November saw JCI Yorkshire’s Most Outstanding New Member, Hannah Woodcock, attend her first national JCI event. Here’s what she has to say about it…
It’s strange to think that just over a month ago, I was enjoying a crème brûlée at Oulton Hall, watching a fellow JCI Sheffield member tell an impromptu story about plastic bags; I’m referring to none other than the JCI National Convention 2013, held at Oulton Hall. The convention was my first national event organised by JCI, and what a fantastic experience it was!
The programme for the weekend was packed with presentations, training, a gala dinner, an awards ceremony, and more. The selected speakers, including CEO of Asda, Andy Clarke, and Digital Futurist, Mike Ryan, were extremely informative and engaging. Equally enjoyable were the workshops organised by JCI members; Derek Reilly showed us how to introduce ourselves memorably yet succinctly, while Solveig Malvik demonstrated ‘How to Walk in High Heels,’ proving the importance of poise and body posture.
In true JCI style, the national competitions for Public Speaking, Debating and Extempore were held throughout the weekend. It was great to hear many talented speakers in action, and each competition attracted a sizeable audience. While JCI Sheffield’s debating team didn’t reach the final round, we were very pleased to see Ilona win Best Debater. Extempore, or improvisational speaking, proved to be great Friday night entertainment and provided us with Mark’s tale of his (envious) plastic bag collection.
Oulton Hall was a stunning venue, particularly on the Saturday evening as we made our way to the three-course gala dinner. The Awards Ceremony was surprisingly emotional, with speeches addressed at key members, senators, and JCI UK National President 2013, Emma Eastwood. Although our table enthusiastically clapped, cheered and whooped whenever JCI Sheffield won an award, it was great to see all the worthy winners from other chambers. JCI may be divided regionally, but as this weekend highlighted, it’s a fantastically supportive network.
As you’ve probably guessed, I highly recommend attending the next National Convention and can only praise the conference team for their tremendous efforts. On the Sunday morning, a group of us not too hungover from the champagne bar attended a tree planting session at the Hall’s gardens; JCI managed to positively leave its mark at Oulton Hall, and at the risk of sounding too cliché, the convention managed to leave a great impression on me!
Categorised in: Events
This post was written by makedo