Frequently Asked Questions

How do I take my interest further?

Get in touch with us right away and outline the nature of your interest. You can e-mail, fax or telephone your enquiry and we will contact you as soon as possible. To see contact details, click here.

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Where can I find a list of your courses?

All our courses are designed around your personal needs. It is best to look at courses which other individuals have taken, and we offer both personal and corporate services. Clearly some of these are more commonly requested than others so, if you do not see a title that seems to address the area of your interest, please contact us and we should be able to offer a proposal to meet your needs.

We aim to help people with any aspect of spoken and written English for inter-personal communication.

See our personal courses.

See our corporate courses.

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Where can I get my training?

The most cost-effective solution for individuals is to come to Swindon so all the time paid for is spent coaching, and not diluted by our travel! Although Swindon is very well-placed for access by train, plane and motorway, it is often best with group training courses, for us to travel to you. In fact, most of our corporate courses are delivered on the customer's own premises or at a mutually convenient conference centre or hotel.

A number of individuals have found it well worth while to travel to us from as far as 180 miles away for intensive, one-to-one, day-long programme sessions. We are willing to travel just about anywhere but, in truth, we have yet to provide training for anyone willing to cover our travel expenses outside of the UK! Maybe you are the first? If the course is right for you, we can probably work out a mutually acceptable venue. Ask us!

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Who is likely to be my tutor/trainer?

Whenever possible, you will be coached by Godfrey Room. Click here to learn more.

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What is my programme going to cost?

This is the understandably the most frequently asked question as well as the hardest to answer! Given that all courses are customised to meet the needs of particular people and situations, there are just too many variations of duration, venue, preparation and frequency to be able to publish a fixed scale of fees. Your request for a quotation is entirely free and without any obligation so it is worth making contact.

When you or your colleagues achieve their objectives - and our satisfaction rate is extremely high! - you will certainly say that our very reasonable fees are an excellent investment that repay themselves many times over.

Well, that's what our customers say. To read some of our customers' testimonials, click here.

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When is the next series of speech examinations?

Most of our students who train for nationally validated qualification grades, medals and diplomas offer for examinations administered by LAMDA (The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art). Quite a few enter for exams set by Vanguard Examinations. Both bodies provide opportunities to candidates at a range of centres across the UK and LAMDA runs sessions overseas as well.

Broadly there are summer and winter sessions; in Swindon, for example, LAMDA exams are usually held in November and June each year. We also prepare students for examinations by the New Era Academy. Vanguard Examinations exams are now held every other year in Swindon, alternating with New Era Academy. A Swindon session for New Era Academy will next be offered in 2010.

Whilst we can also prepare you for other examination series - The English Speaking Board and London Guildhall, for example - or indeed coaching candidates for GCSE or A/S exams - we can give the details of precise dates and locations on request.

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How are your Presentation Skills courses different from everyone else's?

Our approach to voice, non-verbal communication and delivery skills as qualified speech trainers, combined with experience of business, marketing and formal education in English, media, performance arts and Communication Studies makes for a pretty rare mix of resources for you to call upon. In fact, we have not met anyone at all with this same mix of expertise that gives such a depth to the training we provide. The key is the one-to-one interaction that gives personal feedback and coaching that precisely meets each person's needs.

Addressing issues of voice production as well as content, style and technical support with someone who is also a regular performer in front of audiences creates an unique learning experience that our trainees find very supportive, stimulating and - most important of all - very successful for them.

There are not many Presentations courses that we have heard of that frequently get business executives lying on the floor reviewing how they breathe! Certainly, from what our customers tell us, they have never before enjoyed themselves so much and made such progress with their presentations so quickly as they have on an Xpress Train course. To read some of our customers' testimonials, click here.

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You say you offer a free, no obligation Needs' Analysis whenever possible, but what does that really mean?

Every programme is customised to address the precise aims of each customer and so it is important to explore those targets, look at starting points, consider previous experience and assess what might be achieved within any constraints of time and budget. We would also discuss possible training dates and venue(s) before making a programme proposal. This is best done face-to-face in a conversation lasting from 30 to 45 minutes. Following receipt of our quotation, you will hopefully choose to accept the proposal and confirm starting details but you are certainly not obliged to do so and there is no charge for this preliminary consultation.

Regrettably it is not often possible for us to travel long distances without regard for the time and travel expenses involved but, if you cannot manage to come to meet us in Swindon and you think you are obviously too far away for us to get together for an initial consultation, then we will discuss your situation over the telephone.

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What does it mean when people say, "You cannot not communicate"?

This is an expression that reminds us that every person is sending messages continuously, whether or not they are speaking words out loud. We communicate by the clothes we choose to wear, our hairstyle, posture, facial expressions, gestures, gaze behaviour, tone of voice, volume, inflexions, touch, smell and via a host of other channels as well. Merely saying nothing actually 'says' a great deal about an attitude, mood, values, attention, interest, involvement and more besides. Actors need many techniques to be convincing but so do managers announcing cut-backs!

Problems arise when the words are saying "X" but everything else about the speaker is saying "Z"! Effective communication involves much more than saying the right words aloud. Xpress Train addresses the complete range of skills and techniques needed for effective communication. In fact, the same sorts of factors apply to persuasive writing. How do you react to misspelled, ungrammatical letters? What image do people have of your business when they receive one of your letters?

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Can you really deliver what you promise?

Xpress Train Ltd. is proud of its record of extremely high customer satisfaction. It is in nobody's interest to fail and so it is very important to agree what can realistically be achieved over the length of the bespoke programme before we start.

We do not believe in the "one-size fits all" approach frequently offered elsewhere, and we do not believe in trying to "clone" everyone into a standardised model of an "ideal" speaker, presenter or writer. We all have different strengths, different personalities and different starting points so our aim is to help each person to be as effective as possible and, if some ambitions are unrealistic, we will be honest and say so!

Our post-course evaluations only fall below 100% where delegates say they enjoyed themselves so much that they felt the course needed to be longer! The answer, then, is YES! We will help you to be successful. We have brought success to hundreds of people, many of them very like you! We are confident that we can arrange a worthwhile programme for you.

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