WHERE IT ALL STARTED
I have always felt that allowing others to tell me what I can and can’t do, to be rather wrong. As a child, I was known for being “headstrong” and as a grew I knew in my heart that I had the ultimate authority.
Over the period of the Covid 19 pandemic and the ensuing social restrictions, I was lucky enough to be visiting Sweden for a major part of 2020, returning to England in August 2020 to a rather depressingly restricted and “locked down” country.
Lots of research and personal experience told me that the responses of Governments were more about control than protecting the health of the nation. Mask wearing is something that I don’t do as it adds an unwanted separation from our fellow men and women creating an artificial division in society and this is where my path to sovereign status began.
On 25th July 2021 I had an appointment to attend an MRI scan at Northampton General Hospital. I was unsure exactly where in the grounds the MRI department was and so I made my way to the main entrance. About five weeks prior to this appointment I had spent a week on the surgical ward due to a rather nasty gall bladder and liver infection caused by gall stones. Only on a rare occasion did I put on a mask, totalling maybe 2 hours from the whole 8 days. The clinical staff were not concerned about me not wearing a mask and indeed none of the other patients wore masks much either. Clearly, it’s not a big cause of concern for people not to wear a mask, so imagine my surprise that as I approached the main entrance of the hospital on 25th July, I was asked by a “security guard” if I had a mask. I told him that I did not wear masks and continued into the hospital. I was followed by that security guard all the time asking the same question about a mask and eventually demanding that I wore a mask inside the hospital. When I refused to interact with him further he “ordered” the receptionist not to give me direction to the MRI and then called for “backup”. further 2 security guards arrived and although I ignored them they insisted on blocking my way into the hospital and eventually physically assaulted me, picked me up and transported me to the outside of the hospital and told me that I was trespassing!
I could hardly believe what was happening, being denied a pre-arranged medical appointment at a hospital by little more than thugs and bullies. I had the presence of mind to photograph these bullies as they refused to give me their names or show me any identification.
This incident lead me to complain about the treatment I had received and to start doing some research about discriminatory treatment and what my recourse could and should be. I quickly found that complaining lead me round in circles being passed between the PALS (patient access liaison service) and the complaints department each telling me it was the other department I needed.
More research lead me to find the Sovereign Project website and facebook group and to start to understand what my real rights are in cases like this. I am sovereign and if there is no victim, then there is no crime. not wearing a mask does not in and of itself create harm to anyone and does not cause there to be a victim. So what was I to do? I learned that the way to progress this was to avoid using any “complaints procedure” as that would put me firmly in THEIR jurisdiction, but to pursue a lawful remedy through sending a “Notice” to the CEO of the hospital trust by name. It’s taken a while to learn the right approach and to better comprehend the process of a lawful notice but I have sent a notice on 27th September 2021 giving the man that acts as the CEO of the hospital trust 30 days to respond. I am requiring the names and employment status of the 3 men who prevented me from entering the hospital and made the CEO aware that he is vicariously liable for their actions if they are employed by the hospital trust or represent the hospital trust. It is now 23rd October 2021 and as yet I have had no response. I this is still the case once the 30 days are up then I shall be issuing a further notice of claim against the man that is acting as the CEO. It’s important to note that I will be seeking remedy from the man rather than the CEO of the Hospital so it will be his personal and private responsibility and not one where he can hide behind the corporate structure of the Hospital Trust. Ultimately, I could seize property belonging to the man, or place a lien on his house.
It’s a very interesting process and a great deal of learning to do. I am grateful to all the people in the Sovereign Fraternity Facebook Group who have been a very useful font of knowledge, especially pete: stone who set up The Sovereign Project.
It was around 2011 when I first delivered any type of public presentation in a business sense. I’d been providing SEO for small business for a couple of years and was offered the opportunity to speak to a small group of local business people so that I could start to develop a profile for being the “local expert” within the business community.
That first presentation felt seriously good and I was walking on air when I’d finished and got a load of great feedback from the six or seven business people in the room.
