workshops

Become a more confident, more effective writer – whatever you’re writing.
 

‘Nick is so good as a speaker and trainer, it seems unfair that he's such a good writer as well. At Spark the Change he had a packed crowd of people who enjoyed every moment. Nick's energy and expertise make him the perfect choice for a talk or workshop.’
Helen Walton
Organiser of the global
Spark the Change conferences

 

Writing is a big skill

There’s no magic formula or definitive list of top tips. But after twenty years of working alongside some of the world's best journalists, copywriters and novelists, I've seen first-hand the tools, knacks, and rules of thumb they all use, and I've built workshops around them. You can download a little brochure here.

Or have a look at the outlines for simple writing for smart people, the creative shakedown, the bids + proposals masterclass, one-on-one coaching, and the deep thought weekender. Remember, they can be tailored in all manner of ways, depending on what you’re writing, and what you’d like to get out of our time together.


{ Workshop } Simple writing for smart people

Together, we’ll look at the universal principles that can help you write just about anything under the sun. I'll help you find the approach to writing that suits you best, and give you the tools that every savvy writer uses. In particular, we'll look at:
- Gathering ideas; 
- Structuring and signposting;
- Saying things clearly, simply (without dumbing things down);
- Giving your writing pace and energy;
- Editing, sense-checking;
- Giving and getting feedback.

Tailoring options: I’ll always tailor your workshop with real bits of your team’s writing. But we can also focus the session on specific types of writing, such as legal writing and tricky content; internal comms and difficult messages; thought leadership and persuasive writing. And just about anything else you’d like to look at.
Duration: there are half day or full day versions
Group size: 8-10 people


{ Workshop }  bids and proposals master class

You’ve listened to your client. You know you can help them. You’ve got a valuable opinion and insight to offer. And you’re genuinely excited about working with them. And yet somehow you just can’t get it across in your proposal.

I’ll admit it, this one’s personal. I love proposals. I’ve written hundreds of them, for The Writer and on behalf of clients – from snappy one-pagers to great whopping tomes. I’ve helped shape multi-billion pound mega-bids. And on several occasions, I’ve been told ‘that’s the best proposal we’ve ever read’.

Together, we’ll look at:
- Content gathering – how to work out what you really need to say
- Persuasive writing – getting across your opinions clearly and memorably
- Case storytelling – stop them being dull and make them your secret weapon
- Stakeholder-wrangling – getting your whole proposal team on the same page

Tailoring options: Every proposal and every company’s process is different. Together we’ll tailor the session around your specific team and the proposals you write.
Duration: there are half day or full day versions
Group size: 8-10 people 


{ Workshop }  The Creative Shakedown

If you’re stuck in a rut, or having to write the same things day in and day out, then let’s shake things up. We’ll spend time getting stuck into some serious play, and giving your team fresh ideas and inspiration. Including:
- Identifying our own creative ‘sticking points’;
- Using constraints to find new perspectives;
- Trying techniques from different genres: fiction, poetry and comedy;
- Honing our ability to find ideas and inspiration in unexpected places.

Tailoring options: Every session is tailored around what your team are working on.
Duration: full day (A half day option is possible, but not nearly as much fun).
Group size: 8-10 people. 


{ Retreat } The Deep Thought Weekender

The world is full of productivity formulas and life-hacks. There are a thousand-and-one theories of innovation. If you can think it, there’s an App to ‘help’ with it. But the truth is, if you want to make serious headway on a new project – whether that’s launching a product, working out a strategy, or writing a book, the only things you really need are a time and a place to think. 

And the quality of the time and place really, really matter.

The Deep Thought Weekender gives you those things in abundance. We’ll go to Dehesa de la Serna, an incredible and inspiring 17th-century Castilian estate, about hour's drive from Madrid, where you’ll be free to think, write, talk, and eat really, really good food. 

Tailoring options: It’s completely bespoke.
Duration: Usually two full days, with travel in and out on either side. It doesn’t even need to be a weekend.
Group size: 8-10 people.


{ Coaching }  One-on-one 

I can also do any combination of the above, as one-on-one coaching.
This tends to work best in three phases:
1. I’ll look at your work, get to know you, and agree objectives.
2. We have a session to work on your skills, or directly on your writing.
3. We have a follow-up review to see how you’re doing and top up your skills.

Tailoring options: We can look at whatever you want. Typical things are either a general theme (‘I’ve had feedback in my annual review that my writing is too complicated and I'd like to do something about it’), or a specific piece of work (‘I need to write a speech, and I'd like to use it as an opportunity to improve my writing.’)
Duration: usually 3 x 60 min Skype sessions.
Group size: Just you and me.