4 Quick Tips to Avoid Bad Meetings

Written by Susan Leahy on . Posted in Federation News


There are few things more frustrating than a meeting where nothing gets done.  People walk out feeling frustrated, angry and upset.  Useless meetings will cause a TEAM to break down forcing them to digress back into a group that is driven by personal agendas and ego.  Bad meetings are bad news for building strong TEAMs. 

Here are a few easy tips to keep your meetings on track to support the success of your TEAM.

Step #1:  Have a pre-written agenda

Wait! Don’t stop reading.  I know you have heard this before.  But whether the meeting is formal or informal, short or long, have a written agenda and then stick to it.

Included in your agenda should be items such as:

  • Start Time and End Time

People like to know when the meeting is going to start, but more importantly when it is going to end.  Aim to start all meetings on time and never let your meetings run over.  Nothing says, “I disrespect your time” more than a meeting that runs over!

  • Participants

Having meeting participants’ names on your agenda can create accountability.  Members can’t be anonymous.  Make sure that people who are attending the meeting really need to be there. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

  • Information Items with TIME FRAME

People are good at talking. Be sure that you have a space for people to give information, but you dictate exactly how much.  By giving people a time frame, people will have to consider what information to add and more importantly what information to not add.

  • Action Items

This is where business and decisions take place.  Make certain that if there is a decision that needs to be made by the time the meeting has adjourned that everyone knows the action items of the meeting.  There is nothing more frustrating then getting to the action items and running out of time. 


Step #2: Review the agenda at the beginning of the meeting

This step seems simple but many facilitators think that since they passed the agenda out beforehand that they do not have to read the agenda aloud.  That is a very big mistake. Start the meeting by reading the complete agenda.

This accomplishes several things. 

  1. It gets everyone on the same page and ready for the meeting.
  1. Many associations have a problem with people showing up late.  Reading the agenda buys the facilitator a little bit of time so that he or she will not have to repeat as much when people walk in late, and also establishes that you are going to always start on time! 
  1. Facilitating a meeting is not an easy task and makes many people nervous.  If you are facilitating a meeting, reading the agenda allows you to do something that will help to focus you and to help you manage your nerves so you can have a successful meeting.

Reading the entire agenda at the beginning of the meeting is a great facilitation tool that many Chairs miss out on.  Read that agenda.


Step #3:  Teach “The 7 Fundamental Motions” used during most meetings.

If you are running a formal meeting using Robert’s Rules of Order it is essential that you teach your members how to use it properly.  Members do not have to become experts they need to understand the basics.  For example, in my Robert’s Rules Made Simple Online Training I review the 7 Fundamental Motions used during most meetings.

  1. The Main Motion
  2. Amendment
  3. Amend the Amendment
  4. Refer to a Committee
  5. Postpone to a Certain Time
  6. Lay on the Table
  7. Previous Question

Teach your members the basics first.  Many groups spend the year fighting with Robert’s Rules instead of taking the time to learn it.  Bring in someone to teach it or to conduct a webinar. Provide training tools such as Robert’s Rules Made Simple Solution. But remember even Robert’s Rules of Order is a team tool. It is no good if only one person knows how to use it. Commit to teaching your entire board the basics!

Step #4:  Ask for participation

Sometimes in meetings, it is not uncommon to hear from the same people over and over again.  We need to find ways to not discourage those who actively participate but find ways to encourage others to participate.  Here is an example of a couple of things a person chairing a meeting can say to stimulate discussion from people who are not participating and to manage those who are participating too much:

“I have noticed that there are several people we have yet to hear from.  Does anyone we have not heard from have something to add?”

“These are all great points but is there anyone with a different opinion we haven’t heard from yet?”

“I would like to encourage those we have yet to hear from to please share their understanding of the topic at hand?”

Great meetings include the voices of both the majority and the minority, the loud and the soft-spoken.  It is crucial that members feel comfortable and are invited to participate.

While this list can go on forever, it is essential to remember that nothing de-motivates people more then meetings where work doesn’t get done.  If you want to be a TEAM you have to run great meetings!


The author of this blog, Susan Leahy MA CSP, is a loving, powerful, committed woman.  She is a certified speaking professional as well as the co-founder of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions a training and consulting organization that supports clients to build a “Culture of TEAM” by empowering the individual.  Susan is also the creator of www.RobertsRulesMadeSimple.com. Great TEAMs run great meetings, and Susan’s webinars and online training products are used by thousands of boards across the US & Canada to run more effective meetings. Susan’s has also launched “The Confident Woman Program” a movement that connects women to their confidence while elevating the condition of women worldwide.  Stronger Women Leads To a Better World!

To learn more about Susan Leahy MA CSP visit her at www.GrouptoTEAM.com



President’s Message – October 2016

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

From Ulm to Nottingham… It’s a small world after all!

