A Last Look at Leadership in 2019

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

Strategic thinking, bold moves, the end of narcissism, and a few other takeaways from a busy year.

Congratulations! If your association is in any way a reflection of larger economic trends, you probably had a pretty good year as a leader. The economy is generally doing well, so most organizations have been able to avoid belt-tightening with staff. There are heartening reports that associations have increasingly embraced strategic thinking. And if the old association model is becoming unsettled, there are also more ways than ever to connect and engage with members and stakeholders.

But, as ever, there’s still work to be done. Much of what I wrote about in 2019 for this blog revolved around the challenges and opportunities created by these upsides. Leaders may not be able to address every problem they face. But take a look at some of the themes that emerged for me, and see if there aren’t ideas for what your next move as a leader might be.

One of the weakest areas of leadership in every organization is the ability to define success with precision.

Staffers are looking for more reasons to engage. Association staffers do their best work when they feel successful—but they need leaders to clearly articulate what success looks like. “One of the weakest areas of leadership in every organization—and this is across industries, not just associations—is the ability to define success with precision,” consultant and author Jamie Notter told me in February. For some staffers, simply promoting them may not be enough, and it might be the wrong answer entirely. But you won’t go wrong by being as transparent as possible with staff about where your association is and how you’re meeting your goals. It’s impossible to overcommunicate, many CEOs say, especially when it comes to more disruptive changes.

Boards need to be pushed out of their comfort zones. The CEO doesn’t run an association’s board; indeed, it’s typically the board that conducts the CEO’s performance review. But CEOs are uniquely positioned to champion new ideas before the board, and it’s a role they should embrace. One of my favorite association stories of 2019 was the American Astronomical Society stepping up in a hurry to purchase Sky & Telescope magazine, a foundering publication that found new life through AAS. Making the move, with some expensive upfront costs, required some selling on the CEO’s part, but that effort was ultimately worth it.

Strategy is still a challenge. Many associations have dispensed with their outdated “leadership ladders,” where even eager volunteers find themselves waiting the better part of a decade to attain a board seat. But speeding the process has meant that more board members need better education about strategy, and CEOs can lead that education. And while more association execs and staffers are engaged in strategic planning, boards still need some help when it comes to strategic thinking.

Top-down leadership is out of style, if not antiquated. As New Power authors and ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition speakers Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans pointed out, the command-and-control model associations have used with members needs to give way to more inclusive, flexible, and collaborative relationships. That may have an impact on what leadership style is most effective with your stakeholders. Hard-charging extroverts and narcissists may need to take a lesson from servant leaders: Be the leader who doesn’t wield power so much as empowers others.

The needle still isn’t moving much on diversity. A report earlier this year found that while a solid majority of nonprofits say their boards should be more diverse, only about half have taken any real action to increase diversity. That “real action” will rely on a change in mindset: As one executive pointed out in Deloitte report on the lack of women board leaders, “without strong, proactive leadership from the board chair and nominating committee, some boards will continue to bring in people like themselves.” With D+I at the bottom of the list of priorities at associations, according to one recent report, it’s a conversation that still requires urgent attention.

Thanks for reading, and see you in 2020.

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Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

New research shows that users are moving away from public social platforms. Also: revamping meetings in 2020.

It’s no surprise that social media is—well, social. But come next year, platforms might start to trend away from that, says Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes on Fast Company. His insight comes on the heels of the company’s annual Social Media Trends Report.

“Considering the controversies that have surrounded social networks of late, it’s no surprise to see that users are fleeing public platforms for the relative privacy of messaging apps and closed groups,” Holmes says.

In fact, 63 percent of people prefer sharing and talking about content in private channels, according to research from GlobalWebIndex. Holmes says this trend will only grow: “Expect to see private and one-to-one platforms continue to thrive in 2020,” such as Instagram’s newly launched Threads platform.

Another callout of Hootsuite’s report: the evolution of social media incentives. More recently, signature features, such as “likes,” have been criticized for creating larger problems.

