NOVEMBER 2015 ALSO INSIDE: office* 2015
| high-flying fitness aficionados
ALL THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMASâ€Ś Geine Pressendo explores the magical world of corporate gifting
CONTENTS NOTICE BOARD
N O V 15 Last month’s Back to the Future anniversary came as close to breaking the internet as Kim Kardashian’s infamous bottom last year; Twitter and Facebook were positively awash with references to the film’s geeky twosome and their legendary 2015 wardrobe. Ever on the pulse of viral trends, Nike took their appreciation of the momentous occasion further than most by producing a consumer version of Marty McFly’s iconic self-lacing trainers – the Nike MAG. As the original wearer of the Nike Air MAG, actor Michael J Fox was presented with the very first pair – a nice touch we thought! Nike gets top marks here for the gift’s timeliness and its originality – which got us thinking about what PAs should prioritise when picking out prezzies for colleagues, suppliers and stakeholders. The world of corporate gifting is an overwhelming one, so we’ve asked expert Geine Pressendo to lead the way. Elsewhere, we hear all about the highlights of office* 2015, learn about enhancing wellbeing in the workplace and find out about a form of exercise best suited to the most literal of high flyers. Wrap up warm and we’ll see you in December!
Editor Jess Pike
senior account manager
UPDATE Banana skins, futuristic Nikes and the new Apple iPhone SAY WHAT?! Grumpy colleagues and nervous new starters
ON THE JOB JOB NEWS Young people are working too hard EMBRACING PA POWER Olé serves up the highlights of office* 2015 ALL THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS… Geine Pressendo explores the magical world of corporate gifting
LUNCH BREAK BREAKTIME Catch up with the latest reviews and recipes OFFICE CATWALK Christmas jumpers and winter woollies AND ONE MORE THING… One PA’s presentation phobia
Why Privacy Filters Are Important For Why Priv Businesses Are Impo Business
Are you protecting your Are you protecting sensitive information from your sensitive information from prying eyes? prying eyes?
HEALTHCARE More healthcare professionals are relying on laptops and tablets to interact remotely with HEALTHCARE hospitals. Without laptop screen filters, their data Moreforhealthcare profe access in public becomes an opportunity an laptops and tablets to invasion of patient confidentiality. hospitals. Without lapt access in public becom invasion of patient con GOVERNMENT Outside the security of government offices, government workers using mobile devices risk exposing sensitive data. Privacy filters are an GOVERNMEN the security of inexpensive and effective extension ofOutside mandatory government data protection measures to protect confidential workers u exposing sensitive data information. inexpensive and effect data protection measu information. FINANCIAL Whether it’s your accountant or a financial advisor, many financial professionals are travelling or commuting, many working as independent FINANCIAL Whether it’s your acco contractors outside of an office setting. Sensitive advisor, many financial records on-screen without a screen filter financia in place are subject to prying eyes. or commuting, many w contractors outside of financial records on-sc in place are subject to BANKING With the introduction of open-plan customer meeting areas, there is a higher risk of prying eyes stealing sensitive customer information. BANKING Withdata the introduction o Using a privacy screen will help improve meeting areas, there is protection. eyes stealing sensitive Using a privacy screen ™ protection. CORPORATE Corporate spies may not need to infiltrate a ™ company to gain secrets when confidential data CORPORATE ™ can be viewed and photographed over a travelling Protect private information on your laptop, desktop, smartphone and tablet. PrivaScreen Corporate executive’s shoulder. Privacy filters can help spies may n Blackout Privacy Filters blackout the screen image when viewed from 30° side angles company to gain secre protect against corporate spying in public places. while keeping on-screen data clearly a straight-on view. can be viewed and pho Protectvisible privatefrom information on your laptop, desktop, smartphone and tablet. PrivaScreen™ executive’s shoulder. P Blackout Privacy Filters blackout the screen image when viewed from 30° side angles protect against corpora while keeping on-screen data clearly visible from a straight-on view. EDUCATION The increased use of laptops and mobile devices by teachers and administrators means sensitive EDUCATION data can be accessed beyond the secure Thefilters increased use of l environment of school grounds. Privacy teachers and admin can prevent the possibility of exposingbystudent data can be accessed information in public. environment of school can prevent the possib information in public. MOBILE WORKERS Total Blackout Total Blackout Side View Side View As the number of workers outside the office Clear Front View continues to grow, so do privacy risks. In fact, Total Blackout Total 55%*Blackout of working professionals work on their MOBILE WOR Side View Side View As the number of work laptop in a high-traffic public area at least one Clear Front View continues hour per week.* From libraries to coffee shops to grow, so d 55%*theof working profe to airport terminals, mobile workers need laptop security of privacy filters wherever they workintoa high-traffic hour per week.* From protect the data they handle. *People Security Visual to airport terminals, m Data Breach Risk Assessment Study. security of privacy filte protect the data they h
PrivaScreen Blackout Privacy Filters Privacy You Can Trust! PrivaScreen Blackout Privacy Filters Privacy You Can Trust!
