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Any Answers Digest #7 – relaxation techniques for presentations, call centre training issues, benchmarking self-development…


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 7
Wednesday 27 March 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********
...Relaxation techniques for centre
training issues...benchmarking and
receiving constructive criticism...
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********

Over the last few weeks, we've been encouraging members to
profile themselves. Why? Because it helps us get a better idea
of your specific interests so we can make sure TrainingZONE
remains relevant to you. With so many different topics in the
training world, we can't possibly cover everything, but we do
want to make sure we concentrate on the things that interest you.

Over the coming weeks, Any Answers will be made available
exclusively to TrainingZONE profiled members, so if you haven't
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Log on to Any Answers to share your thoughts with other community
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April 2002.

What you asked this fortnight:
New questions posted include:

- I am about to roll out a course on giving and receiving
constructive criticism to management. Looking through my usual
resources, I'm struggling to find an appropriate energiser to
open the session with. Any suggestions? Jo Unwin

- We are currently looking at how we can continue to encourage
individuals to take an interest in, and responsibility for, their
development. I am keen to do some benchmarking so anyone who is
prepared to share if they do anything and something of how this
works would be appreciated! Sarah Stait

Can anyone advise how we can check the credibility of a
qualifications? I am concerned that a certificate issued for an
MBA is from a 'dubious' source. Thanks in advance. Adele Wright

Got a question you need answered? Post it now, free of charge at

The Open University
The Open University recognises corporate needs and COROUS
(Corporate University Services) is here to help you with all your
e-learning requirements. If you would like to find out more
about our service please contact us to arrange a visit.

Featured question: Relaxation techniques for presentations
One of my senior managers knows all about the importance of
preparation, planning and practise to ensure that a presentation
is successful, but he says that he still feels very very nervous
beforehand. He says that there are times when he feels physically
sick. I was wondering if anyone knows of any techniques to help
with this, or any useful websites. (We know all the usual ones,
like taking deep breaths etc.)

Question submitted by Ceri-Anne Bailey

Members responses

(Edited responses appear - see the site for full responses)

Many years ago when I was young aspiring trainer, a very
experienced colleague told me two things:
- Prepare as much as you can but don't overdo it
- Imagine it going well instead of falling into the trap we all
do (i.e. it not going so well). Take some time out and imagine it
in a totally positive way. He's obviously done it before and can
do it. Concentrate on the things done well before and how he will
do them well again. I still use it today ten years later.

Steven Rowe


I've practised (a bit) of Qi Gong, used a 'Light and Sound' 'Mind
Machine' to good effect. Steven's comments about 'seeing the
success' are very appropriate!

Dave Bramwell

Try getting your people to transfer experiences from job
interview situations, e.g.
- Recall in your mind a funny incident before you go on stage
- Think tall - imagine a book on your head, one foot forward and

William Chadwick


Ask yourself why you feel nervous. Assuming the presentation is
properly prepared then the material will not let you down. If you
have doubts about the material then the nervousness is not the
problem ! Nervousness is a typical, some would say necessary,
physiological response to the demands of performance. If you're
not nervous you're probably too deep inside the comfort zone.
You might wish to consider the problem from the perspective of
athletes and read up about autogenic training and nervous

Kevin Warriner

I'm afraid this isn't very technical but it does work.
Just imagine that everyone in the audience are in their underwear
- it's amazing how levelling it is. Good luck.

Chris Thomas

(A number of members had suggestions relating to underwear - see
the site for more details on what they had to say!)


Read the full discussion and add your own views at

Implementing change and project working are increasingly parts of
every manager's job - yet 70-80 per cent of change project fail!
Future Considerations offers 2-day courses in April-July. We will
give the most innovative and practical approaches, for people at
all levels. See
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TrainingZONE subscribers get a 25 per cent discount on April and
May courses.

Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - I'm in the process of pulling together some research for a
project on the problems that call centres face typically in
designing and delivery effective interpersonal and sales training
skills i.e. for both inbound and outbound calls and sales
handling. Can anyone help?
Andy Cliff

A - Liz Wagstaff says, 'As a previous training manager in a
large call centre I may be able to help - major issues for us
were stress, techniques to deal with high number of calls,
difficult customers, and we always trained on techniques to build
rapport. The other major issue is business time constraints on
training - we were always chasing.'

A - Kim Loveland adds, 'My company design and deliver soft skills
training for call centres. The problems I have found is releasing
agents from the phones, due to the strict targets and measures
they are under. Therefore as a company I have to be able to prove
to my client r.o.i.. My most popular programme is dealing with
difficult customers and phone rage - this is answering a real
need in terms of abuse they are getting and the training helps to
avoid stress/sickness levels and turnover.'

To read the full responses, see

Q - I'm writing an assignment on the Johari Window theoretical
model and I'm trying to find examples of its practical
application within training sessions. Have you used the Johari
Window? Was it successful? Could you share your ideas? Any help
would be much appreciated.
Lorna Hector

A - Megan Borysiewicz Cole says, 'As with all models, some people
love it and others don't. In general I've found that it goes
down well, but more so with those who have a graduate level or
equivalent education, and I would be inclined not to use it with
shop floor level employees particularly those who have had little
previous exposure to self-awareness type training.'

To read the full responses, see

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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Copyright (c) 2002 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
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TrainingZONE, 100 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6HZ
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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