On Thursday, 31st May 2012, I headed to Community Solutions, a training college here on the Sunshine Coast, for what was to be my first Motivational Talk. I had done a couple of ‘disability awareness’ type Talks/Q&A sessions at this college…but this was to be my first Talk, based on my ‘Chasing my Dreams’ journey….and my first taste of what I hope to be a part of my future. It was unpaid (not that I expected to get paid, I was just grateful for the opportunity to ‘share my message/perhaps inspire others’, and to grasp at the opportunity to practice my Talk).
As I was (nervously) getting ready at home, I looked outside, and it was POURING with rain….oh NO! I knew that the parking was over the road from the college, so that meant that I would have to do a mad dash over the road to the building – hopefully, I wouldnt turn up like a drowned rat, to somewhere where I wanted to make a good impression!
As I left, still pouring with rain, I was so excited..I kept thinking ‘have I forgotten something, I feel like Im missing something’ – and I was soon to find out what this ‘feeling’ was about. Arriving at the college, rushing over the road as to not get toooo wet (although unfortunately my hair got wet, so I had a little of the ‘drowned rat’ look going on…uh oh..), I wandered inside….and all of a sudden got hit with such a special feeling…I was doing exactly what I knew I was meant to be doing, in that moment – I love sharing my message, my journey, it feels like such an honour to be in the position to be able share what essentially just is ‘my life’, and have others learn/gain from it, for themselves.
Before too long, the facilitator of the class came to get me – she looked at me and smiled, she knew I was nervous, as she knows me (Ive trained at the college, myself), and supports my journey, she knew that this was a special moment for me. We headed for the classroom, and before long, I was up the front of the (small – only half a dozen were present that day) group of people, and I was introduced to them. Looks of curiousity came from the group…and thats when I thought “OK, Ive really got to step up to the plate here, this is it, this is my moment to perhaps have an effect on someones life here”.
But…yep, there is a ‘but’ – we discovered that my Powerpoint presentation on the USB stick was ’empty’…NOOOOOOOOOOO! (I must have checked half a dozen times before I left, and yes, it was on there…so I have no idea what happened to it, between home and the college). My first Talk, and this was to be my guide/tool to emphasis points, through photos and key phrases throughout….I had my notes with me…but the Powerpoint was to add that ‘extra visual touch’ to it. And now it wasnt available to me. For a moment, major panic came over me…but then I thought ‘Tania, you’ve been thrown in the deep end, as usually happens in your life…you CAN do this!’ – and then I launched into the Talk.
Sharing my journey, various experiences Ive made happen in my life, and explaining how, they to, can have this in their own lives….I was SO enjoying myself, Im proud of ‘my little journey’ – and then the magic happened – I looked around, taking it all in – and the audience was actually engaged in me, and what I was saying! SUCH a special feeling, at that moment. Id experienced being engaged in Speakers who were speaking about something theyre passionate about, its awesome to see/feel this happen, as an audience member – and here I was, having people totally engaged in me, and what *I* had to say. Wow.
As I got further into the Talk, I then realised that in parts, I had repeated myself (I now realised that its not until you actually ‘speak’ the Talk, that you realise points that can be improved/deleted etc), and it was going on for longer than I intended…but, there was nothing I could do at that point, except continue and just try to silently cut parts out, that had been touched on earlier, but in a different way.
Reaching the end of the Talk, I glanced at the facilitator, heaved a silent deep breath (not of relief, but of ‘Ive DONE it!’), and she beamed a big smile at me. At that moment, a couple of the students said ‘Well, thats it, Im going to go home and change something about my life now’ – and that was the moment that I knew I had achieved what I had set out to….Mission accomplished! Despite no Powerpoint, repeating myself, it going on for longer than I anticipated/planned…I had still captured their attention, and encouraged them to think about their own lives. Maybe not everyone in the class (I have no way of knowing that), but confirmation came, from not only the two who spoke out….but, after everyone else had left, one of the other students stayed back to praise me, and to have a chat about her life, and mine…and that night I received an email from her, sharing a couple of her goals in her life. Awesome…so rewarding!
So, that was it, my first Talk was over and done with. Bring on the next one! 😀
Update: I must have done something right haha….I’ve now been asked back to the college, to speak in front of a class of trainee construction workers. From Commercial Cookery students, to Construction workers – I now know why, when I go to speakers sites, why they mention that they have Talks tailored to suit different audiences/dynamics!
Chasing my Dreams…and maybe even inspiring others, to chase theirs!