I have been a member of the PSA (Professional Speaking Association – click here for more information about it) for 3 years now but in October 2020 it was my 1st time at their annual conference. It is safe to say it won’t be the last! Below are my main takeaways from some of the sessions I attended. It was a busy week!

Tips: spend time on creating a great title for your talk, themed one if possible; listen to people and package/personalise your offer to fit in with what they want; 3-tier pricing done in such a way that clients will pick the middle option (click here for more on Sweet Spot Pricing with Laurie in a podcast); build a list in innovative ways; hold a date for a prospective client but get in touch when someone else asks for you around that date, to try to finalise a booking.

Introduction to Pomodoro, which I used straight away and love: 25 minutes of work, no distrations, 5 minutes break; repeat 4 times, then 15-minute break; track how you spend your time; be aware of distractions so you can fight them; ask yourself what you can do in an hour in a thoughtful and caring way. Click here for lizhardwick.co.uk and here for digienable.co.uk if you are after more tips and support.

You have to have KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are measurable, have thresholds and are action driving; pick ones most relevant to your business; write a list of leading behaviours and their impact on results; look at revenue streams, daily activities for each stream, revenue sources, lead generation… and keep them flowing as “revenue fountains”; track with a spreadsheet or CRM; spend time ON your business.

Note that intentional activities highly impact our well being, positive simple actions, like loving kindness meditation; check your character strengths here at https://www.viacharacter.org/ and help research; show gratitude and write down 3 good things every day and why they matter.

Reminded us of the importance of movement and exercise for our physical and mental health; tips included controlled sitting down on a chair, inhaling in 4, breathing out in 8, pushing away from the dining table to eat less.

Encouraged us to look at what we do from the perspective of the specialist person who would have that job in a big company, e.g. the CEO who thinks stratigically and acts tactically; the CRO (Chief Risk Officer), inc getting critical illness cover, as recommended by Bryony Thomas; spotlight should be on your customers, not on you; when creating new products, start with the customers’ needs; visibilty + credibility = bookability.

For people who write a book as a business growth strategy; work on the “about the author” page so when people read it, they can see you as a speaker; create postcards with the cover of the book on them even before the book is published, to give out at events; ask event organisers if it would make sense for people at the event to have a copy of your book; target people to gift the book to in the hope that they will then book you; don’t try to put everything you know in just one book.

Tips: ahead of an event, get as much information about the audience as you can so you can use examples that are very similar to their situation; look for them and their influencers; tell people the solution to their problem so you are seen as an expert; have a defined CTA (call to action).

Tips to be brain friendly: be consistent in your presentation, bring writing in from the right, be off centre/on the left of the screen, use fewer words on your slides; stay hydrated, exercise, learn new skills, sleep well, breathe; use the word “because” more often to give the brain closure.

I had attended 2 of the 30 events during lockdown, and found them to be useful and entertaining. I agreed with the following points raised: we need to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do; don’t make assumptions about your clients; make time to work ON your business; online training better chopped up into smaller sessions than in person; geographical barriers have been broken this year.

Tips: tell a story with your photos; consider photos from the back; don’t use the zoom on your phone when you take the photo, zoom in afterwards for better quality; edit simply by adding your name and tilte to a photo of you; use copyright-free photos on Unsplash (where William’s photos are – click here to check them out).

I really enjoyed the exercises, thanks Alex – my camera was off as I was still in my pyjamas and dressing gown early on the Saturday morning!

Takeaways: legacy is about writing on people’s hearts; we can’t know the impact we have; just focus on people; recommended reading  was Charles Dickens’s biography (click here to buy in on Amazon.co.uk), which I have bought!

I had such a lovely and fun time and met 2 lovely ladies – improvation is something I would certainly like to do more of! Thank you, Cathy.

A lot of the speakers also shared some invaluable documents with us – we were genuinely spoilt.

Thank you to all the comperes too.. and apparenly a guy called Malcolm who was doing a grand job behind the scenes sorting the tech out! I certainly would not like that job!!

And a massive thank you to all the organisers and voluteers at PSA who organised a grand event.

What I wish I had made time for: speed networking, which everyone raved on about.

I hope that some day I will be able to attend the conference physically and give it my full attention, rather than trying to be a mum, partner and to run a business at the same time: in 2021? I hope to see you there!

Click here if you are wondering about what I do as a speaker!

Then if you would like to keep in touch, click here to connect with me on LinkedIn (please send me a message with your request!) or click here to register to get my news!

Oh, one last thing: I am the vice-resident for PSA North East and our next event is with Barnaby Wynter, the Brand Creation Expert, on Wednesday 11th November at 6pm. Click here to join us!