A bigger room was required for the last meeting of the Johannesburg chapter of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) due to the number of members and guests in attendance. It may have had something to do with the keynote speakers that were lined up and the topics that they were covering. Speaking and training veterans Paul du Toit and Jacques de Villiers served up many helpful insights and trend explanations. The meeting opened with chapter President Ian Bratt welcoming everyone, before Gavin Novis hosted the table discussion around taboo topics that attendees stay away from in conversations. Jacques de Villiers then took to the stage with his talk entitled ‘Digital marketing tools for generating more leads for your speaking business’. As the name suggests, he offered up suggestions of online tools that business professionals can utilise to attract more customers and make the business process easier and more efficient. He also offered up these tips, which even though were aimed specifically at speakers, can be applied to any business:
- Have a website, which you have optimised so that it is the only port of call for customers (you don’t want them going anywhere else or being redirected to other places)
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people, along with your offerings via multiple channels
- Automation is a very useful way to keep your business’ presence out there (there are multiple tools online that can be used)
- Measure everything that you post online to see how it performs. It’ll give you an idea of the type of content that works and doesn’t work with your audience.
Paul du Toit was the second presenter and he gave some advice on how speakers can avoid the most common pitfalls of their profession. He pointed to three key elements of a presentation that keep an audience engaged and interested; your voice, body language, and eye contact. He also advised that speakers need to find out who they are speaking to, have a clear objective of what they want their content to do, both during and after their presentation, and roadmap their speech with each stop on the journey being concise and precise. Here are some pictures from the event: