The first Supper Club in our brand new home of 1761 was an astounding success. In the days leading up to the event, the numbers doubled as more and more women heard of it on the grapevine; referred to by friends, colleagues, and even social media.
Greeted by 1761's lush decor of rich chesterfield sofas and chandeliers on arrival, guests were escorted to a private dining area, where two banquet tables were laid out with a carefully nurtured seating plan. For half an hour casual chatting, introductions and glasses of wine were enjoyed by everyone and Sorority members introduced themselves to new faces to ensure no one was left out.
It was difficult to pry everyone away from their engaged conversations as we sat down for the beginning of Andy Johnson's seminar, but he definitely got the attention of the entire group as he started his presentation by holding up a large picture of John Prescott's face. This technique, we learned later on, was to start a presentation with a story to capture the interest of the audience who, quite frankly, don't have to be there.
We had a group discussion on our voices, and what we could do to improve our chances of being heard in situations when we typically feel powerless. Acknowledging that simply being present in a meeting is enough of a reason to share our thoughts, calling out those who listen to our ideas and rephrase them to present as their own, and using the 'Amplification' strategy that was used in the White House by Obama's administration. We even had an example from one of the women in the room who, after feeling frustrated that she couldn't address her ideas in meetings, decided to create a power-point presentation and instead of immediately sitting down, stayed standing to present her ideas before the rest of the meeting took place. There was so much clapping, a lot of outraged gasps as stories were shared, and a really welcoming space for great conversations.
But the seminar had to be put on hold as our first course arrived. The creamy vegetable soup with a balsamic garnish and sourdough bread was devoured as everyone got to know those they were sat with. The table plan had been designed in a way that put together ladies who would make gre