If you've been to one of my presentation you'll know that somewhere in my intro I say, "If you would have told me four years ago that I would be a public speaker I'd have laughed at you and told you 'that is the cruelest thing you could tell me because that will never happen!'" Of course it did happen and today I'll be giving my 396th presentation and in it my total number of people spoken to will hit 25,000!
It's a big milestone day for me. I am somewhat keen on milestones (i.e. 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 50,000 100,000...) and today marks a moment that I never thought would come. And as the title of this blog suggests, I'm hitting 25,000 at a most fitting place.
Today I'll be presenting at the Saint Louis County Police Academy for officers going through C.I.T. training. As a presenter I sort of cut my teeth at the Academy as I presented 35 times back at the start of 2010. Really, this was my first bit of work for TouchPoint as an employee so that's where I began.
Once those 35 presentations were over I thought my job would be to. In that blog I linked to, in the comments, there are two from officers that worked at the Academy and one of them, from the director, said, "You may feel this is an end of an era, but I see it as the beginning to a new
chapter in your life." While that was very kind of him to put I still just didn't know if the whole presentation part of my life would be something that would stick. But, per normal, my doubts were unfounded and he knew what he was talking about because here I am.
The past three years have been a blur. I've gone back and looked at all of my maps, comments, and total stat sheet of my presentations and it's all just, well, it feels fake. To think that I have spoken to 25,000 people is something I can't comprehend. The numbers don't lie, but I don't feel as if this is real. I still feel, outside the time I am presenting, that if you told me I just wouldn't be a presenter but that I am a presenter I still feel as if that's a cruel thing to say because I don't know how I do it. I'm shy, quiet, reserved and yet, despite that all, here we are about to reach a milestone.
In the grand scheme of things I don't know if today means anything more or less than any other presentation. My whole focus hasn't been on big numbers but reaching each individual one within a group. However, at the same time, isn't 25,000 something to be proud of?
I could write about being confused as to why I've been able to present, or why so many people have seen me, but I have to head out the door to head to the Academy to give my presentation. It's been a while since I gave my police presentation but I'm sure I'll do fine. The officers there, however, will not know just how special today is. In fact, writing this paragraph has filled my eyes with tears because this number is something I just didn't think was possible. From five to nine years ago I had given up on life and yet here I am. What a journey it's been and while I reach 25,000 today I look forward to the journey towards 50,000!