Reflecting on my past year’s public speaking journey and contributing to the Microsoft 365 community feels like reminiscing about a thrilling rollercoaster ride. It all began in February last year when I had the opportunity to speak at my first event. Despite my nerves, I knew that stepping onto that stage was a crucial step forward.

The audience was filled with people who gave me this chance and provided invaluable feedback. For anyone new to public speaking, I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking feedback from experienced individuals. Their insights can guide and improve your journey significantly.

That February marked the beginning of an exhilarating year for me. Public speaking and community contributions took me to places I had never been, such as New York, Helsinki, Warsaw, and many more. Beyond the travel and new experiences, I met countless amazing people, many of whom I now consider friends. The Microsoft 365 community is incredibly welcoming and supportive, and my advice to anyone interested is simple: “If you want to participate, just do it.”

This journey also inspired me to start my blog, where I could share my knowledge and insights on various platforms, not just through speaking engagements. Blogging has become a significant part of what I do, allowing me to reach a broader audience and delve deeper into topics I am passionate about.

Additionally, I ventured into podcasting. Unlike deeply technical podcasts, mine focuses on the broader steps in a technical process, such as brainstorming, testing, and discussing the merits of buying versus developing tools. This has allowed me to explore and share the more human side of technology and its development.

My involvement in the community didn’t stop there. I was invited to participate in an adoption quiz and featured as a guest on various podcasts. These experiences broadened my horizons and allowed me to connect with even more community members.

However, the pinnacle of my journey came in March 2024 when I received an email informing me that I had been recognized as a Microsoft MVP. The feeling of being accepted into the program was indescribable. In just a year, I transformed from feeling insecure and questioning my capabilities to being honoured as an MVP.

This journey taught me much about myself, helped me discover new places, and forged new friendships. It has been a remarkable adventure, and I look forward to continuing to contribute, learn, and grow within this amazing community.

Door Anouck

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