Category Archives: training

Join our online book review of ‘Lean In’

Last year, Sheryl Sandberg wrote ‘Lean In’,  advising women on how to make progress in the workplace. Why not join us in the facebook group on the 5. May to discuss the book and discover which strategies are possible within our own careers and whether a career change is necessary to make the move into success that women deserve.

Just hit the ‘Request to Join’ button

There is nothin…

There is nothing more rewarding than having so much faith in a learner’s abilities that they pull it off and surprise themselves. That proud smile is one of the most sensational thank you’s that you can get as a trainer. When is the last time you managed to do something that you got that smug little skip and a beat?

The Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid in a Presentation

You know, one of my pet hates is when someone says “Where are you staying?”. I mean give me a break! I have been living here for 15 years and my German isn’t THAT bad. In fact I think most people seem to think it’s good or excellent (if they are telling me the truth), but we all have tired days when our grammar seems to take on a life of it’s own. We all tend to talk too fast when we are nervous and we all have those brain drain moments when that essential word vanishes into thin air.


But don’t beat yourself up about it, do something about it, practice, practice, practice!

I went to a meeting the other day and there were some women giving a presentation and I noticed that for as long as the talk made sense I skimmed the mistakes and zoned in on what they had to say.

However as the presentation lost momentum, and I glazed over, I began to notice every little slip up and it hit me like a tonne of bricks that actually it is the same mistakes that non native speakers make again and again, so here goes:

1. Use conjunctions – don’t expect me to be joining up or finishing your sentence and keep concentrating on what you are saying at the same time, whilst I decipher I am not listening.

2. Get the prepositions right (place, time, subject), it’s a distraction

3. Don’t use the verb ‘nice’ – especially if you are a woman!

4. Word Order. If you make my brain do somersaults to assemble your sentence, I will lose focus on what you are saying.

5. Verb endings ‘Lucy want to know’… STOP it is just one letter, but the ‘s’, really does make a difference.

6. Pronunciation – it’s business not beezness. Lots of dictionaries have audio files now, so use them and listen ‘actively’ to native speakers and mirror them (make a ‘speak’ note if you have to).

7. Terminology – donors give blood, sponsors give money. Get the financial and technical terms right to get big points in terms of credibility.

8. Don’t tell me to do stuff. Remember that I don’t HAVE to do anything, if you speak a direct language then you’ll need to soften it to win the hearts of native speaking funders.

9. Plural/Single. Come on, this is a no brainer, so get it right, please avoid saying things like lots of man, a cash, informations, trainings. 85% of people slip up with this.

10. Weedy words. We are trying to, we want to, we hope to, we attempt … because you know what?  If you want funding, I want to be assured that you can pull this off.

And finally, if you don’t feel confident about your grammar, get it checked by a native speaker that has time to spare or a translator if you can afford it or at the reasonably prices, open all hours Byte Sized English Club on Facebook. Free for my local first 30 members, after that it will be €9.99 per month after a €0.99 trial of 30 days.

Then make the time to learn it off by heart or get familiar with the flow of the text or even read your notes so that you don’t say things like

“I go to good meeting with woman who want to…”
“What I should do now”

Because quite frankly I am a language trainer, so I have built up quite a high tolerance level for these mistakes over the last 14 years, but for a native speaker being asked to fork out their cash,  grammatically gruelling presentations are unlikely to lead to a negotiation.

Harsh but true.

Undercover English – Learning Vocab on the go

Undercover English >>> Try this language learning game…next time you are out and about – either on your own or with friends that are telling a story that you have already heard – go undercover.

REMEMBER You need to resist staring at the people in question – not good for street cred.

Now, look for people engrossed in conversation and try to work out what they might be saying to each other and see if you can interpret in your head. (in English of course!)

You can take it seriously or be a little far fetched and dramatic or just plain silly and rediculous.

Now I know that this isn’t rocket science, but that is exactly the point, learning a language can be a lot of fun. This is just one of many time effective ways of revising without any paper, pen or solitude that will point out your weaknesses.

AND ACTION …. Try it out and report back on our facebook page at
for more tips and tricks  … for the techie chicks (just had to add that because it rhymes)

Language Learning Games

Byte Sized English Club – Abi Englisch to the rescue!

No need to sigh, just log in and check out the tasks and activities all neatly bundled into byte sized chunks, making it more manageable, more doable, more fun. Remember though that this is just for techie chicks that need to get a decent grade in English but don’t seem to be able to get started.

It’s a closed group because going forward, this won’t just be about getting you through your ABI exam, but will be THE place to check in if you are worried about the English you will need for entrance exams, job interviews, team management skills and perhaps in the not to distant future, emigrating to work abroad.

This is your network, for IT chicks with the ambition to get on in their career but without the ego that makes people squirm. After all you can be brilliant without shouting from the rooftops right?

It costs €1 to try, €9,99 after that. The great thing is that you get a free month’s membership if you join by February 4th 2014 and a surprise in the post for each friend that joins up by that time too.