Speak Confidently, Present Competently

About Dan Howden

Hello!

So, you want a bit of background about me.  Well, that’s fair enough.  Of course you don’t know me, and you’d like to understand a little more about my motivation, my background, am I trustworthy, and perhaps most of all why you should listen to me.  Read on…..

The Formal Side

I’m not big on titles.  I believe people can be brilliant regardless of the letters after (or before) their name or how many certificates they have.  I’m not that old, but I’ve been around a bit and I’ve met plenty of idiots with qualifications, and plenty of fabulous individuals who have “just” been to the university of life.  I take people as I find them, regardless of their academic background, and I think you should too.

That said, if you are interested (I am happy to tell too), my full titles are……..

  • drs Daniel Howden BSc MSc MBA
  • BSc Computing Science (Thesis “Virtual Reality on a Budget” awarded First Class distinction)
  • Doctorandus/MSc General Management (graduated first in class, awarded “cum laude” distinction)
  • MBA Master of Business Administration

….but to most folks I am just “Dan”, and that’s they way I like it.

Public Speaking

I have been speaking in public for 15+years, and helping other people overcome their fear of public speaking for 11 years.

I always enjoyed public speaking, even at school and before I knew what public speaking was.  I wasn’t (and am not) brash, but I certainly shared my opinions with others from an early age.

At university I participated in multiple study groups and I was pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback I received about the way  I explained technical concepts to others.  I love technical and geeky subjects, but I like them even more if I can explain them to others in an easily understandable way.  I like bringing people and technology together.  One of the speaking highlights for my first degree was giving my thesis presentation.  I was nervous, but it went extremely well and absolutely influenced my view of the positive effects that clear communication of subject matter expertise can have.

During my Doctorandus/Masters education I was Chairman of the University debating society, and I truly believe  debates are one of the best opportunities for improving your public speaking skills. Effective debating is a combination of preparation, thinking on your feet, and chutzpah. When you get it right you feel on top of the world.  Debate is a more advanced level of public speaking, but it is worth watching if you get the chance.

I co-created and co-founded the Amsterdam Toastmasters club , and I am thrilled to see that a whole new generation of public speaking enthusiasts are running the club so well at the moment.

I am a European public speaking champion.  Now that was quite a day, and honestly there are few better feelings in world of public speaking than competing and winning at those levels.  I will compete again, but I get immense pleasure out of giving advice and guidance, and that is where my public speaking focus is in this phase of my speaking career.

Professional Life

I was fascinated with technology and the power of computing from a very young age.  My father introduced me to computers, and I was lucky to have teachers at all my schools who nurtured that fascination.

I think I add value when business people and technology people need to work together.  When both sides operate cooperatively and at their best,  you have a powerful business that can achieve greatness.  That is what I strive for.  I have been a technology professional for more than 15 years, delivering large technology projects in various blue chip companies.

Today I am a partner in a Technology Services consulting company.  Our company fills the niche between the core business of large corporations (typically banks) and their internal/external technology providers.  We make sure the technology providers deliver what the core business  needs.  I love my work.

Hobbies / Interests

Family first.  🙂  I have a terrific family, and they keep me busily (and happily) engaged most of the time. My extended family and friends aren’t bad either!

 

More materially, classic sports cars rather take my fancy.

I am fascinated by mechanical watch movements of any classic brand, but for one reason or another I feel particularly drawn to vintage Omegas.  Plain dials please!

I utterly adore returning to my old school to help the new generation of young adults appreciate how much potential they have.

…and of course http://abcspeakingskills.com takes up more than a few minutes of my time too.

I know I am exceptionally lucky, and I want to make sure I give back something useful to everyone else.