Virtual Chapter Blog Tuesday, 9 April 2024

Speaker Factor…  Not for the faint-hearted! It is a challenge taken on by few, watched by many. From discussions I have had with long time members of PSASA, many of them have found this a daunting challenge, and have never even entered!

The semi-finals were held online, with the winner of Speaker Factor 2023, Njideka Chika Orji, acting as the MC for the evening.

Many have entered Speaker Factor 2024, with the top ten making it to the semi-finals. All the semi-finalists had us glued to our computer screens, their talks were so inspiring. Five minutes go by in a flash when you listen to the thought-provoking information shared by each speaker. 

Ten Semi-Finalists

Brenden Cavanagh – Speak Less Say More

Chantelle Botha – Play Your Way to Success

Desirae Pillay – Shaking Off Shame and Embracing Vulnerability

Kwazini Zulu – Reinvent Yourself

Kyle Jantjies – Creating the Innovators of our Future

Lourraine Mokubyane – Reservoir of Pain Flows

Mandy Herold – My Favourite “F” Word

Pontsho Mantlhakga – The Ultimate Discovery: People Crawl Over Glass to Find It

Tim Wagner – I’m So Flipping Tired of Being Stressed

Ursula Botha – The Lost Art of Speaking

Only five of the ten participants have been chosen for the finals. It was not an easy task for the judges to decide who should go through, but they had to make their choices. The top five (in no particular order) are Tim, Brenden, Mandy, Chantelle and Ursula. 

Top Takeaways

We learnt about the importance of bringing fantasy literature back in to schools, the power of our breath, how acupuncture can make a difference in our bodies and lives, there is not only one “F’ word that is popular, changing the big “L” into the bigger “W”, how your message can be brought across better when you use less words, why having fun on your way to success makes sense, that shame and vulnerability can be your superpower, that we constantly have to change ourselves to find growth, and finding your WHY.

The finalists will be speaking at the PSASA Convention 2024 hosted by the Johannesburg Chapter from 19-21 April. Sadly, ticket sales have closed, and it is too late to see the finalists in action if you have not invested in a ticket. 


One thing I learnt as a Speaker Factor 2024 contestant was that there are no losers. We are all winners! The experience I gained in the process is something no one can take away from me. I will be back as a contestant in 2025. Will you be joining me? We have less than 12 months to take on this challenge!

Written by: 

Diana Rodrigues
Associate Member
Johannesburg Chapter