Soft Skills Training

I specialise in what is often referred to as ‘soft skills,’ but which most organisations realise are actually the ‘hard skills.’ Topics such as Communication Skills, Leadership, Time Management and Presentation Skills. However, soft skills training programmes are not commodities and the personality and style of approach of the trainer is as important as the content covered.

My Approach

The most effective training takes place when attendees are simply being themselves in the room and can enjoy the learning experience. My style of delivery whilst professional and thought-provoking is informal and relaxed. I always endeavour to create an energised environment as this not only aids people’s learning, but it makes the workshop more enjoyable. My training workshops are never ‘death by powerpoint,’ the focus is always on practical learning and useful techniques that attendees can easily apply to their own situations. I blend training and coaching techniques during my workshops which embeds learning and which I believe is critical in achieving lasting results.


  • Thank you for all your advice James, the different techniques definitely helped me big time in the interview, finally got word that I got the job and start next week. Delighted.
    M. McLoughlin
  • The feedback was that I did a great interview and a very good role play. I actually enjoy it! I learned a lot about myself during the Interview Skills Coaching session, stuff I’ll put to good use in many aspects of my life.
    C. Ahearn
  • I got the job! Thank you James. The interview skills coaching session was extremely helpful. The feedback was that I came across like a leader and presented myself in the correct manner and that was thanks to James.
    B. Ennis
  • Since completing my series of Executive Coaching sessions with James, I am more efficient and effective at work. I am achieving more whilst at the same time being less stressed about it. I am now able to work through tasks and challenges that would have troubled me in the past, with a greater sense of ease.
    European Claims Manager, Captive Insurance Company, Dublin
  • This is the most appropriate and accurate personal development that I have ever experienced and it will stay with me.
    Sales Executive, Aon Consulting, Dublin
  • Working with James was like working with my better, rigorous conscience. It was his ability to think clearly, and address issues in a step-by-step approach that allowed the impasses in my business life to disappear. I made progress by dint of this tenacity, leaving each of our sessions feeling good about the prospect of achieving realistic goals. In summary, it was a great personal and professional exercise which has been rewarding and worthwhile.
    Founder & Managing Director, Marketing Company, Dublin
  • I enjoyed the training day greatly and it clarified several key things with me and prompted contemplation in helpful directions. The course was well paced with ample involvement from our side. Everything was explained very well, with the right tone for the audience I thought. The fact that James was using very concrete, powerfully simple concepts, some of which could have been misrepresented by a lesser speaker, and delivered them in an accessible and down to earth manner, allowed the continual insights to prompt thought and consideration. Not a small achievement or ability in my book! All in all a very enjoyable, worthwhile and thought provoking day.
    Alistair McBride. Director. Cultural Capital
  • I found the 3 day Train The Trainer course excellent in all aspects. James has changed the way I look at training. He passed on so many tools and tips to us that will really help. The course was such a pleasure to attend.
    L. Brown, Aer Lingus
  • This (Train the Trainer) programme was one of the best courses I’ve attended in the last few years. Course content was excellent and much learning was achieved. James Sweetman was extremely professional and delivered the course in a very enjoyable and participative way. I learned alot which I will use going forward..
    Pat Hall – Dublin Airport Authority
  • James Sweetman delivered a number of workshops at the National College of Ireland. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 'Increase awareness and focus', 'enhanced motivation' and a 'willingness to take action' were some of the comments shared by attendees. James' style of delivery encourages participation and creates a cohesive and relaxed environment in which to learn. The experience was best described by one student as 'thought provoking, powerful and memorable'.
    Stephen Kennedy, Student Services Officer, National College of Ireland
  • Having found myself in need of clarity about my career, I picked up the phone and arranged a session with James. He provided me with some great practical knowledge to take forward with me. I have since got real clarity on my career and personal direction. To anyone in need of some practical help, James' coaching sessions are a true help and you will benefit anyone both personally and professionally.
    K. O’Byrne (Dublin)
  • After only three sessions, I began to develop a deeper belief in my own inner ability to achieve my ambitions. The sessions provided me with clear objectives. Analysing my strengths and weaknesses, realising what was stopping me from achieving more, I developed strategies to turn these apparent weaknesses into signals for me to believe in myself even more. Establishing clear goals and writing down my goals, helped focus my mind on realistic targets for the future. The energy I wasted on worrying is now spent on 'doing'. The techniques used to develop my confidence, were not only beneficial, but also great fun.
    David Creevy, Classical Guitarist
  • The course was nothing short of fantastic. I am confident that as a result of this Presentation Skills course I will now actually enjoy giving my regular presentations. James was fantastic. He was approachable, accommodating, informed and informative. I’ll be recommending this course to colleagues. Very beneficial.
    U. Treacy. Commercial Manager. Cuisine de France (Belfast)
  • I thought that the course (Influencing & Negotiation Skills) was fab. James is a really effective trainer. I tend to go to a lot of seminars, talks... so I interact with trainers all the time but James' whole style and method was just in a league of its own.
