I cannot help but share with you my absolute delight at being back in front of an audience at The Practice Plan Regional Workshops yesterday.
The Barrow & Buxton Live! sessions began in Solihull, precisely 563 days after my last public speaking assignment, in the offices of Wright Millner, Johannesburg, South Africa.
If you had told me that Sunday I would be off-stage and off the road for a year and half.......
I'm very fortunate to be hosted by Practice Plan, who always do such a good job of organising workshops - and also to be co-presenting with Sarah Buxton, FTA Law, and listening to her observations on the madness of some aspects of employment legislation and the ways in which owners and managers can protect themselves in the minefield of HR.
My session is on how to pick ideal team players and how to keep a good team together - especially given the disruptive landscape we all currently inhabit.
We decided to take a risk with this tour - presenting in the morning and then simply answering questions live in the afternoon.
"What if nobody asks any questions?"
We need not have worried.
Giving every delegate a free pen (remember free pens?) and a specially printed postcard, we asked them to place their questions in a makeshift postbox - and we happily ran out of time dealing with the issues raised, which went far beyond the remit of the day, from HR, leadership and management to marketing and exit planning.
I mentioned to Annie in a later FaceTime call how easy it was to share the stage with Sarah B - "I'm not surprised", she said, "you've been rehearsing on Facebook Live and Zoom for 18 months."
My biggest thanks to our audience (the West Midlands is always a winner) for listening and laughing with us all day but also taking home plenty of serious nuggets to implement immediately.
It took me about 5 minutes to get back in the speaking zone after all this time off.