The first activity of the ecdp training course was introducing and getting to know fellow attendees. This was achieved by being presented with six questions which the person beside us was asked to answer. By asking these questions to our partner the room became more comfortable and attendees were soon making conversation based on their answers. Following the one-to-one session each member was asked to tell the room about the person who they'd spoken to and the room began to feel relaxed and social with members becoming more willing to offer contributions as the day went on.
The rest of the morning session, led by course leader Rachel Vipond, was spent as an introduction to what the course offers and what attendees should hope and expect to get out of the next 8 weeks.
From the beginning of the day I found that the course leaders were very complimentary towards attendees and offered constructive criticism followed by advice on how to improve and expand on their statements and work which in turn boosted the confidence of those in attendance.
The main subject of this afternoon was networking and how to work with and achieve the building of a network in order to gain employment.
Exercises such as completing a transferable skills checklist and a 30 second snapshot about ourselves were set in order to be presented at the front of the room and boost the confidence of the speaker in regards to themselves and also their speaking manners. These exercises also encouraged the speakers to include "hooks" in order to allow the listener or audience to ask questions and gain further knowledge of this person and their achievements and skills/abilities.
When discussing networking, details on how to network and who to talk to were provided as well as techniques such as creating a contact list, noting people who to contact and subjects to be discussed when networking.
Homework tasks set for tonight were to research five leaders who were also disabled, creating separate lists of our goals and skills and to pick out five people who we'd like to network with, possibly including people in the room.