Once again I am in Bahrain and I am honoured to speak at the Bahrain Society for Training and Development from 7.30 to 9 pm on 14 May. The event takes place at BIBF, is open for all and free.

Change is all around us. I will show you the process you go through when you deal with change and some case studies in companies where they had to go through major changes. We will talk about communication and gossip and I will teach you how to change your own or others’ behaviour.

The event will be interactive and I will conduct a trouble shooting session for the audience. Feel free to come along.

An Swinnen


Today is a wonderful day for me. It is BECS’s 8th birthday. Today I look back at the last twelve months and what we have achieved.

First of all, we bought our own premises and moved the South West Office to a new location in Paignton last June. Now we feel right at home. When I am here I look out over our sunny English flower garden and think how lucky we are.

Secondly, this year we delivered Dealing with Change, Advanced Negotiations Workshop, Strategic Planning and Report and Business Letters writing to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. The feedback was fantastic again. BECS is a preferred supplier and I have been classed as “Outstanding Consultant” which is a real honour.

I have also been heavily  involved with “Business and Professional Women Kuwait” (BPW) and delivered training courses and two conferences for them. These workshops were to help Kuwaiti women start up their own companies, survive in business and empower them through the eight United Nations principles.

Once again I had a fantastic year. I met up with good friends and made some new ones. Life is busy and exciting and I would not have it any other way. I would like to thank everyone who helped make BECS a success in the last eight years. I couldn’t have done it without you!

An Swinnen


I am very pleased to announce that I will be delivering a “How to survive in Business  (because it’s a jungle out there)” Workshop in Bahrain on 27 February 2012. The workshop will take place at the exclusive Capital Club in the Financial Harbour in Bahrain from 9 to 5 on 27 February 2012.

Topics include:

  • Presenting yourself, your company and your product/service professionally
  • Negotiating the best deal for you
  • Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint”
  • Improving your telephone technique for more sales, appointments and leads
  • Increasing your visibility and credibility through e-marketing
  • organising your time effectively between work, family and yourself

I will also be organising a business trouble shooting session so if you have any business questions or would like some advice, come along.

For more information and to register (only 18 places available!), see the attached form. Each participant receives a signed copy of “The Business Survival Guide (because it’s a jungle out there)”. See you there!

An Swinnen

Participation form

Telephoning Tips


We are nearing the end of January so a few more tips to keep you going. Stay positive and focused and don’t forget to enjoy life. Have a look at the cartoon. I am sure that you have all had a moment like that! Enjoy …


  1. Smile while you dial. The other person will hear the smile in your voice.
  2. Introduce yourself slowly at the beginning of a call. The receiver needs to register who you are before you can give them more information.
  3. Never shout at an operator, especially if they need to help you because your file will go to the bottom of the pile.
  4. Spell information slowly and use examples e.g. N for November.
  5. Always thank the other person at the end of a call e.g. “Thank you for your help” or “Thank you for phoning”.


Social Chit Chat


  1. When you welcome visitors, ask about their journey, if they have been to the city before, discuss the weather (UK) or ask where they come from (USA).
  2. Never discuss politics or religion.
  3.  Social chit chat makes you feel at ease so relax and enjoy the conversation.
  4. If you run out of things to talk about, look around and start talking about what you see (the furniture, pictures on the walls, the view).
  5. Your host will move on to business when he/she is ready. Do not change the subject to business yourself.



And some more tips …


  1.  Allow plenty of time for preparation. The more you prepare, the less nervous you will be.
  2. Check the equipment before you start your presentation.
  3. Structure your presentation into introduction, body, conclusion and questions.
  4. Use simple language and speak slowly and clearly.
  5. Establish a relationship with the audience through eye contact and asking questions.


New Year Resolutions


I wish you all a fantastic 2012 filled with good health, love and friendship. We all make New Year resolutions and find that in the middle of January we have already given up.

To help and give you that little push, I am giving away free top tips and cartoons of “The Business Survival Guide (because it’s a jungle out there)” throughout January on this blog and my Facebook page.

So here goes: the first top tips are on communication skills:

Communication Skills

  1. Speak slowly and clearly.
  2. Do not use complicated words or words only used in your company.
  3. Do not rely on spoken communication if you want to give a group of people the same information because the content will change from person to person. Send an email, letter or memo instead.
  4. If you are not sure if you understood the message, ask for repetition or ask for an explanation.
  5. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification several times. Do not stop until you have understood because the consequences could be terrible (dangerous situations, missed flight, wrong medication, …).


  On 1 December 2011 Ghalia Club and BPW Kuwait organised a conference on the  UN 7 principles of women empowerment at the Global Investment House in Kuwait.

I presented the principles and with the help of Hind Al-Nahedh of Ghalia Club and Najat AlHashash of BPW Kuwait we turned the very general principles into real up-to-date examples of Kuwait and the world.

The audience commented and discussed with the panel throughout the conference which turned the session into a very interactive exchange of views. Everyone was happy with the outcome that Kuwait is already implementing many of the principles. A very worthwhile conference!

An Swinnen

The photo says it all!

On 28, 29 and 30 November I was fortunate enough to meet 25 budding women entrepreneurs in Kuwait. BPW Kuwait organised a workshop for women who were thinking about setting up a company or who had just done so.

We discussed how to set and achieve goals, manage  time, sources of support and funding and emarketing.

We had a fantastic 3 days with a lot of discussion, real-life examples, trouble shooting sessions and laughter. As you can see, the photo says it all!

An Swinnen


I am very proud and pleased to announce that BECS was awarded three contracts to deliver “Dealing with Change”, “Advanced Negotiation Skills” and “Strategic Planning” for Kuwait Petroleum Corporation this school year.

I was in Kuwait last week to deliver the first of seven “Dealing with Change” courses and it was wonderful to be back at the Petroleum Training Centre in Ahmadi and the Crowne Plaza in Farwaniyah. I was welcomed as a long-lost sister.

Unfortunately I could only stay for one week and I have still so many friends to meet up with after a long summer. I will be back in Kuwait on 16 October and back in Bahrain on 30 October for one week.

Kuwait Sunset May 2011

I am looking forward to being in Kuwait on a monthly basis. Not just to deliver training at KPC, but also to work with Business and Professional Women Kuwait, Kuwait Economic Society, British Business Forum, Arab Open University, the British schools in the Gulf, Bahrain Training Institute and BIBF .

I am looking forward to coffees, lunches, dinners, meetings with friends on sunny terraces in a lovely part of the world.
See you soon!
An Swinnen