Giving Something Back!

By Jim Kirkpatrick

“Do you do this full time?”

“No, we also look after live events.”

This was the beginning of my journey from setting up equipment and managing live events to standing on a stage for the first time and talking to a group of people about anything!

The person who asked the question is Miss Addison, the Head Teacher at the Cavendish Junior School in Derbyshire and I interviewed her for a video which we were making for Chatsworth House.

5 minutes later I had agreed to do a presentation in front of 90, 7 to 10 years olds during their morning assembly, how hard could that be? After all we work in a highly visual world. Unlike a lot of presenters I didn’t have to worry about KPI’s, sales forecasts and no one reading their emails because the presentation didn’t apply to them, just play our fast paced show reel video, hide behind a bunch of props from old jobs, throw in an easy to follow joke around about the middle and finish up with a picture of a zombie, what could go wrong?

With 3 weeks to prepare I wrote a presentation which included connections between the events industry and some of the things which children learn in the early years of school.

The children were a perfect audience who watched and listened with the kind of concentration that most presenters can only dream of!

This was an interesting and surprisingly enjoyable experience for me. My advice to anyone who has to do a presentation is prepare early and try it out on someone before you unleash  it on your audience, what makes perfect sense to you may be unclear to everyone else. 

Joanne Madeley