I wasn't quite sure where to put this post, so it's ended in the dank recesses of my blog and nestled in the thoughts category. So what was the deal? A good friend of mine, an 'IT guy' at Microsoft, asked if I would come and speak with one of their customers. The reason? To give Carlson Wagonlit an insight into my journey to the north pole; the reason why I'm doing this; the chosen charities and how Microsoft are helping me get the message out to followers.
The Heart of the Presentation
This presentation was all about the charities, in particular Diana Award. I wanted to convey my passion for these amazing organisations and show Carlson Wagonlit how I intend to add a little extra to the daily reports.
As I've said in an earlier post, Microsoft have provided me with a Windows phone and Band 2 fitness tracking sports watch. Used together, these two devices will collect and store key information about my health and the distance covered each day. Every evening I'll set up my satellite phone and transmit the daily statistics back to a central server from where it will be displayed on a website. Yes, that means you too can follow along (I'll be posting the URL soon).
Did Carlson Wagonlit seem interested? Yes, and in more than just the technology (one of the main reasons for them attending). I truly believe the message - my message - carried over to them. And that message was? Help me to help these amazing charities by donating even just a little money to them.
How Did I Feel?
I was terrified. My right hand was shaking and I had to constantly remind myself of how to give an effective, rabble rousing speech. There were a couple of stammers, a repeat of a few sentences and the crackle of my dry throat as the talk moved on, but it felt good. No, better. I felt fantastic. Not only was I standing in front of a team of very senior company staff members, talking confidently, but I was getting the message across. And, I hope, doing all of this with just a little style.
But this is my view. What did the Microsoft attendees have to say? They thought the presentation was great. I put across my story, built a compelling picture, grabbed the group's attention and held it. A rapt audience. Well, all apart from the one guy who kept yawning. Oh well, can't win them all.
Why This All Means To Me
At last I've proven I can stand in front of a collection strangers, engage and entertain them (yes, I did get some laughs). This is a huge boost for my self-confidence and at least a partial validation of my speaking skills. But there is another, more important aspect. You see, over the next couple of years I aim to build up a repertoire, one that will allow me to become the voice of one of the charities I'm raising funds for.
A tall order? Probably. Can I do it? Yes! Now all I have to do is find a charity willing to give me a shot at the title :).
There was also mention of possible donations for my three charities. I'll wait to see what come back, although I'm confident and excited.
P.S a big thank you to Michael and Paul for helping to make this happen.