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26th Jun, 2016

Third Public Speaking Academy another great success!
by Sarah Beckwith on June 26, 2016 20:45


The JCI UK Public Speaking Academy returned for its third year over the weekend of 14/15 May.  I started the academy with former National President, Solveig Malvik in 2014 and I could not be prouder of what has come about as a result.  We've had 30 brilliant graduates in the UK, exported the academy to Denmark and had three JCI European public speaking finalists and two winners.

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Voice coach Cathleen McCarron teaches delegates the importance of using the whole body to control breath and voice

At the academy this year I was joined by past JCI UK Public Speaking Champion and European finalist, Patrick McCrae, who did a brilliant job of providing invaluable feedback and encouragement to the delegates.  Over the course of the weekend, both Patrick and I were blown away by the courage, commitment and improvement the delegates showed and were both quite emotional when it came to watching the phenomenal final speeches.  Each and every participant had taken their public speaking skills not just to the next level, but several levels higher.  If the speeches we saw are anything to go by, it's going to be a fantastic competition at the National Convention in November.

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Participants putting new skills into practice

Some of the feedback from delegates was as follows:

"Public speaking was a very insightful, informative training for me.  I learnt a lot and will take away all the tips and pointers and apply them in my every day speeches".  Mary Mambwa, JCI Greenwich

"Loved the opportunity to develop my skills and meet new people in a great, safe environment".  Bev Mackfall, JCI Barnsley

"As someone who is new to public speaking, it has been an invaluable weekend where I have been able to face fears.  It has given me confidence to learn and develop skills further".  Anne Homer, JCI Sheffield.

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Graduates and trainers of the 2016 JCI UK Public Speaking Academy


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16th Jun, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Marketing Director
by Ryan Plikington on June 16, 2016 18:58


Marketing. It’s a role that is vital for all businesses and organizations. The role, in a nutshell, means that you look after the social media accounts held by the chamber, design any promotional materials such as banners, posters, publications and leaflets and ensure that the website of the local chamber is kept up to date with the latest events and information. 

There are opportunities to meet, learn and grow through the role and this is my second time in the driving seat. I decided to take on the Communications Director role for JCI Sheffield last year (2015) and have taken on the Marketing Director role for both JCI Sheffield and JCI UK this year. 

So what’s a normal day for a marketing director? The day can vary depending on what is on the to-do list but there are staple tasks to keep the JCI brand running and in the public eye. These tasks as always with any council role within JCI integrate with everyday life such as jobs and hobbies. 

1. Social media Checking / Automation. This is one of the biggest tools you can use as a marketer because of it’s size, opportunities, and challenges. Depending on the social media accounts held  and how active they are the day usually starts with checking out the social media accounts and seeing retweets, likes, shares and comments on the platforms used. It’s always helpful to set a timer for this as you can easily become distracted with your personal notifications.  This later on in the day will turn into a session looking at the analytics for the biggest channels and seeing what posts worked and which didn’t and using those as a starting block to set out the next posts for the week or a couple of days. Hashtags can be daunting and can break a brand if used incorrectly so I always make sure to do a test of a hashtag before I use to make sure that the JCI name isn’t in the same search or feed as a hurtful new story or unrelated issue. 

2. Design. For me, design is something that will integrate its self into my everyday life. On an average day I will be either emailing back and forth regarding banner designs for events or promotional materials or editing existing designs. These will then be used on the website, Facebook and Eventbrite to ensure that the event is public on our biggest platforms. I always find it helpful if possible to set out a block of time to get around 3 events drafted first (if possible) so that you know these are ready and any amendments can be made without rushing! 

3. The third are various tasks done throughout the day.  Idea generation, article drafting for publications or blog posts and any other notes made to either enhance marketing strategies. It’s always handy to get things jotted down as if you’re like me then your mind will be running at 70mph on a normal day trying to focus on one task at a time but struggling. This means I can get the idea out of my head and onto my app ready to return to when I need. 

