Two weeks ago, I got a message from my friend Steve asking if I wanted to give a talk at an event called Pechakucha. He sent me some links about the event and told me that the theme was about less. He knew I travelled for less and therefore would be a good candidate to speak. I always wanted to give a talk in front of a crowd so I said yes.
Later I found out that I would be in front of over 400 people. My biggest talk prior to this was in front of maybe 35 people. Needless to say, I was both excited and nervous. Perfect.
Pechakecha events consist of a slideshow presentation with 20 slides x 20 seconds of talking per slide. They happen around the world. I decided to not just talk about travel. I wanted to have an overall inspiring message for living a limitless life so I dug deep and picked some incredible accomplishments I’ve had that were inspired by less.
After hours of writing, editing and condensing, I had my slideshow ready. The big day finally came and my wife and parents joined me. There were 10 speakers in total, each of them tackling the issue of less in their own way.
As my turn approached, my hands became very sweaty and my heart rate began to increase. My mouth began to dry up. I knew this would happen at some point but I didn’t let it deter me. I just tried to drink as much water as I could and kept telling myself it was going to be awesome.
Then I got on stage and did my thing. There were times that I felt I was looking at the notes too much and towards the end, my mouth was feeling like a desert but ultimately, I felt great and delivered what everyone thought was a great presentation. It was an inspiring presentation, which is what I wanted to give.
I talked about back in 2008 when I had my best semester %-wise at university despite also working full-time, buying a rental property, and completing a 12-week fitness challenge. I talked about travel hacking and how I learned to travel around the world in first class for next to nothing. I talked about starting an online business for almost nothing and how I used my writing skills and blog to get sponsored for expensive trips like a live-aboard in the Galapagos and a 20-day safari in Africa.
What I was trying to do was convey the fact that you don’t necessarily need loads of time or money to accomplish your dreams.
I closed with this;
Just because you might have less or make less doesn’t mean you can’t dream big and do big things with your life. Many of the greatest things ever accomplished were inspired by some aspect of less. Whether you want to travel the world, start a business, inspire a movement or cross 100 things off your bucket-list, don’t let “less” discourage you. Let it inspire you to truly live limitless.
It felt so great to inspire and connect with so many people. It also felt great to give my first big talk and to cross yet another amazing thing off the list. I’m really happy I said yes.
For more info on Pechakucha Calgary and to see my presentation once it’s uploaded, go to: http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/calgary
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