28 February 2023, Johannesburg – In celebration of the inspiring work carried out by professional speakers across the globe, the 17 member organisations of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) will shortly mark a new worldwide day: Professional Speakers Celebration Day. The day takes place on 14 March 2023, which is known as “Pi Day” because of its 3.14 numerical representation.
What is the connection between pi and professional speakers? Cavett Robert, co-founder of the National Speakers Association (NSA), saw it clearly, saying upon formation of the NSA: “Don’t worry about how we [professional speakers] divide up the pie. There is enough for everybody. Let’s just make a bigger pie!”
Charlotte Kemp, President-Elect of the GSF, explains, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a phenomenal sharing of knowledge and raising of skills and practice amongst speakers across the globe.”
In this spirit, professional speakers now look forward to signalling, loudly and proudly, that the speaking profession is strong and growing and, perhaps more importantly, that there is enough room for talent of all types.
This comes even after the pandemic levelled live performance-related industries, but also forced speakers and event organisers to embrace new speaking technologies. Notwithstanding the considerable challenges, these technologies made it easier for valuable messages and teachings to reach larger, more diverse audiences.
In Southern Africa, the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) intends to use Professional Speakers Celebration Day to highlight the skill, knowledge, and experience of professional speakers, coaches, trainers and facilitators from across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
The PSASA will also highlight:
• Its 6 core values: Confidence, Competence, Courage, Celebration, Collaboration, Community
• Its 10 speaking competencies: Niche, Positioning, Structure, Business Model/Deal Closure, Personal Influence, Vocal Skills, Stage Craft, Audience Engagement, Technology
• Its 4 main membership types:
o Professional Members (those who have designed speaking businesses and earn their primary income from related products)
o Associate Members (early-stage speakers beginning their careers and intending to build speaking businesses in time)
o Affiliate Members (professionals, leaders and businesspeople who use speaking in their work but are not professional speakers)
o Student Members (young speakers, aged 18 to 25, who are on a professional career path and want to develop their speaking skills)
Says Bruce Wade, President of the PSASA, “In the shared worldwide celebration of Professional Speakers Celebration Day, we can strengthen the global speaking community, build relationships across borders, and create a more inclusive, inspiring future for all. We, the 17 member organisations of the GSF, call on the industry to come together on 14 March, to honour the inspiring work of professional speakers and to create awareness of the quality of the events space in the region.”
There are approximately 200 PSASA members at present, comprising a large community of speakers, trainers, facilitators and coaches. Fourteen of these have achieved the elite international Certified Professional Speaker (CSP) accreditation. Three are Global Speaking Fellows, having achieved their CSP and spoken at a significant number of events in different regions of the world. These veterans demonstrate – and generously share – business acumen, specialised knowledge, and their mastery of key competencies unique to global markets.
The global public speaking market is expected to reach $9.6 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, while in the United States, the speaking industry is estimated to be worth over $2 billion per year, per the NSA.
“Southern Africa’s professional speaking industry is comparatively small, but there are significant opportunities for growth and development, particularly as the region continues to embrace emerging technologies and adapt to changing circumstances,” says Tsitsi Mutendi, PSASA’S Deputy President.
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Professional Member, PSASA
Speaker, Trainer, Writer