Last Sunday, I was invited to give a speech at an event organized by Putera MIC: Bloggers' Buff.
One of the organizers Mahendran gave me a call weeks earlier and invited me to give a speech. I was supposed talk about "Blogging as an Income Generator".
Something I feel that someone like Chanlilian is far more qualified to talk about, but then again, I guess I was expected to go up and share Nuffnang with the 60 odd people expected to attend the event.
It had been such a busy and turbulent week for me. My eye injury put me out of commission for a few days and when I finally got well again on Friday, I had a backlog of work so I didn't manage to prepare for the speech until Saturday night, just a night before.
I knew I was in trouble.
That night, I sat in front of my Mac with Word open. Trying to figure out at least what I was about to say.
I was a little nervous.
Now I'm used to talking to a room full of people with all the marketing pitches I do at Nuffnang.
In fact, I love doing these pitches, I love the adrenaline that flows through my veins when I'm up there talking about Nuffnang... but this was a SPEECH... somehow it made it a little different for me.
I struggled with my Mac and drafted out something quickly. Shortly after I went to bed and said a little prayer.
"Dear God... whatever it is, please don't let me make a fool of myself tomorrow.. I promise I'll spend more time preparing my next speech".
The next morning I woke up with my nerves somehow a little numb. I got into the car and just drove straight to the event.
I saw a few familiar faces there and shook the hands of many people there who seemed to somehow have heard of me before.
First there was an introduction by the MC.
And then a speech by a VIP who I didn't meet earlier since he was waiting in the VIP Room.
The organizers actually told me that I was supposed to be in the VIP Room when I arrived, but I told them I felt much more comfortable out here mixing with everyone else.
Then the time came for me to give my speech.
When my name was called, I sat still for a split second with many thoughts racing through my head.
I thought that the easy way out would be to read from the script I had prepared. But I hate speeches like that. I really do. And I was determined not to give one like that.
I walked up to the front with a folded piece of paper in my hand. Inside, my speech all written out just in case I f*ck up.
Then I closed that piece of paper and decided to let it come naturally.
My heart whispered to me
"You are here to talk about something you believe in, something you have put your time, money and heart into for the past year... just talk naturally. If people don't like your speech, they might at least appreciate your sincerity".
I stood in front of the room and the words came out of my mouth on its own.
I don't remember how I started.
But I did remember asking the audience to indulge in some interactiveness and to feel free to interrupt me at any time if they have any questions or anything at all to add in. They did and that made a difference.
The speech was if anything... fun.
Everyone was laughing not at jokes made by me, but even by the audience themselves.
Then came the Q&A session where we opened up questions to the floor.
For a minute there I thought
"Okay this is the part where everyone sits still and doesn't say anything because we're all shy here".
But I was wrong.
I remember Danny Foo asking the first question and after that it opened up a floodgate of questions from everyone all around the room.
It's funny how people sometimes can perceive you as if you're someone bigger than you really are.
Halfway during my speech, a man in his fifties put up his hand to ask
"So have you joined the league of young millionaires yet Timothy?"
My answer to him was frank.
I told the room that my first year at Nuffnang is not going to be about making money, but making sure that we get our product right.
Making sure, that each campaign we run, is an utter success, building a perfect portfolio that will easily convince more advertisers in future to tap into blog advertising.
If I fail in doing this, blog advertising in Malaysia will never take off and I will have failed our blogging community.
If we succeed, then blog advertising will truly take off and we will all have built a sustainable medium of advertising.
I was supposed to speak for 15 minutes, including my Q&A session, but the whole session if I remembered it correctly lasted for over 45 minutes until Mahendran had to signal to me saying
"Tim... time's up!".
Everyone in the room seemed happy at the end of the speech and I didn't catch anyone sleeping throughout the speech.
The event turned out to be quite a success.
Even with Kenny Sia giving everyone a surprise visit just before I left.
To the organizers... thank you very much for planning this wonderful event.
Oh oh... and after my speech, I got myself a little souvenir.
Which turned out to be this cool little pen holder.