Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Volunteering.



Do you ever volunteer for something and then think why on earth did I do that?  Well I did that a few months back following one of my professional institute meetings.

We had sat down for nearly 2 hours listening to two presenters speaking on the Bribery Act, and to make matters worse, the presenters were not the best (if you know what I mean).

As one of the branch committee members, we were discussing possible topics for the next meeting, and like a fool I said "if you can't find anyone I can always give a chat about how we do things".  I left it at that and made my way home (after I got the car unlocked from the multi-story car park.)

Couple of weeks later I got an email saying they would be delighted to take me up on my offer and I had to add another presentation to my workload lol.

I decided on taking the stance of "sharing some of the things we do, the problems we have, and what we are trying to do to mitigate them".  I opened my presentation by informing the audience that this wasn't intended to be a lecture but a platform for sharing ideas and that I invite them all to chip in with any comments, alternative suggestions they may have.

Quite a few people did comment, ask more questions, write notes which is always a fairly good sign.  However when I scanned the audience, there was one chap that seemed really serious, didn't comment, and I just thought hmmmm don't think he liked my presentation very much.

I drove home thinking "well I have done it now - I thought it went ok, but you can never be sure, can you?"

I was delighted to receive two emails this morning, the first from the chap that I thought didn't seem interested:-

"I was at the branch meeting last night and didn't get the chance to stay that I enjoyed your presentation and found it very useful. I work for a global insurance company so face a lot of the challenges you highlighted. I'm also responsible for Blueprint here so will be looking to get more out of that as well. I certainly picked up some tips from you last night and will be looking to make some changes to the way we do things as a result."

and


"Sorry I didn’t get a proper chance to speak to you last night after your presentation as I had to dash off to let the babysitter go home.  It was so interesting and practical and has given me, and I assume everyone else too, plenty to think about.  It also reminded me very much of many aspects of my old job at RSA – I had forgotten the battles with far flung jurisdictions over POAs and company records and trying to instil a bit of order into the situation, all whilst trying to keep the Tax Dept happy!  Oh the joys of a multinational Co Sec role!

You’d obviously put an enormous amount of hard work into producing such a comprehensive set of slides and to do so as extra to your already very busy job was amazing! Many thanks again.
Have a safe trip to the Far East and see you in December hopefully,

This just shows that the old saying " you can't judge a book by its cover" is very true.  I was telling myself if everyone who gave up their own time to listen to me waffle on left with one good idea from the presentation, then they didn't waste their time...........It was lovely to receive evidence that was the case.   

FYI I wore my new blouse I have just finished.

2 days without the time to sew, so hope to catch up a little tomorrow.

Catch you later.....


13 comments:

  1. Glad that your presentation went well and the response you received was so positive.

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  2. Congratulations on a wonderful presentation! One thing I learned in my career.Never assume anything about who you are dealing with. I could tell you stories of huge sales being consummated with the likes of clients you wouldn't think were old enough to have a clue or have two pennies to rub together. I learned to never assume anything about anyone and treat all equally with good service. It pays off.

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    1. Thanks Bunny, I know what you mean. Many years ago I had a small boutique and one Christmas a guy came in, look really scruffy had string as a belt for his pants, but I knew who he was....he was the owner of a large scrap yard. When he purchased his items for his wife's Xmas gift, he pulled out the largest roll of cash I have ever seen. I know quite a few of my fellow shopkeepers who would have ushered him out of the door before he even started looking. I also agree to treat everyone alike.

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  3. How lovely to get such emails! It is so rare to receive positive feedback.

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  4. Congratulations on a successful speaking engagement. I was going to comment "So what did you wear?" but I see you answered that:-)

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    1. Thanks Mary. Actually I wore the complete Badgley Mischka suit (I made the suit about 18 months ago) with the new grey blouse.

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  5. That is so nice to hear. It must have been very good if you even received two of these e-mails. Congratulations.

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  6. I am glad you got some nice recognition!

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  7. I got an e-mail the other day from a student who finished with me 4 years ago. She graduated this summer with a 2(i) in law and wrote to say how much we ( the teaching team) had inspired and encouraged her. Sometimes it just takes a little time to pass before people realise how much of an influence you have been. We often think we are ignored or are unimportant and then suddenly out of the blue comes the thanks and recognition. Well done and doesn't it make all worthwhile when one person says 'thank you'? On a lighter note I bet you looked damn good too.

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