Travel Tips – News from Around the PSA Regions

An Invitation from Ireland, by Barbara Moynihan

I am going to guess that many of you might be a bit like me – in that, over the past few months you have had to swiftly up-skill in the online delivery end of things.

It might sound strange, but I have really enjoyed getting way more familiar with Zoom. In particular I am loving all the cool tools that I never realised were there, when I was using it purely to have online meetings with clients. So, when it came to running our Ireland events online I was keen to get stuck in. We had our first PSA Ireland online event in April … below are 7 tips that may be of interest if you’re running events for the PSA or indeed your own events.


Before running the Ireland event, I attended several other PSA events, as well as attending Webinars and other online training. It was great to observe things being done well and observe some things that could have been a bit smoother. Many of these just teeny tiny things that had quite a large impact.


I practiced on Zoom with my family, my friends, my ukulele club, my cycling buddies and anyone else

that would let me! Who could you practice with or on?


This is something you probably know already. However, how you deal with things going wrong is what can be the difference between it feeling awkward for everyone, or just “one of those things”. In my opening remarks, at our April event, I was sure to mention it was our first virtual event and that things would be unlikely to run completely smoothly. That meant that when we had a blip I was able to say, “See, I told you things would go wrong!” For my own webinars and virtual training, I have several “go-to” phrases I can use. Trust me, I use them regularly!

So, maybe find a few “go-to” phrases for yourself that will tumble nicely off your tongue.


Following on from the above point, what went wrong for us was that one of our keynotes lost connection, like he actually dropped completely off the meeting! I had his mobile number so I was able to revert to my brilliant co-host, see my final point below … he got a conversation going amongst the attendees, while I was able to go and call the speaker on his mobile. The speaker was having difficulty re-connecting, so we took our planned break a little early.

We then had the final few minutes of our disconnected speaker after the break.


When we meet face to face in Ireland, we have a MEMBERS ONLY segment for approximately an hour and a half before the meeting proper.

I was keen that our virtual event felt as close to the norm, as possible, so retained this element.

However, the downside was that I was on-line from before 09:00 until almost 14:00! Our event actually ended at 13:00 but as host, I felt I should stay on until the last person left.

By the end of it my eyes felt as dry as the Sahara (we tend to blink around half as much when looking at the screen) and I was absolutely exhausted!

I know what you are thinking – why did she not delegate?? Good question! Well, for our May event I did just that and delegated the member’s only part to my hugely capable Vice President Paul Davis.


This relates back to number 2 – relax, enjoy it and don’t yourself too seriously. It is a PSA event not World Congress!


The best thing, for me, for our virgin virtual event was having a fantastic co-host … drum roll, for … Roger Fairhead. It gave me enormous comfort to know I had an experienced, cool, calm, zoom guru as my co-host. He also spoke for us on using Zoom and other cool tools. Now, I don’t want Roger to be inundated so find your own super-duper co-host who can help you.

Those are my seven tips – I hope you find them useful for your PSA events and maybe even your own ones too!

A Statement from The PSA

Dear all

The news agenda over the last couple of weeks has been led by the anger and revulsion felt over the death of George Floyd in the US and the ensuing discussion and protests over the ongoing issue of racism not just in America but around the world. Racism is a blight on our society and we condemn it and the inequalities it causes, and we should all be looking to ensure we don’t further it, consciously or unconsciously. We know that the events of the last fortnight have caused great hurt to many of our members and we want to acknowledge that and let them know that we stand with them. 

The Board have been discussing and reflecting on what has been said and done over the last few days and wanted to restate our commitment to ensuring the PSA is an organisation that celebrates diversity and inclusion in all its forms. We want to make sure everyone is welcome in the PSA and at PSA events, everyone is listened to (as an individual member, as well as from the stage) and that everyone is celebrated for who they are. 

Our diversity makes us stronger as an organisation and we can all learn from each other about our different life experiences – and by doing so understand the different backgrounds and life experiences present in our audiences and reflect those in our content. Many of our members talk about their lives and backgrounds from the stage whereas for others it is incidental to what they speak about and the way they run their business – but is still an important part of who they are as an individual and should be celebrated as such.

While the PSA is a diverse organisation, our membership and their voices do not – yet – represent the diversity of our society here in the UK and we have work to do to rectify that. Our Finance Director, Shaz Nawaz, has been heading a working group over the last few months, looking at all forms of diversity and inclusion within the PSA. The group is made up of representatives from a cross section of our diverse community – and those who do not identify as belonging to any of those communities but who have an interest or experience in the issues under discussion. The group are currently looking at a range of issues from our recruitment of members to the language and imagery we use and the speakers who appear on our stages and screens. 

We feel diversity is an important part of who we are an organisation. We want to assure you we will do everything we can, with your support, to ensure our organisation represents and reflects our diverse community.

The group will be making recommendations to the Board and at that point we will come back to the membership with positive and affirmative actions we can all take as individuals and as an organisation to ensure that diversity, inclusion and celebrating difference is at the heart of what we all do. 

Stay safe, stay well and if you’re struggling, please do reach out to your PSA family – we really are stronger together.


Steve Bustin, National President

Shaz Nawaz, Finance Director and Board lead on Diversity and Inclusion

On behalf of the PSA Board

Important & exciting announcement about The Speaking Business Summit

I’ve had a number of people ask me recently about our plans for The Speaking Business Summit in October, in light of the on-going guidance around social distancing, group gatherings etc. To start to answer (some of) your questions, I’ve recorded the following video (sat in my garden for a change!).
We know you will probably have lots of questions and we’ll endeavour to answer as many as possible as quickly as possible, probably in another video in a week or two. If you need to speak with us earlier, please contact the office [email protected] .

I hope you’re as excited by the opportunities this offers as I am.

Steve Bustin National President