My 100 Things | #63 Talk in front of a large group of people

This time last week I was on a train heading to London. I was so nervous I was feeling sick, I was shaking, I was in a cold sweat, and no I wasn't heading to a hospital appointment, I was going to talk to a large group of people at the Royal Mail New Graduate event, on behalf of the Stroke Association.

I won't go into to much detail but the event was being held for new graduates that were joining the Royal Mail, it was to inform them about different parts of the company, and with the Stroke Association being their charity of the year, they were invited along and asked me to go with them and tell my story.

I'd like to start by saying I felt so privileged to be asked to go along and speak for them. Of all the people in the country who have strokes, and all the young people who have strokes, I still can't believe they choose me. I'd spent a couple of weeks writing my speech, proof reading it, reading it to my Mum and Dad, and even though I knew it really well, I felt like I could never have known it well enough.

When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely Kat, and she definitely helped calm my nerves, she said there were 124 graduates there and then a few more employees. When they came out the room for coffee we would go in and get settled - when they started pouring out of the doors I could have been sure there were more than 124 people but oh well....that must have just been my imagination.

The closer I got to speaking the more nervous I became, and when I finally stood up to talk my legs were shaking a lot - I had to hold onto the stand because I was so worried about falling over.

I got a massive round of applause once I'd finished and once our section of the morning was done, so many people approached me to talk about what I'd said. One person talked with me about the 10K, another girl who had been crying (she'd cried! not my desired effect) said she would remember me when she was fundraising, another with high blood pressure said she would remember to take her tablets because of me....the list goes on! People are so kind.

This has really made me more confident and confirmed to me that people don't judge me for my stroke, they want to listen, and when they ask questions, most aren't being nosey, they just want to know more and learn more. It has given me a lot of confidence moving forward and I actually really enjoyed myself. If the opportunity for anything like this ever came up again I would love to be involved.

Also, a little thank you to the Royal Mail and Stroke Association for not only giving me the opportunity to do this, but for sending me a thank you card and beautiful bouquet of flowers - completely unnecessary but very much appreciated. I was glad to help.

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