If you are a speaker, one of the best investments you can make is to attend the Professional Speakers Summit taking place in New Delhi on February 1 & 2, 2020. Here is my message to the participants and thought I would share them here.
As the Founder President of the Professional Speakers Association of India, I extend a warm welcome to you to Professional Speakers Summit 2020, India’s largest gathering of professional speakers.
In a week’s time, you will be part of an important event that will be pivotal in your growth as a successful global professional speaker.
This email contains vital information for you to make the most of the Summit.
Warning: This is a very long email, and I urge you to read through it carefully as it contains important information.
THINGS TO DO ONE WEEK BEFORE THE SUMMIT
Write Your Speaking Goals: The time before attending the Professional Speakers Summit is an excellent time to write down your big speaking goals. Write down your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). Why is it important? Because having clarity of the goals will help you eke out the best out of the summit. Go ahead. Write down your goals for your speaking career.
List Down the Questions You Seek Answers for: This is an extension of the previous point. Having clarity of your big goals will also highlight the areas where you are lacking and problems that are holding you back from achieving your goals. Write down all the questions. There will be 150+ professional speakers at the Summit and am sure there are people more experienced than you who will have answers to your questions.
Comb Through the Schedule: The final agenda has been published at http://www.PSAI.in/summit. We have successful global speakers and Indian speakers with global experience. Here’s a tip. Going through the summit agenda will help you handpick the specific topics that will help you the most in achieving your speaking goals.
Pick Your Master Classes: Please note that the masterclasses are parallel sessions. There will be three masterclasses that will happen at the same time. This means that if you pick one, you cannot physically be in the other two. So, pick the master class that speaks to you. Go through the schedule and identify in advance which ones you want to attend.
Warning. Masterclasses have Limited Seats: The three concurrent masterclasses will happen in three smaller rooms. Each room only has a maximum seating capacity of around 40 people. Entrance is only on first come first served basis. If a master class has reached full capacity, we will shut and lock the door. No exceptions. Last time, we turned away other speakers and sponsors. So, please be punctual and early.
Divide and Conquer: Breakout master class sessions mean you have to make a choice. By choosing one session, you will have to miss out the other two. You can overcome this problem by creating a buddy system with a friend. While you attend one session, your friend attends the other. Both of you take notes and fill each other up in the evening. Works like a charm.
Download the Official App: We have a dedicated app for our Summit. This is where you will find the schedule, profiles of the speaker, important announcements etc. As part of our eco-initiative, we will not be printing brochures with schedules. Everything will be available on the app. If you have an Android phone, you can get it here from the Google Play Store. If you have an Apple phone, head to the iStore to download the app.
Google the Speakers: Understanding the profile of the speakers will significantly help you in picking the sessions you want to attend at this summit. You can find the profiles of all the speakers at http://www.PSAI.in/summit. The speakers have been handpicked for their expertise and experience. They bring a lot of value to our event. Please google and learn about them. Watch their talks on YouTube. Send out a note to them that you are eager to attend their sessions. Trust me, it’ll make them happy, and it will help you make a good connection when you meet them in person.
Follow the Speakers on Social Media: Now that you know which topics you plan to attend, it is a good idea to understand what the speakers are like. Most speakers are on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Follow them.
Polish Your Elevator Pitch: We will have150 Professional Speakers at the Summit. That’s a lot of people you will be meeting. Most of them will be new to you and you want to make sure you make a good first impression. When the person you meet asks you, ‘So, what do you do?’, you don’t want to ummm and errrr. You want to describe yourself with crisp clarity that makes a powerful impact. Practice your introduction. You’ll be making tons of them throughout the two days.
Get Your Business Cards: You will be doing some serious networking, and you will need lots. So, bring sufficient business cards. I encourage you to print business cards that project you as a professional speaker. If you don’t have one, you still have time to have one designed and printed.
Write down your speaking topics: In the badge you get at the summit, jot down the topics you speak on. This will be an excellent ice breaker and a conversation starter. When you meet others, look at their badges. You’ll find interesting people specializing in interesting topics.
Offer to Volunteer: Pulling off an event like the #PSS2020 is no joke. Every single organizer is a professional speaker. All organizers have volunteered their time and effort for this event. This is a true community event. This is our event. So, please help out. If you find a problem or a glitch at the summit, proactively reach out and help. It is an excellent way to bond with people and goes very well with the spirit of the community.
Update your Website & Social Media: Once you have met people, many will want to learn more about you and your speaking topics. You don’t want them to visit your website that has broken links or social media that has not been updated in a long time. Stay current. Summits are a perfect excuse to do digital spring cleaning.
Bring Your Books: If you have authored books, please bring sufficient copies to the summit. You can gift this to select people in the summit whom you want to make a good connection with. I strongly feel that books are a powerful business card. You also have the option of displaying it at the special bookshelf for a small fee.
Join the Facebook Group: Lots of interesting conversations and useful resources get shared in this group. Join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProfessionalSpeakersAssociationIndia/
If you are joining for the first time, you will be prompted to answer 3 questions. Make sure to answer the questions.
