I never know whether I enjoy public speaking or not. It is something I end up doing, even in my new role, on quite a regular basis. Last Friday though was one of the few times that I got a buzz from getting up and presenting in front of a crowd.
The occasion was a Digital Breakfast on ‘How to Leverage Digital, Data and Machine Learning within your Business’ at the increasingly popular Crowne Plaza Hotel just South of the Central Station in Newcastle. I don’t know where we all went before this hotel was built. Anyway, my topic was ‘The opportunities and challenges of data in the public sector’, something I have spoken about many times before. It has been a passion of mine for several years.
Dan had asked me if I would like to contribute and I saw it as a continuing way to raise my profile. I am always thinking about my pipeline of clients.
I covered my usual themes, that the answers to all of our questions can be found in our data, that we need to take a more romantic approach to looking at the information at our disposal, that we should let public data free and some of the issues the sector has to face in coming to terms with letting things go.
Why did I get a buzz then? I think it was because I was covering a subject that I was knowledge about and had something different to say. I got laughs in all the right places, when I said something amusing and gasps when I said something shocking. The audience feedback was great and I have been approached by a few people to do something similar in the future.
The important point for me though was that I felt good about it. All of the speakers were different and brought varying perspectives to the subject. I felt at home as one of them. Perhaps my impostor syndrome has finally been put to bed.
Thank you Dan.