Jackie Barrie: Speaker

“I have had the pleasure of attending several presentations delivered by Jackie on a range of subjects and every time she is able to keep the full attention of the audience, with a range of audience participation activities. She always knows her subject matter in great depth and comes across very confident and professional. I would have no hesitation in recommending Jackie to deliver a presentation for your company.”
Alan Timms, Regional Manager, MTU at Santander UK Corporate & Commercial

Still a hands-on copywriter after over 30 years, I also speak and train for clients around the world. My core topics include clear communications, copywriting skills and effective websites.

Mixing in audience participation activities helps break up a long conference or training session, and injects a valuable boost of energy and laughter. My delivery style includes interactive and fun icebreakers, energisers and activities that keep your audience engaged while also embedding your valuable message. Most of the exercises I use are are simple, low-tech and low-cost, but they get a great reaction as shown in the case studies below.

Let’s discuss some ideas…

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Case study: Networking event

I was invited to run a networking session for the Young Director Forum at the IoD. I included my famous ‘networking bingo’ as an icebreaker and example of ‘quantity’ networking. I then divided attendees into groups using ‘fuzzy balls’ to present to each other for one-minute each as an example of ‘quality’ networking. Finally, I drew out some key lessons for them to take away.

Here’s a brief snippet that captures the energy that resulted in the room:

“You were excellent and spot on for our crowd. That was one of the buzziest nights we’ve had and that was down to your injection of energy.”
David Gordon, Chairman, IoD Young Directors’ Forum

  • Best time to run this exercise? Just before a break
  • Variations: Snowball fight – a fun way of getting people to mix and mingle. Card matching – a creative way of getting people into groups.
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Case study: Training session

This is one of my most popular and memorable activities to demonstrate the importance of communication. Lots of other lessons can be drawn from the exercise too. Having done it hundreds of times, I’ve only had to give away money twice. Hmm, interesting…

Here’s how it works (sorry about the poor sound):

“Many thanks for your excellent talk on Thursday. I expected it to be good and wasn’t disappointed. I particularly liked the paper-tearing exercise.”
Huw Williams, Croydon Ecademy
  • Best time to run this exercise? When you want to improve delegates’ communication skills or teach them to respect and understand individual differences.
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Case study: Finding your core message

This 20-minute talk puts my copywriting skills to the test, as I rewrite the taglines of three volunteers – instantly – by playing the role of a 10-year-old, their ideal client, and Judge Jackie. While being entertained, audience members learn valuable lessons they can take away to help bring clarity to their own core message. This highly involving and interactive talk can be followed up by a bespoke training session for your team.
“With high energy and audience participation, Jackie’s talk was informative, entertaining and engaging. The volunteers who agreed to be featured benefited from personalised advice, while the rest of the audience came away with bucket-loads of tips to put into practice.”
Jackie Groundsell, Beckenham Business Association
  • Best time to deliver this talk? When attendees are responsible for writing their own core message
  • Variations: Count the dots (the importance of standing out)
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Case study: Small-business owners

Sole traders, entrepreneurs and small-business audiences will get value from my popular 30-minute speech, ‘The 4 x 4 x 4 approach to websites‘ that I’ve delivered around the world since 2014. For maximum impact, the slides are tailored every time to include examples from attendees in the room. It’s a good fit with my third book The Little Fish Guide to Writing your own Website which can be bought in bulk and given as a gift afterwards.

  • Best time to deliver this talk? When attendees are responsible for their own web content
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Useful resources for speaker bookers and event planners

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