They actually hear what I say – and they respond!
I am asked to speak at many universities across the country – and I try to accept all these speaking engagements because I think one of my primary tasks is to tell anyone who will listen, what a great industry we are all a part of – and how many wonderful opportunities exist for those who are passionate, motivated, innovative and excited about technology and the solutions it can provide.
But often when I speak to an auditorium full of young people in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, I wonder whether anyone is actually listening – or are they painfully sitting through a talk that they have been forced to attend by their faculty? The questions that follow are often an indicator of interest levels but what about those sessions where no Q&A time is allocated?
Like, for instance, when I am asked to be the Chief Guest at a University event like TechElite which was organized at NED University of Engineering and Technology a couple of days ago in Karachi. I spoke at the inaugural session for 15 – 20 minutes and a room full of young people sat there and listened (or at least I hoped they were listening!). I left the auditorium wondering if anything I had said had made an impression or even sinked in.
Then last night I had my answer. I started receiving emails from some of the kids who had been at the event – kids from NED but also some from the other universities who had been there to participate in TechElite. They asked for details regarding some of the P@SHA programs. They commented on some of the things I had said. Some of them even gave me advice on how to involve more young people. I must say I was totally floored. I thought to myself: Hey they actually listen when I am up there talking to what appears to be a sea of people … and they respond. Thanks to all those who wrote in. I am responding to each one of you individually. At least now whenever I walk into a university auditorium, I will have confidence knowing that some of you are actually interested in hearing what I have to say.
(Thanks to Kriley for the very relevant image)