What an excellent conference we were treated to last Monday! I arrived around 8.15, with registration scheduled for 8.30, to find quite a lot of ADI's already there and the place buzzing with excitement! Breakfast was available, bacon, black pudding, cheesy toast, bread rolls and lots of lovely pastries for those wanting something sweeter. After an early start for me, driving down from Lytham St Anne's where I'd spent a fabulous weekend, this breakfast was very welcome. Some good networking took place whilst we ate, and I met up with some old friends I hadn't seen for a while.
The conference began at 9, with the opening address from Mike Brown, Hitachi Capital, the main sponsor of the event. Then John Lepine MBE, General Manager of the MSA, kicked off with the first presentation. Entitled 'Business Modelling and Selling in the Car', it was a lively, interactive presentation with plenty for us to think about within our businesses and how we deal with customers. Certainly a very good way to start the conference, getting attendees fully involved from the very start.
After John came another John, this time John Farlam, well known to many for his Smart Driving membership site and his famous ADI Master Classes. John gave an excellent presentation on Learning Styles and Coaching. He explained that learning styles are the way we manipulate information, with our communication preferences being the way we gather and store information. Using some NLP visualisation, he demonstrated how the first thought that comes into your head as you visualise a scene shows your preferred learning style. So, did you 'see' something first, or did you 'hear' sounds within the scene first of all, or did you have the sensation of feeling something? For example, visualising your first childhood memory. John certainly demonstrated in this presentation the true master that he is!
So, two brilliant speakers to set the tone for the rest of the day. I was very taken by Penny Moon, a very talented lady, who talked to us about Mindfulness and how we can teach skills to drivers to manage their behaviour - The Mindful Driver. Watch this space for a webinar from Penny in the future - definitely not to be missed!
There were a number of workshops to choose from throughout the day, so I chose to attend Neil Snow's and Ged and Claire Wilmot's. Neil, ADICPD Club founder, gave an enthralling presentation entitled "The Limits of Human Information Processing"! Believe me, it was fascinating and another webinar in the pipeline! Neil revealed to us the mystery of the invisible roundabout, demonstrating the phenomenon of 'change blindness' which he experienced with one of his own pupils.
Ged had us in stitches with his video with Claire, demonstrating a very poor ADI supposedly on his new standards check, in an area he didn't know, taking the pupil well out of her experience and comfort zone. Claire played it beautifully with her facial expressions, as did Ged with his bumbling attempts to get over all his errors, with a determined look of confidence on his face at all times! It really was very entertaining, but with the serious side of helping us to identify how this instructor would be marked under the new system.
At the start of the afternoon session we were treated to a panel discussion, the panel comprising of Trevor Wedge, Charles Morton, Lynn Barrie, Carly Brookfield and John Lepine. Too much to report here, but suffice it to say it was a very lively and thought provoking discussion, with a variety of views across the panel.
The day concluded with a fun presentation from Kathy Higgins, conference host together with HD Learners, who talked about time management and eating live frogs! Eat the frogs first! Get the things you don't want to do out of the way first of all, then you can enjoy the rest, knowing the frogs have been dealt with!
So, a very brief resumé of the day, one I am so glad I was able to attend. The FreshStart conference is on February 14th next year in the Worcester area, so definitely an event not to be missed! Tickets go on sale from September, so I will keep you up to speed with that so you can grab your 'early bird' ticket!