After the magnificent GSA convention hosted by President Martin Laschkolnig and his team in Ulm, set in beautiful Bavaria, I headed out to Nottingham, the land of Robin Hood, to attend a stellar PSA UK & Ireland convention, hosted by President Tim Luscombe and his team.



At the GSA Ulm Convention Banquet (from left to right): Martin Laschkolnig, President, GSA; Nabil Doss, President, Global Speakers Federation;and John B. Molidor, Ph.D., CSP, President, NSA

At the PSA UK & Ireland Convention Banquet (from left to right): John B. Molidor, Ph.D., CSP, President, NSA; Nabil Doss, President, Global Speakers Federation; and Lee Jackson, starting his term as PSA UK & Ireland President.



Much to my surprise, many of my fellow speakers and friends whom I saw in Ulm, were also in Nottingham, still learning, still sharing, and still growing their expertise with their extended tribe.



As an Association Leader, are you taking full advantage of your membership affiliation to the Global Speakers Federation to learn, share, and grow your association and your network?

One of the tangible benefits the Global Speakers Federation is the opportunity it brings you to attend any convention from our 13 member associations at member’s price. This is a priceless benefit (pun intended!) which has a triple impact:

  • It raises our members profiles and expertise, which positively impacts our profession.
  • It nurtures cross-pollination and networking, which expands our members reach.
  • It showcases best practices, which can in turn be imported and implemented in our respective organisations.

Each association brings a different flavour to their convention based on local culture, language, rituals, and traditions. It creates a rich learning environment and further broadens our horizons and our global savviness.


Are you taking advantage of this unique benefit?

While I understand that, as a leader, your plate must be quite full serving your national association while keeping your speaking business afloat, I still encourage you to make the time in your busy agenda to visit a few countries and participate in their conventions. The rewards are exponential; both professionally and personally… and your home association will certainly benefit from your learnings in the process!

Our most influential leaders in the Federation have criss-crossed the world and attended their fair share of conventions… still craving for this magic trilogy: learning, sharing, growing.

The spotlight is now on Edmonton (in Canada) where the CAPS convention is getting ready to take place on the first weekend of December.

Are you planning to be there? I certainly am!


Globally yours,

Nabil Doss
2016-2017 GSF President
Together, let’s unleash our G-Force!


President’s Message – September 2016

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News


“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
– John Dunne

It is my distinct honour to serve as the 20th President of the Global Speakers Federation, an organization founded in 1997 with a vision of expanding the Speaking profession globally by championing, supporting, and providing resources to nurture the development and growth of associations of professional speakers worldwide.

In full alignment with our Founding Fathers’ guiding principles, the Federation is about to spread its wings with a new governance structure, to fully embrace its growing membership and seek new opportunities worldwide.

As our world keeps shrinking, global knowledge is expanding at an exponential rate and, with global organizations expecting a consistent delivery of world-class value to meet their objectives, the role of the Federation as a collaborative platform facilitating cross-pollination between its members, is more relevant than ever.

Today, with 13 independent Professional Speaker Association boasting over 5,000 members, spanning 5 continents, the Global Speakers Federation is indeed a powerful hub ; a network who impacts, inspires, and influences millions of people every day through the infinite power of the spoken word. The Federation is the conduit through which experience and expertise are freely shared amongst the Speaking Community worldwide.

With interest from several more associations soon to be members, the Federation is currently formed by associations from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany (including Austria and Switzerland), Holland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Southern Africa, United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United States of America, for a total of 15 nations, with individuals from over 20 countries around the world.

This year, our vision is mainly focused on leveraging our collective brain and tapping on the wealth of resources available to us, to chart the future of our associations and make our members, our profession, and our industry continue to thrive.

Together, we will tear down geographic walls and expand the limits of our combined influence to make our world a little better!

Nabil Doss
2016 – 2017 President of the Global Speakers Federation

President’s Message – March 2016

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

PSA Holland organized their Convention recently in Leiden, Netherlands. Close to 70 professional speakers attended the 2 days event on March 18 & 19, 2016. I was really delighted to see a high number of world-class content and delivery by the respective speakers who spoke at the Convention. It was also wonderful to see representatives from GSA, NSA US, PSA Belgium, PSA UKI & AFCP supporting in attendance for the Convention.  PSA Holland also welcomed its first female President Frowa Schuitemaker, who succeeded Victor Bonke, who led PSA Holland for 3 years as their President. Listen to what Frowa has to share about GSF: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7GWxyP7cPc ). It was wonderful to have Harry van Hest, PSA Belgium share his greetings with all. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DAzGdIP03k )
I also took the opportunity to visit the Global office of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. ICCA is the global expert in international association meetings. They represent the main specialists in organising, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events globally. The objectives of the visit were to explore collaboration opportunities with ICCA and to share about Global Speakers Federation and its 13 member associations. You can download the 52 pages, 2014 International Association Meetings Market report and share the key stats with you respective Associations. The 2015 report will be available mid June 2016.  This visit is a post follow up from the earlier participation at the Union of International Association (UIA) Congress in Bangkok last year.

