PSASA - Editor Nikki Bush

Nikki Bush – Editor, Speak for a Change

Despite the fact that we live on the Southern-most tip of Africa, miles from any other speakers associations, professional speakers have many tools at their disposal.  How we use them, or commit to using them is entirely up to us.  Let’s take a look at the list:
The Annual Convention has a hidden curriculum – have you noticed?
Always a great place to meet up with people you may not have seen in a long time and to be exposed to new and fresh ideas.  For people who spend their lives on the conference circuit, it can be hard to impress speakers at their own industry conference.  I have come to the conclusion that in listening to the best and worst of presentations, there is always a lesson or a message that you can take away, even if it is a reminder of what not to do!
I hope the recent convention flicked a switch for you in some way, shape or form. I have to say that what I really experienced this year, and perhaps it is because I am a founding member of the PSASA so have been around for a while now, is that the delegates themselves are ‘the hidden curriculum’ at the conference, in addition to the actual conference programme itself.  It is often in the sharing of a thought or idea, or a throw away comment from another speaker, that we are challenged to see ourselves differently, or to approach our own business in a new way.
Monthly Chapter Meetings – A Connection Point
As a parenting speaker, it has been challenging to attend chapter meetings regularly, as many of my speaking engagements take place at night at schools or with various parent groups.  Being a busy working mum, there are also times when I have to draw the line and say, “no more evenings for this week!”.  However, the meetings I do attend increasingly yield interesting results, and perhaps this is the adventure attached to attending meetings versus attending just to be entertained and educated.
As an example, last year I listened to Allon Raiz at a Jhb chapter meeting and this has resulted in the two of us collaborating on a book about entrepreneurship for parents – a lovely unexpected surprise.  Putting yourself out there, networking, getting to know what other speakers do for a living, and sharing with them what you do, enables you to cross-market each other.  In the past few weeks I have found myself passing on leads to other PSASA members because I have come to know them and their work better.  Diarise your next chapter meeting in advance.
VOE and Speaker Magazine – Lots of food for thought
Professional members receive a copy of Speaker magazine each month which includes a CD called VOE (Voices of Experience).  Over the past couple of years of receiving it, I have to conclude that it is a real value add for a professional speaker. The articles are packed full of insights and practical advice. I read it from cover to cover and often find myself going through the magazine with a highlighter.  I usually listen to the CD in the car and then wish I was listening somewhere with a pen and paper handy, because these interviews pack a real punch. There is always something that can lead you to take action to improve your business.  Professional member, Jurgen Tietz highlights a recent example of Sally Hogshead beings interviewed on being fascinating.  You can watch a great Youtube video from Sally on innovation, marketing and how to fascinate, by clicking here, and don’t say you didn’t learning something!
These are created from time-to-time to help speakers with a specific issue such as writing a book and next week, how to run a webinar. How many of us have considered taking steps in this direction – books or webinars – but have been trapped by our own fears of inadequacy or just not knowing the ropes?  I probably will never run a webinar if I don’t personally ‘attend’ one to get the feel of what it’s like, first hand.  The SIG next week on the topic of webinars is designed to do just this, and it’s for free!  Click here for more details
Of course there are many other tools at your disposal, but think we had better stop here for now!  Feel free to drop me a line about any other tools that you have found really beneficial