For more information contact your Fellowes Account Representative or telephone 01302 836835 For more information contact your Fellowes Account Representative or telephone 01302 836835 www.fellowes.com www.fellowes.com
Data Breach Risk Assessmen
LOVE BLACK COFFEE? PERHAPS YOU’RE A PSYCHOPATH… If you enjoy a cup of black coffee in the morning, you’re probably harbouring psychopathic tendencies, according to The Express. An Austrian study has revealed that people who enjoy bitter tastes – such as black coffee – are more likely to display “sadistic and narcissistic tendencies”. The study was published in scientific journal Appetite, and read: “General bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and everyday sadism.” In the papers, Professor Christina Sagliogou claims the enjoyment of bitter foods is likened to “a rollercoaster ride where people enjoy things that induce fear”. She added: “We found particularly robust correlations with everyday sadism, which is a construct related to benign masochism – the enjoyment of painful activities.” The investigation was conducted by Professor Sagliogou from Innsbruck University – one of Austria’s oldest universities. They asked 500 men and women to take part in the experiment to rate a list of sweet, salty, bitter and sour items. Whilst ranking the items, the guinea pigs also answered personality questionnaires, where questions included: “Given enough provocation, would you hit someone?” There was also a ‘Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies’ test for everyday sadism – the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain on others.
APPLE IPHONE SET FOR RADICAL REDESIGN While most Apple users are still getting used to the iPhone 6s, one analyst has predicted major changes for the iPhone 7, the Daily Mail has reported. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster told clients: “We expect the iPhone 7 to sport a unique design from the iPhone 6/6s”. He believes it will do away with the home button, instead relying on the 3D touch screen introduced in the 6s. “As many have speculated, the addition of 3D touch may provide Apple with a way to eliminate the home button on the phone and use the additional space to make the screen bigger or make the device smaller,” he said. “Another area on which we believe Apple may focus is battery life,” he said. “Looking at Macs over the past few years, Apple has close to doubled battery life for its Macbook line up (largely five-hour battery to around 10 hours). We believe battery life is one of the biggest areas of potential improvement and one that might be most welcomed by customers.” Gene said he expects a strong Christmas for the firm, which is still to release its new Apple TV and iPad Pro. “We believe there is anticipation of a strong holiday quarter driven by first-time December-quarter products including Apple Watch, new iPad Pro, and Apple TV.” Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the iPhone 7, which is unlikely to launch until at least September 2016, will be the firm’s thinnest handset to date at just 6mm thick. This would put it on a par with the iPod touch; it would be almost a millimetre thinner than the current iPhone 6. Apple’s original iPhone, released in 2007, was 12.3mm thick. By comparison the current iPhone 6 is 6.9mm thick, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm. These devices are noticeably thinner than the iPhone 5s, which measures 7.6mm.
IN BRIEF GRADUATES SHOULD TAKE ANY JOB INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR DREAM ROLE, MANAGERS ADVISE As a new generation of graduates enters the workplace, employers are advising newly-qualified youngsters to consider all options rather than wait for their dream position. While one in 10 recent graduates thinks they should ‘hold out’ for a professional role, research from Pareto Law reveals that British business leaders don’t agree. According to a survey of 1,009 managers, one in four thinks young people hold unrealistic expectations about their careers when they finish studying. Another 22% say graduates should be more open-minded about the jobs they’re willing to take. The research revealed that young people are increasingly picky about what they will and won’t do, and that only one in eight would consider taking a position that involved selling and one in three would rule it out completely.
