Captivated by Croydon Tech City: A review of Silicon Valley’s Nathan Gold


By - Tuesday 7th October, 2014

James Gill reviews Nathan Gold’s ‘How To Captivate Any Audience’


Photo by Fluid4Sight, used with permission.

Captivate, captivate, captivate (pardon the subconscious invoking of Tony Blair there) – these are surely the contemporary buzzwords for success and mobility. And nowhere is it more necessary to captivate than in the tech and start-up industries. In an increasingly diversified, networked and competitive earth, we need to captivate our audiences more than ever, and least not ourselves if we’re to make an enterprise success and a lasting contribution to our careers, communities, families and livelihoods.

As someone currently involved in a growing membership network, with a unique focus on British-based EU expats, where, having been working in freelance and voluntary capacities, fundraising and stakeholder confidence is key, I felt no better place to attend such a pep talk than Nathan Gold at Croydon Tech City’s September special.

As a leading trainer, mover and shaker in the tech city heaven that is Silicon Valley, Nathan emphasised the importance of narrative, being flexible and invoking enthusiasm, confidence and belief in the mission of your enterprise. Alongside practical advice such as making sure that in any presentation made or any conversation had, any analogies, similes and metaphors are figured out correctly to avoid confusion and to avoid fluff on a proposition that should come across as short, sharp and stunning. As a person involved in a growing membership network as well as throwing himself into the legislative furnace of the legal profession, these skills are just as applicable in any job market as for the budding entrepreneur seeking funding for an awesome tech solution to a long-standing burden.

Photo by Will Dobbie, used with permission.

And while my visits to Croydon Tech City (speaking honestly!) have been sporadic over the last few months, I have always been inspired by the enthusiasm of Jonny Rose and the rest of the team in their commitment to play their part in the rejuvenation and reinvention of Croydon as the centre of London’s (and possibly the UK’s) tech start-up culture. (Just think Google Campus x 100!)

It’s that mission for local rejuvenation that makes Nathan’s talk all the more poignant and relevant. That the captivation isn’t just about the next buck, business partnership and profit margin, but is part of the very human quality that will make Croydon the diamond centre of UK tech – that of hope, hard work and change.

What I took away from the meeting was not just some useful tips on how to pitch in a boardroom and how to make that swell first-handshake impression (though there were a lot of those!), but a new state of mind, a state of positivity. The positivity needed to survive and adapt in the pitch boardroom and the interview forum, and the positivity (and optimism) needed to make effective change across our families, friends and communities.


The next Croydon Tech City event takes place on Thursday 23rd October at 7:30pm at Matthews Yard. The event will focus on tech startups innovating in the property rental and investment sector.

To attend please sign up here OR .

James Gill

James Gill

James Gill is currently involved in a growing new members’ network, New Europeans, and is on course to read a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015.

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