Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the KZN Chapter took to their electronic devices on the 17th of March to attend the Chapter AGM virtually, announce new chapter leadership and discuss how best to respond to the disruption brought about by COVID-19. Outgoing chapter president, Roger Knowles gave his president address, reporting growth in the KZN chapter and an aim to continue this growth and success. Having invited a range of meeting guests, the 2019/2020 year has been fruitful for the chapter, but has also brought lessons of how speakers in KZN can gain from this community of professional speakers. With Roger Knowles ending his term as chapter president, he hands over to Zanele Njapha and a highly capable chapter committee. The committee will be made up of impeccable speaking personalities such as Mandla Molakoana, Melanie Rothman and Nhlanhla Khuluse. The chapter is looking forward to growing the committee and welcoming an array of speakers, coaches and trainers to serve the KZN community and network. The second segment of the meeting was long anticipated and highly educational. Speakers are called to keep agile and flexibility and COVID-19 has taught many this very lesson, the hard way. During the virtual meeting, chapter members shared insights on how they are responding to this disruption within their speaking businesses. A few key take aways shared during the break-away session that speakers took away:
- Be the ‘trusted friend’ to your clients at this time, having built a relationship with them in the past. Reach out and find out how you can best aid them through the crisis at hand.
- Craft and adapt your offering to help the client get the most growth and insight from this time, and act with the intention to serve.
- Engineer agility into your business model as a speaker and understand that the world is constantly changing. So should you wish to remain sustainable, you must be willing to stay ahead of the curve.
After the break-away session, speakers reflected on information shared and the different ways they are going to respond, in an effort to keep their speaking businesses agile and flexible during times of disruption. The 2020/2021 year promises to be one filled with lessons and immense growth.