Toastmasters Convention 2015: Day Zero – The Accredited Speaker Seminar Opening Session


  Today was the seminar for Toastmasters International Accredited Speaker program. In the morning portion of this program we heard some great tips from many existing Accredied Speakers as well as some important feedback from TI Headquarters. This first post includes my notes, as well as key takeaways from the opening sessions. 

Big take aways: 

Judging form – very neat seeing the official form

Follow the rules – one applicant recently didn’t move forward because their video submission went over 

Buy all of the advanced manuals

Think comma in your fee (more than $1,000)

3 going for AS this Friday – stream it for $9.99 if you can’t attend
“When people hire you, they don’t hire you because you’re a great speaker. They hire you for your expertise.” – Dilip Abayasekara, DTM, PIP, AS

Identify your area of expertise! It’s not Speaking! 

WHQ says they sometime get applicants with letters of recommendation from the same audience. The requirement is five from five different clients.

Other common mistakes include:

Poor quality recording

Presentation too long or too short

Too much notice (speaker not miked)

Must be a live audience (not empty chairs) 

Tip of the day: ask for help

Additional tip – use a private YouTube channel to post videos
Karen Twichell spoke about her experience in not passing at convention in 2009 and preparing for 2010. Her biggest lesson was “be yourself”. 

Many event planners don’t know about the AS program. But even though they don’t know it, they do like it. They do include it in their event advertising. 
Johnny Campell (who I’ve blogged about before) spoke about his three keys to resiliency:

1. Know your real reason – not just “I’m a professional speaker, so I guess I’ll be an Accredited Speaker”

2. Structure – leave no doubt in the judges minds 

3. Record yourself – every time
“Everything I do starts with a speech” – Peter Stark, DTM, AS, CSP

When speaking to a company, I want to learn about that company and what else I can do to help them. 

“It’s a lot easier to find a new audience than to find a new speech” – from his mentor.

Most competitive in this environment is the keynote speech. Less is the training speech and executive coaching.

There is very little traffic in the extra mile.

When what you’re doing isn’t working, throw it out.

Hang out with great people and mentors.

Peter reinterated that in 25 years not one event planner has known what the AS designation was. He went on to say none new about the NSA’s CSP designation either. Not one asked about where he went to school, his degree, or his grad program.

What the AS program did for him was took him through the process that made a tremendous difference in his speaking business.

Also, writing a book helped him hone his message. 

In the Speakers Bureau market, “will they use you?” – in the referral market, it’s “how are they going to use you”

That concluded the opening session on the program – here are some great takeaways already. I captured what I could above. 

Next up is Dana LaMon. 

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