I recently attended a Professional Speakers Association (PSA) meeting as a guest. I was nervous as I did not know what to expect.
As normal I arrived early I hate being late as this gets me flustered and embarrassed.
There were two meetings being held that day one in the afternoon for members and an open meeting in the evening.
Be warned if you are invited to attend such a meeting as a guest be prepared to pay at least £25 for the privilege. Even the speakers addressing the meeting have to pay for their attendance at these events too.
I found the meeting room and was about to head off to the hotel bar with my husband to relax and unwind before the actual event which was to commence at 7pm.
A candidate (they have levels of entry for the PSA) saw me and asked if he could help. I explained I was new and who had informed me about the PSA.
This gentleman explained that he was in the same position as me last year and could relate to how I felt. This made me really at ease and I finally started to relax.
Despite the formal looking website the PSA is very informal and was wonderful support to a newcomer.
There were two speakers speaking the night I attended and the subject was networking. The most valuable things I learnt that night were "networking is not selling". It is a way to build contacts and use the time to get to know someone and their problem to see if you can help at a future date.
Work out whether it is your worth your time embarking on something with a "good" "grief" score. Good is something that you get work through grief is how much effort and whether you really like doing it score. If you get little grief and a lot of customers from it do it. If it is 50% do you really want to bother.
If you really enjoy something but get little profit or no customers then obviously it is not worth the effort.
So it is like with everything we do in life above all else we have to enjoy what we do and know we are good at it.
Learning new skills is something I find very hard and one of the things I get most worked up about. Why because I worry I will fail and not be good at it. To get things moving though you have to learn new skills, look at a problem in a new light and solve it. Success does not come overnight.
It takes years to get to the level the top professional speakers have got to.
Some use books as a tool others just give good advice and tips. It is not about you and your ego it is about the message you want to get across to people in order to help them. That is what professional speaking is about.
If you are doing it for you, you are in the wrong field that was the message I took away with me the other night.
I suppose writing is the same, why do we write? We write to get a message across to others. We write because it gives us pleasure and we divulge our fantasies in fiction.
The messages we send can be emotional ones, can be matter of fact, can be happy ones or just plain facts that people need to be aware of.
I certainly learnt a lot in a couple of hours and met some really interesting people. Will I go again? Yes but that will be next year now as open meetings are bi-annual.
So who knows where I will end up or what I will be doing. One thing for sure is this person is going to achieve her goals which above all else is helping others.