6 Skills to focus on in 2019

We’ve rounded up the top 6 skills to help you grow your career in 2019. Whether you’re a freelancer that runs their own business, or a creative mind marketing your work to the masses, here are 6 skills we think might be useful for you in the coming year.

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Negotiation skills

A recent study by Harvard University showed that men tend to get better economic results out of negotiation, and that whilst women negotiate assertively on behalf of other people (or their company) they’re less likely to be as forceful when negotiating for themselves. 

Whatever stage of your career you’re at, negotiation skills are crucial- whether you’re bartering down a third party provider or sat in front of your boss, asking for a payrise. The study also showed that the gender gap when it comes to negotiating narrows when women have been on a negotiation training course… if you needed another reason! 


Analytical skills

Analytic skills aren’t just for digital marketers and finance managers, they’re for anyone responsible for calculating business growth, forecasting results or problem-solving an issue. Having a solid analytic foundation is key as you work your way up the career ladder and are expected to be more and more involved with big-picture business plans.

You don’t have to be a numbers-whiz either: data analytics skills can help you calculate things like employee turnover, identify fraud and manage your own business.

Strategic skills

Honing your strategic management skills is a great way to ensure you’re ready for the jump between middle management and being part of the senior team. Despite this, Forbes reported that less than 10% of leaders exhibit strategic skills, and tend to fall-back on fire-fighting operational skills, which can lead to a lack of overall direction for the company or team they’re working in. 

If you can sharpen your own strategic know-how you’re putting yourself in a very strong position versus your competition. 

Entrepreneurship skills

Did you know that in 2018 only one in five small-to-medium business were run by women? And that in the UK, there are nearly twice as many male entrepreneurs than women?

If 2019 is the year you strike out of your own and put your business-nouse to use for your own projects, then an entrepreneurship course might be just the thing to give you a the competence (and confidence!) to make it on your own (and balance out those statistics).

Whilst you can’t learn the passion that entrepreneurship demands, you certainly can learn how to manage every aspect of your business (as likely you’ll start as your own CEO, CMO, CFO and office administrator). 

Writing skills

It might sound basic, but excellent writing is one of the most common skills asked for by employers – and it’s also one of the biggest employee skills gaps according to a 2018 report. 

This doesn’t just mean writing in a way that’s grammatically correct: different industries needs different types of writing. For example, you might need to learn shorthand in order to take business minutes accurately, or you might need to learn how to write bid proposals, reports, white papers or specifications. 

Think about your current career path and whether there’s any writing elements that feel like they’ll push you out of your comfort zone, because those are great places to start building your skills.

Presentation skills and public speaking

Public speaking seems to evoke one of two reactions in people: either they shrug, or they immediately break out into a cold sweat. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 25% of people say they have Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. 

A study by Psychology Today suggests that a large part of the fear comes from how skilled you perceive yourself as being at public speaking (and on the flip-side, being a confident public speaker does not entail being a skilled public speaker). So whether you’re a shrugger or a sweater, put public-speaking on your “done” list in 2019.


Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com


Penguin chats with … A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre, Penguin in the Room, Marketing, Actors, Social Media

This Penguin in the Room took time out from the glare of the hot London sun to interview Jake Orr the Artistic Director of A Younger Theatre: a popular platform for young people interested in theatre. Read on to see the results!

How did A Younger Theatre start?

After graduating from drama school I decided to head down the safety route of administration work instead of performance. Sitting behind a desk was frustrating after being so creative. I began to write as a creative outlet. At the same time I watched at press nights when the critics would come to review, and I wondered where all the critics my own age were. Thus, A Younger Theatre was born. At first a blog, and later a website.

As a platform for young people do you think social media is important?

Social media has been crucial to the continual growth of A Younger Theatre as a platform for young people. Social media allows us to reach a large audience who are already well adapt at using these digital tools, and just so happen to be our own target demographic. That’s not to say that others outside our remit of ‘young people’ don’t use them, but social media has been adopted by young people as a tool of expression, networking and creativity.

How does social media play a role in your organisation?

As a digital publication we have to ensure that our content is seen by as many people as possible. Social media is a crucial tool for us to expand our reach for this content. Everyday we push out new content through our social networks (mainly Twitter and Facebook), and then rehash old content that is still relevant for our readers. We generally tweet throughout the day, roughly every hour, and with Facebook we publish at least two photos per day which include links back to the AYT website itself. We try to develop conversations through our social media output initially from our content but also through questions we pose on the social platforms.

Do you think online marketing is useful for theatre companies?

Online marketing is crucial for any emerging theatre company, and established companies too. It is a form of marketing that is constant, one that keeps a profile of a company active even when there is no work to actually market to an audience. Never underestimate the value of digital or online marketing alongside more traditional modes of marketing such as flyers or posters.

What are your top tips for theatre companies trying to get reviewers to their shows?

Think of your theatre work as a product. Make sure you know what you’re trying to ’sell’, and market accordingly to the right demographic or receptive audience. To get a review you have to have a strong product, and be offering something different. Send a press release outlining the production to members of the press. Be personal, and don’t nag.

Is there anything that turns you off a theatre company or show on social media?

When companies and organisations put no creativity into their social media, and instead produce a stream of what feels like blatant marketing. It’s tiring and dull. Be creative.

What turns you on to a theatre company or show on social media?

Creativity, and lots of it. A company who are willing to be a think tank of ideas and to ask questions to discuss and debate their work are of interest to me.

Jake is the Founder and Artistic Director of A Younger Theatre, a platform for young people to write about theatre and the arts. Founded in 2009, AYT has been called “radically agiest” by the Guardian and was named About.com’s Best Theatre Blog of 2011. Jake is also a freelance theatre writer, digital producer, think and commentator on the arts. www.ayoungertheatre.com / www.jakeorr.co.uk / @ayoungertheatre / @jakeyoh

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com