    Nina Lyons, RiseCreatives
  • The Professional Effectiveness course was one of the best days I have ever spent on a course. It was helpful from a work point of view and it was also a wake up call as regards self-awareness and self-improvement.
    E. Preston, KPMG
  • The workshop was very educational and enjoyable. It will definitely help me in my day to day dealings with people. James made me feel at ease as soon as I walked in the door and this continued throughout the day.
    H. Mullen, Kantar Media
  • My coaching session with James allowed me to clear my mind for the first time in years. That sense of calm allowed me to clearly identify the truly important things to me and let go of unimportant things negatively affecting my life. It then provided me with practical resources to retain that sense of calm and clarity. It enabled me to start understanding and making the changes I want to improve my life. It wasn’t easy, but like most things that require hard work and commitment, was very much worthwhile.
    D. Dolan
  • The Train the Trainer course presented by James was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended. James’s delivery was very comprehensive and covered all the subject areas expected and more. The course was well structured and enjoyable. I would happily recommend James as a trainer and coach and I’d be very happy to attend one of his courses in the future.
    M. Gee, Aer Lingus
  • After you reach a certain age, people (including me) tend to think that they’ve seen it all, done it all…”nothing can surprise me”- Man was I wrong! What James presented to us was nothing but AMAZING! The strategies covered (in the Leadership workshop) were exactly what I needed- ways to stop negative thinking and how to boost the way I view myself and my confidence.
    A. Williams Microsoft (Norway)
  • What a fabulous coaching session; healing, restorative, enlightening, freeing and many more delightful words. James’ attuned sense of what I was willing to let go of, as well as what was most appropriate to my needs was spot on.
    F. Bhrian, Dublin
  • The time that I spend with James was very helpful. It has made me more structured in my approach to work. This has enabled me to be more relaxed, confident and enjoy work. I feel now I am much more of an asset to the company and contribute to the growth of the companies sales.I am now in a position to make more money which is why I am in sales.
    R. McConnell, Sales Consultant, Friends First
  • The Interview Skills Coaching session gave me an amazing gift, the permission to just be myself. It was really powerful. Without all the clutter of insecurity and panic in my head, I could see everything really clearly.
    L. Parsons
  • I found James’ Interview Skills Book and coaching invaluable, easy to apply and follow in the interview. And I was offered the job.
    P. Halpin
  • Working with James is not work – its enlightment of self, throwing back the veil of who we are and releasing the inner human in a way I never would have thought possible. His insight, guidance and pure enthusiasm lifted me to a whole new and exciting personal place. Can we be better than what we are? Always! Can we see how to become better? Not necessarily. To me, this is the key James very ably illuminates – he encourages you to tell yourself things you already knew – but had perhaps chosen to ignore or bury inside. Post working with James, it is now clearer how I can better contribute, both professionally and in the broader community. Pure awesomeness!”
    K. McDonnell (Dublin)
  • James Sweetman has had, and continues to have, a significant and very positive influence on colleagues, our culture and indeed our ways of working. James has a unique ability to see through the noise of any issue, decipher the underlying reasons and respond accordingly.
    MD, Lloyd's Pharmacy, Goretti Brady
    MD, Lloyd's Pharmacy,
  • Positive, inciteful and motivational, with a natural presentation style - James’s workshops are one of the highlights of our professional programme.
    Peter Johnson Director of Jobnet
  • I love working with James. Always well-prepared for the individual, group or audience, he is focused and wholly present. He is generous and kind. Simply put: James is a professional and a gentleman. His recent talks on ‘Professional and Personal Effectiveness’ and ‘Making a Positive Impact in the working environment’ were incredibly valuable to the students, adding to their self-confidence and sense of excitement about their first day of work in a new, international setting.
    T. Gilien Director, Programmes & Work Experience Abroad,Boston College
  • James is much more than a coach or trainer. He’s your personal guide to unleash the power of self-awareness while driving you through the most unexplored place of your life: yourself. James will help you to nurture a sense of gratitude for your life, accept what you cannot change, create new horizons and see your life from different angles. A “killer application”, “a must have app” for your life and your business.
    D. Recalcati, Area IT Manager Microsoft
  • James’s seminar (Personal Branding & Leadership) was simply one of the best I’ve been to in a number of years. I came away with a real sense of having new skills and outlook on how effective my communication skills are. James has a unique talent in that his presentation skills are truly engaging. He has an ability to take topics that are pretty complex and bring them to life for the real world. If you get an opportunity to work with James or attend one of his conferences, sign up fast!
    Tim Ryan Marketing Controller Glanbia
  • Our company has used the services of James Sweetman for several years now, from one-to-one coaching to group sessions; everything from personal development to confidence and presentation skills. James is as diverse as we need him to be without ever deviating from his core beliefs and teaching. In all instances James has understood the needs of the group or individuals and works with us to get the best from them. He has won over all sorts of individuals within our company with his unique style and methods and we regularly get requests from staff to have more sessions with James.
    E. O’Doherty Managing Director Mindshare

