Simon Calderbank Owner of Big Knows
Associate Partner & Practitioner at i2i; Associate Trainer at The White Room; Owner of Big Knows
Had the great fortune to meet Ashley at a Budget Review meeting of all places in 2015 – St Patrick’s Day I recall. Soon became apparent that whilst we were of course interested in understanding the numbers, our real purpose was to meet new and invigorating people. Little did I realise at the time that once we were introduced, a strong bond would form between us.
Ashley is one of life’s great conversationalists. It’s food and drink to him a room full of strangers so we quickly hit it off! We also shared a passion for personality profiling so many’s the time we have spent ‘reading’ those around us. Ashley is usually spot on in his assessments too – a rare gift indeed.
But for me, what I want to shout most loudly about are the lessons he has taught me when it comes to presenting to a crowd. His mantra of “no slides” can create havoc in some but I listened, determined to prove that with practice, I too could begin to reduce the volume of slides used. And pleased to report my reliance on a slide deck is massively reduced especially when delivering a keynote. Audience interaction is so much more alive I’ve found.
Staying central to your audience when presenting whilst common sense to some, I’d always leaned either stage left or right. Not any more. Again, audience reaction has intensified since this simple fix.
Learning to believe in your own talents is at the heart of what Ashley preaches. I’ve since partnered with him on several occasions and each time, I have always been impressed with his dedication to the cause. Happy to throw in the occasional flashpoint, he does however care passionately about his delivery and how it’s received by his audiences.
Oh and a bonus for me? Discovering he used to write for Fantasy Football – Baddiel & Skinner – a TV show which will always have a special place in my heart. less