Public speaking, you go alright

When I was first asked to speak at the SKÅL National Assembly on the Sunshine Coast, my natural reaction was to be excited that I had been given a platform to share the Wings Around the World story.

Despite my excitement and knowledge that I am able to handle almost any public speaking opportunity, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Before this my public speaking experience as a key speaker was limited to school assemblies and class assignments – and in those situations I was speaking to my peers who HAD to be there, at SKÅL the audience had chosen to attend and hear me speak.

While my keynote speaking was limited prior to this, the confidence I had in my own ability was bolstered from July’s media launch of WATW, where I found myself speaking to various print, radio and TV media (including a LIVE cross with Sunrise). Needless to say, I was sure that I wouldn’t get stage fright.

Like everything that we do with WATW I wouldn’t approach this speech without a solid plan. When I sat down to get to work I knew all the elements I wanted to have included, I just had to put them together in a way that would be interesting, informative, and hopefully entertaining.

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Lachie at the Queensland Air Museum for the SKÅL National Assembly with his mother Vanessa and girlfriend Mikisha

The purpose of this speech wasn’t just to get the word out there about this flight, it was to network, meet new people, and spread my message of setting and achieving goals and hopefully opening a few new doors.

Throughout the journey so far I have come to understand that setbacks are the foundation of success, and sharing that with the audience seemed imperative. I also took the chance to reiterate that what I am trying to do is equally about embracing communal success as it is about personal achievement. The first step in embedding these thoughts throughout my speech would be to get the audience to enjoy what I am saying. So I planned to keep cool, be myself and talk about my trip with passion.

When it eventually came to Friday night, I wasn’t too nervous; it was just going to be like one of my speeches from school, and it couldn’t be harder than staring down a camera to Australia at 7.20am on live TV. That, of course, changed in the 15 minutes before my speech. Everything began to pour out of my head, however I regained my composure as I was introduced and got up to begin my speech. With my confidence and mental notes in check, the speech went quite well and I even managed to squeeze a few laughs out of the group, which made helped me feel at ease.

Afterwards I had the opportunity to speak to and network with a lot of the SKÅL members, which was great. The whole opportunity was absolutely excellent and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I look forward to the next opportunity to share WATW with people and hopefully motivate them to follow their dreams too.