DURING THE SUMMIT
Arrive Early: The Summit registration starts early at 8:30 AM. I would encourage you to arrive even earlier at 8 AM. Follow this tip and you will thank me later. Not only will you be able to beat the queue at the registration desk, but it will also give you an excellent opportunity to meet people in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a fantastic networking tip. Making connections with people is supercritical to enhancing your speaking career. Make the most of it.
Venue Address: The venue is Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport. The full address is NH-8, near Mahipalpur Extension, Block R, Mahipalpur Village, Mahipalpur, New Delhi, Delhi 110037. Here is the Google Maps link. It is a brilliant property and is ranked very high on TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Google Reviews.
Dress Code: Business Casual. Dress as you would for a formal meeting. It’s better to tilt towards formals. Tie and blazers are preferred than jeans and sweatshirts. After all, this is a ‘Professional’ speakers event.
UnPlug from Work: Tell your clients you won’t be reachable on these two days. Inform your coworkers that you won’t be checking emails. Take your family’s permission to go incommunicado over the next two days. By unplugging from work and family, you create this fertile, focused time for insightful learning and networking. If there is one advice that I would strongly emphasize, this would be it. Immerse yourself in the event completely.
You Don’t Have to Attend All the Sessions: Yes, really. The two days at the summit are going to be choc-a-block with sessions. Remember that your mind can only take in so much knowledge. Beware of the information overload. So, be picky about what sessions you want to attend. Don’t worry about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Skip a few sessions that don’t add value to you. Use that time to catch up with people or some quiet reflective time on your own.
Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can make you groggy and impede your ability to focus during the sessions. Make a conscious decision to hit the sack early. Take a hard stance to avoid late-night meetups with friends. I know you will be meeting folks after a long time but this can’t happen at the cost you messing up the event. Go easy on your drinks. You can play catch-up and let loose after the summit is over.
Ask How You Can Help: When meeting people at the summit, listen intently. Ask them what their pain points are and how you can be of help. In a world where we all incessantly seek opportunities, people truly appreciate this gesture to help. Be generous with connecting and introducing people.
Don’t be a Business card Hunter: Don’t aim to meet as many people as you can. It’s natural to want to meet many but with only two days and a packed schedule, you can easily spread yourself thin. Focus on developing a deeper relationship with fewer people. Quality is better than quantity.
Jot Down Behind the Business cards: When you meet people, write down interesting things about them, the topic you discussed or any follow-up actions behind their business card. Don’t trust your brain to remember everything. We overestimate its memory capacity. Writing it down is a smart way to follow up.
Digitize the Business Cards: Later in the evening, transfer all the contact details and the notes to Google Contacts which I feel is the best place to store contacts. You can use apps like CamCard to scan the cards quickly. Digitizing your contacts makes it easy for you to search and retrieve. Once I digitize it, I usually discard the physical business cards because having them only adds to the clutter and I realized that it is cumbersome to dig through a pile of cards to pick one.
Avoid Hanging Out All the Time with Your Friends: I’ve noticed this in previous summits where people from the same cities hang out together. You are already close to your friends and you have all the time later. Out here at the summit, it is a wonderful opportunity to connect and bond with new people. Step out of your group to proactively meet and bond with people from other cities and countries.
Write Down Actionable Points: When you take notes while attending sessions, make it a point to write down action-oriented points. For example, ‘Create a Video Testimonial’ or ‘Analyze 50 hours of my own talks’. This will help you to follow-through. It works even better if you can put a timeline to finish those actions.
Dedicated Notebook: Bring a new notebook and pen. Dedicate this for jotting down important points from the Summit. If you are a digital person like me, I would recommend creating a dedicated Word document or even better, Google Notes to jot down all the lessons. It gets stored in the cloud and make it easy to retrieve and share.
Use the Hashtag #PSS2020: Take lots of photos. Shoot short videos. Post them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other social network you are active at. No matter where you post, make sure to add the hashtag #PSS2020. This will be very useful for the attendees to read your post and see your photos. There are tons of people who could not make it to the event and they will truly appreciate this gesture.
Give Honest Feedback: Especially areas where the speakers can improve. It’s easy for them to get praise and how awesome their talks are. But tough to get honest constructive criticism. That’s why this is valued a lot and the speakers will respect you for it.
Keep an Eye out for Membership: The membership to the Professional Speakers Association of India will be formally opened up at the Summit. There’s a special discount if you pick up the membership at the event. So, take advantage of this offer. Becoming a member of PSAI which is the only association recognized by the Global Speakers Federation is the best thing you can do to boost your speaking career.
Buy Ticket for the Gala Dinner: On the evening of Day 1 on February 1, we have arranged for a special dinner for the speakers and influential CEOs. This Gala Dinner is invite-only. However, we have opened up a few slots if you want to attend. The tickets are available here
Ask for Any Help: We are here to help you. Please feel free to call one of us.
Vikas Jain 88020 27070 Vikas@VikasJainLive.com
Bijay Gautam 83769 32679 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiruba Shankar 9841597744 Kiruba@Kiruba.com
Look forward to meeting you at PSS2020. Pack in your sense of humour. Turn on your learning mode. Switch gears to take your speaking career to the next level.
President, Professional Speakers Association of India
CEO, Business Blogging