Welcome to the future Michael J Fox has modelled Nike’s consumer version of Marty McFly’s iconic self-lacing trainers, the Nike MAG. While we’re still waiting on a levitating form of transport, avid fans may be able to get their hands on and feet into Nike’s iconic trainers by early next year.
Going bananas Usually tossed in the rubbish, banana skins could in fact be a new ‘superfood’, according to the Mail Online. While it may strike you an alien concept to use banana skin in your daily diet, in many parts of the world the peel is used to add flavour to dishes. And there’s now a growing consensus that the nutrients, compounds and minerals hidden away within the skin could help aid weight loss and boost your mood.
We give you our pick of the top comedy viral videos this month. Click on the text below and enjoy. Tweet us your top videos @olemagazine
Little lion learns to roar
Door knocker comes to life
T A H W S AY
Christmas is fast approaching but the dynamic within the office isn’t great and a few members of the team just aren’t getting on. I’m always charged with handling the office festivities at this time of year, but how can I get other colleagues on side and feeling more positive about working as part of the team? Charlotte, Liverpool
A colleague of mine has been working at the company now for three months, and while his work ethic is outstanding his presentation skills are a bit of a shambles; he lacks confidence and often stutters during crucial presentations. How I can best support his improvement without impacting on his confidence? Bella, Doncaster
Tension in the office is sometimes unavoidable, but with Christmas just around the corner you’ve been handed a perfect opportunity to get your colleagues talking to each other again. Establish roles for each member of the team – such as sprucing up your desks with tinsel or organising Christmas jumper day – and watch as they soon give into the festive spirit. They’ll be best of friends in no time!
Try and speak to your colleague during a break or at the end of the day. No doubt he has also realised that his presentation skills aren’t perfect, but he might be too reserved to seek help. A few simple top tips will give his confidence a boost and help improve the company’s image. Plus, it will make future presentations a lot easier to watch going forward!
this month’s picture
Last month’s winner: John, London
The benefits of living a double life is that there are none
Win £10 worth of M&S vouchers! Email your captions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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JOB NEWS E YOUNG PEOPL HARD, O O T G IN K R O W STS SURVEY SUGGE
to 24-year-olds The majority of 16 y other er hours than an are working long t, tly in employmen age group curren rvey published according to a su by OfficeGenie. K ongst the 1,000 U Young people am ey onded to the surv workers who resp hours on average seven stated they work y. overtime every da and 22 minutes of -34, 35-44 and 45 Workers in the 25 ork an were found to w 54 age brackets es, urs and 40 minut average of five ho minutes and five five hours and 35 y of overtime ever es ut in m 36 d an hours y. week respectivel tified as the city Brighton was iden g in ployees are puttin where young em nts e, with responde the most overtim orking t Sussex town w living in the vibran utes hours and 43 min an average eight week. of overtime each
A QUARTER OF LONDONERS LIVING IN POVERTY A quarter of London’s 8.6 million residents – a majority of them wo rking families – are living in poverty, acc ording to a new report. London’s Poverty Profile 2015, published by the New Policy Institu te, looked at the effects of the housin g boom and how London has recovered fro m the recession. On average, private rent in London now costs £1,600 a month, which is more than double the national average. While unemployment in the capital is at its lowest level since 2008, the charity Trust for London stated in the find ings that this has not reduced poverty levels. More than 2.2 million people who fall into poverty come from families where at least one person works. The charity states that jobs which pay below the London Living Wage and inflated housing costs mean that 37% of children living in the capital are livin g in poverty. Hannah Aldridge, one of the report ’s authors, said: “When people talk about ‘generation rent’ they normally thin k of young working adults unable to sav ea deposit. But the 260,000 children growing up in private rented poverty are at the sharp end of London’s housing cris is, living in expensive, often low-qualit y homes without long-term securit y.”
on the job
STRESSFUL WORKPLACES = SHORTER LIVES Frequent stress in the workplace can shorten lifespans, a study published by Stanford and Harvard universities has found. The research found that the risk of stress goes up as an individual’s education level goes down. The study also found that greater exposure to work-related stress regarding unemployment, layoffs, job insecurity, lack of health cover, work-family conduct, arbitrary management and low control over scheduling and work duties contribute to shortened lifespans. The study established that there is a greater need to introduce healthier environments into the workplace. It urges governments to introduce or improve upon existing policies that can strengthen job security, and introduce a fairer wage packet and fairer scheduling laws.