“Algorithms to surface interesting updates end up prioritizing provocative and misleading news,” Holmes explains. “Metrics like followers and likes encourage mindless sharing and undercut meaningful engagement. A commitment to open dialogue gives free rein to bullies and trolls.”

Come 2020, Holmes says platforms will confront these issues. Instagram, for example, has already started testing hidden like counts.

“The motivation: Encourage users to engage with videos and photos on their own merits, rather than simply following the herd,” Holmes says.

Up Your Conference Culture

2020 tuneup: Six #marketing insights from our 2019 #B2BDreamTeam https://t.co/XKesvWfrkv #eventprofs pic.twitter.com/Ac6LWf6C1c

— Event Marketer (@EventMarketer) December 20, 2019

Kicking off the next decade with a roster full of events? Make meetings memorable by re-evaluating conference culture, says Ojas Rege, chief product officer at One Concern, in an interview with Event Marketer.

“With the nontraditional events, it’s about thinking minute by minute, hour by hour, what’s the experience, what are the interactions, what do I do as a user, how do I flow through the space—not just where I sit and watch a presentation,” he explains. “If you give the audience something that lets them do their jobs better, they love it, and they value it, and they become loyal.”

Other Links of Note

Dealing with end-of-year stress? Forbes shares strategies to help you cope.

Make your website accessible with these six tips from Convince & Convert.

Once a member joins, it’s time to start on your retention efforts. MultiBriefs outlines five ways associations can create an inclusive environment and offer value from the start.

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Ideas for Making Your Conferences More Inclusive

Ideas for Making Your Conferences More Inclusive

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

You want to make sure every attendee has the best experience possible, and that may mean rethinking how you’ve done everything from registration to captioning. A look at three associations taking the lead on creating more inclusive meetings.

I know that you don’t need me to tell you about the importance of diversity and inclusion when it comes to all aspects of managing and running your associations. But recently I’ve come across a handful of examples of associations that have tried new initiatives to make sure their conferences are more inclusive. Here’s a look a three of them.

Registration Fee Restructuring

The Heart Rhythm Society’s Annual Scientific Sessions attracts more than 12,000 scientists, researchers, clinicians, and other innovators from around the world. Recognizing that it can be difficult for healthcare professionals with limited financial resources to attend, HRS decided to eliminate registration fees (which ranged from $1,180 to $2,475 in 2019, depending on registration type) for self-paying attendees from countries that the World Bank classifies as lower- and lower-middle income.

“They already have to pay airfare and hotel for four nights,” Germaine Schaefer, senior director, meeting operations, told Convene magazine back in August. “If they’re making those investments, we want to do what we can to help lower additional expenses.”

According to HRS, the strategy is all about spreading education to developing countries to improve patient care. “Cost should not be the barrier,” Schaefer said.

HRS isn’t the only association to reconsider its registration fee structure as a way to make its conference more inclusive. In 2018, the Association for Jewish Studies introduced a new fee schedule, where attendees who earn less pay less to attend the conference than individuals who earn more.

Family Friendly

At its 2019 Annual Meeting in Lisbon, the International Society of Political Psychology did a number of things to show that it was invested in supporting families who would be in attendance. For example, those who submitted proposals to present could make scheduling requests, which ISPP did its best to accommodate.

In addition, when it came time to register, family members and children could register for free. “We knew that they would only be present for a reception or two and perhaps the talk by their parent, spouse, etc., who was actually there to attend the event,” wrote ISPP Executive Director Severine Bennett for Smart Meetings.

Once onsite, ISPP had name badge ribbons for all family members, as well as goody bags filled with items like stickers, crayons, and coloring books for the kids. “If you can find just a little bit in your budget for these types of things—to recognize that your attendees have families and that you, as an organization, are making efforts to accommodate and include them and make them feel special—you will likely reap rewards of loyal members and repeat conference attendees,” Bennett wrote.

