Me on stage in front of lots of French people !
It’s January 2019.
I went from my home in London to Vincennes, France (which is in the suburbs of Paris) for a two day cycle touring festival called “Voyage a Velo” organised by Cyclo Camping International. I participated in this festival on the Sunday at 2pm french time, by presenting one of my YouTube videos (London to Cork) that was narrated in french, in front of a few hundred people. I’m not sure exactly how many people were there but it was a big audience. The website said the hall holds up to 800 people when full, which it was basically but one of the organisers said 550 people. So I was left unsure how many were there. But either way there was a lot of people. I was worrying about showing the video for a while due to anxiety, so I’m proud of myself for presenting the video and answering questions. And it was nowhere near as daunting as I had imagined.
I was asked a few questions on the stage by the presenter who I couldn’t understand very well. And then a few questions were asked by the audience.
E.g. how easy it was to wild camp, any future projects (cycle trips), how hilly the route was, when did you cycle this? How many days and a confusing question relating to french laws being different to UK laws on cycling bridleways.
Two other people (both French) presented their videos at the same session as mine. I couldn’t understand anything that was being said by them due to the lack of french that I speak. One of the presenters done a picture film on Morocco, a lot of photos being of the local people he met. The other presenter had an interesting video on India which I enjoyed the pictures and video clips of.
I spoke with the man that cycled in Morocco, he was a nice guy.
I had three lots of applause once after the film, once after I said merci to a compliment (which I think the crowd then thought I was finishing) and then once as I was walking off the stage.
At the end of the three projections I left the building and had a few people approach me saying they liked the film / and asking questions. I preferred these questions – as I wasn’t speaking in front of hundreds.
I didn’t want to pay for too many films in advance as I feared I wouldn’t understand anything being said. Therefore I only bought the ticket for my session. And only saw three films of the 15 or so that were being shown
I also had to give advice on Britain and Ireland in a separate room to a few people. This was called points-recontrs. Lots of questions were being asked about Scotland and unfortunately I haven’t done any cycling in Scotland (only cycled to the border) so that made it difficult to answer them. I also made a comment about the legislation of wild camping by saying it is against by-laws which was not liked.
I had never heard of this festival before and I would never have gone if I wasn’t invited due to it being far away from my home. I potentially would go again if I was invited again.
Edit: Also, what I found interesting was everyone that I spoke to at the festival and in emails refereed to my video as a “film”, which to me, make it sound more professional. I was just recording on an old Samsung phone and a GoPro that wasn’t even the latest generation. To me that was a compliment 🙂
Screenshot from CCI website about my London to Cork Video – in French
Video (Without the French narration);
A souvenir from the festival: