Nov 25, 2014

Inspire Lectures & Speaking to Students

Last week I was invited to do two speaking engagements with the Medicine Hat College. While I've received a lot of questions and feedback over the years about my work through this website, it's not often that I'm asked to share my insight on pursuing your passion and entrepreneurship in front of an audience. Still, it was flattering to be asked, and I appreciated the challenge of trying to refine what the take-away from my experiences has been.

On Wednesday I spoke to Visual Communications students about my work, website, and my career in photography and video production so far. I spoke for 40 minutes and used a lot of examples from recent projects as proof that even though the successes can be difficult to predict, you can create your own opportunities. So much of what has happened to me in the last few years has been a result of personal goals, taking chances, and following through on ideas.

I narrowed my advice down to three challenges:

1. Build a portfolio, blog, or website to brand yourself and the work you want to be doing.
2. Create engaging content as a means of showcasing the skills you want to be hired for.
3. Network and collaborate to sell your ideas and invite new opportunities. 

For each point I shared stories and projects to prove how my advice was based on personal experience. Things like how this blog lead to my first job with Stream Media, how my Around the Hat series helped build my reputation locally, and how collaborating on projects like Thinking Hat opened new doors and continued to expand my career. It was an interesting experience for me just to connect the dots for myself and see how some of the biggest opportunities I've had in the last few years actually had pretty humble beginnings.

The next day I spoke at the Cultural Centre for the Enactus MHC Inspire Lectures series. I trimmed my presentation down to the highlights for a brief 10 minute talk, sharing the stage with 5 other speakers. It was cool how my talk about sharing my own story did inspire other people to share theirs. I ended up having a lot of great discussions that night, and as is usually the case when putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, I learned a lot in the process too.

I had the audience give me a wave before my presentation.

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