From a member association development front, Sweden is the latest country to submit its application to be part of Global Speakers Federation. Once the documentations and due diligence process are in place, this will be brought to the GSF Executive Council for a vote.

The Global Speaking Fellow’s revised application, revalidation and conferring process (including optimized criteria).  is being discussed and reviewed by the Strategic Task Force & member associations on the next steps, led by Alan Stevens. Once a proposal is recommended, it will be reviewed by the GSF Executive Committee, before it is shared with the Council members and the respective member associations.

I am looking forward to be part of the Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers (MAPS) National Leadership Convention 2016 on March 30 & 31.
I highly recommend that the leadership teams continue cross promoting each other’s convention and events. After MAPS, it will be PSA Australia in April, PSASA and APSS in the month of May.  If you are a CSP, you may also consider attending the NSA CSP/CPAE Summit from April 15-17. This is one valuable benefit of being a member of GSF.
Thanks again for your commitment to serve as leaders for your association and for the GSF. Do reach out to me or any Federation leaders to let us know of your association’s new initiatives and successes.
At your service
Jonathan Low, CSP, PCC
2015-2016 GSF President
Communication – Collaboration – Transparency – Continuity

Featured Association: PSA UK-I

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

The Professional Speaking Association of UK and Ireland was founded in 1999 and is a GSF success story currently with about 650 members, over 85 of which are Fellows and 225 are Professional Speaking members with the balance being “Associate Members”

Their Annual Conference “MEGA” is being held in Reading, which is just outside London and very close to Heathrow Airport, at a great Country club venue called Wokefield Park

There are a great array of fascinating inspirational and educational international speakers (many already recoignised at CSP level) including:

  • Ruby Newell-Legner from USA,
  • Jonathan Low from Malaysia,
  • David Newman and Faith Wood from Canada,
  • Sepehr Tarverdian from Iran,
  • Steve Barnett from South Africa.

In addition, they have a wealth of Speakers representing the British Isles, including:

  • Stuart Harris from Scotland, and
  • Nikki Owen, Joy Marsden, and Claire Carpenter from England

The event will be hosted on Friday 9th October and Saturday 10th October and will include loads of Experts sharing their ideas.  You will want to experience “The Speaker Factor” finals, as well as the Friday night street party and comedy night.  The event will conclude on the Saturday evening with a Gala Awards dinner – phew what an event!

On top of that we have our traditional “Speaking Sizzler” on Sunday morning with Lottie Hearn from Ireland, Mel Sherwood from Scotland, and Peter Tyler, Lee Jackson, Anthony Stears, and Vinay Parmar from England to send us home with loads on our “to do” lists.

To reserve one of the few remaining tickets – go here .  Remember that as a GSF member you get to purchase your tickets at the member price.


Welcome to our new President!

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

jonathan_lowOn behalf of the Executive Committee, Council  & staff, we are delighted to welcome Jonathan Low, CSP as the new 2015-2016 President of the Global Speakers Federation.  Please take a moment to read Jonathan’s welcome message and browse the photos from the inauguration on July 18, 2015.

Jonathan Low has served on the GSF Executive Committee since 2012. He is Past President of the Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers (MAPS) and  the co-founder of PowerUpSuccess.com, one of Asia leading and fastest growing  Sales, Service & Leadership Talent Development Organization.

Jonathan works with executives and their leadership teams throughout Asia and the Middle East to measurably improve their leadership effectiveness and business performance especially in the areas of Service Quality, Sales Performance, Leadership Communication and Team Development. he has more than 25 years of professional & international business experience in executive positions in the hospitality & service industry.

Connect with him at: www.LinkedIn.com/in/jonathanlow

 Global Speakers Federation 2015/16 Presidential Handover & Address



Highlighted Association of the Month – AFCP

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

If you are a trainer, consultant, coach, speaker and you either speak French, live in France or want to work more in France – you have come to the right place!
Whether you are experienced or a beginner in the art of speaking (to an audience of 15 people minimum), the AFCP should be the home for you.

Our goal is to help you develop your skills and network in the field of professional speaking in French… in France. Do you:

  • know how to handle the French language?
  • know how to inspire an audience of at least 15 people?
  • speak a second language (preferably English or German)?
  • want to become a renowned speaker, identifiable on social networks?
  • want to ensure the promotion of this wonderful art of speaking?
  • want to create a professional speakers network in your area?

Participate at our next international convention of professional speakers in France August 27-29, 2015!