12 March 2015

It’s a good thing I’m not scared of public speaking, with all the talks I’ve kindly been invited to lately.

Last Wednesday it was Manchester Business School; this Wednesday I was welcomed into the Key103 HQ to give a talk for Bauer Media. It’s a great idea they’ve got going really, inviting someone in each day to speak to and inspire the whole team. The energy it generates is amazing.

keyI particularly enjoyed the Q&A time towards the end of the talk, and I think that interaction is so important. Last week, I was chatting to one of the speakers at an event we hosted in the auditorium and he mentioned that the key to getting your message across in these situations is to speak to the individuals in the crowd, rather than the crowd as a whole. Personally, I think he’s right. If you look at the most engaging public speakers, they seem to have a knack for engaging with you on a personal level.

One question I was asked yesterday was what my first job was. As I recalled all the places I have worked (from a sign factory, to a music shop, playing piano in the cinema to setting up companies of my own) I realised just how far we’ve come in fifteen or more years, and for me that’s partly because I kept setting goals, raising the bar year on year. We are by no means the finished article, as there is always a point on the horizon, but what I really hope people took away from the talk is the value of goal-setting. It’s so important to take some time to yourself, to reflect and to think big!

As I said yesterday, it doesn’t matter if they seem ridiculous (yacht with a submarine in the hull, anyone?) or serious (becoming a better parent, partner or boss), just get them down on paper and, when you’re done, close your notebook and put it to one side. When you come back to it the following year and tick off the goals you have achieved, I bet you’ll be amazed at how many have materialised.

Thanks to Paul Lockitt for interviewing me and to the team at Key103 for inviting me along. I hope to see you all again soon.

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