SWEARING AT WORK A NO GO! A workplac e expert fro m New Zealand cla ims that a c hange in governmen t guidelines will force Kiw employers to i clean up the ir act when it comes to sw earing in the workpla ce. Allan Halse, an expert o n bullying in the workpla ce, stated th at the chan is needed to ge prevent offi ce bullying. “If someone ’s on the rec eiving end of those [wo rds] and it is repeated and has a d etrimental im pact, that’s how you ge t to the bull ying thresho even sugge ld, stive glance s o r d irty looks,” he s aid. The call to c lean up lang uage in the workpla ce came a w eek after a Waikato ma yor admitte d he used th word ‘w*** e *r’, and a bu il d e r b the North Is ased in land city of H a m il to ordered to p n was ay a fine aft e r h e the f-word in used a text to a c o ll e a had called a gue he “baby”.
THEY SAID “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Confucius
on the job
#PA POWER PACKS THE AISLES AT OFFICE* 2015
Londonâ€™s Olympia was the epicentre of all things office* last month, with the award-winning event for executive office support professionals welcoming more than 4,000 attendees through its doors on 13 and 14 October. OlĂŠ serves up the event highlights for those who missed out
on the job
oasting a fresh new look for 2015, office* provided the perfect backdrop for the nation’s PAs, EAs, VAs and office managers to network and share best practice, top up on vital training, research new products and services from 150 exhibitors, and be inspired by expert speakers. This year’s show certainly gave the Twittersphere plenty to talk about and thousands of comments using the #office15, #nationalpaday and #PApower hashtags helped share the office* buzz to PAs across the country and beyond. ‘Busy’, ‘fantastic’, ‘insightful’, ‘motivating’ and ‘fun’ were just some of the words attendees used to describe office* 2015, with nearly 90% of surveyed visitors already planning to return in May 2016, when the show moves to ExCeL London. “Excellent, inspirational and informative event: good networking, fantastic keynote speakers and seminars, and a good opportunity to meet new suppliers,” said Jacqueline Kershaw, assistant to the commercial director and commercial team support officer at HS2 Limited. “If you’ve never been to office* then you’re missing out. It’s the perfect opportunity to network and meet likeminded EAs and PAs. The seminars were inspirational and motivational – I left feeling empowered! It was definitely worth the visit,” said Sarah Pratt, PA to the CEO at Lexia Solutions Group. PAs, EAs, VAs, secretaries and administrators are by far the show’s biggest audience, with the number of office managers increasing every year. Attending seminars topped their list of reasons for attending, together with researching products/services, sourcing new suppliers, networking and attending keynotes. “The energy from this year’s office* was electric,” commented Sarah Cooper, office*’s event manager, “with 4,020 visitors of the highest calibre converging for two days to develop their business networks and expertise. Thanks to the dynamic mix of engaging and relevant exhibitors, and renowned world-class education programme, office* 2015 has been cited our best edition yet – we really couldn’t ask for a better result!” INSPIRING CONTENT DRAWS IN THE CROWDS One of the show’s key draws has always been its exceptional educational content. Nearly 80% of all visitors took part in one or more of the show’s 10 free keynotes, eight free office* experts theatre sessions, eight hot topic group discussions and 32 seminars on offer across the two days. Notable highlights for 2015 included standing-room only keynotes by Zelda La Grange, former PA to Nelson Mandela, and Judith Croasdell, former PA to Professor Stephen Hawking. The comprehensive free content in office* experts theatre, which included sessions dedicated to office managers and virtual assistants, also
proved popular with the crowds. “Collectively, universally, I can’t think of one executive professional that can succeed without support,” commented Melba J. Duncan, a former executive assistant and president of the Duncan Group, who flew in from New York to host the final session of Executive Secretary Magazine Day in the office* Theatre 3 on 14 October. “It’s a great profession and it takes great people to do this profession,” she said, calling for assistants to stand up and “acknowledge how great they are in doing what they do”. NATIONAL PA SURVEY 2015 Aside from the wealth of new business products, services and venues being unveiled by exhibiting companies at office* 2015, visitors to the show were also the first to see the results of the fifth annual National PA Survey, which was released on this year’s National PA Day. Whilst there never could be such a thing as an average PA, the results do provide something of a snapshot. The majority of survey