treat. Born and raised in Sheffield, Faye comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She nursed an ambition to be self-employed and finally took the step 14 years ago when her youngest child was six months old- setting up a training consultancy alongside part time work. Faye became fully self-employed six years ago and has not looked back. She now runs a marketing, PR and training consultancy called Keep Your Fork which offers training, consultancy and inspiring speaking events around Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Her award-winning training has been featured on all four major TV channels and in the national press. Details at:  www.keepyourfork.co.uk

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