Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteers Awards
The date is booked for Wednesday the 2nd June where I will be delivering my first key note speech at the Portsmouth Volunteering Awards that have been set up by Brian Bracher from Portsmouth Together.
Meeting with Brian, I get the brief that explains that I need to deliver a speech that expresses how volunteering can change your life and to get the audience to consider why they volunteer and what they gain.
Its now time to prepare as I have only 10 minutes to deliver this which is going to be tricky as I have so much to say and I run the risk of speaking too fast. Thinking about my speech and delivery gives me the familiar feeling of fear, I smile as I know fear will never hold me back.
I know what I want to say but I now need some order. I start to type, the page fills up. I am full of ideas and the fear swaps to excitement. I can do this, I have what it takes to deliver an impactful speech, I am in the zone…
I look to my family for support, as we all need support, and I ask them to listen as I time and deliver my speech. It flows and I get it all out and I look at the timer, it’s under 10 minutes… this is a great start but now for the feedback. My family agreed it flowed and the content was right but I spoke too fast so there was no time to take in what I was saying. I understood and now know I need to find a way to slow down and prioritise main points.
Back to the computer I go… I start to trim and in between trimming I am speaking to my dog, he is staring at me as I work the room, talking to picture frames, the TV and the plants. The dog is becoming very confused at this point. The process is working though and I am finding my timing, I have slowed it down.
I awake on the morning of the 2nd June and my stomach is knotted and I wonder how I will make it through the day? I just want to get up and get it done as I know that once I am there, it will all be fine.
The day disappears and as I am getting dressed I am also putting on the confident ‘Gethin! The Gethin that has something to say and a speech to deliver. How do I look? Great! How do I feel? Great! This is it, it’s time to leave.
I enter the room, which is a good size and I meet the Brian for the final briefing. I take my seat and watch as the room begins to fill up. I find myself taking in deep breaths as I see people I know and also others I don’t. The fear is begins to creep in again but I will use this to spur me on. No longer am I someone who is trapped by fear…
The event starts and the agenda moves forward. I am next in line and this is my moment to show myself and the audience that I am an ‘Inspirational Key Note Speaker’. There it is, “I would now like to introduce Gethin Jones, someone I have met before who is truly inspirational and who will be opening the event with his talk, ‘How volunteering changed my life.” I stand and make my way to the stage,
take the microphone and position myself on the stage. I see my partner smiling at me across the room. She absolutely believes in what I can deliver. I start to speak, my words are clear, I am not stuttering or stumbling so I move my position on stage. I have some people at different points within the room that I use to feel the audiences response. I ask the audience to please ask any questions whilst I talk.
Why do you volunteer?
What have you achieved through volunteering?
I then move into my story always having these two questions clear in my mind. The first few minutes are daunting but I am through that and now starting to take ownership of the stage and my talk. There are similarities to my preparation but it is naturally evolving as I speak… all of a sudden I pause. I have an amazing feeling of gratitude and I share this with the audience, explaining why speaking at this conference is truly amazing. I explain that I absolutely know that without volunteering I would not be on this stage today.
They are with me and I can see and feel that the audience is listening intently. I now become more and more confident and start to push the message home. I encourage them to look at ‘who they are’ and ‘what they do’ and ‘could I do a talk about purpose’ and they are there nodding their heads and smiling. I have done it. I have connected. I have delivered but it’s now time to end. I summarise and repeat the questions, as they now know why I volunteered and also that I achieved, I thank them for listening and I end…
Wow! They are applauding and all I can see is smiling faces. The adrenalin is pumping. I have done it and now I truly know that taking this step is the right thing to do so that Gethin Jones can continue to ‘Unlock His Potential’.
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