Giving a Keynote – was talking to the WI the most scariest audience?

I remember one of the first times I was asked to speak at an event. I was new into a job after leaving university and this wasn’t a voluntary thing. Oh no. My boss at the time said I had to get used to speaking to groups and he had been approached by the local WI (in Blackpool). And so, I was duly dispatched.

A lamb to the slaughter?

Well, don’t let anyone tell you that the WI are a bunch of quiet, passive do-gooders. To the 21-year-old woman I was, these were feisty, opinionated and lively women who, as I look back were also supportive and generous.

I survived.

I went on to speak at many events and of course, I also support others who wish to (or are asked to)

What do I remember about that event though?

1. What an amazing boss – who knew that to be good at speaking, you had to speak. Doesn’t matter where or to who…get those practice hours in.
2. It is helpful to know what you are being asked to speak about. I think my maiden keynote was all over the place with no direction or focus… If you could speak about anything, be clear what your direction is
3. It wasn’t brilliant…but it wasn’t a disaster either. And it ignited a love of speaking (I just had to learn a lot) Sometimes we just need to start somewhere

#event #publicspeaking #inspiration #networking #WI

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