Jade’s speaker event was a huge success

By Jade Shelton

You may remember in last month’s newsletter that I talked about the fact I was going to be doing my first ever speaker event in May. Well, it’s been and gone and as promised, I have written a little summary of my experiences and what I have learnt.

Firstly… wow!!! I’m so pleased to be able to share that the event went EXTREMELY well!

On Wednesday 04 May I travelled to Leeds by train (I don’t cope well with travelling so this was quite a big deal for me) and stayed in a beautiful hotel right in the centre of Leeds. My speaker event was the following day so I had the evening to relax, order room service (of course), and just get myself prepared for the following day.

I wouldn’t say that public speaking would be something that comes naturally to me. When I was so kindly asked to be involved, the introvert in me was screaming ‘NoOoOoOo’, whilst the extrovert in me was saying ‘if you don’t do this, then somebody else will, and you might never get asked again so you’ll regret not doing it, so you have to say yes’!

And I’m so glad that I did say yes!

As I was sat in my hotel room that evening, I was thinking about how hard I have worked to get where I am and how much I want to share with the world. I began to get excited about the prospect of speaking in front of people and sharing my story. If my experience can help just one other person who is keen to follow a similar route, then that for me would be enough.

The next morning I got myself ready and headed down to the function room and luckily for me the first person I saw was someone who I was going to be sitting on the panel with me. I hadn’t met any of these people in person before (only via Zoom) so it was really nice to finally meet them face-to-face.

I then met the other people I was doing the panel with and the dynamic between us was great, I was lucky to be sharing the stage with people that I really resonated with.

Our talk was at 10AM so we were among the first set of speakers. I was anxiously looking at my watch and before I knew it, it was 9:55AM (gulp)!!!

Before I went on stage I remembered something that Huw once told me… ‘think, act, be’… to be a confident speaker, I had to act like a confident speaker, and to act like a confident speaker, I had to think like one. So I repeated this to myself over and over in my head until it was time to make a move.

We approached the stage, I sat down, looked around the room and realised the gravity of what I was about to do. I don’t know how many people were in the room, but I do remember that they all had very friendly faces so I was very relieved and that certainly made me relax a little bit.

Our talk began and it felt like it was over in a flash. We talked about how businesses can look to attract more talent into the world of financial services. We all had a unique story to tell which meant that we were able to come from all different angles.

One of them was a second careerist who went straight into training to be a financial planner, one was relatively young and had only just started out on his journey, another was a recruitment specialist within the sector, and then there was me who had done many different roles and had 9 years of experience.

Once the talk was over I felt extremely proud of myself (and that I wish we had more time because I had so much more to say). I couldn’t believe that I had just sat on a stage, in front of room of people, and talked aloud. It was so liberating and it has really boosted my confidence.

Throughout the course of the day, I met so many different people. Some who had followed a similar route to myself, and others who had been in the profession a long time who really enjoyed hearing from the next generation of financial planners.

It was such a rewarding experience and I feel so grateful to have been offered such a wonderful opportunity. I have a lot to learn about public speaking but I took the first step outside of my comfort zone and I couldn’t be more proud of that.

It has made me even more excited for the future and I look forward to seeing how I develop and evolve on my journey.