I’ll admit it, ten years ago before photography came into my life like a drunk yet friendly uninvited guest, way before I became a photography speaker in London, just the idea of public speaking would terrify me.
What I now know is that what affected my confidence in speaking publicly was my subconscious knowledge that whatever the subject was it didn’t interest me and therefore I could in no way hide this to my very perceptive audience, or so I thought.
But as photography became my passion and I spent every minute of my life thinking photography, reading photography, practising photography I inevitably became more knowledgeable.
With more knowledge and my burning passion, public speaking became suddenly something very different and enjoyable. It also helps when you know people have actually come from afar to hear you. You're not wondering if your content will be relevant to your audience, it's what they came for.
Don't get me wrong I still get an adrenaline rush from a little fear but it keeps me on edge I guess.
One of the most important aspect is the reward of people getting out of it something truly valuable to them.
If just a single piece of advice I give can inspire one person in the entire audience, I take this as a massive success (though maybe the rest of the audience would feel slightly robbed).
No but really, I don’t give photography talks to make a living, that’s what my commercial photography is for, the photography talks feel to me more of a giving back act and trying to help others realise their dream.
This year I’m finally realising my own dream of running my photography business and not work for an employer anymore. I decided 20 years ago I would not spend my life in an office, 10 years ago thankfully I got into photography and it prompted a radical change in my life.
In October we’re moving to the countryside not far from London to focus, with my wife, on our business/passion full time.
I was recently a photography speaker at the London Institute of Photography and the following day I received this touching feedback:
“I was lucky enough to be at the talk on Photography and Digital Marketing you delivered at the London Institute of Photography. I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks as I really enjoyed your talk and not only did I learn a lot from your insights and shared experiences, but it has spurred me on in my drive to look at a tangible escape route from the dreary and prison like office I seem to have become entrenched in - Your experience and success are a testament that it can be done, albeit it with a lot of talent and hard work.
Whether I do manage to make it or not, at least now I have the will to try - so thank you!”
This is why I do it.
Next I'd like to work with TEDx talks in London or elsewhere. I know it's ambitious but in 2015 I had an opportunity to give a TEDx talk at Bath University but I had to decline as I was abroad.
Get in touch with me if you'd like me to give a talk in your city!