Neil Lakeland – Joined 2010
When I took on the voluntary role of Chair of the local Chartered Institute of Marketing branch, one of the duties involved introducing speakers at the start of the meeting and rounding up the event at the end of the evening.
This could be to audiences in excess of 100 people. I was never comfortable with this part of the role so, after some encouragement from a previous Chair, I looked up my local speakers club.
It’s really given me confidence.
I’m now “comfortable” presenting both prepared speeches and rounding up the events with impromptu remarks and comments. Whereas I used to be flustered and nervous I am now more assured of my own competence. Additionally I don’t now shy away from presentations at work and have delivered a number to different audiences on topics I am familiar with. This has raised my profile in my company and externally.
The atmosphere is friendly – it’s great to learn from the more experienced members as well as encourage those who are new to carry on and progress.