Lots happened since my last post and so much to catch up on …
I was invited to give a presentation at a conference by Intrinsic financial services in April, presenter was Fiona Bruce and guest speakers on the day were Sir Chris Hoy, Paul McKenna … and me !! … pretty surreal.
The reason for my invite was because Intrinsic have chosen the Samaritans to be their charity of choice for the next two years and it was at their annual conference that they announced this. My role was to speak to the delegates and give them some insight into the fantastic work that the Samaritans do and how they really are a lifeline for people who really have no-one they feel they can talk to.
I was asked to go to the venue the night before to do sound checks and a bit of a rehearsal as the event was being produced to a very high standard and they needed to get everything right for the day. I was asked to do 30 seconds of my speech so the sound guys could get microphone levels and stage positioning for filming sorted, when asked I replied that I couldn’t do the 30 seconds, and when asked why I replied “I cant do it because I don’t know what I am going to say” … this led to some puzzled and concerned looks but I assured them that I didn’t have a rehearsed script and don’t need one as it is my story and I prefer to speak without a script as people soon realise that you are using prompts and it lessens the emotion and feeling that comes across when you just get up there and go for it.
Onto the day itself and I was royally looked after, VIP greenroom and access to fine food and beverages all day (and a few sneaky Jack Daniels in the hotel bar the previous evening… for medicinal purposes of course ) Fiona Bruce was as professional as ever and delivered a very polished performance in keeping everything moving seamlessly, Paul McKenna did his bit and before I knew it I was waiting in the wings as my moment was approaching ….
As my name was announced I entered the conference to my walk on music which was “One day like this” by Elbow, a really brilliant song which I play nearly every day, very loud.
I find myself on the stage in front of the assembled delegates and celebrities and I am off, I really cant remember everything I said but it went really well and I received a standing ovation at the end … the production company which filmed the event have promised me a dvd of my speech and I am looking forward to seeing what I said … I have been assured that it was both moving and inspirational, that will do for me.
After my spot Sir Chris Hoy arrived and did his thing, it was so surreal, sharing a green room with people who you only ever see on the telly and here you are chatting away in a setting which just makes you keep pinching yourself to see if it is a dream. Me and Chris Hoy on the same stage … that’s one to tell the grandkids one day.
The guys at the conference were given a text number to donate to the Samaritans directly after my presentation and that went really well with a significant amount being raised on the day and much needed awareness of a great charity and its work was achieved as well , overall a resounding success.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and would like to thank everyone at Intrinsic and the guys from Samaritans that were there to support me on the day for what was truly a memorable and unforgettable experience, one I replayed in my head the next morning at 6.30am as I was was walking to work in the pouring rain !