03.05.2016 : Richard Harrison

Taking your place on the world stage

When you put yourself on stage, people sit up and take notice. You are in the spotlight, representing the best of yourself, your work and the work of your employer.

When you’re prepared to put yourself on stage, especially an international stage, people sit up and take notice. You’re quite literally in the spotlight, representing the best of yourself, your work and the work of your employer. If all goes well, you take an immediate step-up in the estimation of your audience. That’s a powerful thing and offers benefits that last for the long term.

Public speaking is commonly listed as one of the greatest fears anyone has. The best way to get past this fear is to stand up and speak as often as you can. For most, the nerves never completely go away but they become your motivation to prepare the best, present the best and leave the lasting impression that you are looking for. It’s a rare audience that doesn’t want you to succeed, so in many ways standing on a conference stage is the most supportive environment, not the most intimidating.

In the past 20 years, my experience of public speaking has included everything from five minutes business presentations through to weeks of back-to-back professional training delivery, often to trainees whose second language is English.

There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction when someone you’ve never met approaches you after a presentation, simply to tell you their reaction and expand on the spark you’ve ignited in their mind. I’ve even had people come up to me ten years later and remind me of a seminar I had forgotten I’d delivered. They would tell me how it helped them with a project, a purchase or a development they were undertaking at the time.

One of the real high points was delivering a training session for a group of surveyors in Vietnam, where ‘teachers’ are highly regarded. National Teachers Day fell in the middle of the course and I was honoured with gifts and cards. The recognition stays with me to this day.

As employers, we want to be placing our brightest people up on stage, in the spotlight, showcasing their skills and experience and promoting the company's depth of talent.

For employees, opportunities to speak at conferences don't occur very often.
“When you identify a chance to put forward a paper for consideration, take it with both hands.”

In my early career I looked up to those who were prepared to raise their profile and that of their businesses. Some of my earliest professional presentations have created relationships that last to this day.

Today, at FIG 2016 (one of the leading international conferences for surveyor professionals, held this year in Christchurch, New Zealand) I’m pleased to be able to help some of our best and brightest take their own place on the conference stage.

Ignite your thinking is a new form of public speaking to a worldwide audience - in today’s connected world, it’s the new international stage where you can influence and inspire, and forge new relationships.

The world is your stage for the taking. How do you plan on taking it?

About the Author

Richard Harrison

Associate - Surveying

Richard is a professional land surveyor who has applied his knowledge and experience to a cross-section of practical surveying applications around the world. He has a deep technical understanding of optical and laser-based measurement and positioning technologies, and how they relate to surveying, monitoring, civil construction, architecture and GIS. He has also provided technical support and professional training to surveyors and sales agents, and managed surveyors and geospatial experts.

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