Monday 18 April 2016

A Speaker At Hellens Garden Festival!

I few months ago I had a message through my Facebook account asking if I'd be interested in giving a talk on my smallholding and lifestyle at a local garden festival. 
I met with two of the organisers shortly afterwards and once I'd given them a guide tour (with me saying "excuse the mess" about a thousand times) they decided that I'd be right to be a speaker at the festival. 
Nervously I've agreed. I haven't done any proper public speaking since I left school, so it's all going to be a bit new to me but hopefully I'll think of enough things to say. 

Anyone have any tips and ideas on what I should talk about? What have been your favourite posts of mine from the last 12 months (if any!)? 


  1. kev - i think you should do an overview of what made you start your smallhold, and the whys, and then do a general from there to where you are now. i think a lot of people would be interested in how you got to where you are now and how you started. and please - share your speaking notes here so that we can all add, correct, edit, etc.

    not saying you need correction - it's just that sometimes because we know something like the back of our hand and think that other people know the same thing - it's easy to skip small parts in speaking in front of a group. i know there are a lot of people that come to your blog, who know a lot about a lot, and can help with your speaking notes.

    congrats on being considered "expert" enough to do a teaching/speaking at this meeting.

    sending much love! your friend,

  2. Big congrats to you, I love your posts on how you involve the children in the day to day stuff and how you became a stay at home dad, I should think lots would be interested in how you juggle it all running the home, full time dad, small holding running and still working when you can, it will be great you will be great :-)

  3. Oh I don't know, if you was to do a presentation on butchering cows and birthing lambs, let alone his own son, I would not miss it. ;-)

  4. Probably shouldn't talk about killing things, they won't understand. I like all of the fruit trees and your entrance into the world of canning.

  5. Fantastic Kev, sounds a great show too, lots of interesting things going on there. I think you should do what Kymber says, a talk outlining from the start to the present day, I'm sure it'll be terrific!

  6. should always talk about your passions, talk about why you did it, what you get out of it, why you carry on doing it even when times get tough. talk about how it has changed your life, talk about things that have made you proud/your acheivements and also what's happened that you weren't expecting, give insight that people with rose tinted glasses on might not have considered before they jump in at the deep end. but most of all just be yourself and tell it how it is, I'm sure they'll love it as much as we all enjoy reading your posts

  7. I think I agree with the letter regarding taking an overview of why you started and what keeps you going. Definitely mention the fact that you are also a home father and a support for your wife. I love the canning and cooking, also anything to do with live animals (I am a total meat eating coward when it comes to slaughter!) although I realise it is a huge part of animal rearing. Try to do a few dry runs with a tape recorder and a small audience (your wife). It is surprising humbling hearing yourself. Good luck you will do just fine. Deep breath and get on with it. Love Andie xxx

  8. Hi Kev, having read quickly what others are talking about, I can see that Sarah/compost woman is talking about canning. Maybe leave that out.

    How long do you have to talk? Leave approx 10 minutes at the end for questions. Always build that in. Are you allowed to have pictures? i.e. will there be a computer with a projector and screen? Use power point for the pictures it makes it easier as you only have to click.

    You can use thepictures as prompts. Real pictures from your blog, will add interest and direct their thinking. Put the blog address on the picture, under a very brief caption. You want people to listen to you and not be spending ages looking at the picture, trying to read, searching their bag for glasses.

    For 20 minutes talking (trust me once you get going this wont feel long but you will be bricking it at the beginning.), for this you want maybe 1 slide every 2 minutes. Gives you time to talk about it and elaborate. If you arent well versed in public speaking you will faff with the computer more than talking.

    Have a welcome slide. With maybe a picture of yourself and the girls. Be very direct. Start with your welcome. And then straight away, say you will have questions at the end. Else people will put their hands up and you will feel like you have to answer, you will lose where you are and go off on a tangent. Your 3 end slides, should be your Thank You, with your picture and your blog name. And then a picture of you again, with some thing written on it like

    Kev Alviti

    This will give people a chance to take a picture of your slide to find you and your blog.

    Be sure to tell people you are a carpenter, and have a huge stack of leaflets for this and your business card. Promote yourself at the same time.

    Ok, enough of that bit.

    What I love about your blog is that I really feel what you are saying, the good, the bad, the ugly.

    So, I say start at the beginning. About growing up on the farm, how it has influenced your life. And the bit I am really interested in, is how people find the property to starting to homestead. What things you did immediately to the land. Veg or chickens. something like that.

    Dont put your talk or slides on the blog until after the talk. Your blog address is on the advert for the speakers. it will ruin it for paying customers. Email it to trusted people and have others spell check the heck out of it.

    I also agree with Sunny Brook Farm, dont talk about killing any pest or slaughtering. If you are drawn into lambing, and asked about your ewes, only say you lost a ewe this year. Lots of people want to be a small holder, not many get past the thought and the day dream of it and would be vegetarian, if meat didnt come in plastic boxes in the supermarket.

  9. Forgot to say good luck. and when I said girls I meant your wife as well!

  10. Thanks to everyone for their advice and I'll certainly be taking it on board. I'm planning on roping in some friends to do a test talk on once I've roughed out what I'm doing.
    The talk is to be 40 minutes long so quite an undertaking. I'm going to start planning it out a little bit each night from here on in.

  11. Kev I have been at hellens from the very first garden festival and spoken at them all and done the whole weekend doing my stuff. They are lovely and the audience is so friendly and keen to learn. Trust me, you will go down a treat :) Just talk about what you know - your life - from your heart and they will love you :)

  12. And if you want to talk about canning - I will just touch on it and point them to you because you have actually done more than me I think - I do more dehydration and cider/cordial/juicing/jam/chutney/freezing/fruit vodkas etc so am happy to leave canning to you! I have an hour so a lot to get through so happy to share topics - email me and we can discuss?

  13. I do a lot of workshops and talks as part of my work side ( I use powerpoint but mainly pictures (from my blog and work site) and I use the notes bit to give me an aide memoire for what I want to say - the public don't see them and I mainly use it to keep me on time, as I know what I want to say :) It is about my life, after all :)

    And I would avoid the real life harsh stuff tbh. people do find the day to day stuff about killing stock upsetting - so maybe skip over the harder stuff a bit. If you want me to read it through I am happy to help :)


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