These are by no means the be all and end all of the marketing role. It’s our responsibility to ensure that the JCI brand is seen with the correct manner on social media and publications, the brand artwork is kept within the global brand guidelines, that I keep up to date with the latest social media trends and updates, send out emails to our mailing list and deal with any external companies such as printers. It’s always funny when I think of my days as a Marketing Director, as social media, like most of us, surrounds us so when I’m checking my own personal accounts I always do a check on the JCI accounts to see how they are doing. 

Overall the role is one that I have developed in and I am still continuing to develop and grow. If you’re interested in marketing then you can check out more about the role on our website along with other council team roles. 


Ryan Pilkington

2016 Marketing Director

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3rd Jun, 2016

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10 reasons to book on Leadership Excellence in  Action Programme (LEAP)

1. Enhance and develop your leadership skills further

2. Gain further understanding on leadership styles and how to get the most out of people

3. Push yourself outside your comfort zone

4. Build your CV to help with leadership roles in the future

5. Meet new people from this fantastic organization

6. Feel more comfortable and confident in handling tricky situations and conflict

7. Improve your public speaking skills

8. Understand how you work in a group and how to improve your group work

9. Build a set of skills for you to use in the future

10. Have FUN!


Let’s have a look at what some LEAP Alumni have to say about the course:

I attended leap in 2014 and it has helped me in my career and take the step up in to leadership and develop myself further. Leap is one of the best experiences of my life. – Gareth C, Sheffield

LEAP is one experience I will never forget, it made me understand the grouping of teams and how they work and how different things can happen, useful for people thinking about taking the next step up to management – Ollie H Barnsley

LEAP is simply the process where enthusiam, energy and great people turn good people into great people and future leaders – Andy H London

LEAP was a jam packed weekend of a seriously comprehensive leadership programme. I walked away with practical knowledge through the amazing tasks we were challenged with. – Hasanual H London


LEAP 2016 takes place on 19-21 August 2016 - click here to book

Blog by Gareth Carson who is the organiser for LEAP 2016. Any queries about LEAP please email the team by clicking here

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24th May, 2016

Should we stay or should we go - will you #useyourvote
by Sarah Beckwith on May 24, 2016 21:58


It is now less than a month until the UK will vote on whether or not to stay a member of the EU in the 23 June referendum.  Will you #useyourvote?  

It is a complicated subject with passionate proponents putting forward multiple arguments on both sides.  Many people are still undecided both on the way they will vote and perhaps even if they will vote at all.   JCI UK is encouraging all members to listen to both the Leave and Remain campaigns and get the facts about what a vote either way would mean for the future of our country.  Getting the facts will allow voters to make an informed decision and then use their vote wisely.  

Please do engage in discussions with friends and family, make sure they know the date, how to register to vote and how important it is to do so.  You can download and use our Facebook banner here and join in with the #useyourvote hashtag on social media.

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To help members understand the arguments and issues, JCI Sheffield recenlty hosted a debate.  Anne Homer shares her experience of the event as follows:

As a recent member of JCI Sheffield who is eager to learn and grow, I have made it my resolve - within reason - to jump feet first into any opportunity which comes my way.  
...And with this said... this is why, when Gareth Carson asked me to take part in the EU Referendum debate, I was instantly persuaded to get involved and be chucked in at the deep end - even though I had had no experience of debating what so ever, had never been to a debate.

Putting forward an argument for leaving the EU (an argument which I didn't necessarily believe in) and preparing a script which I had been told should last for just a couple of minutes originally (but which I later found out was to be for 6 minutes) I knew would not be easy and I am ashamed to admit I knew only the basics about the subject at the time. Thrown in at the deep end? Yes. Did I learn and grow? Certainly.

‪On the 23rd June‬ each of us will have the chance to vote on whether the UK should remain in the EU or not. This is a huge undertaking because the EU debate decision could determine or change the fortunes of the UK forever.

