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Birmingham PA Forum - Learning & Development Conference

Keynote Speakers

A Changing World and Your Place In It - Lucy Brazier (Executive Secretary Magazine)

Even before COVID-19, the latest research showed that 58% of Assistants didn't feel properly utilised by their organisations. Add Coronavirus into the conversations around the '4th Industrial Revolution', AI & the future of the role, and it just accentuates the fact that many Assistants are unsure about the future of the profession, especially in the context of the 'new normal'.

In this session, we're delighted to be joined by Lucy Brazier, CEO of Executive Secretary Magazine and a leading global authority of the Administrative profession. Lucy is incredibly passionate about the Assistant role being a career and not just a job. She also has a unique global overview of where the role is heading.

In this session, we'll be covering:

  • Assistants' unique skill sets

  • How to step up into a strategic partner role and prove your ROI

  • Why COVID-19 is the best opportunity yet to show your indispensability

Skills to Position the Assistant as an Influential Leader Lucy Brazier (Executive Secretary Magazine) 

Becoming a leader at work can be a challenge, especially for an Assistant, but with today's CEOs increasingly listing leadership skills as one of the key qualities that they want from their Assistant, Lucy Brazier will examine how personal leadership is the key to establishing yourself as a leader in the workplace and which skill sets you will need to cultivate in order to position yourself as an influential leader within your business.

Millennial Executives - Diana Brandl (The Socialista Projects)

Millennials have been taking over the workplace for the past few years and it goes without saying that it affects our profession when it comes to working with them. By 2025 millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. Some of them will automatically become our executives.

Part of the evolving role of admin professionals is understanding the new manager generation and their leadership style. They are digital, they work smart and agile and expect the same speed and knowledge from their support staff. Even if you do not have a millennial manager today, you will want to be prepared as they are entering the ranks of management faster than you think and introduce entirely new dynamics into your workplace.

Diana will talk to you about her experience working in the startup world with young and ambitious executives from the millennial generation where she gained more skills and strengths than ever and sharpened her profile and portfolio. And even if you do not work in such an en-vironment at this stage, it is time to get prepared.

Your benefits of attending:

  • Understand the expectations that Millennial Managers have and how you can stay ahead of the curve

  • Gain tips and tricks that will make you stand out in an agile environment

  • Learn which strategies can be carried forward from previous management styles

  • Understand preferred communication styles and how to use that to your advantage


Advanced Strategies to Skyrocket your Productivity using Microsoft Outlook - Lizabeth Koloko Green

The struggle is real: your Outlook inbox is a disaster. This is a common theme for mailboxes everywhere, and it is impacting your productivity both professionally and personally. With a few simple steps, you can start organizing your mess and skyrocketing your productivity. Learning a few simple tricks can save you time, help you work more effectively, and collaborate better with your managers, colleagues, and customers. Walk away with an action plan you can implement immediately.


Benefit from Change - Heather Baker (Baker Thompson Associates)

Recent economic and global challenges have forced organisations to restructure, downsize or reassess their priorities. This can be stressful and unsettling. However, with the right attitude, knowledge and determination a proactive PA can grasp these opportunities and turn them into successes.

This session will:

  • Reflect on the importance of change and the negative and positive effects

  • Consider the best ways to deal with the stress

  • How by adapting, developing and building relationships you can come out on top


Neuro Linguistic Programming - Lindsay Taylor (Your Excellency Ltd)

Sounds complicated doesn’t it? But in fact it’s very simple. In simple terms NLP is all about how you and others “tick”. It’s a fascinating subject that is hugely beneficial to EAs, PAs and Administrative Professionals who strive for excellence in both their personal and professional lives.

NLP Practitioner, Coach and Trainer Lindsay Taylor is passionate to share learning with you at this fun and thought-provoking session. At the end of the session you will:

  • Understand the history and science behind NLP

  • Be familiar with the building blocks of NLP

  • Be able to use NLP to promote positivity, motivation and achievement of goals for yourself and your teams

  • Understand how to create and maintain the very best working relationships

  • Apply the principles of NLP to become expert communicators and influencers


Financial Awareness - Malcolm Taylor (Your Excellency Ltd)

Do you find the world of finance a mystery? Is there too much jargon? Are those financial reports a tidal wave of numbers and strange language? Join us for a fun packed (yes! finance can be fun!) Financial Awareness Taster Session to begin your journey to demystifying all of the above. Once you understand a few basic principles and some common terminology then it will all start to become clearer.

Who is it for? EAs, PAs & Administrators who want to add business financial awareness to their existing knowledge and skill sets.

  • What will you learn?

  • Managing & reporting business performance with a Profit & Loss Statement (P&L)

  • Understanding business wealth

  • Awareness of common financial terminology

  • An opportunity for Q&A at the end of the session

An Insight into Office Management: top tips and must have skills - Hana Gray (The Office Management Portal)

In this fantastic session you will be given an insight into the world of Office Management. Whether you are be a PA or EA who has elements of Office Management as part of your role or a seasoned Office Manager, this session will help you enhance your role for the future.

Hana Gray is a specialist office and facilities management consultant with over 15 years’ experience, having worked previously for companies that include JP Morgan, RBS, City Index & Berenberg as the Office / Facilities Manager managing teams of up to 10 staff and managing all aspects of the office to include Health & Safety, Procurement, Reception, Business Continuity, Facilities, IT, Events and more.

Hana now helps businesses to review their office running, making improvements through on-the-job training, project management & support and health & safety consulting – all with a view to providing a return on investment to the client by upskilling anyone in-house responsible for these areas.

In this session you will learn:

  • An introduction to Office Management, the three key areas of responsibility and how you can nail them ensuring you’re creating a safe, productive and motivating environment to work in

  • Tips on how to ensure you embrace your office management role, own it and showcase your top skills and values

  • How you can ensure you are minimising workload and maximising your output for your office and executives

  • The Office Management resources that are available to you via the portal and how this can be a fantastic resource for you going forward

An interview with Amanda Johnson - Top VA Trainer

Amanda Johnson is a military veteran and today runs one of the UK and Europe's leading Virtual Assistant Training Companies, VACT Limited. An, ex-Royal Navy Logistics Officer, her military career spanned 23 years and covered a wide range of secretarial, professional administrator and logistic duties. On her retirement from the military in 2012, she launched her own VA business, then in 2014, she bought the business she had trained with and for a number of years ran her VA “doing" business alongside the training business – but eventually realised she did need to get some sleep so sold her doing business to focus purely on the training side of the business.

She works primarily with those wanting to set up a VA business and those who want to grow an awesome and authentic business. Amanda launched her VA business after a personal tragedy caused her to re-evaluate life; so she understands the drivers behind creating a business that is right for the individual rather than creating someone else’s idea of a business. Amanda is well known, for her genuine, no-nonsense and straight talking advice and support.

Amanda lives on the south coast of the UK with her husband, Andrew (who runs his own business and is also a military veteran), their two young children, James and Jacob and really does live by her core values and ethos, which is to inspire, support and challenge those wanting a Virtual Assistant business. What else is there... she likes nice champagne, Belgian beer and Belgian chocolate (as a result of living in Belgium during her military days!) and drinks way too much fizzy pop!

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