Today my group (B O7) graduated from the Standard Bank Global Leadership Centre. This was the culmination of 2 intense weeks crammed with presentations, coursework, networking and classroom discussions. It was really a once-in-lifetime opportunity for all those who attended.
I was chosen by my class to speak on their behalf at the Graduation. It was a great privilege and honour to do this. I wrote my speech a few days ago but today two friends convinced me that I should rather speak off-the-cuff instead of reading from a paper which they thought was boring. Would I dump a speech I had spent much time preparing and instead rely on saying something sensible without any notes? That would be quite a risk but I took up the challenge and did just that.
I was quite nervous before the speech. Previous experience from talks and playing chess over the years has shown me that I generally do not make much use of material I look at just before the event! So I stopped thinking about the speech and tried to focus more on relaxing. Interestingly before the speech I suddenly thought of the speech as an opportunity to improve my own personal brand and this changed my focus completely.
The essence of my speech was as follows: