My first ever ‘Bradcamp’…. I returned a different person!!

I am not going to lie. I wasn’t overly looking forward to  Bradcamp. In fact, that IS still a lie…I was scared stupid of it! I mean, I was looking forward to the day itself, seeing Brad in action in a different way than I had seen before; meeting and getting to know all the delegates…but actually taking part myself? Nope, that wasn’t high on my agenda – in fact, I tried to wriggle out of it a few times leading up to it (surely I would be more useful sitting out watching what was going on, taking notes and sorting out any ruffles on the day? This was of course met with a look from Brad and the words ‘worst idea ever’ uttered….
So, fast forward to the morning… hotel was amazing, room looked awesome, so many lovely friendly faces all set for the day… Brad getting us excited about the day, sharing some amazing stories of his own with us. Lovely. Until it was time for me to stand up. Just 1 minute, that’s all! So like a timid mouse I creep to the front of the room and shout out the words ‘I’M SCARED!!!’ I then proceed to blurt out random facts about myself for the next 60 seconds (none of which are the ones I had rehearsed myself to say!!)
As I take my seat again, red faced and sweaty palmed, Brad asks me my nerves level from 1-10. I reply a 10. He seems surprised at this and goes around the table asking the others what number they would have put me at. Most are around the 5 mark. What a surprise to ME! This instantly relaxes me (not much, but a little) as all of a sudden I realise that what I feel inside, cannot be seen from outside. So basically… fake it and you’ll be fine!

The day passes by in a whirlwind… everyone standing up, sharing their stories with varying levels of confidence; being forced to wrong foot, being challenged on our delivery, our tonality, our hand gestures, things that petrified me when I had thought of them beforehand, but I actually found myself enjoying it! –Brad asks us if we are willing to share our stories. I am sure everyone said yes but I do not think anyone was prepared for the stuff that was going to come out of their own mouths – stories recounted that we had either forgotten about, chosen to compartmentalise or simply felt would be of no interest to anyone. And that is the biggest takeaway I have personally got from the day – I went in thinking I didn’t really have a story, I had nothing to say that would interest anyone else, I didn’t have the big personality of Brad, or the calm reassuring ways of Ian… I was out of my depth and by no means would I ever be a ‘speaker’… but I was wrong. I DO have a story, I AM able to communicate it well and people WOULD want to hear it! What a truly liberating feeling!
An abundance of tips, advice, help, support is imparted on us from Brad and Ian… these men are simply amazing. We literally are learning years and years of knowledge in just one day. Anything these two professionals don’t know is really not worth knowing. And despite all of their own personal successes, they manage to make each and every one of us feel comfortable throughout our wobbles, fears and strange questions!
Now I’m not saying I am ready to take on the speaker world – far from it – but there are definitely characters from the day who wouldn’t look out of place on the stage next to the big names after yesterday! And that wouldn’t have been the case at the beginning of the day – sounds like too big a claim to make but this event has the potential to change people’s lives – truly!

So… I started the day wanting to run away, feeling so far out of my comfort zone I couldn’t even see it and I finished the day feeling liberated, empowered, confident, desperate to hear the end of everyone’s stories, feeling like I’d made some great new friends, wanting to do it all over again, and like maybe, just maybe, I DID have something to offer the speaking world after all!!

If you get the chance to attend one of these events, please don’t let it pass you by – you won’t regret it, I promise!
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, there is also a fantastic photographer available on the day creating great headshots for use after the event – what an asset!!

Pippa Hodge, Queen of Waffle, BDM to Brad Burton, Much more confident speaker 🙂