by Clive Simpkins SASHof, SdPFA
1. You’ll have a great opportunity to become part of the GSF (Global Speakers Federation) as an automatic part of your PSASA membership. You’ll also become part of the global NSA ‘family’ as a result.
2. You’ll get to meet people at all levels of expertise and stature in the world of speaking in Southern Africa and (if you attend international conventions) also around the world.
3. You’ll get to hear and meet selected international speakers and benefit from their expertise when they come to Southern Africa, which they do.
4. You’ll find a community of extraordinarily generous, open-hearted and helpful PSASA members, who will give you every assistance they can to start, develop and grow your own
speaking career.
5. You’ll develop a network of contacts and access to speaker bureaus that will extend the scope of your marketing and prospecting.
6. You’ll have the opportunity as a membership benefit, to attend regular workshops or MasterClasses run on various topics by subject matter experts.
7. You’ll be able to share in the annual PSASA Convention. – Both locally and in all International Conventions world-wide (at the going fees of course)
8. You’ll be exposed to self-publishing, audio-book, DVD production and collateral ‘product’ information that will help you grow the suite of services and products you can offer your clients.
9. You’ll be given (if you’re good enough!) the opportunity to strut your stuff in front of a critical but supportive peer group.
10. You’ll benefit from having your details on the PSASA website. Google will find you more easily.
11. Membership of the PSASA is a sought-after credential. It tells clients that you’ve signed off on a code of professionalism and conduct and that they can expect value and quality for their money.
12. If you’re a Professional member, you’ll get the international monthly CD and Speaker magazine from overseas. (valued at R100 pm)
13. It’s very likely, if you have professional skills and presentations to offer, that other members in your peer group will cross-refer you, or offer you opportunities with their own clients. Not guaranteed, but it happens very frequently.
14. If you’re a coach, a trainer, a facilitator or mentor, apart from the other membership bodies available in the RSA, there’s also a home for you in the PSASA, if a part of your business is speaking for a living. That’s the prime focus of the organization.
15. For the money-for-value membership fee you’ll pay, you couldn’t buy a decent monthly restaurant meal or even a local air ticket. So keep your expectations realistic and reasonable.
16. You will be expected to do some PSASA-benefitting presentations now and again to assist in maintaining a healthy piggy-bank so the organization can be of use to others.
17. Professional members may use the PSASA Logo on their Sites, Presentations, CV’ Web Sites etc
18. SAMRO Licensing fees to make your use of music in your presentations and training Legal
19. You get a full PSASA Speaker Web Site profile for Professional Members as part of your membership fees (worth R 200 pm commercially)
20. You will be able to apply for (once you qualify) for Professional Accreditation as a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)
Now – what should you NOT expect from PSASA membership?
This is a much shorter list than the benefits of being an PSASA member. But it’s very important to have a realistic fix on what you’re NOT going to get out of being associated with the PSASA.
1. It’s not going to act as your marketing, PR or client prospecting bureau. So don’t expect it to feed work or assignments your way, because it can’t and won’t.
2. If you’re an already-established speaker, chances are you’ll land up putting more into it than you’ll get out of it. That’s a great opportunity for you.
3. It’s our intention to grow the ‘nursery’ of junior professional speakers in Southern Africa.
4. It is NOT a training course/college for aspiring new speakers.- That’s what Toastmasters and other training organizations are for.
5. PSASA is NOT a court of Law nor is it a Forum for Dispute resolution between Members and Member Agents or members Clients – It cannot and will not become involved in any such disputes.
6. It’s not going to make you, individually, famous! That’s up to you.
7. If you’re a high-maintenance, egocentric, prima-donna who seeks recognition and adulation, then don’t expect groveling and respect. This is already an organization of talented, bright, successful people and you’ll be just one genius among many!
8. Don’t expect the PSASA to be a platform on or through which you can flog your ‘widget’, your books, your ‘schtik’ (favourite speech, keynote or presentation) or your services. That sort of thing may happen informally and tastefully but never in an explicit, vulgar manner.
9. Give up on the idea that any organization is populated by saints who will treat you with respectful diffidence. As with any other organization, we have some high-ego nutters as members. They drive us all mad. They’ll probably drive you mad, too.
10. People serving in the PSASA do so unpaid and out of the little free time they have after running demanding businesses and sometimes very demanding families! Be grateful for what they’re doing on our behalf.
11. Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said: Taking to pieces is the trade of those who cannot construct. If you can’t add value or constructively and positively contribute, then rather don’t comment at all. Bad-mouthing projects or people only demonstrates your own lack of emotional maturity and limited intellectual growth, Blunt, but true.
12. If you’re an inherent politician or by nature divisive, please don’t join. You’ll be an energy drain. Go share your amazing talents elsewhere
As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the downside (if any). So do your speaking, coaching, presenting, mentoring and training career a favour, and join. Just be sure you do so for the right reasons.
To Misquote JFK – “Ask Not what PSASA will do for you – Ask what you can do for PSASA!”