It may have been chilly outside, but the atmosphere at FotoZA, the new venue for the Joburg Chapter, was sizzling with anticipation as guests arrived.
Superb coffee with friendly, professional baristas and a talented catering team made us all feel like VIPs. In line with our national theme of Art & Science, it was fitting that we were surrounded by the venue’s current exhibition of Celestial Equus. This is the June/July gallery theme which boasts a carefully curated selection of fine art equine prints and we are excited to see what the next theme will be.
Founder and first President of the PSASA, Stef du Plessis added to the VIP vibe when he officiated the ceremonial ribbon cutting, symbolising the evolution of our brand. What an honour to have this celebrated Certified Speaking Professional with us in the evening. A healthy measure of sparkling energy of the room was attributed to the elegant and soulful “mistress” of ceremonies, Alison Weihe, an Award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, author and mindset specialist who guided us through the evenings proceeding.
When Yoke van Dam, Kintsugi Queen, leadership and team expert, first accepted the invitation to speak at the event, she never realised that she would be in the spotlight as the perfect case study for living your brand.
Days before the event, Yoke damaged bones in her foot and arrived with a moon boot and crutches. Her injury would be enough to make most speakers cancel. But not this dynamic and team focussed guru. She stepped up and showed us what managing your state looks like in action. Yoke provided a handy printout as an interactive tool for delegates, which helped us to measure our mood for the evening. The fun, yet functional cafe style seating gave guests a comfortable and vibrant atmosphere to discuss their energy levels. Yoke had provided a printed list of emotive words to facilitate this discussion that would be the envy of many an author.
Her topic, “10 ways to remain professional when your clients are driving you nuts’’, highlighted our responsibility as speakers to manage our state, so that we leave all our clients with a positive experience after every encounter. However, disappointments and life challenges can make us feel less than enthusiastic. This is where Yoke’s wisdom can help the better version of ourselves re-emerge.
As speakers and entrepreneurs, many of us have faced the exact scenarios Yoke mentioned in her opening. Her examples illustrate how we can step up and build lasting relationships when all we want to do is rant. Yet Yoke’s talk was not just academic. Her vulnerability in revealing some challenges she has had in the past helped us to see that we are not alone when we are fighting to maintain composure. Yoke’s tried and tested methods were simple. This makes them accessible to anyone who wants to build long lasting professional relationships amidst stressful times. Her example of mindset management at the event despite her injury was a testimony to how effective her techniques are. She certainly left the audience with something positive to think about, which was what this talk was about, after all. Leaving your clients with a positive experience despite your personal and professional challenges.
Some feedback from Yoke’s Talk as rated on SpeakerScore
“Yoke, I loved the way you started your talk, followed by the journey you took us on, I most certainly resonated with you and your experiences. Sometimes, we think we are alone. Although in your moon boot, you still exhilarated high energy keeping us all glued to you and the presentation. Well Done on such a bubbly personality!”
“As a consultant to authors and business owners, I have to pitch up in a positive state regardless of what is happening in my personal life or that of my clients. Yoke shared some practical and simple techniques to manage my state in any situation. Thank you so much.”
In the next skills segment, Mindset Whisperer, author and speaker Kim Vermaak, hosted a mini workshop; “The Power of the Lead Magnet”. She introduced techniques entrepreneurs can use in growing a database of followers who are eager to hear from you.
Kim highlighted the growing trend of social selling, which companies like LinkedIn now have measurement tools for. In this economy, she shared how using a hard sales approach can damage your brand. We learned why it is important to create an effective communication strategy which builds customer engagement and trust. While many speakers, coaches and authors appreciate its importance, they often struggle to get started. Kim shared many of the challenges which cause us to feel overwhelmed and states that this can hinder our progress. She invited delegates to take the first step in this process by guiding them through a series of questions and examples. This is one aspect which forms part of her one day practical newsletter workshop.
Delegates in this session discussed and discovered their ideal client’s “points of pain”. This step serves as the foundation for all communication plans for any business. Although many of the guests at the event are experts in their own rights, many had not yet made this fundamental shift. Yet, as with many transformational ideas, the trick is to manage distractions so that you get to work “ON” your business and not “IN” your business. This author of over 11 titles of Amazon shared many of the mindset challenges that entrepreneurs and visionaries have when building a legacy and how they can build an authentic value added brand despite challenging times through the power of consistency and knowing your personal values and brand.
Some feedback from Kim’s Talk as rated on SpeakerScore
“Well done. Short. To the point. Clear and informative – all out across with charisma and passion. Great talk. Loved it!!”
“Thank you Kim for a relevant topic that is needed by us entrepreneurs. You are an inspiration. “
It was a value added jammed packed evening. Once we threw in an opportunity to get some much coveted time with Linda Magennis, AKA, The Green Screen Queen, we had another challenge on our hands. The committee struggled to encourage delegates to exit the venue before our venue’s cutoff time.
We are looking forward to our next event on 13 July 2023.