The EBS 60 Second Interview – George Metcalfe
Keen biker George Metcalfe is an energetic 78 year old business and life coach and Princes Trust mentor who connects with his clients and the world via Skype from the comfortable, computerised, carpeted, shed he built at the top of his garden overlooking hills and lakes just outside Canterbury to where he and his wife, Lillian moved from London in September 2013. Previously George owned an international public relations business advising corporate clients, foreign governments, Hollywood stars and the music industry. When he was young he wrote and presented his own children’s television programme.
He has written several books and now is now campaigning to become a Conservative district councillor on the Canterbury City Council. Previously in London he spent eight years on the Westminster City Council. He has four grown-up children and five grandchildren and continues to grow old extremely disgracefully.
What brought you to EBS?
I was recruited by the wonderful Hillary Briggs
Was it everything you expected?
How long were you a member of our club and why did you leave?
I was a founder member of Early Birds Speakers and cannot remember the year that started. Had to resign sadly when we sold our house in London and moved down to Canterbury in September 2013.
Did you have any expectations before you came?
No. But I thought it would be fun and that I would learn a lot from it.
Were your expectations fulfilled?
Yes. But much more so was the amazing friendships that I made, the confirmation that fellow Toastmasters are wonderfully generous supportive and knowledgeable people.
What surprised you most about EBS?
I was pleased that Early Birds meetings were in the early morning. I was delighted rather than surprised to see the brilliant strides made by other people in public speaking.. What was very special was (and is) the dynamic management team under a succession of excelent presdients who amde things happen so efficiently.
What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
Not to take anything for granted.
What is special about EBS?
The people, the fun, the joy, the welcome, the perennial friendships which will last long after my membership of Early Birds. The amusing breakfasts and the other social programmes.
What did you like best about coming to our Club?
It was the pleasure of meeting old friends and making new friends and trying to stand up to the challenges of the Toastmasters programme. It was also great fun helping and encouraging other people. In my previous existence I had done quite a lot of public speaking, seminars, radio and television and it was nice to share some of these experiences with other people.
What did your friends and family say about you since you joined?
They continued to love me!
How had becoming a member of EBS affected you/ your life?
More than anything else I think it’s the friendships.
What was your biggest fear before you came?
I am pretty scared of being utterly boring. When you are old you tend to repeat stuff ad nauseam and become a boring old fart.
Is that still your biggest fear?
I guess so
How does public speaking impact your life?
I do quite a lot of public speaking and I would be deluding myself if I did not admit that my experience with Early Birds has improved my ability to communicate and sensitivity to talk to audiences.
Is there anything else you would rather be doing on a Thursday morning?
It’s too bad that I live in Canterbury but from time to time if I happen to be in London the day before and can stay with one of my daughters nothing gives me more pleasure than to attend an Early Bird meeting at 7 AM on a Thursday.