Sally Hindmarch is the owner of Partners With You, a communication skills business which uses experienced actors to deliver the programmes. I recently participated in the Presentation and Confidence Building programme, a day long workshop to learn how to communicate more effectively. A lot of this is based around actors’ techniques of how to relax and deal with nerves, and developing and caring for the voice. It uses creativity through storytelling, vision exercises and games to break through those blocks which stop us being at our best when communicating. The emphasis, which I really love, is on how to develop your personal strengths and style as a speaker, rather than becoming some ‘corporate’ clone type speaker (yes, we’ve all seen them and thought “that’s not for me”.) It is interactive, very full on and surprisingly good fun! It is also one of the best facilitated workshops I have ever been on. It is a great course if you are at all nervous about speaking in public, whether it is pitching your work to one person, mingling at a networking event, making a presentation to a funder or accepting the Turner Prize!
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
That it makes a difference! Having spent more years than I care to remember in database marketing, much of it producing mail which went straight into the recipients bin, it is wonderful to be doing something that makes a difference to people’s lives at home as well as work.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Maya Angelou. She was a woman. Phenomenally. As someone said after her death - she had so much to say and none of it inconsequential!
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
Just because someone has a high ranking job title don’t assume they know the answer any more than you do. Your idea or suggestion is just as likely to be the right one. And build your network; keep in touch with your colleagues and friends, never be rude about the people you don’t like. The world really is a small place!
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
When I’m creating new workshops I like to sleep on it. Write, sleep, edit. I heard Peter Thomson say recently – “Write drunk; edit sober” – sound advice in my book!
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
I would be a two tone court shoe. Black at the front and coloured (possibly fuschia) at the back/on the heel. Smart, practical but not quite as conventional as I first appear!