Guest blogger JoAnne McConnell on communication skills and leadership for entrepreneurs

Redbridge start-up in leadership skills steps into her first blog…

Hi there! Welcome to my first blog. 

So what? I hear you say, it will mean a lot to me if you’ll please read on and joanne-mcconnelllet me know what you think. 🙂

My name is JoAnne and I am about 155 years. I offer over 25 years leadership and management experience in a range of dynamic public sector environments including over 10 years leading curriculum design, innovations in teaching, learning and assessments, programme development, quality improvements and transformations in culture and performance , in Further Education Colleges and Higher Education Institutions.

Having reflected on life’s journey I am in a fortunate position of being able to commit time, energy and other resources to do only what I am passionate about. I am on a mission to accelerate leadership diversity and to see the number of women, BAME groups, disabled and other underrepresented individuals /groups take leadership roles, for example as trustees, on governance boards and to empower individuals to become super successful leaders, community champions and capacity builders, particularly locally in East London/Redbridge.

Going forward, I am launching XpressU a start up, providing a forum for, the expression of ideas, opinions, thoughts, personal development, communication and leadership skills, The aim is to bring out the skills and contributions of people currently excluded from decision making structures or lacks a voice to influence the outcomes which would be to the benefit of us all.


I have written this blog on two of the basic communication skills all entrepreneurs need, to encourage other entrepreneurs, who like myself are business start-ups. hope you like it!

1. Speaking

Having sat through meetings, networking events, etc struggling to hear what was being mumbled I firmly believe that every entrepreneur should actively strive to develop effective speaking skills for impact and business advantage.

Communication is key for entrepreneurs eager to develop, grow and enhance their connection with their clients/customers. Communication skills are largely ignored in advice and support available for start up entrepreneurs and arguably one of the most underrated skills today. It’s definitely something that can be learned just like anything else.

As start-up Entrepreneurs we are motivated, enthusiastic, inspired, passionate people wanting to achieve great things, therefore the ability to effectively communicate our message clearly, with confidence and impact is vital to our business success. It is important for us to pay attention to the unique selling point(s) of our product/service and before we speak, to consider

  1. how does it appeal to our audience?
  2. what is our contribution?
  3. what promotional hook we will use?

2. Writing

Social media provides a great platform to connect with people. Blogging and tweeting has brought the written word back into focus. From our LinkedIn profile, posting blogs to sending emails, we’re judged by our writing skills. A poorly written email may prevent us from an opportunity to present our product/service to a prospective client but a well written email has a higher probability of getting read and replied to.

Final thoughts…

Communication (spoken or written) is very important for entrepreneurs and business leaders to master. It’s definitely worth the investment in training and coaching to focus on developing this vital skill which over time, will be very rewarding and beneficial.

Let’s communicate:

  1. do you agree/ are disagree with the blog?
  2. which one of the skills do you prefer to use – Speaking or Writing?

Love to hear from you please email your views to:

Written by: JoAnne McConnell 2017-01 Founder of XpressU

XpressU: leading the way to ignite, accelerate development and transform communication and leadership skills for start up entrepreneurs, social enterprises and community champions, giving something back to their local area.


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