Speaker Factor is the Annual Contest for Associate Members and Professional Members of the PSA during their first year of membership. Speaker Factor takes place during the Annual Convention. Regional heats are held around the country with each Region finding one winner to represent them. Each Regional winner enters the National Semi-Finals at the Convention for a place in the National Finals at the same Convention. There are only five places in the National Finals.
- The contest is only open to fully paid-up Associate Members or Professional Members who have been in the PSA for less than 12 months at the time they enter their Regional Heat.
- Individuals can only enter in one year; they cannot enter in subsequent years.
- Entrants may compete in up to two Regional Heats.
- Entrants must be able to attend the Annual Convention; if they think they may be unable to attend for any reason, then they cannot enter a Regional Heat.
- Entrants will be required to present a 5-minute talk without any slides; this talk will be timed and they cannot exceed their time limit.
- Regional Winners must give the same talk in the National Semi-Finals and Finals as they gave in the Regional Heats.
- Individuals who wish to enter may do so in an appropriate Regional Heat once the date is announced by the Regional President.
- To enter, individuals will need to contact their Regional President to ask for their name to be added to the contest.
- The Regional President will check that the individual is permitted to enter.
- Entrants will be told that they can only enter the Regional Heat if they are going to be available to attend the Annual Convention.
- Once an individual has agreed to enter the Regional Heat they must attend the event, only exceptional circumstances such as ill health or bereavement will be accepted for failure to attend the Heats.
- If an individual does not attend the Regional Heat to which they agreed to take part, they cannot enter any subsequent Speaker Factor contest in the future.
- Regions run their Speaker Factor Heats between April and mid-September.
- The National Semi-Finals and Finals take place on the first day of the Annual Convention held in October each year.
The judges will look for overall quality of the presentation. They will judge the entrants on four main criteria:
- Stage Craft – how well the entrant uses the platform, props and so on
- Script – how well the talk was constructed and worded
- Delivery – how well the entrant delivered the talk, including vocal performance and body language
- Bookability – is the speaker likely to be booked, is their talk likely to be paid for? This category is the most important and judges will give weighting to this.
- There will be three judges at Regional Heats and three judges at the National Semi-Finals and Finals. All judges at the Semi Finals and Finals will be Fellows of the PSA or international equivalents, such as CSP. Judges will use a standard judging sheet to record their notes and evaluations.
- In the Regional Heats, the Regional President shall appoint the judging panel and elect one of them to be the Chair of the Judges who will co-ordinate the judging process.
- In the National Semi-Finals and Finals, the judges will be appointed by the PSA President or the Convention Organiser.
Announcement of Winners
- In the Regional Heats, the winner will be announced by the judges at a point in the event’s proceedings decided by the Regional President or the individual running that meeting.
- In the National Semi-Finals, five winners will be announced at the end of the session.Those five winner will move on to take part in the National Finals, usually the day after the National Semi-Finals
- In the National Finals, the winner will be announced during the Gala Dinner.
- In each of the Regional Heats, the judges will also decide upon a Runner-up. This individual will be able to enter the National Final in the event that exceptional circumstances prevent the Regional Winner from attending.
- The prize for winning a Regional Heat is a place in the National Semi-Finals.
- Entrants in the National Semi-Finals will each receive a certificate indicating their participation.
- The Winner of the Speaker Factor contest will receive a framed certificate indicating they are that year’s winner. In addition, they will receive publicity for their win via the PSA website and email system. They may also indicate they are the PSA Speaker Factor winner in their own promotional materials. The Winner also gets a guaranteed speaking slot on the main stage at the following year’s Convention. The Winner also receives a free place at a PSA Bootcamp.
- In the Regional Heats, feedback will be provided at the end of the contest after the winner has been announced by the judges. Detailed and specific feedback will not be provided. However, entrants may contact the judges after the event for more specific feedback if required.
- At the National Semi-Finals, general feedback will be given by all of the judges immediately after all of the entrants have finished their talks. No feedback on individual performance will be provided at that time because the winner will not have been announced. After the convention is over, entrants may request specific feedback from the Chair of Judges.
- The Regional Heats will normally be hosted by the Regional President who will act as Master of Ceremonies and ensure timekeeping.
- The National Semi-Finals and Finals will be hosted by a Master of Ceremonies appointed by the President of the PSA or the Conference Organiser.