21 Jul Speaking – a new path.
Takeaways from APSC.
“You talk too much.” My ears had to tolerate these words throughout my childhood. I grew with this made-belief. The informal chatterbox moved on to the stage during school and continued through NDA, IMA and the Army Career. It got further intense when I stepped into the world of corporate training, where besides leadership and teamwork training I also delivered motivational speeches.
One day I told my mother, “You always advised me to talk less. Now people come to listen to me willingly and the best part is that they also pay me for it.”
But this was in corporate training. I was quite ignorant about the $23 billion global speaking industry. When I heard of this in Jul 2019, I decided to venture into it. As a first step, inspired by Kiruba Shanker, I joined the PSAI (Professional Association of India.) I was lucky to get an opportunity to speak it its first National convention in Chennai on 26-27 Jan 2019. It was a delight to share the stage with Global speakers like Fredrik Haren and James Taylor besides a few more international and national speakers.
Inspired by Fredrik and encouraged by Kiruba, I joined the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore) and attended its convention APSC2019 at Singapore. Here it was an eyeopening experience. I heard and met some of the best global speakers and a few of them are now friends.
APSC is more than a speaking platform. Its a family. They dont say but live their motto #bettertogether. Sorry, not they, ‘we.’ I am a part of APSS. For me the Singapore experience was amazing. With loads of learning and exposure and quality networking, I got a peep into the Global speaker’s fraternity. An experience of hospitality, love and a lot of care.
These are a few of the many important takeaways from Singapore.
Subject. In professional speaking, it is vital to identify a subject/idea that you are good at, (or can be good at,) and it comes authentically from your heart. This subject must be capable of solving the problem of a set of people who should be ready to pay for it.
Rehearse. Rehearse and Rehearse. There is no short cut to it.
Technology. There is no shortcut to applying the latest technology in the entire process of speaking, from writing the script to marketing and then delivery. Robin’s Speculand’s session was a brilliant, mind-blowing session.
The audience is the Focus. Delivery is important but the audience is more important. Is the speech relevant to them? Give them what they want and what will benefit them. ‘Celebrate your speech to the audience!’ The speaker has to consciously work on how the audience will benefit from the talk.
Stand Out, get noticed, be chosen. Probably I took away the most out of this brilliant talk by Steve Lowell, CSP. Be different and craft you’re your language to make the impact. His ‘Repulator’ model was very appealing.
Work on Yourself. In ‘The Ten year Challenge,’ Andrew Bryant miraculously evolved a curve where you could actually place yourself, and work your way up the Speaking Ladder. His inspiring words, “how hard could it be?” and ‘there is more to this” had a magical impact on me.
Chunk it down. In the Army, we called them phases. And in between the phases was a consolidation phase. I could relate to that when David Lim brought out relevant lessons from mountaineering into a speaker’s development.
One Single Idea. How to get across a small, unique, single idea to the world in an effective way is the key to professional speaking. I loved the analogy of the Trojan Horse by Mariana Pascal. She explained how smaller ideas can be packed into one big idea.
Marketing. It was clear from speakers more than one that marketing, branding, online presence does wonders to the success of a speaker.
Words matter. Heather Hansen, made a simple point but so effective that it sank in so well. Words matter. Grammar matters. And what I will always remember is how the emphasis on a word alters the meaning of a sentence. She used an interesting example “I didn’t say she doesn’t like chocolates.” I will never forget it and always use it when needed.
It was a challenge for me to pick up a few lessons from the abundance of knowledge I acquired in the fours days of my valuable investment of time. The effect was such that I did not bat an eyelid to register for APSC2020 in May 20. Looking forward to it.