Before the JCI EU debate I had a chance to research some of the EU arguments which I could then, in turn, share with the rest of my group: Mark Smith, the team captain, and Ryan Pilkington, speaker 2. Mark was incredible, sharing his time to teach me techniques and show me the rules of debating, taking what Ryan and I were talking about to come up with a dynamite introduction and conclusion to the whole argument.

On the night the opposing team for staying in the EU were Charlotte Scothern, Bev Mackfall, and Lynsey McAteer who didn't half put forward some amazing points.

Blog » Misc » JCI Sheffield deabate - team.jpg    Blog » Misc » JCI Sheffield debate - Anne.jpg

              The Remain Team                                  Anne Putting Forward Her Arguments

I had so much to talk about after all the preparation and research that the timing was difficult to stick to... What I wanted to say would have taken so much longer.  As someone who is new to debates and speaking in public I found the feedback given from the judges invaluable, leaving me with the desire to embark and improve my skill of presenting. The experience, whilst a challenge, was very positive

The event really opened our minds and made people think - which is what JCI is all about.  The EU debate, along with every other JCI event I have attended so far, is shaping me as a person, making me face my fears and overall making me become more outgoing and confident. All of these experiences are invaluable and I am loving every minute of being part of a chamber which is so encouraging about everything and pushing me to try new things.


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23rd May, 2016

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JCI UK have four bursaries available, each being £75, to grant to members to cover part of the cost of attending our award winning National Leadership Academy, LEAP (Leadership Excellence in Action Program) in August 2016.  This is a highly thought after national academy that has trained over 100 JCI UK members since it was first launched back in 2012.  Don't just take our word for it - check out what previous delegates have said here.

Please find below the terms and conditions of applying for a bursary, and what you need to consider before applying.

The bursary application form is a GoogleDoc, and can be found by clicking this here. If for any reason you are unable to open the link, please contact Mark Smith 2016 National Finance Director who will arrange to send you the application form in a different format for you to complete and return.

To book your place on LEAP, click here.

Terms and Conditions

1. Before the bursary is applied for, the member must first book a place on the LEAP academy through the Eventbrite event. The member must also be a fully paid up member of JCI UK.

2. The bursary is for the value of £75. The balance of the ticket price of £60 (for a limited edition ticket) must be paid for by the member, once they have been notified their bursary application has been successful.

3. The application must be received by 28th June 2016 to be considered by the LEAP team. 

4. Applications submitted will be sent to Mark Smith (2016 National Finance Director for JCI UK), who will remove any reference to a member's name/chamber/role, and will then send the body of the application to the LEAP committee for consideration. This is to ensure the applications are considered without any bias or prejudice against the candidate and is to make the process transparent and fair.

5. Successful bursary applicants will be notified by email, and will then be required to pay the balance of the ticket price to JCI UK to complete their booking.

6. Unsuccessful bursary applicants will also be notified by email, and will be required to pay the full ticket price to JCI UK in order to complete their booking.

7. After the academy, the bursary recipients may be required to promote their LEAP experience via the following means:

    a. A blog/newsletter article for their local chamber website and/or JCI UK website

    b. Presentation to their local chamber members or council team

    c. Other means as agreed with the LEAP Conference Organising Committee (COC team)


We look forward to seeing you at this years LEAP!

Best wishes,

Gareth Carson

2016 LEAP COC Director


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22nd May, 2016

JCI Winchester
by MichaelSteel on May 22, 2016 10:58


JCI UK are thrilled to announce that we have granted Provisional Organisation status for a new chamber - JCI Winchester.

JCI Winchester will now begin the process of working towards full affiliation to JCI UK and we look forward to seeing events coming up and giving development opportunities to young people in the area.

Michael Steel

2016 Deputy National President - JCI UK

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20th May, 2016

Meet National Board - Phil Cockayne
by Ryan Plikington on May 20, 2016 14:00


Meet National Board

Phil Cockayne, 2016 JCI Yorkshire Regional Group Chair


Philip Cockayne

Local Chamber:

JCI Bradford

How long have you been a JCI member?

