Reflections on 2013

I knew 2013 wouldn’t be a quiet year and it’s certainly had its highs and lows. I’ve built on my learnings from 2012 but sadly have failed to make many blog posts – maybe I can correct that in 2014.

The key thing I’ve learnt is believe in yourself and remember there’s a wonderful support net of friends who are there whatever happens and can offer the right advice at the right time to point you in the right direction.

Key high points for this year have been:

– Spending time with family and friends in the USA and closer to home in the UK;

– SLA President-Elect travels, the highlight being my visit to Minneapolis in August to celebrate SLA Minnesota chapter’s 60th anniversary;

– rediscovering the joys of public speaking: tally for the year is 13 in person events and four virtual events;

– finding a new paid job (which I officially start today);

– completing 2.5km Swimathon

So my learnings from this year, all of which will help me cope with challenges of 2014, are:

– practice makes perfect, accept every opportunity to gain public speaking experience, it does get easier the more times you do it. Public speaking virtually and in person requires different approaches and preparation. It’s vital to remember to speak slowly and in an engaging tone when delivering virtual talks as the audience can’t see you and are unable to rely on body language signals.

– organisation is a vital skill to keep on top of commitments and maintain a record of achievements. I’ve found using online tools helpful this year, in particular Evernote to jot down thoughts and keep a record of reflections month by month.

– maintaining a work life balance by finding the time to get together regularly with friends and family to relax and share memorable experiences.