Swindon entrepreneurs get a lesson in networking

By Nick Batten on 9 October, 2019

The third YESwindon event – a new networking group aimed at 18-35-year-olds – took place in September at the speciality coffee shop Darkroom Espresso in Swindon.

This session’s guest speaker was Kerry O`Dowd – a local Voice, Confidence and Engagement Specialist.

We caught up with Kerry to learn more about her business and why she feels events like YESwindon are so important for young entrepreneurs…

Tell us a bit about your background

I trained in performance from the age of eight and went on to study full time at The Sylvia Young Theatre School. My voice has allowed me to perform at many wonderful theatres and venues across the UK. I’ve toured the world on cruise ships and more recently the UK with Gareth Gates. I’ve also made an appearance on the BBC’s The Voice UK!

What do your coaching sessions involve?

I work with speakers, business owners and other professionals to understand how their voice and body language can be used much more effectively to create a bigger and better impact on stage or for potential customers and clients.

Why are these skills important for entrepreneurs?

As an entrepreneur, YOU are your business. If you struggle to talk to new clients or lack confidence in who you are then your business could also struggle. Why would people buy into you and your business if you don’t even believe in you?

How did the session at Darkroom Espresso go?

Our entrepreneurs learned how to tackle nerves using breath control and visualisation. We covered building rapport using mirroring and active listening and we also looked at body language to create a strong physicality or persona for better first impressions.

And the results?

By the end of the session, even our self-conscious ‘Millennials’ had stepped out of their comfort zone. The noise that came from them during the exercises was wonderfully loud and proud. The tools for building rapport meant most people had already found the confidence to talk in pairs as opposed to huddling in safe groups.

What are your thoughts on YESwindon?

Every entrepreneur needs a safe and supportive space to discuss new ideas, ventures or to share the highs and lows of running your own business. It can be an intimidating and sometimes lonely journey but when you have a supportive network with which you may even end up collaborating then you have the chance to take your business to new heights. Also, YES chooses great venues which supports businesses in the local area and that is what it is mainly about – community!

Pictured (Top of Page) The third YESwindon event at Darkroom Espresso (Above) Kerry O`Dowd

Follow the YESwindon conversation on social media @yeswindon #yeswindon. The network is sponsored by The Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub. To gain access to a wide range of impartial business support, advice, access to events, specialist programmes and funding to help your business thrive go to: www.growthhub.swlep.co.uk Businesses can register for free and will receive a free business directory listing.