I’m a Professional Public Speaker. I want to write about being a professional public speaker. I’d like to avoid discussing living with young-onset Parkinson’s. This was never supposed to be a blog about Parkinson’s Disease. It was supposed to be about my comedy, my MC (Mistress of Ceremonies) skills and of course, my ability to hold an audience in the palm of my hand whilst I encourage, motivate and inspire people. However. Here it is again. The things people say to you when they discover you have this. What will it take for people to realise we’re not written off and ready for the scrap heap? Once again this week I had a conversation with someone about life in general. It came up of course. It always does. You might have noticed that I’m not shy about it. Anyhow. There it was. “Oh yes, you have Parkinson’s, don’t you?” someone commented. “Yes I do” I replied. They proceeded to tell me about their friend whose husband has Parkinson’s. How you couldn’t tell at all whilst he was in his forties, yet gosh, it really took hold in his fifties you know. He’s had to go into a home now. But […]
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I was to write you a nice post about something other than Parkinson’s today. However, those lovely people at Parkinson’s Life sent me this lovely article. It’s especially nice as I’m in it, and my lovely friend Emma from The Parky Ninja. Enjoy. You can find the article HERE. Also on Parkinson’s Life is this awesome video from Christine Jeyachandran It might also feature a certain recognisable Yorkshirewoman. Yes. My quest for World Domination is well underway.
And so. I have become another victim of the Covid-19 economic downturn. I received a phone call about the job I had been told I was successful for. The one that they needed filling immediately. The one that was still needed, but slightly delayed due to level 4. Perhaps Mid May. Yes. All being well around there. But no. Ah. The dangers of working (potentially) for a charity or non-profit. Lack of resources. Full restructure. Employment freeze. And I get it. Of course I do. But I wanted that role so badly. For so many reasons, both selfish (I need a job – I need the money badly) and also altruistically. (It was a position where I could have helped others very much.) But it is not to be. Possibly. In a few months. After the restructure. They may call. They may not. I have to rethink. There has been much to rethink recently. And so. Back to the drawing board and trawling employment sites and looking for suitable roles. The issue here is of course gaining attention. I’m told I’m over qualified for some, but under qualified for others. Usually this is recruiter-speak for ‘not currently employed’ or […]
Right now I’m finding it hard to type. My left hand is annoyingly unresponsive without a little extra oomph from me. It’ll come good in a bit, I recently took my tablets. I’m still bad at taking them on time. It’s not that I don’t know I have to, it’s more like a silent rebellion. “I don’t need you! I can do this, look I’m actually doing really well.” Then it’s like hitting a wall. Erk. Rats. If I hadn’t waited I wouldn’t have crashed and now wouldn’t be waiting for the most unattractive / desirable coming ‘up’ there is. Though of course for those of us with Parkinson’s, ‘coming up’ is exactly what we want. We need those little suckers to do the trick and help make our bodies move again. But I talked of this a couple of weeks ago, you don’t need to hear that again, do you? Last week saw the end of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Irritatingly overshadowed by this thing called Covid-19. Not to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in our way, we’ve still tried to do bits here and there. I was stoked to be asked to join in […]
Once again this week I found myself the centre of attention. Well, in a group that gained attention. OK. I was probably the least qualified person in the group to be there, but it appears I managed to wriggle in and find another opportunity to talk about myself to the world. How? I managed to pick up a gig hosting an online quiz for the wonderful people at Good Bitches Baking (GBB). If you’re not familiar with the work of the GBB (not to be confused with The GBB of the Great British Bakeoff) they’re basically really nice people of any particular variation you like (yes, men are welcomed with open arms) that volunteer to bake sweet treats for local deserving people / charities / daycentres etc. It’s been a tough old time for them at the moment, as they’re all trapped inside baking for their families and have nowhere to pass it on. I fear for many people’s waistlines. Their aim is to make Aotearoa the kindest place on Earth. Who can have a problem with that? So look past the word and see it for the good it brings. Yes. I’m talking about baking. Not always easy for […]
Just what is a motivational speaker? It’s a word that’s used so much, I hear it often, yet what is expected of the person that claims to motivate and inspire? For me, it’s connecting to my audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a room of retirees or a room of corporates and politicians, understanding who you are talking to is vitally important. It’s key to the atmosphere you want to create. Connecting on a personal level is vital. How can you help someone if you just tell them a boring lump of facts about yourself? A good speaker can touch every person in a room and encourage them to realise that they themselves have the power within them to succeed in their chosen path. This connection is what’s so important. Nobody really cares about your story at first. The times I’ve heard “Oh, it’s a talk about Parkinson’s.” and I think “I really must re-word this talk!” I am so much more than an irritating incurable disease. Another overused yet apt word is of course, storytelling. What I do is weave an intriguing tale. You’re pulled in and travel along with me. Sharing the lows and the highs right there […]
This week I completed a set of questions for Parkinson’s Life magazine. It got me thinking about how people perceive those with Parkinson’s Disease. My talks cover that off too of course, and it’s something I’ve pondered myself. I sometimes wonder what my friends truly think of this, and my efforts to continue life as normally as possible. I know some of them think I’m crazy. Some of them think I’m deluded and I’ll drop dead early, and some of them think it’s great and I’m going to be just fine regardless of my affliction. In the end it doesn’t really matter what any of them think. This is ultimately my fight, my battle. Not only physically, but mentally. It would be oh so easy to simply give in. Instead I’m at the gym most days, and despite my fear of falling over my own feet, today I have vowed to get out and go running again. Stealth Fighter I hate running. But I hate Parkinson’s more. I despise this thing that’s taken me by surprise. Stealthily trying to hold me back, contain my body and with it, my spirit and drive to succeed. I hate going to the gym, […]
This week is about impostor syndrome and motivation. And the very real fact that occasionally we get stuck because of ourselves. It’s crazy. If your friend came up with a great idea you’d tell them to just get on with it. But when we have a good idea ourselves, what do we do? We sit on it. We throw barriers and issues into our own paths and procrastination becomes the order of the day. “we can’t because…” and that idea slowly slips away, or worse, you see someone else carrying out a similar one and being amazingly successful. What can we do about it? It’s an easy thing to say, but a harder thing to do, but forcing yourself to sit down and set some real goals and ambitions is vital. I’ve had an idea for some time to boost my profile in and around the Kāpiti Coast where I live. What have I done with it so far? Nothing. Nada. Zip. What am I afraid of? Will people laugh at me? (Well, I’m also a comedian, so you know, hopefully!) Will they think I’m daft / stupid / foolish / insert negative emotion here. At heart we’re scared of […]
Crowding In I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at the Combined Probus Club of Kapiti today , and what a wonderful group of people they are. They certainly turned up in force, over one hundred and forty people packed into the lounge area of the Coast Community Church building to hear what I had to say. No Pressure It’s sometimes daunting to speak to a large number, especially when you are aware that some of them suffer from the very affliction that you’re there to impart your wisdom on, but I love what I do, and was determined to not allow the words of Keith who introduced me, put me off. What lovely words too, he described me as “the most amazing woman I have ever met, aside from my wife of course!” High praise indeed. No pressure. Added to that his wife has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for about six years, and he has a degree in neuro-science. Did I mention there was no pressure?! Flying High They laughed, they groaned, they gave me the most wonderful feedback. I appear to be collecting gift boxes too. I received a beautiful Kapiti Goodies box, I’m sure that will go […]