Building with Hemp… and some speaking lessons

Annie Rouse presents on building with hemp

This video is one of my first official presentations on hemp. When I was living in Calgary, I drove up to Edmonton to the DIRTT Environmental Solutions HQ during their Friday lecture series to teach their employees why hemp may be the sustainable building solution they had been looking for!

I had met one of the organizers of this at a networking event a couple months prior. Networking events usually end up working out, you just have to be open to talking with others, and remembering that most people are feeling the same as you — nervous to talk to strangers, not sure what to say, not sure how to leave if the conversation goes sour, fear of forgetting the person’s name (that is me all the time, but I hear nemonic devices work well). Alternatively, I usually ask for the name again, and 90% of the time, the person I’m talking to is in the same boat.

But after a networking event the follow up is the most important. That’s how I ended up getting this speaking engagement and getting practice that I needed to present in front of people, which ultimately lead to a lot of other engagements and projects.

I had presented a few times before, but mostly in school settings where my peers and friends would critique me. I have to say, grad school also gave me good practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.

But it wasn’t until later that I learned the secret of public speaking — also while in Calgary — you want to know what it is?

If you are invited to speak somewhere, you were invited for a reason – normally it’s because you know more about it than anyone else in the room. They wouldn’t have invited you to speak if you didn’t. So in reality, it doesn’t matter if you screw up or not, no one will ever know.

– Just some advice from a renowned public speaker

Once I heard that, it gave me the confidence to quit shaking and keep going!

I screw up in this one a time or two, but no one really knows how bad the screw up is, because no one in the audience knew what hemp really was. But one of the mess ups is that WhoTF builds with Perlite? I’m clearly no contractor or architect 😀

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