Something troubled me though, and after a few days, I started to realise that I could have delivered a talk or workshop with so much more confidence. I’ve always been very self-critical with the ability to review my own performance and note many of the failings that maybe others would have seen too. I knew that I needed to improve if I was to continue to deliver public talks and training session, which is something I also knew that I would love to do more often.
A few weeks after that initial presentation / workshop, I was chatting to another local business person at a networking group and she mentioned that if I wanted to improve on public presentations then I should go along to a Toastmasters Speaking Club. She was a member of the Brghton and Hove Speakers Club and would be very happy to introduce me to the club. I was curious about how this would work and agreed to go along to the next meeting.
Toastmasters is a great place to develop and hone the skills needed to deliver a great presentation to an audience and over the next 5 years to 2016 I learned the skills needed to progress to what is known in Toastmasters as a “Competent Communicator”.
After a five year break from Toastmasters due to a massive lifestyle change that had me travelling around the UK adn all over Europe in a motorhome, I have now decided to settle down a bit and reenter Toastmasters and join the Northampton Speakers Club, currently running meetings every 2 weeks on Zoom.
I’ll be a fully paid up member starting from April 1st 2021 and will begin my journey along the Pathways Education program in order to continue to develop and home the skill to deliver great speeches to a public audience.
My aim is to eventually be good enough to deliver an impactful speech to a TedX Audience and to start getting paid as a public speaker.
I’m documenting my journey on the Toastmasters Pathways program through this blog and through a Podcast that I have just started to publish on Anchor.
You’re thinking about creating a podcast or have made a few already. Your mind probably wonders how you can make your podcast as popular as some of those you listen to, that seem to have thousands of downloads or millions of listeners.
Maybe you’re thinking “if only I had a better microphone” or “I wish my voice sounded better”, those things really are not all that important when you start out producing your podcast.
Your listeners and potential listening audience need to feel engaged and involved in your conversation. Feeling like they’re involved keeps people listening, helps with interaction, and keeps people coming back for more episodes. But how do you create that feeling for your audience?
Put simply, you need to tell stories that your audience can relate to; stories that your listeners feel that they could be telling. Situations that they’ve maybe seen or experienced first hand.
Creating some excitement and energy in the podcast by the use of your voice tonality, volume, and variety of expression.
When my children were young and I read them stories during the day time, I’d try to make to book exciting and add character voices at appropriate times, this made them want more!
However, if I read a bedtime story, I’d really want them to fall asleep so I wold change the way I read those stories to a smooth, calming and quite monotone voice. Essentially, making the story as boring as possible.
Do you listen to podcasts and audiobooks? If you do you’ll know that some are really interesting and engaging while others can send you to sleep.
Things to avoid
It’s all too easy to slip into that monotone way of speaking especially when you’re not getting live feedback from your audience. This monotone voice is to be avoided at all costs as it will certainly have you audience switching off and never coming back, leaving your podcast among the crowded backwaters of audio presentations.
Another thing that’ll have your audience running for the hills is too much tech talk that is not converted into plain english for all to understand. Part of that is the use of TLAs or Three Letter Acronyms, of course not all acronyms are limited to three letters so avoid all acronyms unless you are following them up in that same sentence with the full description. If you’re using an acronym a lot throughout your podcast consider explaining what it means a few times so people can make sense of what you’re saying without having to look it up externally to your podcast.
Things to do
Making your podcast interesting and, importantly, sharable can be easy but it takes practice. Try thesse things in your next podcast audio presentation:
- Vocal Variety (tone, speed, and volume)
- Change in volume of your voice (both louder and softer)
- Add interest by maybe whispering into the mic (get closer to the mic)
- Add more energy into your voice
- Get excited about the subject
try these things and compare your recording with a previous recording and I’m sure that you will notice the difference. You’ll also notice the difference in your listenership.
What about sharing
Most people will be happy to share your podcast with their contacts who they think would benefit. However, most will not think about sharing your podcast so you’ll need to ask them to do it. Provide easy ways to share and guide your audience to the click to share buttons.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed and gained something from this short article and overview. Please do share it with your contacts 🙂