Let’s Talk about Sex…

I am very excited to share that on behalf of SERC (Sexuality Education Resource Centre MB) I have been invited to be a part of an innovative program called Fast Pitch, whose goal is to help non-profits develop new skills and resources.

The Winnipeg Foundation’s Fast Pitch is a three-month coaching program to help build the capacity of, and create visibility for, Winnipeg’s charitable sector. Fast Pitch is part of an international movement that helps organizations create powerful, high-energy cases of support, delivered in three minutes or less! Through Fast Pitch, leaders from local charitable organizations will learn how to tell their organization’s story, succinctly and powerfully. The coaching process will also help build valuable relationships with members of Winnipeg’s legal, financial and business communities. The program culminates in a Showcase where finalists compete for $20,000 (from The Winnipeg Foundation Fast Pitch Application).

This week I and my fellow presenters spent a full day in a type of boot camp with Avnish Mehta of Stand and Command, as well as an additional half day together with our coaches. I have been assigned the brilliant Alanna Keefe of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba and Michael Silicz with National Bank Financial.

Alanna Keefe of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, myself, and Michael Silicz with National Bank Financial.

During the full day with Avnish we spent a great deal of time considering our presentation style, and how this connects to our story within the organization.   Early in the day we watched the TED Talk by Simon Sinek which focuses on the idea that people do not support your what or how, but the why. Ask yourself: why do you do this work? why does it matter? Where your inspiration comes from is what inspires others.

This leads me to where I started. I have spent a great deal of time in the last 48 hours considering what my “why” is.   Why am I passionate about sexual health? Alanna asked me this very question yesterday and though I imagine I have many reasons, what came out is that I have always wanted to talk about the things that no one seems to want to talk about. When I look back on my life I see this as a hallmark of my personality– much to my mother’s chagrin, I lived to challenge taboos, stigma, the things that we dare not say.

Alanna perceptively asked me why it is that I have such a strong drive to create open communication on these topics.   As I considered this while we sat listening to our speaker, I passed her a quick note with my response; it read, “it is because the things that we don’t talk about are often the most important, and it is dangerous for society to avoid talking about them.”

And so I want to talk about sex, just like that famous tune from my younger bar-hopping years. Let’s talk about all the good things, and the bad things, that may be. Let’s talk about sex. Utilizing the Stand and Command advice, I know that I now have to construct a three minute story that entwines that of my organization with myself, with my “why”, to explain not only why I believe we must talk about sex, but help others believe it too.   It’s a tall order, but I think I am up to the task.

For more information on Fast Pitch in Winnipeg please visit the Winnipeg Foundation http://www.wpgfdn.org/FoundationInitiatives/CommunityLeadership/FastPitch.aspx#1315194-2016-organizationspresenters . Mark your calendars to get tickets to the public finals on April 7th 7-9pm at the Met, where you can see my final product (if I make it through the semifinals- fingers crossed).

I also encourage you to check out the Fast Pitch Calgary website http://www.fastpitchcalgary.com/ to see previous events and pitches. If you are like me you will greatly enjoy the one we watched by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre, which starts with an inspiring ode to the economic impact of vibrators…