To stand in front of a room of people to deliver training, a brief, a plan of action or to address my team was always part and parcel of my job in the police service. I was in a controlled environment, I had a strategy and sometimes I even had a script. So you could say I was an experienced speaker and could stand confidently in front of a room of people.
The first time I stood on stage to tell my story – all of that disappeared. I was in a much more vulnerable position. I had no direction, I had no script, I was no longer in a recognised uniform and this time I was sharing personal information I had never shared before in an environment I had no control in. It was a completely different ball game.
I knew I had to share my story, I knew I had to inspire; I knew that this was my purpose and I just wanted to reach out and make a difference. The passion to do this had grown so strong I left my 30 year career in the police force to pursue this – but in all honesty I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it.
I was allocated a certain amount of time to speak and all I kept thinking was – how am I going to cram everything in? How am I going to get my message across? How am I going to leave my message and deliver value in the correct manner? What if the audience doesn’t engage? I don’t have anyone above me to go to for feedback – this is all down to me. That was when I truly understood that a speaker is not just somebody who stands to tell a story, a speaker is someone who needs to get their audience to open up and with that comes responsibility. A responsibility to let your audience in, a responsibility to let your audience feel safe and a responsibility to leave value. There has to be a reason they gave their time to listen to your story.
I will be the first to say it takes true courage to stand in front of audience and disclose personal details of events that have happened to you. It takes courage to let a room full of strangers hear some of your darkest experiences and the impact that has had on your life. So when I ask people, why do you want to do this? The answer is always, because I want to inspire and I want to make a difference.
The events and challenges we go through in life are not a coincidence. They happen to us for a reason. So when you take the decision to share this with other people what you essentially do is decide to use your story to give other people the strength they need to overcome their challenges. But the only way you can do this is to ensure that when you deliver your story, there is a purpose and a message behind it.
Now to do this in an allocated period of time is hard! It has taken me three years of doing this to now be in a position where I can deliver my story with just a few minutes’ notice. But to get to that point I spent months perfecting a strategy that allows me to:
- Stand confidently on stage
- Use the stage to create fluidity in my talk and address the whole audience
- Be aware of my responsibilities as a speaker
- Deliver my story with structure
- Be aware of the audience I am speaking to
- Leave the audience with value and a powerful message
It is this very strategy that I teach in my unique Create and Speak program. It is this very strategy that has been taught three times in the last 9 months that has seen people not only go on to get speaking opportunities at some amazing events but has seen people start speaking internationally, obtain new jobs, start new careers, start new businesses, confidently deliver Facebook Lives and in general give them so much more confidence when it comes to speaking to people in any given situation.
This November will mark one year since the launch of Create and Speak and it will be its fourth run in 12 months. Owing to its success not only will attendees get to experience the intensive two day course in the amazing location of Derby Conference Centre but we will be throwing in some free gifts and surprises along the way.
Like everyone who has attended the course so far you have the power to start some amazing ripple effects simply by making the decision to share your story. Then you can allow me to teach you the proven strategies and techniques over two days that took me years to learn. This will allow you to deliver effectively and leave a lasting effect on people’s lives.