5 reasons to visit International Speaker events
Why should you go to International Speaker events? These are the reasons I visit them.
22nd of April 2017. It is 8:15 AM and I am at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Dublin. Today is the monthly meeting of PSA Ireland. Their monthly sessions take place on a Saturday, starting early with breakfast. They get together with twenty people around a long table and start the session with two minutes silence – to focus and answer the questions: “Why are you here today?”, “What is your accomplishment since the last session?” and “Where do you need help?” This is followed by two hours of sharing, asking for help and professionalizing the speaker business. After the break at 10:45 AM, one of the speakers is doing a showcase, receives feedback and at 11 AM I hosted a workshop on how to grow the number of speaker gigs. Other participants, who bought a ticket via Eventbrite, also joined. The result was a group of 25 people in the room (see our group photo, taken 1 minute after the workshop).
Why am I here? This is not a paid assignment – I even paid for travel and stay myself. I am here to share. To learn. To network. To feel the speaker family and of course, to have fun.
What are the 5 reasons why I visit International Speaker events?
- 1. Learn
There is so much to learn about being a speaker. The business side of speaking, stage craft, pricing, marketing, upselling; I can continue for a while. As I am fairly new to the business of speaking, I decided I wanted to learn from the best. That is the reason why I went to Denver last year to learn about Sales for speakers (speaker staff boot camp) from David Avrin and his assistant. I learned so much about systemizing my business and copied this, but not without adding the Nienke Bloem touch. At NSA Influence, I was overwhelmed by insights. I focused on the stage craft and the way speakers started and finished their speeches. I still have to think of my focus area for NSA Influence in July. When I spoke at the PSA UK and PSA Belgium chapters, I got brilliant feedback on my performance. What greater feedback than that of fellow speakers? The great value in visiting international speaking events is certainly the learning part. It has accelerated my business and my speaking skills. Don’t economize on those events!
- 2. Share
At NSA Influence, I saw the effect of sharing. So many speakers were sharing their secrets. As a receiver of all these ‘goodies’, I knew that it is my job to share as well. And to participate. So, I become a Board Member of PSA Holland and also decided to visit other Chapters to share my knowledge. Even though I am a beginner when it comes to speaking, my knowledge about Customer Experience and the way I systemized my business, is something other speakers want to learn about. When visiting other events, I get to learn about how events are organized. This is great information that I can share with PSA Holland with regards to the organization and professionalization of our own events.
- 3. Network
The power of your business is often your network. I am often asked if I know a certain speaker for a particular event. How can other speakers recommend you? They need to know you, trust you and know you do a great job on stage. Because of my ambitions for international growth, I felt it was important to get to know other speakers. Where would I meet them? Of course, Facebook is a great speaker meeting place, but real life has much more value. So that is what I do at speaker events: I meet people and connect with other speakers. While speaking at the Belgium or UK Chapters especially, I have realized that these are precious gems when it comes to networking.
- 4. Feel the family
Speaking can be a lonely job. Especially when you speak in an international environment, which includes travel and staying in hotels, it is great to know other speakers. They invite you to their homes. They show you their city. When I was in Denver, fellow speakers organized a get-together; when I was in Dublin, I got to spend some time with Lottie Hearn and learn about live video. Speakers are united through the GSF and when you are a member, people are willing to help you. So reach out, connect and make yourself part of the family. It feels so good!
- 5. Have Fun
Okay. Speakers are often people with a great sense of humor. They tend to laugh and want to have a party. When I was at NSA Influence I got to join the Cigar Peg (Thank you, Paul!), a club of people who partied after the official convention gatherings. Now I have become a member and look forward to my next stay. With PSA Ireland we hang out in the bar afterwards and shared some of our brilliant mistakes. We laughed our pants off (for me it was my blue dress). Having fun is so essential. Always mix business with pleasure. These international events tend to add an extra smile on my face.
Those are the 5 reasons why I want to encourage you to visit international speaker events, next to our PSA Holland College gatherings. You can visit conventions like the one by the GSA (German Speaker Association) convention or the NSA (Influence – the American incredible speaker convention this year in Orlando) or local events like PSA UK. Where you can visit or speak on your topic and help other speakers grow their profession? During the past 12 months I spoke at PSA UK Thames Valley, PSA Belgium, PSA Holland (okay, that was in my own backyard) and at PSA Ireland. I also visited PSA Colorado, PSA UK live and NSA Influence. After each event I picked my Best Learning experience and put it into practice. Value, big value. And fun. So what is the next international event YOU are going to visit?