Signature Training Programmes

Presentation Skills

Effective presentations are engaging, well-structured, interesting, concise and persuasive. Critical to delivering an effective presentation is having the confidence to communicate your message. Learning strategies to manage those nerves, so you are poised and professional at the top of the room is at the heart of this course.

Personal Branding

What is the experience you want other people to have when they interact with you? This is the central concept of personal branding and leadership branding. Either you define your brand or your brand defines you! In addition to examining the factors that impact your brand, attendees discover a framework that enables them to start developing their own brand, a vital factor when it comes to career development.

Time Management & Organisational Skills

Poor time management increases stress levels, negatively impacts self-esteem and puts pressure on those around you. The aim of effective time management is to free yourself of time pressures so that you can work (and indeed live), with a greater sense of control and proactivity. Time management is not just about punctuality, it is about prioritising, planning and having the discipline to focus on what is most important.

Confidence, Assertiveness & Empowerment

Most of us, if we are honest, would like to feel more confident and have greater self-belief in at least some situations. The objective of this practical workshop is not to teach the theories of assertiveness and confidence but to assist and challenge attendees to feel greater levels of empowerment, thereby stimulating enhanced personal responsibility and proactivity.

Professional Development

This broadly titled programme is ideal either as an introduction to ‘soft skills’ training, as part of a graduate programme, or for those in the earlier parts of their careers. It explores a range of themes and topics that are central to effectiveness in any role. Like all of my workshops it is tailored to the company’s requirements but would typically deal with issues such as Organisational Skills, Assertiveness, Customer Service and Motivation.

Authentic Leadership

Leadership is such a broad topic, the work I do with organisations in this area is always designed to reflect that organisation’s culture and unique requirements. The training solution often incorporates Executive Coaching. Authentic leadership emphasises building the leader's legitimacy through honest relationships and clear intentions. Authentic leaders are positive people with truthful self-concepts who promote openness.

Team Development & Cohesion

‘Organisations are nothing but the people in them’ and if those people have not gelled, it’s a challenge. The emphasis during this workshop is on raising the attendees’ self-awareness individually and as a team. We focus on the quality of their conversations, their interpersonal and influencing skills as well as their general relationship management skills. Team cohesion is not just about what they do, but who they are, that is, the qualities and attitudes they display on a daily basis.

Personal Development

As more organisations view their staff as people, not mere functionaries, there is a growing demand for staff personal development programmes, workshops where the focus is on the individual, their development and their levels of fulfilment. Many companies pay lip service to ‘investing in their staff,’ this programme, which explores areas such as motivation, career goals, identifying personal values wrapped around a healthy dose of self-awareness does just that. The return on investment is enhanced morale, motivation, engagement and proactivity.

Take The Next Step

If you are interested in discussing my training programmes in more detail, or would like me to tailor a workshop for your company, please contact me and we can arrange to have a conversation about your requirements.

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