The Fragility of our speaking industry By Mr Siphiwe Moyo

Last week we had the pleasure of listening to the PSASAs very own Mr Siphiwe Moyo talk to us about the fragility of our industry. Mr Moyo is a sought after and top-rated international keynote speaker, facilitator, learning specialist ,author and MC. Siphiwe is the chairman of the board for people practices (SABPP), the past chapter president at the professional speaker’s association of Southern Africa and a member of the Global speaker’s federation. The KZN chapter was honoured indeed to have this phenomenal speaker grace us with his amazing presence.

The fragility of our industry

Most speakers will not survive past the pandemic. The key thing to survive in this industry in these trying times is to make sure you bring value and can adapt to the changes. Its harder to do this virtually, so therefore value is changing, and a lot of speakers will struggle to bounce back from the pandemic.

A lot of speakers will remain the same, but those who will be able to grow their businesses will do so exponentially and very few speakers will be able to get to that level. The gap between winning and loosing will only get bigger in our industry.

Career anxiety has become real, people are afraid to lose their work as well as the income that comes with it. We need to get used to diversification of income streams and figure out multiple ways of making money. We need to investigate other fields and find ways to become more digital. All these thoughts cause anxiety.

This anxiety is not always a bad thing, as a   matter of fact it is good because it keeps you growing and improving. Its important however to keep this in check as too much anxiety can also be dangerous.

There are 2 types of responses to career anxiety:

  • Back foot position:

This is when you are on defence mode, and you are taking the punches as they come. This is not a sustainable position to be in because you cannot defend yourself forever.

  1. This can cause panic, and when you start to panic you forget your value and get paralysed by the fear of losing your speaking business.


  1. This position can also lead to indifference, when you do not care about what happens to your career and start becoming irresponsible. You must constantly update your content and you should never allow yourself to become indifferent. Keep trying and do not wait for your situation to change.


  • Front foot position:

This is when you are on attack mode, attack is the best form of defence, many researchers find that the more adaptable you are the less anxious you become,

Career construction theory says that when constructing your career, you must look out the window and, in the mirror, and find a balance between the two.

  • When you look outside the window, (externally) at what is happening around you, and what other speakers are doing and how they are coping with the changes of the pandemic this can assist you with getting ideas to grow your own business. If you only look externally though you can lose yourself.


  • When you look in the mirror, (internally) this is when you are just focussing on your self and what you are doing. Only using this approach can also cripple your speaking business as you are not looking at external factors.


Its important to find a good balance between the two.

The four C’s of adaptability

  • Concern:

Think deeply about the transitions in your industry, and if you do not you will become redundant. Have a pathway design: these are people who have high career concern, multiple pathways to get to the desired goal. Identify one or two obstacles for each pathway, figure out how to overcome them.

  • Career control:

Understanding that whether you survive beyond this pandemic or not is up to you, people who blame circumstances do not move or change them.

  • Curiosity

To experiment and explore, people who have adjusted try everything all the time.

  • Career confidence

This is the opposite of career anxiety, people who believe in themselves. The more successful you become it can boost your confidence, do free gigs if you have to.


Social capital

High degree                                                                              Sustainable

Umlilo wamaphepha


–          high degree of success

–          not sustainable

–          low skills

–          difficult to bounce back

Sikhaphe wena emhlabeni


–          high degree of success

–          sustainable success

Sesegolo ke Bophelo


–          exceptionally low probability of success

–          locked out of the speaking game.



–          sustainanble work

–          low value business, your skills can be ignored.

–          High probability of burn out.

Weak                                                                                                 Strong


To engage further with Mr Siphiwe Moyo visit his website,