I get to travel quite a lot.
For Fun, For Family and increasingly for work.
Although the work travel isn’t as much fun (I miss the kids desperately when I’m away) it’s usually for something which gives me the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different people about a subject I know a little bit about.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to do this in Leeds.
With my diary pretty busy already my time is at a massive premium.
However I really enjoy sharing my experiences, telling stories and trying to share at least one thing which will help people with their businesses or lives.
It’s something I’m lucky enough get to do regularly…
However I was nervous about this one.
Firstly I was speaking alongside the pensions regulator, some high profile people from prominent pensions firms and a guy who obviously knew his technology chops!
Secondly I was the last one on (I suppose you could spin it and call it ‘headlining’ but also on the opposite scale you could have called it the graveyard shift, I’d be tempted to go for the latter!).
I didn’t mind going on last. However as I sat through the interesting presentations I realised something.
There was loads of interesting graphs, loads of information on all of there slides and some great demos of tools which were designed to help the business owners and advisers in the room.
The regulator managed to provide a whistle-stop tour of the regulation in record time going into massive amounts of depth and covering an incredible amount of information.
My presentation consisted of a picture of a “fish out of water”, a chess piece and the Delorean car from “Back to the future”….and no text!
Whilst this was intentional (I wanted to focus on the stories instead of the slides) and I was confident this approach worked for some audiences (I’d made a few similar presentations already) it was so different from some of the other presenters (especially the regulators) I thought I might have misjudged the audience!
and lastly (and I know this is irrational) I was presenting in Leeds.
I didn’t want the ladies and gents in the room, many of them with successful businesses and years more experience than me, to assume this fella from London was coming to tell them how to run an aspect of their business successfully.
I know from some of the work I do with people from across the UK that the types of businesses and the challenges they face do change depending on where in the country you are.
However there are “universal truths” which we’ve found that I wanted to share.
As well as the fact that anyone listening could take the good bits and ignore the bits they didn’t need!
So, I was nervous. However those nerves were pretty unfounded.
The crowd in the room made it a fantastic experience. They were accommodating, curious and generous.
They clapped, asked loads of questions and were generally top notch!
If you attended the event….Thank you!
I can now say “Sophisticated! I’ve been to Leeds” (obscure comedy reference) and due to your generous welcome I can’t wait to get back up to your next of the woods again!
I mentioned at the start of this entry that one of the things I don’t like about travelling through work is not seeing my girls.
However sometimes the people I meet, the audiences I get to talk to and the welcome home (which this time involved some home made pizza and loads of cuddles) almost makes it worthwhile!