Dear Readers,
I trust that you are well and that you are being kept busy with speaking, training and consulting. Can you believe that it is almost convention time? I can’t. Please make every effort to get there so that we can all connect, share ideas and learn. If it wasn’t for the President’s report, this newsletter would be pretty sparse … I suppose we are speakers and not writers otherwise I would have had tons of contributions ;-). I have added some of the stuff I wrote in my Johannesburg newsletter – it may pique the interest of the other chapters.
By the way, we are looking for another editor for the newsletter. End of April is the last one from my side and I won’t be extending my tenure. If you have a passion for writing and communication, chat to me and let’s see if we can get you off to a flying start as editor.
President’s Report
It’s a leap year! I only realised this, today on 29 Feb. At least I have an extra day this year and maybe it won’t go so fast as last year.
Having said that, we have been so busy here in the PSASA from an administrative side, that the first 2 months have flown past.
Firstly, shock news – our new Deputy President, Adolph Kaestner and incoming National President has resigned. This is due to personal reasons and we are sorry to see him go. Adolph has been a HUGE blessing and help in the last few months administratively and become the back bone of this association. So it will be a big loss for us and we are all sad to see him go. I have a deja vu feeling! Last year this time I sat with the same situation! Believe me, I ain’t gonna do a 3rd year! So for now we are running around looking for a new Deputy President. We have a few options and by end of March I will hopefully be able to give you some positive news.
Secondly, have you booked for the 27 – 29 April Convention in Durban yet? It is going to be AWESOME. We have some HUGE names from Europe, Canada and England speaking. Remember, this is all about your speaking career and learning from the top guys. In the last few years I have attended so many conventions, and every time I have learnt so much. This convention is for you the benefit of you and your career – so book now. For those of you living outside of Durban, Claire Newton has managed to source alternative accommodation for R350 a night, some 600 metres from the Elangeni. So there is no excuse not to attend! Ask her for details.
Everything is now focused on the convention and making it the best one yet. Claire and her team in Durban are working really hard and have some awesome plans.
That’s it from me – have a brilliant March.
Warmest regards
Johannesburg Chapter Fundraiser On 13 March
[NAME], you should have received a note from me asking you to market the fundraiser to your database with a cut and paste template to make it easier for you (if not, let me know and I’ll resend it We hope to get 70 guests and make R30k for our PSASA.
The good news is that we have been VAT deregistered. Why’s that good news? Well, not only do you as a paid up member get R100 off the workshop price (R697), now you get another 14% off because initially you would have had to pay VAT on the R697.
Come along and check out some of the sharpest minds in the PSASA – Stef du Plessis, CSP, Ian Rheeder, Francois Muscat and Douglas Kruger.
We’ve been quite busy on social media and hopefully we’ll get some traction there as well.

  • Placed the event on Bizcommunity
  • Created and event on Linked In
  • Created an event on Facebook under Jacques de Villiers
  • Created an event on Facebook under PSASA banner
  • We’ve scheduled tweets advertising the event through PSASA Twitter (Ramon Thomas retweeted it to 3 600 people
  • We’ve sent direct messages on Twitter to about 20 of PSASA’s followers

Please start using your social media clout and start advertising the event there. [Speaking of which … hardly any of our PSASA members are following @psasouthafrica, our official Twitter page. Please go to Twitter now and look for @psasouthafrica and follow us :-).
The Convention
Convention Convener, Claire Newton is looking for gifts for the Convention goodie bags. So far we have 100 Credit Card holders, 100 notepads and we are hopefully going to get 100 Lindt chocolates. You weren’t overwhelmed by that? … me neither. So, we need your help. If you have 100 of something to give away, please let us know (it could be pens, vitamin pills (no, not 100 ;-). Yes, 100 packets), magazines, books, lanyards … whatever. For those of you that deal with corporate gift companies, call in some favours and get them to donate (they’ve always got extra stuff).
Please make every effort to be at the Vocal is Lekker Convention so that you can catch up with old friends, tell your war stories and discover some great new information.
Just some praise – Claire Newton, Convention Convener is doing a wonderful job pulling this convention together. And, Fred Felton is doing a brilliant job on marketing the Convention on social media.
Support Your Chapter
I went to the Pretoria Chapter monthly meeting last this month in my capacity as Editor to take a photo and had a WTF moment. There were only 2 chapter members present. With me and 3 rent-a-crowd guests, that made 6 people in attendance. That’s rough, folks. I can imagine how the speaker Terri Codd must have felt. Yes, I know that some of us sprout out the company line “if I only make a difference in one person’s life I have achieved my purpose …”. But speaking to 6 people is beyond a joke (especially if it is for free). If you’re like me, you’re probably like the MGM lion – the bigger the audience the bigger your roar. In my experience, if you’re not attending meetings it is because you are not getting value. If you have concerns, speak to your chapter president.
Black Hat Tactics
As you know, I have nothing better to do on a weekend, so sometimes I go to the internet and check out my fellow speakers sites just to compare how I stack up. Well, some of you are doing a great job and I’m floundering at the bottom of the pile 😉
I have noticed something disturbing on some of our websites. It is called Black Hat Tactics … Black Hat search engine optimisation is customarily defined as the practice of using unethical techniques to make your search rankings go up. Don’t do it. Seriously. You are going to get such a caning. With Google’s new Panda algorithm in play, your website could be in danger of being banned by Google. Some Black Hat’s I’ve seen is folks putting 100s of links where no reader would ever find them and link copy that is the same colour as the background.
Panda is looking for relevant content, not content written to attract search engine bots. Before you write any web copy in the future, ask yourself this question: “If it wasn’t for the search engines would I write my copy differently i.e. relevant copy to add value to my target audience?”
Remember, you have your Chapter AGM in March. Johannesburg Chapter’s AGM is on 14 March at Bryanston Sports Club). Please make every effort to attend. Also, nominate who you want to sit on next year’s Chapter Board. You can get nomination forms from national administrator, Simone Scholtz. Paul du Toit will be the workshop presenter. He’ll be speaking about Platform Skills.

Should You Be In The PSASA?

The other day we got a request for a speaker off the PSASA website. A few speakers were contacted to supply a profile. The majority didn’t have a profile ready. One said “go and get it off my website”. One speaker, who probably hasn’t ever spoken, didn’t want to be put forward because …. was afraid to speak. Come on folks, let’s play the game and start acting like professionals – as a professional have your stuff together – have your one-pager, have your price list, have your contract ready so that you can produce this stuff at a moments notice. What do we say to someone who is in the PSASA and doesn’t want to speak? I don’t know … perhaps, you shouldn’t be here yet.
Check out someone who has his act together. I suppose he should have after 3 500+ engagements – 5 continents – 20 years in the business.
In future, the administrator will send out the details of the speaking engagement to the whole database and it will be up to you to decide whether you want to connect with the potential client or not. – Jacques
Jacques de Villiers