From battlefield to the boardroom – Army veteran Chris Robinson uses military skills to start company training firm in Clayton

Article from the Telegraph & Argus. Read the full article here.

Chris Robinson, who served with the Yorkshire Regiment for 23 years rising to the rank of Colour Sergeant, is using skills gained in some of the most hostile countries in the world to create training and skills packages for professionals at all levels to hone and structure their communication techniques.

Chris Robinson SpeakerHis company, Maven People and Training Ltd, will teach core skills to make effective presentations and public speaking for those in such sectors as the recruitment industry, colleges, universities, training deliverers and health and safety organisations.

The 44-year-old, who grew up in Wibsey and attended Rhodesway School in Allerton, joined the Army at the age of 20 and had tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Northern Ireland, Somalia and Sierra Leone.

He said the skills he learned during his service were ideally suited to the corporate world.

Mr Robinson said: “Tasks included the responsibility for training, leading, administering, and manning all aspects of military life under at times very testing and difficult environments.

“I did have a break from the Army between 2006 and 2008 and during that time worked in recruitment.

“I had attended presentations made by some professionals and they really were not getting their message across well. They were not selling themselves well. I saw a gap in teaching these skills using techniques gained in the army.

“I returned to the Army and kept the idea ticking over until I completed my contract. Though I am officially released, the term actually ends in August.

“The military relies on practice and perfection. Over the last ten years I have been lucky to have travelled in other countries. I have been to some really diverse and hostile places and got the t-shirt. In the army we plan, rehearse, prepare and practice over and over again until we are 100 per cent perfect in any job we are about to do.

“We work with structure and the Army provides you with business skills for life. It is these skills that Maven – a Hebrew term for someone with knowledge who shares it – can take into the boardroom.

“The Army teaches you to deal with pressure. In the boardroom there are no bullets coming for you or bombs going off nearby so you can focus on the job at hand.

“During my 23 years I have visited approximately 30 countries. The regiment has been such a big part of my life and has given me the skill set to go forward and launch this exciting new brand upon my retirement.

“People wanting to deliver presentations need to have a structure in place and that is where my company comes in. It can teach self confidence to win over audiences which can be the difference between success and failure.”

Training packages are delivered both at the workplace or in external training and conference rooms using experts drawn both from the UK Armed Forces and corporate and training organisations.

The Clayton-based company officially launches on May 22 with the website mavengroup.co.uk.