Anything you do, can be material for a speech. Here's why...

Nothing Happened To Me This Week…except.

It’s 02/07/17, and nothing happened to me last week…except I spent yesterday in Sheffield with the people at Professional Speakers Association (PSA) and my daughter Naima at the Eid Festival at IMAN FM.

It’s my third visit to spend time with Billal and his friends, and each time I have spent the hours with them, there has been an education in delivery. It’s also a brilliant platform for networking. PSA takes its people safely, though sometimes uncomfortably, through the journey from anxious speaker to workshop assistant and above.

Yesterday I spent a few informative minutes with Joe, an unassuming gentleman with a desire to become professional on the stage, and Michelle a woman seeking to move her business forward. They both had the same reason for attending PSA, but both came from different ends of the business spectrum. But both had a story and a benefit they wanted to bring to the community and both wanted to make sure they did it in a way to make the most impact.

I had the opportunity to speak with Joe and learned a little about an incredible journey through international athletics and being a member of Great Britain’s Bobsleigh team, and the steel rods to keep his body in place. I only had a few moments to talk to Michelle, but there was a connection through almost unspoken communication between two people. I look forward to learning more about them both shortly.

For two and a half hours we supported each other as one by one we made our way to the front of the room to speak to the audience. Now most people know that’s not a real problem for me so was it a waste of time?
I don’t believe any visit to a workshop is a waste of time especially if you are in the business of mentoring people through workshops! Be at the professional sessions you are hoping to run yourself to ask three questions:

1.     What did I like about the session?

2.     What would I change about the session?

3.     What will I remember about the session?

Evaluate everything you see and hear. Ask the questions about your presentations and the presentations of the people around you. I did, and I have the notes which will add benefits to the people I work with. Does this mean I’m taking advantage of PSA? I don’t think so, I will give a shout out to the group at every opportunity, and I will continue to pay good money to go along to more events run by the group. Thank you Billal and PSA.

The Afternoon.

I had to leave the PSA event because this is Sheffield and my daughter Naima lives in Sheffield, so it was a perfect opportunity. We met at the train station which is growing on me for two reasons:


1.     There is a water feature outside the station which I feel has real physical and artistic merit.

2.     There is a piano in the forecourt of the station, and yesterday a man who appeared to be homeless came in, placed his bottle of beer on top of the piano and proceeded to play music from all genres from classical up to the music of the 60s/70s and 80s.

I was listening until just before my daughter arrived and showed my appreciation with a cup of coffee. The man had no music so must have played by ear. A real treat.
In no time my daughter arrived looking beautiful in her Hijab and gown. She has never looked happier.

Naima has a mission to bring her chosen charity to the north of England. Eden Care is based in London but is growing its message of ‘End of Life Support…Funded Burials and Legal Support for all people but mainly Muslims for obvious reasons. She has spoken on radio, television and platforms to a live audience.

We walk (trekked more like) up the mountain behind the Sheffield station towards the location of the Eid event at IMAN FM. The radio station formed part of a community centre and was easily spotted with the Bouncy Castle outside the entrance.

The hall itself wasn’t large, and the tables set out for people to eat, paint faces and sell their wares and skills meant space between them was at a premium. Naima and I set up close to the door and set out the flyers and balloons ready for the public to come in.

Even as we did this, there was a difference between this event and many similar ones in the white communities was striking. There was the bouncy castle, and there were balloons, there were young boys and girls from as young as four or younger playing. They were throwing the ballons in the air just the same as any child would, and running in and out of the hall from the castle outside. But there was not the shouting and screaming. No bumping into tables and the chaos I’ve observed from shows I’ve been involved with in other locations. There was an atmosphere of community with families around the table talking, but one look or word from the parent and if a child was getting too boisterous it stopped immediately.

The table next to mine had face painting, the two ladies across the way were selling beautiful gowns, scarves and jewellery. A henna table next was doing brisk trade and at the other end of the room the music and the food. Salad, Biryani, Meat curry and archives, topped off with yogurt. And enough to feed everyone twice.

The afternoon stretched out towards the time I had to depart and as it did so more and more local people came through the doors wished us ‘Salam Alaikum’ and stopped at the table to talk to Naima, offer their support and assistance. It was a joy to see my daughter engaging in deep conversations with new people and making such an impact. And isn’t that the point?

She has Turned Up (to a new faith; a new group of people) – She has Stood Up confidently for her beliefs and her future, and she has Spoken Up to make a real impact in the world. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it!

If you would like to know more about the programme ‘Turn Up – Stand Up – Speak Up’ contact me on www.ErnieSaid.Info or Call 07962 216833.