I had a dream last night. I dreamt that someone asked me if I would like to be an after dinner speaker at a college. One thousand three hundred and fifty people would be attending. My immediate answer was yes.
I have never done an after dinner speech. I have only stood and spoke in front of a few small audiences on a few occasions. And not for many years at that.
The dinner came. The dinner went. I was never called up to give a speech. As we all left the building one member of the supposed audience looked over at me and said to his mate, “That was the guy meant to be the after dinner speaker”.
Yes, I was disappointed, disappointed that I hadn’t been able to speak, disappointed that no one had called me up to speak.
What would you talk about if asked to stand up infront of an audience?
The picture above is of a pallet bench I have made to help me build a pallet house for a client. It is on rough ground. But the pallet bench is mighty strong. I have a supportive platform to do my work from.
And what of talking? How does one find one’s ‘mighty’ platform to usher words of wisdom, words of interest, words of support, words of humour and ultimately, words of value? Does one simply draw from one’s life experiences and hope that those experiences can supply some, or all of the above?
I would talk about bullying. I would ask those that are bullying to please stop. I would talk about travel, and the experiences I have had after thirty years of on/off slightly mad and interesting travelling. I would talk of the jobs and work that I have found abroad.
I would talk about Missing Persons, try and fit myself into a niche that could be of use in certain Missing Persons scenarios.
I would talk of my belief in a connection to the world we live in, and how, in my opinion we always have the chance to move out of situations we find difficult or hurtful.
I see around the world that many people who speak of their valuable life experiences, in many instances, actually put themselves forwards rather than wait to be asked to speak. Many people feel compelled to share their lives with others, either as a need in themselves or because they truly believe they can enrich others in that sharing.
I tried to hire the Albert Hall in London once. If I remember rightly it was going to cost seventeen thousand pounds for one night. Seventeen thousand pounds to have the chance to stand before a potential audience of thousands. It was around the time of the Middle East Gulf Wars, and I wanted to talk peace. I didn’t get the seventeen thousand pounds. I didn’t get my audience. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do. Maybe it will happen in the future. Maybe it won’t.
But should I try? Should I try and get an audience, either a one-off audience or a longer term audience? I can talk bullying, travelling, Missing Persons, the future of the Human Race.
Is it up to ourselves to create our audience? Or can sometimes an audience appear from nowhere, out of the blue, like magic? That would be the easiest way, then we wouldn’t have to look or make the effort to look. But maybe the effort is all part of finding that strong and firm platform from where we are able to stand with confidence and share words of wisdom, interest, support, humour and value…