#upfront conversation with Susan Reid

I first met Susan when she volunteered to be #upfront at the Women Making Scotland conference in June 2016. 

Susan is the Founder and Owner of Susan Reid Collection.  She launched the business in November 2003 which was one of the first sales & marketing representation companies in the hospitality industry to be launched in Scotland. She offers sales & marketing representation to privately owned hospitality businesses in Scotland and works directly with owners who are either new to the industry or are hands on in the business and do not have the time for the sales and marketing.  

I was thrilled to share my stage with Susan and here's what she has to say about her experience of being #upfront... 

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I wanted to be #upfront to build my confidence around being on stage. This was perfect because I could find that confidence whilst having the safety of someone else presenting.  I wanted to develop my skills and confidence because even though I regularly present to my clients I wouldn't be likely to put myself forward to speak at a conference.

The whole experience of being on stage at the Women Making Scotland really boosted my confidence as a person and also built on the brand of my business and allowed me to receive feedback from the business market and clients.

I was a little nervous at first due to being in front of a large audience on stage with people I have never met before.  I focused all my attention on the speaker presenting and then dared to glance at the audience. As soon as I relaxed into it I actually enjoyed it. 

When I finally looked at the audience they were nowhere near as scary as I’d imagined. At first it was difficult to see due to the bright lights but it wasn’t as intimidating as I had imagined it to be.

I didn't speak when I was invited to because I still think if I had asked a question it might have sounded stupid to the audience. Now I'm working towards having the confidence to ask questions and speak up.  I also realised that if it had been me presenting I would have felt more at ease with others on the stage. It would be less lonely and more interactive.

I hope #upfront encourages more conferences and presentations to use this technique because at the very least it changes the dynamic of the entire day and makes it feel more interactive.

Being upfront allowed me to see the stage was not too daunting and actually giving a talk on stage is something that I could do one day

I have an event(s) I am running in September and I want to be the lead. I want to introduce the speaker and hopefully also facilitate the question and answer session.  This is something I don't think I would have pushed myself to do before I was #upfront. Go #upfront if you get the chance. I was very quick to volunteer without thinking too much about it and I'm so glad I did as I now I just want to push myself to do even more.