The Owl Service

Brilliant bite size training sessions, sound advice, topical discussions and your professional development questions answered. Live on the ACM Training YouTube channel every Friday from 11am UK time and afterwards as watch again highlights here.

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Why online training hasn't changed everything

In this clip from episode six of the Owl Service, ACM Training co-founder and lead train-the-trainer facilitator, Sandy Keating, explains how some things haven't changed in the move from face-to-face to online training.

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Episode 6

This week ACM Training co-founder and train-the-trainer course leader Sandy Keating, explains how not everything has changed for trainers in the enforced transition from face-to-face to online learning.

Plus a bit of cabin fever from Richard Uridge. He needs something to brighten up his life. And if it isn't going to be #DressUpFriday maybe flowers can do it. Or weeds.

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Is the Zoom boom about to bust?

In this clip from The Owl Service - ACM Training's weekly webinar - cyber security expert Damian Walton gives Richard Uridge an update on the latest security concerns involving Zoom. He says the company is listening and has made some significant changes to protect users.

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Local government communications during Covid-19

In this clip from Episode 5 of The Owl Service, Mandy Pearse, president-elect of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, talks to Richard Uridge about how local government is communicating during the coronavirus pandemic. It's work is, perhaps understandably, being overshadowed by the national government response. But, she says, a lot is being done to convey really important messages - both in terms of content and tone. And, crucially, the best performing authorities are harnessing the power of community-led, bottom up communication especially via social and digital channels.

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Episode 5

In this episode Richard Uridge interviews Mandy Pearse, president-elect of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, about how local government has been managing its communications during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the focus has, understandably, been on the response of national government. But, says Mandy, a lot of innovative work has been going on locally including what she describes as bottom up social media - tapping into pre-existing communities on Facebook and elsewhere to get the message out.

Also in this episode an update on security concerns around Zoom. And our host finally admits defeat in his #DressUpFriday campaign to get the nation looking smarter. Or does he? Watch to find out!

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Episode 4

In this episode Richard Uridge interviews master trainer, Bill Lowe, about how the online training landscape is rapidly evolving to make up for the temporary loss of face-to-face learning. Bill, a former headteacher and university lecturer, and now UK consultant for the Master Trainer Institute in Switzerland reckons the coronavirus lockdown will be the end for many chalk and talk trainers but that those who can engage their delegates will thrive. The hat, by the way, is to cover up the DIY haircut and because it's #DressUpFriday

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Exercises you can do from your desk when #homeworking #WFH

In this clip from episode 3 of the Owl Service, Andy Hackney of Pulse Health and Fitness, shows webinar host, Richard Uridge, a couple of moves that we could all do to keep us active while we're unable to go to the gym. The antidote to being hunched over our laptops.

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Covid-19 - a crisis communications challenge like no other

The Owl Service is at your service. It's your webinar and in this clip Richard Uridge answers a viewer's request to critique the UK government's repsonse to the coronavirus pandemic from a crisis comms perspective.

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The "global" launch of #DressUpFriday (from Shropshire)

#DressUpFriday - for when you're sick and tired of wearing the same old stuff day in day out when #workingfromhome #WFH

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First shown from 11am on Friday April 3rd, Owl Service host, Richard Uridge, launches #DressUpFriday to an unsuspecting global audience (of four) - all without a hint of hyperbole. On a more serious note he offers a critique of the British government's response to Covid-19 from a crisis communications perspective. And he hears from two experts on how to stay fit and healthy during the lockdown - mentally and physically. All in a tux.

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Cyber security tips for online meetings with platforms like Zoom

In this short clip from Episode 2 of The Owl Service cyber security expert, Damian Walton, explains how we can keep ourselves and our data safe as we make the hurried transition from office working to home working. Services like Zoom are a lifeline for business he says. But we should be treating online meetings just like face-to-face meetings in many respects. Or "it's behind you" as our interviewer, Richard Uridge, discovered.

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Episode 2 TEASER

In this week's difficult-second-album-syndrome monster episode we ask: is Zoom secure? Boris Johnson and Number Ten seem to think so but round the corner at the Ministry of Defence they've temporarily banned staff from using it. Plus what stand up comedy has to teach us about presenting online and offline. And why Richard's doing a double act with Frankenstein's monster.

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First shown at 11am on Friday March 27th, Owl Service host, Richard Uridge, interviews cyber security expert, Damian Walton, of IntaForensics, for his take on the implications of our coronavirus-induced headlong rush to online meetings and training using platforms such as Zoom. Are they inherently unsafe? Should companies have thought more before we all unplugged our computers at work and plugged them back in again at home? Perhaps, says Damian. But remote working is a lifeline for many companies, SMEs in particular. So we just need to make sure we're sensible.

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Episode 1 HIGHLIGHTS - the one with the matches

The #socialdistancing metaphor worked a treat. And so did the smoke alarm. The serious point? Science communicators need to think creatively to engage lay audiences.

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First shown live from 11am Friday, March 20th. In this launch edition of The Owl Service:

  1. Is coronavirus the end of face-to-face learning.
  2. Can online training engage learners in the same way.
  3. What webinar packages are best for trainers and trainees.


  • Watch what nerves do to the presenter's heart rate.
  • Find out why the smoke alarm went off half way through (the clue's in the picture).
  • Is Covid-19 a good time to bury bad news.

And all sorts of other unanticipated fun and games in the very first episode from our boss's home office where there isn't a whole lot of fancy technology.

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The Owl Service | What is it?

In this short video, ACM co-founder and lead media trainer, Richard Uridge, explains the thinking behind the launch of The Owl Service webinar.

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Episode 1 TEASER

Here the webinar's host, Richard Uridge, dressed down and #workingfromhome because of #coronavirus, outlines what's coming up in episode one on Friday, March 20.

What our clients say:

"An excellent course that was very well presented by a trainer who was clearly experienced in his field and put his message across in a relaxed and good humoured manner. Thank you."
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