WiRE Conference 2016 – Workshops

Posted: 1st March 2016

 We are offering a choice of two workshops in the morning and three in the afternoon; you don’t have to book in advance just Book Herechoose on the day. Scroll down to see the topics and the workshop leaders.

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Isla WilsonIsla Wilson; Ruby Star Associates

Have you ever wondered if you could serve on a board as a trustee or non-executive Director. Experienced non-executive Director Isla will be on hand to talk you through paid and non-paid board positions and how you might be able to contribute.  Feel free to bring a copy of your CV for tips on how you can board-ify your experience.


Morning Session

Phillipa Davies

 Philippa Davies: Your Writing Mind

WORKSHOP: Unleash your inner JK Rowling or Joanna Trollope – and let her loose on your business story

In this highly interactive workshop, you’ll identify your best business story, why it connects with your customers and how to shape it so it gets noticed, remembered and acted upon. You’ll experiment with story formats for writing in different contexts: in print, on your website, in press releases and social media. And you’ll plan how you can interpret your story in different types of media, so that it acts as a most powerful marketing and communications tool to reach your customers.

About Philippa:

Philippa Davies is a writer and psychologist, and author of 11 non-fiction and fiction books. She’s coached Olympic head coaches, business bosses, politicians and journalists to give their message impact, and her clients have included John Lewis Partnership, BBC, Channel 4 and Universal Pictures.


Charlie Wells - CCWCharlie Wells: CCW

WORKSHOP: You say it best, when you say nothing at all (never underestimate the importance of body language)

‘Why do you feel rapport with some people and not others? How do you know when you are getting your message across? What are the signs that the other person is not engaged and what can you do about it? What does it mean when someone looks down and to the left before responding when you ask them a question? In this short seminar ‘You say it best…..when you say nothing at all’ we will take a look at why body language is important to you as a business person. In addition you will learn how you can be aware of and improve the signals you are giving out. As well as a review of all of the big gestures we make (and exploding some of the myths about them!), we’ll also look at the more subtle stuff – the microgestures (including eye movements) which can give away what we’re really thinking! I can’t promise to turn you into Derren Brown or Dynamo, although if you attend this session before entering a business negotiation you will sharpen up your reading of the situation and ensure that you keep your own body language under control…!’

About Charlie:

Charlie Wells is a CIPD qualified HR professional and Master NLP practitioner with over 20 years experience in corporate and SME environments. She has held both operational and strategic roles during this time and has worked in various sectors including automotive, aerospace, education and healthcare. For the last 9 years she has also had a small consultancy focusing on management development and individual business coaching for performance. She is passionate about helping people and organisations reach their full potential and uses both formal and informal methods to do this (even sometimes resorting to stealing her children’s lego for training exercises!) Outside of work she enjoys Scouting, amateur dramatics and reading.’


Afternoon Session


Karen Thorne: Hopton House B&B near Ludlow and Bed and Breakfast Academy

WORKSHOP: Do you really know your customer?

Perceived marketing wisdom these days is that content is king; it drives traffic, it engages customers and it helps your business find a voice. But it is just words on a page if it’s not doing its job; what is the point or wracking your brains to churn out content if it’s not reaching the right people, boosting your business and bringing you new customers. Karen’s interactive and lively workshop (with coloured pens and sticky post its) will help you understand your customer, who they are, where to find them and how to keep them engaged. Ultimately allowing you, your customer and your content to co-exist in perfect harmony.

About Karen:

Karen has a background in IT and science having spent 16 years with British Airways, she moved her family up to South Shropshire and set up Hopton House B&B in July 2004, where the first guest was the quality assessor! Despite burning the toast and forgetting her baked beans, Hopton House was awarded 4 stars and a silver award, which was upgraded to a gold award a year later. The B&B has improved gradually over the years, and is now very successful with an enviable occupancy rate and in 2007 Karen launched The Bed and Breakfast Academy sharing her skills and educating the next generation of B&B owners.

Karen was an early adopter of Social Media for business (in the days when most of us didn’t know a Tweet from a Twerk). She now has a following of 13,000 on Twitter and is passionate about helping people find their voice and their market using the many free tools available; she knows what to say to keep customers engaged and entertained.


Sam WarnerSam Warner:  Get Your Message Across

WORKSHOP: People buy people; the art of selling yourself, without selling your soul

No one wants to be sold to. You have to create desire and curiosity – be a bit of a tease! I will show you how to connect with an audience (of 1 or many) and encourage them to feel something about you or what you have to say. You will learn how to use the hero-story so people get emotionally attached and then really listen to you. The workshop will include some teamwork where we will list your best attributes (a very empowering exercise) and knit those together using a story to make you likeable and win the audience over without even trying. Once this has been achieved you can pretty much sell them anything. At the end of this workshop you can expect to be feeling energised, excited and engaged; you will appear confident (not cocky) and you will no longer be afraid to sell your products and/or services. You will attract people to you instead.

About Sam:

Sam Warner has been helping people to communicate since 2008. Sam trains,coaches and mentors by applying her BA(Hons) in Business Management, sharing her knowledge gained in 6 years of public speaking in Toastmasters International and drawing on her 20 years experience working for many and varied companies in various roles. Sam uses her broad knowledge to help a variety of people from different backgrounds and is also known for her communication and behaviours translation work with Autistic adults and their friends and families. Sam’s clients include high-flying execs, school children, charities, corporates and entrepreneurs. Lately Sam has been teaching children at Ercall Wood school how to speak in public, continues to undertake personal development and is writing a book on how to help those without Autism live and work with those who have. Sam’s also helping several entrepreneurs to get their message across on video and shake off those fears for good.


Janet GeeJanet Gee: St James’s Place Wealth Management

WORKSHOP: Pensions – A Brave New World?

The Pensions world is changing. We now have more choice and flexibility as to how we take our pension(s) to fund our retirement – but will our pension(s) be sufficient to fund our post-work lifestyle?

As WIRE members, we are all busy working women creating and maintaining successful businesses – but we will want, or need, to retire at some stage – are you prepared? Do you know when you can afford to retire? Do you know how much income you would like / need in retirement? Do you know how much income your pension will provide? Are you still building your pension pot? If the answer to any of these questions is “NO” then this session is for you….

Come and hear about the recent changes in pensions legislation and how this may affect you. Learn about the options available to you. As business women, we should be in a position to make informed choices – and this is one of life’s major decisions that no-one can afford to get wrong.

About Janet:

Janet is a Wealth Manager and specialises in helping women understand and take control of their wealth. She has been a WIRE member since 2012 and now runs the Mid-Warwickshire WIRE group – and has been a guest speaker at a number of WIRE meetings, speaking on “Financial Planning for Women”. Janet represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website at sjp.co.uk/products.