SPRING FORWARD! Get ready for Going for Growth – the PSA Spring Conference.

By Chantal Cornelius

Join us on 2nd April 2022 for our Going for Growth Spring Conference in Newport, Wales.

We can’t wait to welcome you IN PERSON to celebrate the power of growth through motivation, collaboration and connection.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect with the many new PSA colleagues you’ve never met and reconnect with your old PSA friends. You’ll also be able to learn from sensational speakers how to grow and promote your speaking business.

EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE HERE!

Spring forward with us as we join together in celebration of the growth our community has achieved in a very uncertain year and bring focus to why this has been possible – the connection that exists within our speaking community.   

The power of human connection and the importance of face-face interactions is supreme! At The PSA Spring Conference, we will focus on the strength of relationships and the joy, enthusiasm and pleasure they generate in our personal and professional experiences. Join us and learn how to grow a highly successful business and let us show you why in-person networking will never go out of fashion. 

The ICC Wales in Newport is easily accessible by plane, train or automobile! They are ready to give us a very warm welcome or ‘croeso’ (said croy-saw), as they say in Wales.  Kick start your 2022 speaking business calendar by booking your ticket NOW!

SPECIAL EARLY BIRD TICKET PRICE IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR JUST £99! Standard tickets are £129 and non-members £149. (All tickets are +VAT). Don’t wallow in the cold of winter – let’s thrive in the promise of spring. There are only 100 SPACES available and when they’re gone, they’re gone! 

FELLOWS OPPORTUNITY. Are you a PSA Fellow? Then this opportunity is just for you! Why not make a weekend of it and attend the Fellows’ event on Friday 1st April, before attending the Spring Conference on Saturday 2nd April? It’s the perfect excuse for a Spring weekend away!

Let’s keep growing and connecting! And have a fun, fulfilling and utterly fabulous time along the way.

For all ticket options and the latest info, please visit www.Spring22.thePSA.co.uk

Being the Weatherman

By William Buist

The PSA Board decided to see if we could also run some aspects of the Going for Growth 2021 Summit in person. We didn’t (yet) understand the challenges we would face.

Anthony Stears agreed to host the meeting at the ETC venue on Edgware road. The Board at the PSA concluded we should integrate the live and remote events into a hybrid event. We needed two AV companies, one managing the online (OL), one the in the room (ITR).

The event chair, Lynda Shaw and the team designed the schedule for the day that included her chairing a remote panel, giving awards in the room and introducing segments of the day. There were also online sessions that we knew could not be replicated exactly, so we had alternatives arranged for the delegates in London. Coordinating the flow of sound and video showed us that there was too big a delay between the feed from the stage and the remote segments, so handovers would need to be carefully timed. We were discussing challenges in real-time on Whatsapp and on phone calls, between the backroom teams.

At critical points, I gave visual countdowns on the camera to tell them when to take the feed from the room for the remote viewers. In the room, an audible countdown “10-9-8-7… GO” hurried people to their seats and brought us silence, or whooping and hollering and applause at just the right moment. When we needed to, we fed in the remote feed so we could hear the wonderful Heather Wright demonstrating her outstanding MC skills online.

Much of the time I felt like I was at a much bigger event, not quite able to see the stage, yet seeing the speaker on the big screens, with clear sound, switching seamlessly to others elsewhere. It really was impressive.

Being the Weatherman

For one segment of the day there were five speakers in the room – Sylvia Baldock, Alastair Greener, Michael Dodd, Joanne Lockwood and me. Online ran this segment as five separate hour-long sessions. We knew we would have some spare time compared to OL, so I became a weatherman.

Thanks to my good friend John Young I’d learned the power of flexibility in broadcasting. As the talks started we had three possible closing approaches planned, depending on the time available when we got there and we ‘hit the mark’. News broadcasts end with the weather, so they can be flexible with the time they have left, extending the weather report if they have time to fill, or cutting it short if they’re short of time.

Then we had the awards and seamlessly switched from remote to the room, where Lynda made the announcements – Speaker Factor winner Camilla Long, Spirit of Joy award winner Lis Allen and PSAE Steve Bustin. The last two received their awards live-streamed from London to the whole conference. This was followed by the details of the 2022 conference in Dublin was given by Alan Stevens. All of that was timed with professional aplomb by those on the stage.

The biggest learning was that getting the right team to support the work is critical. Hybrid is not simply some people together in one place whilst others view the same content remotely. It’s both studio and outside broadcast and it needs careful design. And I think that we’ve shown the world that at the PSA, we know what we’re doing when it comes to professional speaking!

Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

By Jackie Handy, the PSA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is becoming a talked about necessity for business owners and consultants. A number of significant (and widely reported) events over the last two years have re-ignited the fire in many marginalised groups to say “enough”.

The world is changing.

And when the world changes, the speaking community must take notice. Undoubtedly our work will be impacted and clients will want us to demonstrate our commitment to DEI in order to become (or remain) a trusted partner.

Recognising the need for focus, the PSA created a Board role to place attention on DEI for our community. Earlier this year I became the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director and write this to share some brief thoughts on how you can start your journey.

Understanding is the first step.

So, what is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

While there are many definitions, here’s how I describe the terms:

Diversity = difference. Diversity is a plural descriptor so one person isn’t diverse, but a group or community can be.

Equity = Equality has to do with giving everyone the exact same resources, whereas equity involves distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients. I give this example as the terms are often used interchangeably but remain subtly different.

Inclusion = the felt senseof feeling safe, valued and understood. A person can be told they are included but must be able to feel it for true inclusion to exist. Inclusion requires a proactive approach from individuals and organisations, so that an environment can be created where everyone feels they have a place.

And D + E + I = Belonging.

DEI work is broad and takes time. It would be impossible to provide all the facts in a single blog post. Today I’ll focus on one simple area of DEI for you.

The component parts of identity, your values and beliefs and the life experience you all have shape your reality (or as I call it, your map of the world.) The way your identity and experiences overlap in this way is known as intersectionality.  

Audio Recording of Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Listen to Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, by Jackie Handy.