respondents, for example, have been working in their current job for an average of six years, are highly motivated, and, very evidently, enjoy the responsibility and variety of the important work that they do. Given the importance of a strong, close working relationship, a ‘great boss’ tops the list of the things that most motivate them about their work, whilst 87% feel ‘valued’ by their boss (29% extremely, 32% very, and 26% quite). On the flipside, lack of career opportunities, pay, and lack of recognition top the list of PA bugbears. For a more complete summary, please click here: www.officeshow.co.uk/office-show-announces-theresults-of-national-pa-survey-2015. PA CONTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR The winner of office*’s prestigious PA Contributor of the Year Award was also announced on National PA Day. Launched to reward the significant business contributions made by the UK’s PA professionals, Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing and founder of Executive Secretary Magazine, was a popular winner of the coveted top spot. “What an unbelievable day! Thanks everyone for your messages of support. I feel very blessed and quite overwhelmed!” she said. Runners-up for the 2015 award included Debbie Grimshaw from Brother, Victoria Darragh from Hays, Marion Lowrence, founder of The PA Hub, Elizabeth Wakeling, chairman of European Management Assistants (EUMA), and Catherine Thomas from Public Health Wales (last year’s winner). SAVE THE DATE FOR OFFICE* 2016 The next edition of office* will take place at ExCeL London on 11-12 May 2016.
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A CHANGE FO R T H E B ETTER In a fast-moving and high octane world how do you ensure your colleagues aren’t overstretching themselves and buckling under the pressure? JANICE HADDON offers her top tips for office managers who want to make a difference to their organisation’s future success
ommunicate, communicate, communicate. People like to be kept informed and have an understanding of the vision and purpose of the organisation. Ensure everyone’s kept up to date with progress and is aware of how their role contributes to the organisation’s success. Have an effective communications policy that ensures a consistent approach rather than a haphazard way of providing updates. If you’re a small team and don’t have an official HR function, make sure your HR and people policies are up to date and provide for training and development and an environment free from harassment and bullying. The work environment and culture are the fundamentals for
creating a happy workforce. Speak to your line manager about the possibility of providing flexible working with a variation of contractual hours and roles. If you do opt for homeworking, make sure you carry out the right work station assessments and have insurance in place. People are not built to be isolated and many can find it more stressful than getting into the workplace. Have the right competency framework and performance management process in place. Encourage set goals and targets for individuals and review regularly. Make sure the managers in the team have the right leadership qualities. Research shows that the biggest cause of stress for employees is the manager-subordinate relationship. Carry out 360-degree feedback so you can give a leader a rounded view of their performance.
on the job
“Work with your colleagues to foster a supportive culture and introduce perks where appropriate” Coaching is a great way to ensure you develop high performance in your managers so they are able to inspire and lead their teams to full potential. Wellbeing is another area at the top of the list in supporting morale for employees. This isn’t simply rebadging health and safety; it’s about genuinely helping colleagues to build up their resilience levels. Building resilience means developing capacity in not only physical and nutritional needs but also for mental and emotional resilience. Work with your colleagues to foster a supportive culture and introduce perks where appropriate. Discounted memberships to health clubs can work for some but not for everyone so think outside of the box and provide alternatives. Providing activities such as
yoga, meditation and exercise classes can encourage those that do not want to spend an hour in the gym to get active. Relaxation is a fundamental part of our wellbeing. Be an organisation that helps people to learn how to switch off. Have a chat with the team about providing classes in relaxation and meditation techniques as well as providing on-site shoulder massage and other such support. Build in suggestion schemes, awards for a job well done, social and family events; this really does bring the team together. Janice Haddon has over 25 years’ experience in strategic and operational human resources and management consultancy and heads up Morgan Redwood.