Listening Made Easier

A few years ago, EDUCAUSE began noticing that more of its 8,000-plus annual conference attendees were asking for things that would help them better hear speakers. “We do provide sign language interpreters when needed, but [some attendees] are in an in-between world,” Director of Conferences and Events Beth Croll, CMP, recently told Convene. “A lot of our audience is focused on the teaching/learning environment, so we wanted to showcase something that would help all learners.”

At its October 2019 conference, EDUCAUSE introduced Wordly. By connecting the speaker’s microphone to a mobile device running Wordly’s presenter app, the cloud-based software automatically translates their words into 15 languages. Attendees could then use their mobile device to access the website, where they could listen to the real-time translation or read a transcript in whatever language they preferred.

What strategies have you implemented to ensure that your conferences are welcoming to everyone? Tell us about it in the comments.

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“Disrupt” Your Meeting to Improve Attendee Productivity

“Disrupt” Your Meeting to Improve Attendee Productivity

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

Karen Malone of HIMSS talks about how she constantly thinks about innovation and disruption, including with her own staff.

To create innovative and interactive meetings, planners around the nation are raising the bar on productivity and capitalizing on attendee experience. In Orlando, seven planners have exceeded in this realm, setting the bar high for both their peers and the industry. In this series, we’ll learn how these planners are driving change, creating memorable events and inspiring their attendees at each and every meeting.

Meet our second “Planner of Productivity”: Karen Malone, vice president of meetings and sales of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, better known as HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago. Malone oversees the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition in Orlando every two years. The next event will be in Orlando March 9–13, 2020. The conference brings together nearly 45,000 professionals from 90+ countries for education, innovation and collaboration.

Visit Orlando: How do you define innovation and what are you doing to infuse this into the meetings you plan?

Karen Malone: Innovation can be so many things, but a lot of it is around disruption and change, which people are often very uncomfortable with. But given the industry we’re in—technology and health care—it’s just inevitable the amount of innovation that happens and needs to continue to happen to be able to deliver the best care and get the best outcomes. We try to lead by example throughout the conference. We showcase innovation in many different places. We have an Innovation Live area on our exhibit floor that has accelerators and incubators in it and a lot of companies such as startups that are demonstrating innovative solutions. .

We have another area on our exhibit floor called the Health Care of the Future Pavilion, which showcases many innovative solutions that are bleeding-edge—not even quite on the market yet. We also showcase many innovative companies that have health care solutions—disruptive companies that you wouldn’t even necessarily associate with health care like Google and Amazon and Lyft and Comcast.

Orlando’s really trying to become more of a mega city around medical technology. They have Lake Nona Medical City. We’ve worked with their CIO; about four or five years ago we did a tour with them and we’ve been working with them every year since. We do tours, and we engage them as speakers in our conference program because they are very innovative.

VO: How have such innovative approaches allowed for greater productivity in meetings?

KM: Here’s one of the things I do with my staff: The team that is responsible for logistics management—I rotate their job every year for three years. One year one person might be responsible for all convention center logistics and another person is responsible for all events in food and beverage, special events planning. And the other is responsible for housing and transportation. And then the next year they rotate and do one of the other areas, and then the next year they rotate again. I do that to a) develop them, b) keep them challenged and c) it helps us should we have any turnover; we have people who can jump right in.

VO: Taking advantage of smart, flexible meeting space is one of the largest trends this year. How have you utilized this for greater productivity?

KM: The Tangerine Ballroom in the West Building in the Orlando convention center I would call flexible space. It can be a beautiful ballroom; it can be an exhibit hall; it can be breakout space for education sessions; it can be a very large networking area; it can be a reception venue. We definitely look to use spaces like that in all kinds of ways to maximize our program.

In the Valencia Ballroom in the West Building last year we had keynote sessions; then I intentionally scheduled the keynote sessions dark for a few days so we could turn it over to a Learning Lounge. We created a big food court and park in the foyer area. We called it our HIMSS Park. We set up games and picnic tables; we did a happy hour. We had putt-putt golf. We worked with our decorator to design food truck facades for the catering area. Then we turned it back over again later in the week so we could run some more keynote sessions. We always look at how we can multipurpose space.

