Since 2011 I have been helping people improve their communication skills - elocution, public speaking, correct English writing, presentations, conversation skills, essay writing skills, wedding speech preparation, job interview techniques.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I mainly offer tutoring and coaching in the following subjects: Elocution and accent reduction, help with Essay and Dissertation Writing, Spelling and Grammar, Interview Skills (including dealing with the Media), Public Speaking (including Wedding Speeches), Adult Literacy, Presentation Writing and Delivery. My techniques also cover mindfulness, voice projection, body language, conversation skills, confident speaking and speaking idiomatic English (mainly for clients who speak English as a foreign language).
This list is not exhaustive though, so please contact me if you are looking for a subject not listed here. Please note that I do not offer an essay-writing service - I can help people to write an essay or dissertation but I can't write it for them.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
II am a communications professional with a BA in English, Masters Post Graduate Diploma in Public Communication, and a Certificate in TEFL. I am also an experienced trainer in communication skills. Before becoming a tutor I worked for many years in government public relations.
- When are you available?
Normally, unless I have previous bookings, I am available any day of the week and any time within reason.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Most of my clients are adults but I will consider tutoring school-age children.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I am happy to tutor by Skype or Facetime if that is most convenient for the client. In fact I work online with about half my clients, which means I can tutor people all over the UK and in other countries.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
I prefer to work WITH my clients to achieve what they want, rather than teaching AT them. My approach is different with each individual, depending on their needs, their previous experience and what they are expecting of me. I appreciate this may be the first time the have had private tuition and I do my best to make our sessions as varied, interesting and enjoyable as I can.
Andy is one of our best tutors. They have a high-quality profile, verified qualifications, a quick response time, and great reviews from students!
- What kind of experience do you have?
After an earlier career in customer service in the public sector I became a government press and public relations officer in 1999, a job I held for more than eleven years before going it alone. In that role I worked mainly for the Department for Work and Pensions but was involved in projects with other organisations including the Ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace. I was regularly responsible for briefing government ministers and senior managers, arranging ministerial visits and providing training and coaching for junior colleagues. My training and experience covered all aspects of public communications including: Media Handling and Dealing with Journalists, Copywriting, Press Release Writing, Marketing, Campaign Management, Event Management, Brand and Reputation Management, Crisis Management, Research and Analysis, Internal Communications, Interview Techniques, Public Speaking and Presentation, and Social Media and Online Marketing. I am a member of the Senior Common Rooms at the College of St Hild and St Bede, and Collingwood College in the University of Durham, a Mentor to a number of Hild Bede students and former secretary of the alumni association of that college. As well as tutoring I run training courses in personal communication skills.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I do not hold a DBS certificate – this is not a legal requirement for a self-employed tutor. However I do hold a 'subject access request' document from Durham Constabulary confirming that no information about me is held on the Police National Computer, and this is available for inspection on request. Parents are very welcome to sit in on sessions with their children.
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
I am a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) .
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I have tutored all ages, including school and university students, business people, teachers, accountants and oil rig workers, and many nationalities including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French, American and Nepalese. Several of my clients have been referred to me by their employers, who have identified a need to improve their personal communications skills. Sometimes people need help to prepare for a particular event, such as a big speech or a job or college interview. Sometimes they just feel the need to improve their written and/or spoken communications. I tailor my sessions to their particular needs.
2011 - date
Currently self-employed, trading as Andy Collins PR & Training, providing private tuition for individuals in speaking, writing and creative skills, training workshops in communication skills, and freelance PR services for small businesses.
Experience in this capacity includes:
• Preparing individuals for presentations, public speaking and interviews
• Working on accent reduction and idiomatic speaking for individuals who have English as a second language, both in the UK and (online) outside
• Working with professional people to improve their grammar, spelling and punctuation
• Improving individuals' conversational skills and building confidence in speaking
Since October 2012 I have also been a regular freelance trainer with Westminster Explained, delivering Civil Service Learning courses - generic learning and development for civil servants
1999 - 2011
Department for Work & Pensions (Press & PR Officer)
Newcastle & Whitehall, UK
• Advising and guiding government ministers and senior management on all aspects of public relations to ensure the delivery of a consistent message.
• Training junior staff in all aspects of business communications
• Leading and facilitating the development, implementation and management of national campaigns and strategic media projects, using PR, marketing, internal and e-communications.
• Forecasting and agreeing resource and budgetary requirements, implementing and monitoring key performance indicators and financial metrics.
• Ensuring each project and campaign runs to plan and within operating costs.
• Establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with regional, national and international media and acting as general media spokesperson.
• Responding reactively to the media by acting as focal point for all queries and collaborating proactively with the media to market and gain support for campaigns.
• Organising and coordinating media coverage for official visits, generating interest from media groups to raise the event and campaign profiles.
• Producing key reports and recommendations for verbal and written presentation to government officials and senior civil servants.
1996 - 1999
Benefits Agency (Customer Service Officer)
• Managing all customer service functions, including training and developing a multi-disciplined team of personnel.
Andy is an inspiring tutor, full of enthusiasm and knowledge. I always felt that Andy's lessons were personalised and tailored specifically to my needs. He made me feel at ease and increasingly confident with every lesson. Dedicated, professional, reliable - what more could you ask for! I would highly recommend him without hesitation
Andy identified issues with the speed of my speech and quickly got to work developing a better rhythm and speed of delivery. His teaching is engaging and insightful, carefully tailored to meet my individual needs. Lessons were varied, to help tackle the issue from different directions - this helped maintain a fresh delivery of the material. Andy was always punctual, dedicated and thoroughly professional. It was a highly enjoyable experience - I would recommend him to anyone looking to improve their speech.
I was very nervous about making a speech but Andy helped me make an amazing one. I could not have done it without him - he gave me the courage and the confidence to do it. I'm actually really proud of myself. I can't really put in to words how grateful I am.
Our relaxed discussions have enabled me to develop greater confidence in my ability to deliver presentations, but also to work towards eliminating the unhelpful habits and fears that I have carried with me throughout my adult life.
Everything went very well at our wedding and I had no problems at all with my speech, I received a lot of compliments on my speech, and there wasn't a dry eye on the house. Thank you for all of your help with my preparation, I would certainly recommend your service to anyone that may need speech coaching.
Many thanks for all your help and advice to prepare me to deliver the best man speech. It went very well indeed and I received numerous compliments including at least two that mentioned the quality of delivery. Well done you!
Thank you for finding the time to write lots of explanations. With your help, my chances of being chosen for an interview at College have definitely increased.
Thank you again for your tuition over the past few months. It's been very enjoyable and the results have made a huge and extremely positive difference to me in many ways. I really appreciate all you've done.
Organised, down to earth and very easy to talk to; Andy not only understands a wide range of issues a client may have but finds clear, inventive and articulate ways to tackle them. It has been a pleasure to work with Andy and I couldn't rate him highly enough.
Andy Collins is the foremost trainer in personal communication skills in the North East of England.
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