Since November 2013

What made you become a JCI member?

I was looking for a way I could improve my professional outlook outside of work but also put my skills towards a good cause

What is your role on National Board?

As the Regional Group Chairman for Yorkshire, I oversee the Yorkshire region (currently made up of 6 chambers; Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield). I support the local presidents and chambers in the region, help find new opportunities, introduce JCI to new networks and act as liaison between the National Board and the chambers of Yorkshire

What made you want to take on this role?

My skills have always been more strategic in nature (i.e. finding new partners and organisations to work with, groups to support, networking in the region) but also helping apply lessons learned from Bradford across the region (including sharing other lessons from across the region to ensure best practice is being adopted across the region. I also already have a good network across the region so I wanted to apply this at a regional level for JCI rather than at the Bradford level.

What positions have you held within JCI prior to National Board?:
Deputy President at JCI Bradford (2014)
President at JCI Bradford (2015)

What advice would you give to members who are thinking to take on roles within their local council?
JCI is a bit like the gym - if you sign up for membership and don’t do anything with it, don’t be surprised that you’re not getting better. But to apply the same analogy, at the gym you have different workouts based on your goals (cardio for weight loss, weight lifting for bulking, HIIT for tone etc.) The same applies to JCI - be clear on your goals. I’ve always known what I’m good at and what skills I want to improve. By using JCI as a platform, I can continue to grow my skillset outside of work and do some good in the process. So, if you want to rise through the ranks in marketing, take up a Marketing Director role, if you want to do more fundraising, take up a Community Director role. Use JCI as the widely recognised and respected organisation it is and see your career prospects improve as you develop.

If you could choose one national JCI event to attend in 2016 which would you choose?

National Conference’s are always brilliant

Do you have a goal for 2016?

I have plenty:
• Ensure best practice is being shared and 
applied across the region

• Help newer, less well-established chambers grow membership and drive engagement

• Increase exposure across the region (via press, other media outlets etc.)

• Find partners JCI can work with (either community, networking or training) at a regional level 

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18th May, 2016

My JCI Journey: Mark Smith
by MarkSmith on May 18, 2016 21:30


I will start at the very beginning! I first found out about JCI Sheffield when I saw a tweet promoting an open evening aimed at young professionals in Sheffield back in 2012.  It grabbed my interest partly as I thought I could meet other 'like minded' individuals, but also potentially to meet business owners and entrepreneurs who might be interested in supporting the childrens charity SAFE@LAST that I work for.

I toddled along to the open evening, quite happy going on my own as in my mind I was in work mode so I was use to doing such things, whereas if I thought it was going to be purely a social occasion, then there was no way I would have gone on my own as I would have been too nervous!  Everyone was very friendly and I listened with interest about all the things JCI has to offer.  I remember the first thought was that it must be too good to be true and must cost an arm and a leg to be involved with.  When I found out it was only £10 per month, I filled in my membership form there and then and set up payment the next day!

One of the early ideas that really appealed to me was being able to attend so many different training workshops.  I would always consider myself to be pretty good at time management and organisation, so I wouldn't take a day out of work or use the little bit of work training budget I do have to go on such a course, but because such training events and workshops are included as part of the JCI membership, I snapped up every opportunity available.

I have also relished the international opportunities that JCI have presented - through JCI, the world certainly looks smaller.  I would never have dreamed about nipping over to the Netherlands for the weekend if its wasn't for JCI.  I would never have expected to have ever visited Japan but I went to World Congress there last year and actually delivered my own training course on event management too!  With JCI I have also travelled to Malta, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands and I am looking forward to going to Finland and Canada this year and Switzerland and Amsterdam next year.

