My first lunch, in August 2019, was the start of an incredible adventure. Since then, I’ve met another 179 strangers, built a powerful network and learned some valuable life lessons.

With every lunch, more people have heard of my journey and started following my progress – which is why I got asked to speak at the Toastmasters District 90 annual conference.

What an honour.

Before a roomful of Toastmasters in Dubbo, and many more watching over Zoom, I explained what had inspired me to have lunch with 500 strangers.

I also told the audience about the wonderfully diverse array of characters I’d met, including a:

 And I shared the five biggest life lessons I’d learned:

  • It never hurts to ask
  • Everyone has insecurities
  • The key to being a good conversationalist is to talk less
  • When you put yourself out there, people see you as a leader – and when people see you as a leader, it gives you far more credibility when you speak
  • The more positive, proactive and open-minded you are, the happier and more successful you’ll be

My appearance at the Toastmasters conference was a reflection of those final two lessons.

Meeting all these strangers and publishing stories about my lunches has been an example of putting myself out there; of being positive, proactive and open-minded. 

That, in turn, has positioned me as a leader and elevated my status – which, I’m sure, was part of the reason I was invited to speak at the conference.

I really enjoyed being able to share my story, and look forward to speaking at more events in the future.