Skills Development Zone

Business Skills Training Theatre

Time Title

The Seven Deadly Sins of Networking –
How to Ensure You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money at Networking Events
Bryan Leslie, Business Consultant, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

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Are networking events something you invest your time and money in but you don’t seem to get the results you want? If you find yourself questioning the value of your investment in networking or you find it difficult to meet new people and make great connections, this workshop is for you!

Bryan Leslie will share the seven simple steps you need to take to make sure your time and money invested in networking is value-added and brings you the results you want. Covering the key areas of preparation, attending and follow-up, you will learn how to be a great networker, confident at starting, concluding and following-up on conversations with anybody. What are the three things you absolutely must bring to a networking event? Come to this workshop and find out!


Supplier Development Programme – How can we help you?
Pauline Wallace, Senior Project Development Officer, Supplier Development Programme

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The public sector spends billions in Scotland each year buying goods and services, but many businesses find it difficult to enter and succeed in the public procurement market. The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) assists businesses to improve their performance in winning contracts by providing free information, news, workshops and events that will leave your business better informed of the processes undertaken by the organisations you are targeting. SDP offers your business the opportunity to meet the standards required to compete for and win tenders and improve the overall competitiveness and profitability of your business. More information is available at


An Introduction to Public Sector Procurement
Phil Adams, PASS Consultant

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Why should you compete for public sector contract opportunities?

For me it is because the public sector can be your best customer: you will get paid; you will get paid on time; you must be treated fairly and if you are not, you have rights to information and challenge.

This presentation will provide an overview of public sector procurement and an understanding of the thresholds, procedures and timescales which are fundamental to it.


Making Skills Work for You
Derek Houston, Business Development Manager, SQA

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The skills challenge is an increasingly important focus for countries across the world – but Scotland has recognised that success is not merely about a highly educated workforce. Achieving sustainable economic growth will only be possible by making those academic and vocational skills relevant and ensuring that these skills are applied in the workplace – whatever the nature of that workplace.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) aims to continue improving links with business and industry and is totally committed to the ongoing process of developing new qualifications to meet the ever-changing needs of not only the people of Scotland and the Scottish economy, but learners around the world.

Derek Houston will dispel some myths about SQA and cover:

  • SQA’s reach – parochial or global?
  • Employer engagement – what we can do?
  • The employer experience
  • How can we help?

To find out more, visit


The A-Z of Presentations –
How to Enjoy Public Speaking, the One Thing People Really Don’t Enjoy!
Bryan Leslie, Business Consultant, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

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Based on over 20 years’ experience of preparing and giving business presentations to audiences both large and small, this workshop contains a distillation of current best practice in the world of business presentation.

Covering preparation, rehearsal and whether or not to present "naked", Bryan Leslie will run through the alphabet of tips and techniques which have been proven time and time again to make your business presentations more effective and more enjoyable.


The Bid/No Bid Decision
Phil Adams, PASS Consultant

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This presentation will discuss why the bid/no bid decision is crucial to ensuring that you maximise the return on your investment when competing for contracts and writing bids.

This decision should be taken early and should be based on a realistic assessment of your chances of winning.

Gathering information for the bid/no bid decision as an ongoing process is a much more efficient and effective use of resources than spending time writing losing bids.

All relevant stakeholders should be intimately involved in the bid/no bid decision making process, as writing bids needs to be done well or not at all. Doing it poorly creates sales costs without sales and negatively impacts on staff morale.


Project Management –
How to Manage Projects Without Spending Five Days Learning About It!
Bryan Leslie, Business Consultant, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

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Running a business can be described as a succession of small projects blended with a number of large projects, all designed to source customers and deliver quality products and services. You don’t have to be a qualified Project Manager to run a business, but knowing how to plan, deliver and review your projects can be a big help!

In this interactive workshop for business owners who want to learn the basics of project management in 30 minutes, Bryan Leslie will introduce the "One-Page Project Plan", outline the six supporting documents you may or may not need, and make sure you know everything you need to know to manage projects effectively in your business.

Agenda may be subject to change