Well, OK ... not anything. If you want relationship advice, I'm not your man.
As you can see from my unconventional career, however, I've worked in lots of different roles in my two decades as an informal educator - both within organisations as well as training and advising them from the outside. For example, I've served as one of the EPSRC's public engagement mentors advising many large-scale PE projects which engaged people in STEM across the UK.
So, whether you have specific questions about how to work with a shy volunteer onstage or you want to discuss more widely how to run an educational business which meets both its mission and profit goals, I will do my best to help you in these virtual, 1-on-1 sessions. It's your call to lead.
Examples of consultancy scenarios
To make this support more concrete, here are some other scenarios where this support might be helpful. However, these are suggested only for illustration, not to constrain you.
- a museum on how to devise an engaging presentation training programme for their education staff;
- a new science centre on how to set-up and develop their school and public education departments;
- an outreach organisation on how to improve their marketing to primary schools;
- a children's magician on how to write an educational show for schools on a particular topic;
- a historical attraction on the logistics and processes behind starting an outreach programme from scratch;
- a theatre-in-education group on how to introduce more interactivity in their performances for secondary schools.
- anyone preparing to give a high-profile public presentation about a complex subject e.g. a TEDx talk; a pitch to potential investors; a communication competition for researchers;
- researchers who want advice on submitting a proposal for a public engagement grant;
- businesses on how to create engagement training programmes for their employees who want to do outreach;
- academics who are brainstorming the best medium or technique to explain a technical concept to a public audience;
- charity workers on how best to market their free awareness-raising talks to teachers;
- business leaders who want to inspire the next generation by delivering interactive talks in schools.
Paul has been an amazing source of inspiration and expertise to us here at science made simple. We have worked with him on fine-tuning some aspects of our new shows and in the continuing professional development of our presenters.
His feedback is always positive and constructive and comes form a position of many years experience learning his craft in the field and through his academic study of the subject area. He is a pleasure to work with and truly passionate about what he does.
Director, Science Made Simple
How much it costs
I'm aware that in many education sectors there is barely enough money to fund group training, let alone pay for individual consultancy. As you can see from the topics listed above, this personalised support is more likely to be viable when the outcome of the support can be directly linked to a funded or commercial project.
As a guide, the cost of a 30-minute coaching call is £50 (+VAT) and a 60-minute session costs £95 (+VAT). I will invoice you after the call and you can pay by card online or by bank transfer. If your organisation requires a purchase order to be drawn up first, I can send you a quotation to facilitate this.
Money-back guarantee - if you are unsatisfied with the consultancy session for any reason, I will listen to your concerns and try to learn from them. You won't be invoiced for the call - it's not in my long-term interest to have a disgruntled client.
Paul worked with us on all stages of our project, from the initial design and fund-raising activities through to training and delivery.
At all stages his contribution was invaluable, and he was always readily available to consult and freely offered us his wealth of experience. He was full of good ideas but he also knew when to step back and let us run with our own ideas.
Prof Fred Currell
Formerly Queen's University of Belfast
If you want to enquire about a booking an AMA session, please first take a moment to read through the FAQs below.
For anyone interested in the possibility of having me consult on a more flexible basis than AMA sessions, for a longer-term project, please get in touch to organise an initial discussion.
My policy is only to agree to the enquiry if I feel that I can add significant value to your current practice or your plans.
I will try to guide you as best I can given my experiences in informal education. But it's important to appreciate that a large part of this process is having an external observer posing precisely the right questions to help you develop your own thinking or mindset. It's rarely about offering simple, generic solutions.
- You submit an enquiry form outlining the main issues you want to discuss in the call.
- If I have availability and I think I can provide sufficient added value in terms of these issues, I'll email a simple contract for you to sign electronically. I will also send a link to an online calendar where you can select a mutually convenient date and time for the session.
- For the call we will use a video conferencing platform that you can access online through a link. I may be using the video screencasting facility during the call, but your device will only need to have access to a microphone, not a camera.
The calls are not recorded and their content is always strictly confidential - it's the only way that this kind of support could possibly be effective.
If the project or issue is particularly sensitive, I will sign any reasonable non-disclosure agreement. In this case I'll also destroy the notes I make during the call. Possibly by eating them.
Steady on, you might hate me. It's usually safer to start with one call.
If you're interested and I have availability, a future package of ongoing support can be arranged at a discounted rate.