By Jodie Houlden.
Joining JCI little over a month ago, I hadn’t really anticipated competing in the regional Extempore (off the cuff public speaking) competition. I’m a planner when it comes to presenting. The thought of standing in front of a group of people, unprepared, expected to talk for any length of time about random objects or ideas would usually bring me out in a rash.
Thats the peculiar thing about JCI though; the support, enthusiasm and can do attitude it fosters encourages you to do things you wouldn’t usually consider, and I’m quickly finding the benefits are tenfold.
The entire evening turned out to be so much fun. As always an upbeat friendly environment greeted me, with familiar faces amongst the crowd. Just chatting before the event offered a great networking opportunity, although it felt entirely social. There’s such a mix of expertise and experience amongst the members its hard not to come away with food for thought, a new idea or feedback on your ventures. Its like free business advice and market research rolled into one; and its so informal your smiling all the way.
Participating in the competition was only ever aimed to force myself out of the comfort zone. I didn’t expect to get past the first round to be honest. It was a huge surprise to find myself in the final with two longer standing members of the JCI network, who I have to say, were fantastic! In the end I didn’t win, but who cares? I learnt A LOT in the snippet of a couple of hours and my confidence enjoyed a massive boost thanks to the experience.
When I joined JCI, I didn’t really anticipate the range of varied activities and opportunities that would open up to me so immediately. My original thoughts were along the lines of: ‘Few network events, few training opps, chance to meet new people and make some contacts, only £8 a month? Sounds like a bargain….’ And it is. But it’s had so much more value than I could have predicted. You’re really made to feel a part of things, so it’s entirely up to you how much you get involved.
I look forwards to the upcoming events and hope to get more out of the social, business and personal development programs JCI offers. And I’m sure I will.
Categorised in: Regional
This post was written by makedo