on the job
ALL THEY WA NT F OR CHRISTM A S I S … This year staff motivation should top all businesses’ Christmas wish-lists, and what better way to boost morale than with a perfectly packaged Christmas prezzie? GEINE PRESSENDO explores the magical world of corporate gifting
ixties crooner Andy Williams may have famously said that ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, but according to research carried out by lastminute.com nothing could be further from the truth. The booking website’s 2012 survey showed that a decline in staff productivity costs businesses a whopping £258m over the annual Christmas party season. We all know that keeping employees motivated towards the end of the year can be a difficult task. However, with research indicating that improved employee engagement could deliver £26bn GDP growth in the UK, it’s not a task that should be overlooked. Happy and motivated employees not only help their organisations achieve higher levels of performance, but also inspire others to do the same. Festive rewards for customers, colleagues and stakeholders are a great way of encouraging brand loyalty and boosting motivation.
THE BRANDING The right gift should be engaging, relevant and useful to the target audience. What’s more, a gift branded with a company logo ensures the product is memorable and is great for ongoing brand awareness. Just think, a plain Christmas cracker might be appreciated by staff but it isn’t particularly memorable. If you put the company name or logo on the cracker it will act as a mobile marketing tool for communicating messages and maintaining brand awareness. THE GIFT It’s no secret that everyone likes – and expects – to receive gifts at Christmas. But companies need to plan their gifting strategy to ensure their gesture has maximum effect and is money well spent. Gifts which are tailored to the individual have a greater perceived value and are considered more relevant; a practical gift such as a bottle opener, pen or notepad will have longevity and remind the employee of the gesture each time they use it.
THE DELIVERY Festive gifting isn’t only about the gift itself. It’s also about how it’s delivered to the recipient – the format of the gift and the communication around it should be carefully considered. Why hand over a bottle of wine when you can present it in a personalised Christmas stocking? Why give a gift card in an envelope when you can hide it in a Christmas cracker? In November 2014 we made 5,000 bespoke branded crackers and 500 bespoke jumbo crackers, which were sent to Adecco employees across 75 UK locations. Inside each cracker was a unique gift; alongside the usual joke, party hat and chocolates was a golden ticket to win various prizes ranging from a gift voucher to a oneweek holiday in Scotland. Now that’s a way to boost staff morale! Geine Pressendo is MD of Simply Crackers, which manufactures bespoke branded Christmas crackers and works with businesses across the UK and Europe.
BREAKTIME desktop dining WEST END W AT C H
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM It’s been more than 10 years since Bend It Like Beckham first hit UK cinema screens, but this classic smash-hit still has a place in our hearts. So what better idea than taking it to the stage and spicing it up with a catchy soundtrack and some energetic dance moves? This is exactly what Gurinder Chadha – director of the original film – and choreographer Aletta Collins have done in its musical reimagining. Following the story of football-mad Jess who must live up to family expectations as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, Bend It Like Beckham offers a score with an Indian twist and is positively bursting with warmth, heart and humour. Book your ticket now!
BROCCOLI CHILLI PENNE Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 1kg/21/4lb purple sprouting broccoli 1 medium red chilli 1 small tin anchovies in olive oil, drained 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 350 penne pasta 3 tbsp grated Parmesan Salt and pepper. METHOD Put a large pan of water on to boil. Trim and chop broccoli into 1cm sections. Deseed the chilli and chop finely along with the garlic and anchovies. In another pan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and lightly fry the garlic, chili and anchovies. After a minute add the broccoli. Add pasta and cook to taste as the broccoli fries. Add a ladle of the pasta cooking water to the broccoli and cook until tender. Drain the pasta, toss with the broccoli and serve with Parmesan, salt and pepper.
T R E AT Y O U R S E L F WATCH THIS
LISTEN TO THIS
Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One Things are about to get a little more strict around here, and we’re not talking about your annual appraisal. It’s series 13 of Strictly, and Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are here to take us and this year’s couples on a journey of spins, foxtrots and waltzes. Already deemed the bitchiest series to date, this one’s sure to be packed full of laughter, tears, and, more importantly, the glitziest and most glamorous routines yet.
