By Richard Mulvey
The beginning of March and we start the season of persuasion in the PSASA. The three chapters and the national council all hunt around for a willing body to take on a deputy leadership role. By now the president for the coming year should be in place (although we have some notable years where this has not been the case) and the association will not survive if we cannot get capable people to lead us.
Theoretically we have an election for the deputy in the chapters and at national level but as far as I can recall this has been a simple rubber stamp on the appointment, apart from one occasion last year. This should not be the case.
There should be a queue of people who want to be elected to the chapter and national leadership positions and if they really knew what was in store for them there would be.
I have been the chapter president in Durban, sat on the original national committee, been national president and now looking forward to a year as the president of the Cape chapter. I have helped organise four of the national conferences including the Global Speakers Summit, had the position of past presidents’ representative on the presidents council, and done a number of fund raising events for the PSASA. I have to admit it is hard work and those people who have not taken the position seriously have not helped the association or themselves.
I have gained far more from the PSASA than I have given.
Firstly I have gained some incredible national and international friends. Of course you meet other speakers on the circuit but it is hard to make friends in that way. Once you get to know people in a social environment friendship is the inevitable next step. Almost all my friends are speakers and I met 100% of those people directly or indirectly through the PSASA. (I guess I should also make the point that I met my gorgeous wife at a PSASA meeting.)
Over the years I have been involved in three mastermind groups which have contributed greatly to my continued growth as a speaker and my income in the speaking business. Each of these groups have been made up of members of the PSASA or the Global Speaker’s Federation.
I am not known as an international speaker but I have spoken internationally many times on invitation and recommendation from PSASA and GSF members.
I represented South Africa as President of the PSASA at the NSA in New York. This was an incredible experience with 2,200 speakers and more information about speaking and the speaking business than I could have learnt in a lifetime elsewhere.
Last week I helped out a friend and did a gig for him in Johannesburg. He is no longer a member but I met him at the PSASA and he is now in my mastermind group. He was grateful I could help him but actually I earned enough to pay the PSASA fees for the next 5 years for three hours work. This is not an isolated incident and each year other PSASA members help me in one way or another. Isn’t that true for you?
The list of what I have gained from the association could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you. Let me just say that I have gained financially and emotionally far more than I have contributed.
Interestingly, you really only gain from the association in a big way, once you volunteer. We all know about the Law of Reciprocity (Robert Cialdini and many others). Once you start to contribute as a volunteer to an association there seems to be a way in which other members want to repay you. Of course you don’t volunteer for that reason, but that is just what happens. To get the best from the PSASA you should offer your services in what ever way you can.
I often hear people saying that they just don’t have the time to contribute in this way and to those people I say this: If a client offered you a R1 million gig you would find the time to do it wouldn’t you? If I were to add together all the money I have made and the help I have been offered by members of the PSASA it would amount to a figure way in excess of the R1 million. You are not kidding anybody. If you are interested in the industry that supports you and your family then you should take action now and volunteer to contribute to the PSASA.
Far too many people have joined the PSASA only to take what they can and leave after a couple of years. But to those people I say this: Would you have the friendships you have now if it were not for the PSASA? Would you be involved in that mastermind group if you had never been a member? Would you have been doing what you are doing if it were not for the people you learned from at the chapter meetings and the national conference?
I have always said to my audiences that you get out in equal measure what you put in. But in the case of the PSASA I have gained far more than I have given. I will continue to contribute to the PSASA as I always have done, not because of what it does for me but because the industry I work in needs the PSASA and I need the industry.