This past Wednesday I spoke at my largest audience to date. I was the DakotaFest Women’s Brunch guest speaker at theHighlandsConferenceCenter. The theme was “Growing Up Country,” and my talk was a spinoff of that called, “There’s A Little Country in All of Us.”
I knew in advance I was going to be speaking to 450 women, but a person doesn’t realize how many people that is until he or she is up on a podium, facing them in a room.
I wasn’t overly nervous and felt confident in my abilities but it was a teeny bit intimidating at first. I knew I just had to be myself up there and to speak slowly and clearly and I feel I did just that.
Once I got into my introduction I relaxed even further and whenever I stumbled for my next words, I checked my cue cards and just took it slow. I used a clip on mic for my first time and was amazed at how much my voice carried in that big room.
I felt my talk was well received and after the brunch, several ladies came up and talked to me about my column and my talk. Meeting readers and brunch attendees was the highlight of my day and well-worth the trip to guest speak.
Later, Janelle Thiesse, the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce event planner who asked me to speak, gave me the VIP treatment of DakotaFest, where I got to ride in her golf cart for a tour of the grounds.
It was hot and dusty but nonetheless an enjoyable experience for me. I also spent a few hours sitting in the Tri-State Neighbor booth where I got to meet more readers and visit with TSN staff. I was also treated to a pass to watch the Bull Bash Rodeo with Janelle’s family, where I got to watch her kids compete in the mutton bustin’.
Another perk to guest speaking was getting a tour of an east river farm north of Mitchell. One of the Women’s Brunch committee members invited me to her family’s farm for a tour of their crops, cattle, and farm operation.
Even though guest speaking is a fairly new endeavor for me, I love getting to meet new people through these opportunities. My favorite part of guest speaking is returning home having made several new friends.