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Tony French: Telling testimonials


superheroIn a new column, Tony French, the training 'guru’ whose motto is "have flipchart, will Travelodge", tells the story of an action-packed and often dangerous training career which takes him from Poole to Peterborough, and London to Littlehampton. Ever one for reflective practice, this week Tony French ponders the feedback from some of his recent courses.

A training guru’s life is challenging, but rewarding. In between training missions, I reflect on some recent course feedback, and the gift of ‘making a real difference’ to people at work.

  • Professional sales:
    “I learned from Toby Fenchurch that selling is all about subtle tricks like getting the customer’s name right, and ‘Giving them what YOU want’. Thanks Terry - is there anything else I can help you with today?”
    (Jason Cornelius, energy telesales consultant)
  • Handling Difficult Customers:
    “The course has literally changed my life - and my attitude towards what he calls ‘Screamers’, which we get lots of here. He says they’re really just sad b****rs with nothing better to do than complain about everything, and need to ‘wind their necks-in’. Tony has made me think seriously about a new career - he suggests in psychology perhaps?”
    (Steve Dicks, automotive service advisor)
  • Communication & feedback skills for managers:
    “Lunch good, room poor, instructor competent”
    (S. J. F. Peabody MSc, senior mechanical engineering inspector, government agency)
  • Negotiation skills:
    “Good course, (softener) I’ll give it 100% rating if you’ll sign my workfile (conditional bargain), otherwise no deal (walk-away)” (
    Derek Swift, industrial equipment sales-manager)
  • Assertiveness:
    “Tony, the trainer, was nice and other people on the course were very nice and we had a nice time. I didn’t understand some bits of the course, but this is probably my fault because I’m new in the department and my boss didn’t have time to explain why I was being sent on it because she’s very busy and stressed and her bloke’s just left her and I didn’t want to make a fuss or anything. Many thanks, & sorry I wasn’t a better participant!”
    (Angela Fry, receptionist, day nurserry)
  • Presenting data for maximum impact:
    “Half of the course was good - I’m 50/50 about the other 27%.”
    (Damion Phipps, data analyst)
  • Self-awareness & stress management:
    “I now understand that stress mostly affects the other people in my office. You just have to laugh at them &tell them to ‘get a life - which really gets them going… HAS ANYONE SEEN MY TABLETS!!?”
    (Doris Scribbens (Mrs) - HR support, local government)
  • N.B. Delegates’ identities have been changed to protect the innocent. Any resemblance to actual people, whether living, deceased, re-structured, or in one case above, cryogenically preserved in Marmite, is entirely co-incidental.

    Tony French is the fictional creation of Mark Benjamin, training consultant, writer and humorist who explores the lighter side of the world of training, people and change. Contact information: e.mail: [email protected] telephone: + 44 (0)7850 711803


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