Divers, Joanna Newsom
flickr: Phil King
Saturday nights, BBC One
It’s almost impossible to sing along to Joanna Newsom’s tracks, but for good reason. The 33-year-old’s voice reaches such heights that it sounds almost otherworldly; part of her timeless appeal is the fact that playful piano and harp notes take you to fairytale lands not unlike what’s on this album’s cover. Look out for Sapokanikan if you fancy a whimsical melody, or Leaving the City for something stormier – whatever your mood, this album will definitely leave you spoilt for choice.
Out 6 November
POWER HOUR HIGH-FLYING FITNESS If you once dreamt of running away with the circus, now’s your chance to do so – and get fit at the same time. Fitness is going full Cirque du Soleil as trapeze-based classes take London by storm; Flying Fantastic offers aerial fitness classes that are all about working core and upper body strength while having fun at the same time. Although the trend has yet to catch on elsewhere, these high-flying fitness fans are currently looking out for new venues, so keep your eyes peeled.
BOOK THIS MOWGLI This trendy hideaway in central Liverpool is more than just an Indian restaurant. You’ve never quite had curry like this before – this gem offers a range of dishes, from light coriander-infused biryanis to intense mustardbased curries and ‘treacle ribs’. If these culinary delights aren’t enough to entice you, many eats are served in tins for added novelty and there’s also a ‘food roulette’ option if you can’t make up your mind what to choose. 69 Bold Street, Liverpool
LOVES 1 Large microcosy red fairisle cushion, Primark, £5
2 Afro owl doorstop with lavender, red and teal, Amara, £56 3 Red enamel style espresso cup, dotcomgiftshop, £4.95
4 Woodland rose teapot, Cath Kidston, £28 5 Luxury supersoft fur throw, BHS, £100 6 Star by Julien Macdonald candles (set of three), Debenhams, £15
O F F I C E C AT W A L K
WOMEN MEN 1 Christmas cardigan, Bonmarche, £20 2 Tan premium suede chunky platform chelsea boots, New Look, £64.99 3 Christmas jumper, Marks and Spencer Collection, £35 4 Bah humpug jumper, Dorothy Perkins, £26
1 Charcoal elf selfie Christmas novelty crew neck jumper, Blue Inc, £19.99 2 Primark Christmas beanie hat, £5 3 Brogues, Red Herring, Debenhams, £50
AND ONE MORE THING ...
THE DREADED PITCH
Standing up and speaking in front of senior colleagues can be a daunting task for lots of people, and as JULIE BARBER discusses, preparation for an important pitch is sometimes not enough to quell your fears
JULIE BARBER PA
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ublic speaking is my greatest weakness (well, that and cliché heartthrob films). At school, class presentations were always an embarrassing experience for me. Half an hour before making the dreaded walk to the front of the classroom my palms would start sweating and I’d begin devising half-hacked ploys to get my parents to pick me up from school, mainly by faking excruciating migraines. In the end I’d always find myself in front of 30 friends and peers, stuttering and nervously glancing around the room whilst my hands trembled nervously at my sides. Now, years after leaving school, I find myself on the verge of making a presentation pitch to the management team at my workplace, which includes key board members with big expectations. No pressure then! The levels of preparation that I’ve taken to ensure that I don’t shame myself this time around would frighten most people. During lunch breaks I’ve shut myself in the boardroom, tirelessly addressing print outs of my parents’ faces taped to the tops of chairs whilst reciting data figures and financial turnover stats. On some days I think colleagues walking by might think I’m experiencing a psychotic episode. Who knows? Perhaps, in my desperation to get the presentation just right, I am! But alas, all this has done little to calm my nerves. With a day to go before I walk into that dimly lit boardroom, my nerves are shot! I find myself distracted by fears of what could happen when the pitch is made, and the dreaded consequences of a poor performance. But whether or not this overreaction’s linked to memories of class presentations at school, I’m determined to do my best to keep a level head in front of my peers. Wish me luck!
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