The Power of us – friendship, collaboration, and best practice by Yoke van Dam

On 8-10 April groups of speakers, trainers and coaches from Southern Africa met to ideate, collaborate, and find the “Power of us” at the PSASA Annual speakers convention.

We had the best of both worlds with international speakers speaking in the room at Irene Country Lodge from South Africa, Namibia, India and Germany, while we also had virtual speakers from South Africa, Singapore, UK, US and Venice. The weekend was creative, inspirational and had the much needed in person presence we all longed for. The Gala dinner was a massive Alice in Wonderland extravaganza, including a red carpet, and a Tim Burton feel with Billy Selekane as our Mad Hatter MC. What a beautiful celebration.

Our new Captain Bruce Wade took over as President of PSASA from Charlotte Kemp and massive congratulations to the Hall of Fame inductees: Justin Cohen, Nicky Abdinor, Siphiwe Moyo, Ian Hatton and Graeme Codrington.
Some of my highlights of the weekend included:

  • Pre-con: media training by Arthur Goldstuck, Nikki Bush and Tiffany Markman. Here journalists and producers were put on the spot, to share the do’s, don’ts and horrors of media interviews.
  • Popcorn creativity by Lynn Vermaak. Lynn says as speakers we can’t rely on 1 great idea, we need to have at least 30-50 ideas per day, and she taught us techniques to re-awaken our creativity.
  • Dr Graeme Codrington interviewed 15-20 International speakers, whose 2021 was the best year they’ve ever had. Graeme’s talk included the core trends that all of the speakers in the group had. What I really enjoyed was not only the insights but also his delivery while incorporating videos into his speaking style.
  • Platform skills:
    One of the main reasons I attend a conference is to see best practice in action ranging from action packed: Justin Cohen, the energetic Pravin Shekar from India, to the graceful style of Hermien Elego from Namibia, to Uma Rudd Chia from Singapore, sharing it takes a village to raise a speaker, and who had a roaming microphone sent around the room, while she was presenting online.
    We heard business drama’s come alive from Alison Weihe, when they discovered fraud worth 10 million, while Max Mayo taught us that we are ultimately responsible for our own lives.

The weekend was wrapped up with Zulu dancers and Cobus Visser who showed us how to overcome our limiting beliefs by walking on glass.

I could see Taryn-Lee Kearney’s hand in everything as the Conference Convenor with post-it notes for note making, canvasses around the room for ideation and very creative elements throughout the weekend. Thank you, Taryn-Lee and your conference team, for an incredible convention, we will hopefully see you all at the Annual convention at Noordhoek next year.