As a baby and toddler, the infant mind picks up the speech patterns from people around them.
Slowly, with great restraint and patience; noises, gurgles and squeals form into the first word.
Mama, dada, perhaps something more adventurous, whatever the infant mind manages to latch onto and express' as speech.
Over the months, that one word vocabulary grows, the gurgles become few and far between, finally sentences are formed.
Continuing, uninterrupted the infant mind manages to bring these small, articulated sentences together, to form the first rudimentary paragraphs.
Finally, we have learned to speak. Yes, we continually expand our vocabulary for many more years, adding more words, even other languages, but never again will we learn to speak, never again will we learn to change those noises into conversation, argument or song.
Or so I thought. Last week I learnt to speak all over again.
I didn't think it was possible to change a shy, quiet person into someone with confidence, authority and the urge to publicly speak.
Last week I attended a speaker training course given by Alan Elston of Leading Edge Presentations (http://www.leading.me.uk/).
The course was aimed at novice to intermediate speakers, having only spoken twice before I counted myself in the first of those two camps.
In just two days, sixteen hours, Alan turned me from a shy, weak presenter, into one who loves the thought of getting up and speaking, and is passionate about doing so.
While taking the course I was asked to present approximately ten times, each time, my presentations were recorded, to prove to me, my presentation skills have improved, and they REALLY have. I'm a different speaker now.
I would encourage anyone who wants to speak to take some speaker training. It will revolutionise the way you speak, your second infancy awaits.
Bloody stupid thing to say when you mean: "Send me an e-mail".
I'm trying to help people out who are planning on being at TechEd Europe.
What we've done, is left a little space on our Wiki, so that people can add their names and as much (or as little) information as they wish so that they can meet up with people on the same flights, in the same hotel, or just in the same online communities.
The URL is: -
Please feel free to add yourself to the list! Primarily focused at UK Folks, but feel free to add yourself if you're coming from further afield.
Pass it on to anyone you feel will find it relevant.