What are people saying about FocalVocal?

Case Study One

FocalVocal were recently asked by The Zest Group to run a leadership and management training course under the expert eye of Clare Concannon in the beautiful and enigmatic library of Bletchley Park. Funding came from the SFA under the Leadership and Management Training Programme.

The Zest Group – FocalVocal Leadership and Management Training

The Zest Group is a leading hospitality company providing catering, venue reservations and management and event equipment hire. A small company with big contracts including English Heritage and Bletchley Park, and many of London’s leading venues.

The staff skills levels vary and are very varied! We had never undertaken group leadership training and identified that in order for us to progress this would be essential in highlighting company direction, what we have, and to an extent what we do not have and need.

We were recommended FocalVocal from our local business links advisor and what a fantastic recommendation it was! The Zest Group had been hit by the recession and was also re-forming after a few staff issues. The need for Leadership and Direction was large. I met with Monica and with her guidance we created a bespoke course for our companies identified needs. Our main aims were to strengthen leadership, to gain a clear direction and to understand each other a little more so we can all channel in the same direction and grow The Zest Group.

I was personally a little worried about how the employees would take to the training, but within the first 5 minutes my worries had been put to bed! We had the perfect trainer who instantly gelled with my team. There were a lot of points highlighted to me, points that we will certainly ‘learn’ more about via further Focal Vocal Training. I was pleased to see that all employees were joining in and I can honestly say that everyone has taken something away with them.

I truly believe that we have found a training partner who will be part of The Zest Groups growth.

Thank you

Joanna Hancock MSc, BA Hons

Group Marketing Manager
The Zest Group Ltd.


Case Study Two

In April this year AshGaming asked FocalVocal to run a Giving and Receiving Feedback course with trainer Chris Robinson and actors Pradeep Jey and Camilla Mathias. The training, using a combination of forum theatre, role-play work and theory went down such a storm that shortly afterwards FocalVocal was asked to run another course using solely forum theatre to help AshGamers prepare for various imminent business networking events. Using scenarios specific to AshGaming Monica and the actors Karen Bartholomew, Stephan Erdman and Mark Stevenson created a series of sketches to help delegates decide upon a model of best practice.

We really enjoyed the session. The forum theatre training worked really well with our young and creative team. It was a great fun and informal way to bring even the less forthright individuals into the fold and I can definitely say that no one felt like they were in the classroom.

Chris Ash - Managing Director - Ash Gaming Ltd


Case Study Three

In June 2010 FocalVocal were asked to conduct two half day training courses in Diversity and Cultural Awareness at Harrow Council. The course facilitated by Stephanie Schonfield used a combination of forum theatre, practical exercises and discussion. The sketches devised by Lynda Anderson, Natasha Ali, Damian Lynch, Pradeep Jey and Shereena Glean were performed on the day by the latter two and focused on issues pertinent to Harrow council front line staff and end users.

Harrow Council is, after Brent, the second most diverse borough in the UK and in terms of employees the most diverse council in the country. As part of its aim to become one of the best London councils by 2012, FocalVocal was recently invited to run a diversity and cultural awareness course, open to all staff.

Monica and her team were thorough and professional from start to finish which made training planning and delivery a stress-free experience. The course was delivered using forum theatre with actors enabling delegates to fully appreciate that diversity and equality are not adjuncts to working life but intrinsically part of it. The course was well received with feedback suggesting that delegates felt they had increased their awareness of the issues and benefited from the interactive style of training.

James Rose Learning and Development Manager (Interim)
London Borough Council of Harrow


Case Study Four

FocalVocal was asked by the NHS Cancer Screening Programme, based at Northwick Park and St Marks Hospitals NHS Trust, whether we could help with a Customer Care training project with aims to be developed and rolled out nationally.

The Customer Care training, offered to 19 managers and front line staff of Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Hubs across England, included forum theatre and role-play exercises in groups with the actors Katy Bartrop and Philip Elvy. The trainers Clare Concannon and Monica Lowenberg were assisted in rehearsals by the actors Karen Bartholomew and Stephanie Schonfield.

The objective of the training was to place the delegates in scenarios that they might have to deal with when executing their daily duties. The aim of perfecting the customer care skills of staff when handling challenging callers underpinned the training as a whole.

‘I felt the training was excellent, certainly it is far superior to anything we have internally so excellent work to everyone who have put their efforts into this. We will liaise with the National Office the outcome of the session, and we will certainly be communicating with you on the best way forward, so watch this space. My team and I thoroughly enjoyed the session. Thanks to the entire team once again. Mark’

Mark Stewart
Programme Hub Manager
Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
London Programme Hub
Northwick Park & St Marks Hospitals NHS Trust


Case Study Five

Public Speaking with PKF

FocalVocal was asked by PKF (UK) LLP Accountants & Business Advisers based in Farringdon, London whether we could help them spruce up their public speaking skills.

The training, offered to 2 directors and 18 accountants included forum theatre, role-play, vocal and visualisation exercises in groups using two actors and trainer Monica Lowenberg.

The objective of the training was to enable the delegates to feel more confident when speaking publicly, understand their body language and that of others, use their voice correctly and appreciate that what we think ultimately dictates how we behave and the narratives we construct that can either engage or repel others.

‘ PKF invited FocalVocal to deliver a session on Beginners Public Speaking. The attendees found it to be informative, developmental and fun. The presenter and actors struck the right tone from the very start and allowed the participants to contribute which helped maintain their focus. It was a thoroughly worthwhile session.'

John Watkins Director of Training and Development PKF (UK) LLP
Accountants & business advisers