Light My Fire

How To be Single, Because Exposure Isn’t So Delicious and 25 Things I Love About Liverpool – why everyone should have a bash at public speaking. 

Ignite Liverpool celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. If you’re not familiar with this fantastic social gathering and speaking forum, you’re seriously missing out.

In its own words: “Ignite showcases Liverpool’s movers and shakers, creators, thinkers, tinkers, innovators and doers, makers and dreamers in a fast paced format designed to inspire. Do you want to be inspired? Do you need to get your creative juices flowing? Then Ignite Liverpool is just for you.”

I have to thank my friend and former Liverpool City Councillor, James Noakes for introducing me to Ignite, on what I remember to be a cold, Monday night in the city. Heading upstairs at Leaf on Bold Street to a bright, bustling room filled with inspiring people with something to say. Others eager to listen. I learned all kinds that first night. The dentistry talk was genuinely fascinating while a bloke from West Derby documented his global journey. It was dead good.

Anyone can get up and speak at Ignite. All you have to do is prepare a five minute presentation and 20 power point slides to accompany your talk. Simples.

I knew from the off I wanted to have a crack at it. I was absolutely bricking it and my delivery wasn’t great. But I really enjoyed it. My first talk was about exposure as currency. Having done a tiny bit of digging into freelance life, I noticed a worrying trend of freelancers in the media industry chasing payments for work – FOR YEARS!

Not content with pretty much blowing my first attempt, I had another go. I talked about How To Be Single, which at the time was an idea for a column I’d had at work. It flowed so much better because I ditched the script and talked about what I’m most passionate about. Communication. Oh the irony!

Lastly, I had a five minute ramble about the incredible people of Liverpool. A city I’ve called my adopted home for many years. The humour, the characters the inspirational women blazing a trail for the next generation.

I’m still not great at public speaking. My nerves are always shot, but once I get up there, it’s such a great experience. The Ignite Liverpool crowd is always a welcoming one that wants to see you do well.

Today I received an email about the 10th anniversary edition of Ignite Liverpool on 4th March 2020 at Leaf on Bold Street from 6pm. I’m absolute chuffed to bits to say I’ve been asked to speak at the event and already my mind has gone into overdrive as to what to choose as my subject.

Sending my huge thanks to Neil, Adrian, Dan and the team at Ignite Liverpool for the invitation and the support in helping me to combat the nerves – which have never gone away! Here’s to another 10 years of inspiring, insightful and engaging talks and presentations on the weird and wonderful.

Find out more about Ignite Liverpool and get involved by heading to and follow @igniteliv on Twitter for event updates.

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