SERVICES HELPLINE: Sam Solley takes the hassle out of finding the right product or service - you ask the question, he'll provide the answer

Public speaking

Q: I and several colleagues have found it extremely difficult in the past to deal with press interviews and corporate presentations. I'm sure it's all a matter of confidence, but is there a company that organises seminars or lectures on how to approach these things?

A: Perhaps you have a situation coming up where you'll be talking to journalists or maybe you just want some coaching to refresh your media and communication skills.

Media training is about getting as much practical interview experience as possible. It will help you identify your strongest speakers and their individual characteristics and strengths. Regarding presentations, you cannot expect to become an expert performer overnight - or the moment you find yourself on stage facing the senior figures from a company.

Voice control, body language, image and dealing with nerves and interruptions are all part of the training process.

Both Hillside on 020 8950 7919 and Communicate on 020 7713 1803 will be able to help you on this and provide experience and support to guide you through what can be a nerve-wracking experience.

Year to view

Q: We would like to source a company that can provide us with branded diaries, calendars, planners and the like.

A: It is always nice to receive something free through the post and it's a way of getting your brand or company name well-established in people's minds.

People always need diaries and I'm sure there are many who are hoping to receive a decent diary for 2003.

Get in touch with Charles Letts & Co on 0131 663 1971 and Collins Debden on 01689 830500.

Charles Letts is the UK's largest manufacturer of diaries and stationery so should be able to provide you with anything you need.

On the list

Q: Is there a company that can supply me with up-to-date business lists. All to often I have purchased lists only too find the information is dated. Can you assist?

A: This is a recurring problem and one that frankly should not be happening.

It is a poor reflection on too many data companies that they are selling out-of-date information.

To make sure you are getting the most current information possible, speak to Market Monitor on 01844 274166 or List Locator on 01698 464185.

Both companies can offer you information that you won't mind paying out for - as it will get you results.

Exclusive event

Q: We would like to find a promotional company that would take care of a launch for our latest product offering. It would need to be a suitably grand production to match the exclusivity of the product. Is there a particular company you can suggest that would have the skills to take on a job like this?

A: It sounds like you are looking to stage a particularly special launch.

You certainly don't want any old promotional company organising this.

Get in touch with Kreate Promotions on 020 7401 9007/8. Kreate caters for all aspects of project management, including creative design, personnel management, merchandising, logistics, evaluation and analysis.

Its staffing pool covers a wide range of promotional models throughout the UK. Kreate productions capture the feeling of the event, whatever the occasion.

The company is well known for creating spectacular fashion shows, product launches, trade shows, exhibitions and parties. Alternatively, you could speak to Touchdown Promotions on 020 8614 8006.

Shirt solution

Q: I want to hand out shirts for our members of staff at our Christmas party - something along the lines of polo shirts or smart shirts would be perfect, with our logo on the chest. It's a little late in the day, so what companies do you think might be able to help?

A: With it being close to Christmas, you need to act fast. Speak to the BTC Group on 020 8569 2250 and Bloomsbury In on 01273 329 993. Both these companies can supply you with high-quality garments at reasonable prices.

Telephone: 020 8267 4305 or e-mail:


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