I’m a lover of words, that is part of the reason that I write a blog and also a big part of the reason I work in the organisation that I do. But if I’m honest I prefer words in the written format rather than spoken. I do speak at conferences but whereas some people are dying to get on the stage, I tend to do it more with a mild sense of trepidation.
When the opportunity came to speak at the CIPD conference, I didn’t think twice. Despite how it can come across sometimes, I’d like to do anything I can to support the profession and in turn our membership body. But the time gap between being asked to speak and actually having to do it always makes the decision a lot easier!
This morning, I ran a session with Matthew Hanwell from Nokia, chaired by Gareth Jones who many will know from the ConnectingHR community, entitled “HR, Harnessing the Power of Social Media”. Matthew for those who don’t know is a regular speaker on the circuit as well as a top guy and uber knowledgable professional.
The session was slated for one and quarter hours in front of, I’m told a couple of hundred people. Given the circumstances, the last thing you want to happen are any last-minute hassles, blunders, or admin cock ups. You just want to have time and space and then to get up and deliver. And this is where the CIPD came into their own. I’ve been kicking around conference since Tuesday morning, but the moment I moved into speaker mode, I couldn’t have been better supported or welcomed by the CIPD staff. The professionalism of everyone from the meeters and greeters, to the chaperones, to the AV guys. Every thing was top class.
Now this may not seem a lot, but believe me in those circumstances it is exactly what you need. Add to this the fact that I had some friendly faces up close and personal in the audience (thanks Rob Jones, Natalia Tomson, Mervyn Dinnen, Doug Shaw and Rob Moss) and it helped to ease the nerves nicely. The list of CIPD people is too long to mention, but from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU……you’re all stars.
If you want a summary of the session (and to see my ludicrous shirt) then I’d check out Doug Shaw’s excellent blog here. Now, I’m looking forward to relaxing a bit, attending the CIPD “Tweet Up” this evening and practising a little of what I preach on social media. But if you’re ever asked to speak or support a CIPD event, then I’d grab the opportunity with both hands – they really know how to make these things work.
But enough of that, I’m thirsty…..whose round is it? Make mine a large one.