Tag Archives: workshop

Skills Development – ZooStephen Workshop

Communication and Presentation Skills training sessions are fun, and its great meeting new people.

Thanks to Dudley Zoo for hosting the event, I was able to run a day long workshop for educators/presenters from a diversity of collections: DZG, West Midlands Safari Park, Green Dragon Eco Farm, WWT Slimbridge, Cotswold Falconry, Knowsley Safari, WILD and BTO (ex welsh mtn).

The existing knowledge, skills and experience of the group was mixed, and the workshop covered some of the background theory, conservation messaging ideas and discussion, and a diversity of activities, designed to support greater confidence and understanding in doing presentations and providing ‘education’.  We used non-verbal communciation alongside ‘acting’ techniques and finished the day with light-hearted group talks on flamingos and pandas.

The feedback from participants was great – with some good thoughts regarding both the amount of content and development of individual skills. Thanks to all involved for engaging and having FUN whilst developing and enhancing skills and experience.

This workshop was provided at very low cost to the organisations involved as part of my commitment to supporting staff development in educational activity.  I will be running future sessions for more educators/presenters and for keepers in future.

Ready for work?

It’s easy to find a job… at least to find them advertised, thanks to the internet. A new batch of students hits the job market each year, whilst the ‘retirement’ age extends and people need to stay in work/keep looking for work until they’re older. So the competition for jobs is now therefore greater than ever. 

This week – just as the UK was being blanketed in snow – I had the pleasure of running a couple of careers workshops for 1st year degree students at Warwickshire College – Moreton Morrell. Whilst some of the group have aspirations to become self-employed veterinary physiotherapists and others to enter other aspects of animal care, the skills of ‘selling yourself’, developing a CV and coping with interviews are all relevant and needed. It was also useful for them to hear the career backgrounds and case studies of myself and others working in this field. 

Whilst these and other students are now being better prepared for the opportunities that may arise, it’s also important for employers to think about their systems and procedures. Are they missing out on really good people by rigidly applying profiling to interview selection. What if the person hasn’t got the stated qualification? Or has experience in another field that may have similar skills? Will they automatically be rejected? There is skill in recruitment and selection and it is hoped the good employers have some flexibility in their systems and are keen to support and encourage suitable applicants from diverse backgrounds, qualifications and experiences.

After 30 years+ (which includes recruiting many people) I am really pleased to share my experience and answer questions to help others in their endeavours and career pathways.

Winter into Spring

Another year is now well underway and ZooStephen is enjoying the beautiful winter scenery and nature in central Scotland. We’ve had some heavy frost, great snowy days and bright sunshine too, and hints of Spring to come with rivers of snowdrops appearing in early February.

Amongst various activities booked for the year, including career workshops, Durrell DESMAN education and communication sessions, I am delighted to announce an ‘open’ Presentation & Communication Skills Workshop on June 18th, kindly hosted by Dudley Zoo.  For details see flyer advert below. Places limited.