From Client to Motivational Speaker
Last month I was the motivational speaker on the Ingeus celebratory road trip. I was the motivational speaker at the Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow events. The events were organised to celebrate ten years of Ingeus in the UK and to thank the staff for all their hard work and dedication.
In each region staff were invited to get together and ask questions of the CEO and senior management. I gave my motivational speech and awards were presented to employees who were recognised by their colleagues as being exceptional.
All the staff I met were really positive, really committed and really genuine. They were incredibly kind in their compliments to me after my speech.
I really felt as if my speech was perfect for their event. Just under ten years ago I was one of their clients. I had become employable after experiencing unexpected sight loss and sought professional help to become employed. I received great support from one of their employment advisors. I really appreciated that she didn’t make assumptions about me, focused on my abilities and shared my can-do attitude. I have never forgotten this advisor and found out through speaking at these events that she hasn’t forgotten me either.
It was therefore great to be able to reflect as a past client and to share my current thinking as someone who now does a similar role to many in the audience by supporting disabled people and people living with long-term health conditions into employment.
My favourite comment from a woman in the audience was, ‘I cringe at the thought of a motivational speaker. You moved me and my whole team by just being you’.
This was my favourite comment because I know what she means about the cringe factor. I am not wholly comfortable with being, ‘motivational’ or ‘inspirational’. I feel I am simply talking about me and my experiences. On the other hand I can’t argue with people when they tell me I am those things, as who am I to tell them what they think. Also, inspiring and motivating people is not a bad thing…..in fact it is an amazing thing and a privilege.
You can see exerts from my speaking engagement with Ingeus at www.youtube.com/watch?v=shyLWGyic2Y&feature=plcp