Closed mouths don’t get fed… that was my take home from the August Jo’burg PSASA event.
Speaker Ntsiki Mkhize, founder of MentHer and founding editor of MentHer Magazine, graced us with her experience and wisdom in her talk “Building Your Speaker Business Through Mentworking.” It helped us unpack the next season of our lives and how we can harness the power of mentorship to build our speaker careers.
As Ntsiki stepped into FotoZA, our stunning new venue in Rosebank, she brought with her a grace and style which made it easy to see why she is a former Miss South Africa 2nd Princess.
As our honoured guest speaker, she was the first to step in front of the lens to get her photos taken by Linda. Professional speakers know the value of a strong and professional presence in any form of media. With this in mind, the Joburg chapter makes this more accessible to our members. As attendees sipped their favourite wine or cappuccinos and nibbled on quick after work savoury treats, they were unaware that their version of networking at events was about to take a dramatic shift.
Ntsiki shared milestones in a career, which is liberally speckled with dazzling opportunities, some of which would make the average speaker green with envy. But in her talk, she also shared that these opportunities came her way only because she had the courage to ask. She extended her vibrant generosity to the group in the second half of the talk as she started the workshop component of the evening.
Ntsiki’s talk, and workshop opened our eyes to the possibilities in front of us. Some of those opportunities were being unknowingly curated by the very people in the room we were sitting in. But we never knew about them because our lively chit chat was akin to the first steps a baby takes. We are all just stumbling around, unaware of the power that lies in our relationships.
It was a hard lesson for many speakers who have been struggling to build a speaker’s career. Through the course of the evening, we came to realise that the very person who could help them with their journey was sitting in the room. Perhaps that very same person may even have attended multiple events with them and we never knew how they could help us.
Ntsiki posed a question, “Who has my money?” There are people in our lives who either have an opportunity for you or know of someone who can help you progress your career. We often hear how your network is your networth. But many of us don’t know how to extract that power. That is why I quoted Ntsiki in the opening line of this article, “Closed mouths don’t get fed,” because you have to ask to “get.”
Guests who attended the event and who rated her talk on Speakerscore, Ntiski got a free “As I Am, Purpose Planner”. My favourite quote in the planner is “Success doesn’t happen by accident, it requires time, focus, energy and a decent game plan.”’
Our sage for the evening brought with her a wealth of wisdom in finding our sense of purpose and the value we add. However, she cautioned us to make sure that we do not enter into a mentoring relationship that is one sided. Ntiski encouraged us to ensure that we add value to our relationships.
While many speakers’ success can be inspirational, this speaker shows us how she gained the connections she did. The lesson was to be focused, intentional, and courageous.
We are looking forward to our next event with a “Lights, Camera and Action” theme. Remember to book early for our catering booking deadline.
See you there.