Well it was that time of year again. Time to head to Kendal for the Mountain Festival and volunteer as a presenter. Volunteer you say??? Well, I may be a professional speaker, but there are times when the outdoor community comes together and works together. We all give our time for free for the good of the community, and work harder than any professionally paid staff. Working in engineering, I hear a great deal that ‘Money is the greatest motivator’. If only these people knew how wrong they were. Passion drives people, love drives people, people drive people. And it’s the people I meet at the festival who drive me…
It’s a simple enough question really. After all, would you employ a mechanic who couldn’t fix your car..? The reason I ask is due to my experiences observing speakers over the last 20 years. Some have been outstanding, some have been good, but many have been (at best) average.
The Kendal Mountain Festival is the highlight of the climbing calendar in the UK, but for me it wasn’t always that way. I had visited the festival years back and even had my Discovery Channel documentary “Nightmare at 20,000ft” premiered there, but I always felt a little lost. Was it because I was on my own? Or the fact that I didn’t know a soul? Who knows, but it all changed one day on the Hornli Ridge.
As a professional speaker I find it difficult not to criticise others on stage about this or that. Is their layout good? Are their images of high quality? Can the presenter speak well and engage their audience? This was an evening where I had nothing to worry about. Julie Summers presented ‘Everest needs you Mr. Irvine’ at Derby Guildhall and stunned us all with her incredible knowledge, depth of research, wonderful pictures and heartfelt passion about her Great Uncle, Sandy Irvine.