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What my clients say about me

  • John Birch - BA
    “I was really impressed with the way Deborah Khan delivered training on the subject of communication skills to us at BA Pensions. She took time to fully research and understand how we worked and what our specific concerns were. She designed a programme that matched not only our collective requirements but was also flexible enough to cover individual development needs. Her methods, being performance based, ensured that even the most introverted of us participated in the programme and our subsequent delivery in formal presentations has improved significantly"
  • Tom Powell - DLKW
    "I participated in a one-day session with Deb Khan last year and would strongly recommend it for both novice speakers and those looking to hone their skills. She (gently) picked apart our strengths and weaknesses and by the end of the day, the results were tremendous. Everyone left with a range of practical skills and it's been a huge benefit for presentations"
  • Kai Vacher - Specialist Schools Trust
    "Deb has incredible foresight, emotional intelligence and a razor sharp focus on specific outcomes to plan programmes/workshops of outstanding quality. Her ability to work with a group of people so that very quickly they feel at ease with each other is unsurpassed in my experience. Deb uses a varied range of interactive strategies to provide the prefect balance of challenge and support for workshop participants. Post event, course participants often contact me to express their overwhelming sense of achievement having worked with Deb, and want more; for themselves and colleagues.”
  • David Mikhail - RHM
    Deborah is fantastic. I’m afraid she had to suffer both of our last pitches – but after her input we just flew, winning really important work from both of them. She is practically our fourth partner now. In spite of all our training (7 years at architecture school) I realise now we were taught nothing about presenting. Deborah helped us to communicate successfully, but she is about much more than communication skills. She goes straight to the heart of what we are trying to say, what are our best ideas, and feels her way into the audience. She works us hard but she’s great fun and our business is booming thanks to her.
  • Simon Beckett - Five TV
    "..this morning was most useful – so often in my experience creative workshops are all enthusiasm and no substance but yours was a refreshing change and I actually had to work at thinking about what you were saying and what I was thinking (I love metacognition)"
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Comments

John Grant

Great stuff,

I hope you dont mind me shamefully plagiarising and pasting some of your additional suggestions back into my comments (I put this up for a client contact to read & also wanted it to accumulate suggestions, I am planning to top it up soon too).

On your 'in practise' point; I do run workshops occasionally but they are really specific to ongoing projects usually and 80% of my work is with coming up with creative solutions & innovative strategies myself or in small working teams. I dont think my workshops are that much cop sometimes - I'm aware of different skills in facilitation, many of which I may lack - but while clumsy they often as not do get the job done.

I also have a slight disposition against method/tools and certainly against any overall rules and another thing you've prompted me to recall is that all great ideas seem to happen when you go off plan/agenda; there is a rupture of some sort, even a crisis.

The unstructured discussion point is interesting. I find that a directed but free flowing discussion; perhaps sitting with a collaborator for an afternoon is the best approach of all.

If you search my blog there's an interview with a dramatherapist I've worked with (Claire Schrader) which might interest btw

:J

ps yes I think you are right, it is research some people from Naked were talking about a a session I was at last month, lazy blogging on my part!

Deborah

I would never describe you as a lazy blogger. That's my title.

Absolutely add this to the suggestions-I'm flattered. Thank you.
Re in practise- yes- around 50% of what I do is in similiar circumstances to you i.e with small groups or one to one although my work tends to be facilitating strategic thinking or applying these techniques to communication of an idea. Developing creative ways to sell the creative thinking if that makes any sense. Typically it can be an ad agency who ask me to help them sell in the creds. Or a heath care trust who ask me to animate their three year strategic plan.

Animation is a word I use time and time again to describe what I do.

Fine line between directed and free flowing discussion. I agree these situations need a collaborator who cares about the outcome but has sufficent objectivity to lead, direct, challenge and observe.
I'm sure your skills are a lot of cop.

Thanks for the dramatherapist link. I tend to play down my drama skills as it can be intimidating. Also I combine this with other approaches. There is a lot of theatre based training around and like anything, it suffers from misconceptions.

Maybe I need to accept that it is part of my usp. Although telling a client you have directed opera has a brilliantly sensational effect. Nothing like alienating a group of people more in those crucial first few minutes when everyone in the room is feeling a bit weird. They assume you will make them sing!

I don't know- I am new to all of this talking about my work stuff so I am trying to receive honest feedback.
I am far happier delivering as it is so hard to capture how I work. It diversifies so much according to the client.

All invaluable learning about what we do, why we do it and why it matters to us (and hopefully others).

John Grant

Just one further thought

Do you think you need to use your blog to talk ABOUT your work? (as if a presentation or cv?)

Maybe that is inhibiting for a good reason?

I use my blogs as a virtual 'department' to bounce ideas off people - it's been really helpful eg in developing the current book, although you dont see all of that online as eg at the moment about 20 people are reading a draft and emailing comments. Plus it gives me a focus to force me to keep what I am finding out in the world interesting, to me and others.

If your blog is an extension of your working life shouldnt it be animating? A series of provocations. A place where opera fits? I'd really love to know what directing an opera is like and how that has taught you stuff you use elsewhere.

You can always put up a brochure style website with your bio and some client quotes on it separately.

I see this as a principle of media. Dont try to communicate something about yourself. Do something with people that says a lot about you and is beneficial to all concerned.

I really loved your thoughts on idea generation btw. I am just thinking aloud which is I think the beauty of blogging compared to other places :J

Deborah

Useful comments John.

Very happy to talk about opera and other theatre techniques at any time.
For me blogging has rejuvenated my reading, but it is the stuff that it has lead to offline that I am most excited about.
BTW my slot at Interesting is a theatre based excercise. May bomb but I think that is absolutely context where risks should be encouraged. And applauded.

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Welcome

  • A fresh, raw idea is our most precious commodity. I run workshops aimed at developing the inherent ability we all have to be creative. With 20 years personal experience of the arts, education, lateral thinking, coaching and consultancy I create bespoke, practical sessions tailored to my client’s particular needs. I then deliver support and advice to help practice and inspire creativity in the workspace. I achieve this through active learning sessions. Where people really understand what it means to be creative – a unique fusion of the intellectual, physical and emotional. With the emphasis on active. It’s about learning by doing. For me there is no other way. Getting off your chair, rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in. It’s dynamic, fast-paced and fun. Many workshops on creativity are often more form than content. I hope mine has the balance towards the former but has a great latter. For more information email me and I will send you a full description of what I do.