I like to believe that, in some fashion and in some way, it helps at least some of the people in the room see things a little differently. My goal in meeting and speaking with people working in food manufacturing is to make a connection that not only impacts their work, but also makes a difference in their lives.
I thought the day went very well. My process when preparing to speak is to first, think about who my audience is, and then to make a particular point or recount something of notable importance that will ring true with them. There are parts of my speech that remain static, no matter who I speak to. However, I do like to change some content depending on the company and what they produce. For example, I will try to bring up a comparable instance of a similar company having a food safety issue if one applies. I also like to inject a little humor, to keep people interested or to help the listener hear what I have to say.
Apart from the person who set up the meeting, there are usually a couple people that will make a point to thank me for my time. At Kerry, I met a young man who really connected with the message, and asked me to be in a selfie with him. People who come and speak with me after, often have a particular personal experience to share.
I’m a person who never was comfortable with public speaking or talking at length, but in this case – the importance of what it means to me has gotten me over the hump of any nervousness or hesitation to speak. It’s a serious message that means a lot to me, but to truly honor my mother’s spirit I have to have a little fun with it and keep it interesting.
Support and engage people directly impacted by foodborne illness and mobilize them to help prevent illness and death by driving change through advocacy, collaboration and innovation.