It was an absolute honour to serve as Local President in 2015 and to lead the chamber and work alongside such an incredible team with the theme of 'be the change'.  Some of the highlights of my presidential year was hosting the lustrum dinner (held every 5 years) for Past Presidents, celebrating 100 years of the JCI global movement, launching a small grants scheme for local groups, delivering training at European Conference (Turkey) and World Congress (Japan) and leading the chamber in being awarded 'most outstanding JCI chamber in the UK'.

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I could literally go on for pages and pages about how I have grown as a person through JCI - developed my confidence, developed existing skills, learning new skills and lapping up such a wide range of extraordinary and simply awesome experiences and meeting some people I now consider to be my closest friends.  As well as on a personal level, I have also benefitted on a professional level as JCI Sheffield have supported SAFE@LAST for several years in terms of fundraising, giving up hundreds of hours volunteering in all sorts of ways at events and I even recruited a trustee from JCI!  This year I am proud to be Immediate Past President for JCI Sheffield and also to serve on the JCI UK National Board as National Finance Director which is providing a whole set of different development opportunities and experiences for me.  Quite simply, I love JCI!

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My only regret - not knowing about JCI much earlier.  So if you are reading this and think you would like even a smidgen of all the positive and exciting things I have mentioned...come along to an event and try it out - what have you got to loose?

One of my favourite quotes by Henry Ford:

 "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!"

Thank you JCI!

Mark Smith

JCI Sheffield member since 2012

Most outstanding JCI member in the World, 2014

Get in touch by email, or follow me on twitter!

Blog taken from JCI Sheffield 'Steel City News' May 2015 magazine - read more here.


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13th May, 2016

Get involved in training
by James Lambert on May 13, 2016 12:57


I took on the role of Personal Development Director in 2016 as that is the area of JCI in which I have gained the most out of membership through attendance on courses on a local, national and even international level.

Over the last 18 months I have been working with some of our more experienced members to plan a Training Academy to train members who are interested in training both within JCI and potentially externally too. The first National Training Academy is being held in Birmingham on 4th & 5th June 2016. 

Even a couple of years ago I would not have considered myself good enough to deliver training courses. However in the last year I have had experience of co-training at our Leadership Academy (LEAP) and in January I got to co-train JCI Impact with Dan Senter on the day after Inspiration Day and now believe that by attending the Academy next month I will learn lots of new knowledge and tips about training from experienced JCI trainers.

The academy is open to ALL JCI UK members with an interest in training. The cost of the weekend (including a night in a hotel) is a bargain at £90. To sign up please click here 

If you have any questions about the National Training Academy or any other aspect of Personal Development please email me

I look forward to hopefully seeing you there! 


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9th May, 2016

Member of the Month - Héloïse Mignot (JCI London)
by Sarah Beckwith on May 9, 2016 12:45


Our member of the month for April is Héloïse Mignot from JCI London.  Héloïse is the JCI London Social Director for 2016 and is also leadingBlog » meet the members » Heloise Mignot.jpg on a major project for the chamber.  

Her roles this year have allowed her to develop her event management, negotiation and social media skills.  By taking the lead on the London Refugees project: ‘JCI London to Calais’, she has recruited team members, initiated partnerships with JCI France Chapters, initiated collaboration with JCI Syria and chaired meetings. 

JCI London President Rafael commented:

"Héloïse's contribution to the 2016 board has been extraordinary. Her energy, passion and work ethic have produced 2 headline social events per month including international dinners, celebrating the diversity of the London chamber and continuity of our Thirsty Thursday's with some exciting new developments. 

Héloïse has also initiated the exciting new community project London2Calais, aimed to help refugees in Calais and potentially elsewhere (i.e. Syria). She has managed to generate a lot of positive energy and interest around that project and there is good chance, JCI London together with Chapters from JCI France will deliver concrete positive action that will address this current challenge."

Congratulations to Héloïse for her hard work and fantastic personal development.  She receives £50 off the price of a national convention ticket.  

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A French-themed dinner organised by Héloïse 

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