It’s funny how life throws curve balls every now and again and I was about to catch a very juicy one.
I was meeting the head mistress of a local school and discussing my book when she asked me if I was keen to to give a talk to the pupils at the end of year assembly. Being one to try new things, I happily agreed under the impression that it was children between the ages of 6 and 9 that I’d be speaking to.
I prepared my 20 minute talk on the the subjects of imagination and being an author. I practiced in my room, in front of the mirror and in the shower. The day arrived and I was raring to go. I mean how daunting could this be?
It would be quite difficult to describe the sheer terror, extreme weight loss through perspiration, and sudden urge to make a bolt for it when I discovered that there were going to be over 200 parents, teachers and pupils at the assembly.
I sat next to the headmistress on the stage in the hall sweating profusely, my foot tapping uncontrollably. I think the headmistress was slightly concerned that I might keel over and die from either a heart attack or dehydration.
I now know what it means to want the floor to open up and swallow you whole… and as much as I prayed it just wouldn’t happen.
My introduction and the first 5 minutes of my talk passed in a blur and I distinctly remember someone elses voice coming out of my mouth while I held onto the podium for fear of collapsing.
But then it all changed and as I notice the attention that was being paid to me by the audience, I realised that I was alive, the audience hadn’t yet booed me off the stage or fallen asleep.
I don’t remember much about the rest of the talk but I do remember that not only did I receive and audible, appreciative response from the audience, but that I actually enjoyed talking about my book and what it’s like to be an author.
But the best was yet to come.
After the assembly while drying myself off, two young pupils came up to me and mentioned how much they’d enjoyed my talk, but also how inspired they were to have met a real live author. They said that upon meeting me had made them more motivated to read more and that they too now wanted to become writers.
It was quite a feeling knowing that I was able to inspire someone, especially to read more, and from that moment on I realised a direction that I wanted to pursue. Shortly thereafter I embarked on a public speaking course as promoting reading in a country with low levels of literacy had given me a new purpose.
Initially my talks started out to the age group of my readers, but as my confidence grew and my talks became more stimulating invitations from schools inviting me to speak to all age groups from 6- 18 year olds started to arrive in my inbox.
Such has the popularity of these talks grown that I now not only speak at schools but also at business networks, functions and the likes.
The more I speak the more people hear about my books and what I’m trying to do. The more people hear me and listen to my talks the more I get to meet my readers and build a data base.
I realise that I could have said no when I was initially asked to speak but the journey I’m now on because I replied positively is so much more than I could ever have imagined.
A recent invite to a talk
6th District Creative Agency Presents:
A talk on Harnessing your Creativity, Goal Setting and Visualization by the Author of “The Magic that’s Ours” & “The Power that’s Ours”, Gary Hirson.
Dec 15, 19:00,194 Victoria street (Woodstock main road, opposite LT Paints)
6DCA is a newly formed collective of young individuals working in the creative industry. The aim of the collective is to provide a platform to share resources, stimulate inspiration and contribute meaningfully to our environment through art exhibitions and projects.
As a long-term strategy to increase our own capacity we came up with the idea of holding talks at our beautiful space on main road Woodstock. We also see the value of the potential networking opportunity that this talk series will provide, a guerilla public relations campaign if you will.
We would like to invite you to attend a FREE talk that aims to inspire and motivate children and adults alike.
‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’ Albert Einstein.
Gary Hirson is dedicated to enriching the imaginations and lives of both kids and adults. Following the launch and success of his first interactive children’s book, The Magic that’s Our’s, and its sequel, The Power that’s Our’s, Gary was asked to present talks at various schools in the province. These talks are a delightful way to be introduced to the power of the imagination, and the concepts of goal setting and visualization.
In his own words…
“I talk about my life leading up to becoming a photographer and writer/author. I discuss how I embarked on the journey of finding my passions, how it felt, and how I recognized them. I speak about the importance of self-belief and trusting one-self. (I do a fun interactive exercise where we get to test our beliefs). The talk also includes the importance of setting goals, living with passion and giving our all, and how it helps to set goals. Photographs I’ve taken throughout my photographic career accompany this talk.”
The links to the first two books:
Seating is limited, so please try to inform us of your attendance, though we welcome all as the floor space is quite large.