VO: What advice would you give to peers about keeping up with consumer expectations? How should they not only manage this, but continuously surprise and delight attendees?

KM: Talk to your peers, see what they’re doing. We are one another’s best resources. And go visit other shows. All my staff are required to go visit other shows—at least one, if not two, a year, even overseas. Get some ideas from them, whether they’re association shows or corporate shows. I think there’s so many things we can learn from corporate shows. Financially, their budgets are often greater than ours, but there’s still some great takeaways.

And look at your program as zero based every year. Something we hate at our organization is when folks say, “Well, we’ve always done it that way.” That’s just not acceptable.

VO: Describe a few of the initiatives you’ve spearheaded—no matter how large or small—to improve the attendee experience.

KM: We have new leadership at our association with the mindset of greater globalization. The global conference used to be focused more on the North American market, and we realized this is such a great asset to the organization that we need to use it more as the magnet worldwide. There’s so much for people in the United States to learn from people abroad and vice versa. So, we’ve worked very hard over the last few years to really integrate global representation for our meeting on our education committee, global representatives in our programming, our curriculum. Also, on our exhibit floor; we’ve got 10 or 12 international pavilions.

VO: When thinking about unique experiences in Orlando, which offsite location do you prefer: Café Tu Tu Tango? Cuba Libre? ICON Park?

KM: I’ve been to all three, and they’re all terrific. Café Tu Tu’s really cool, and so’s Cuba Libre. We’ve done some private events at all of those, I believe, and I know our exhibitors have.

This article has been provided by Visit Orlando.

When it comes to productivity, innovation and unique attendee experience, Orlando usually tops the list. With fantastical backdrops you won’t find anywhere else, only Orlando can offer incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences that your attendees will be talking about for years to come. Tapping into the heritage of creative thinking from its first-rate theme parks, Orlando offers a wide range of creative resources to help your transform your meeting or event. From unique team building activities, exclusive dine-around options to immersive private events inside its world-renowned theme parks complete with a fire-breathing dragon, you are sure to wow your group in Orlando. Discover the many resources available to you to help make your next meeting or event unforgettable at Orlandomeeting.com.

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Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News

2.7 years.

961 days.

23,069 hours.

1,384,128 seconds…

As we finished our AGM and Board meeting in July 2018, we had a ticking timebomb staring us in the face. With the expenditure rate outstripping our revenues, we realised that it was a matter of time before we would need to close the doors and end the journey that started in July 1997.

It has been recognised that the last three years had been turbulent ones for the Global Speakers Federation (GSF), with the move from Council to Board (which included a re-write of our bylaws and policies) and the rebranding of the Global Speaking Fellow (from the older CSPGlobal). These initiatives had been labour-intensive and had consumed a lot of resources from our volunteer leadership team and Bond as our Association Management Company.

In addition, on the positive side, there had been the introduction and welcome of three new Associations to our fold – PSAN, NSA Sweden and PAPS – helping the GSF to increase our extended reach to over 5,500 (a 2.5% increase in 2018 alone!) speakers globally.

However, we started the 2018 financial year projecting a $13K deficit in budget and inherited a run-rate projection in July 2018 that would have seen us increase our financial deficit to around $20K by December 31st, 2018. This has been in part due to the decrease in Global Speaking Fellow applications (we had budgeted 10 and realised only 4 applications), and a budgeted revenue gain from GSS2018 that was forecast at $5K and unfortunately had not been realised. This was counter-balanced with our projected expenses for the year, which were in line with the budget forecast.

To help us stem the tide of financial losses, we set up a Finance Committee, headed up by Martin Laschkolnig and Steve Lowell, CSP. After a series of meetings by the Finance Committee, and review of the draft 2019 budget with the Steering Committee, we were pleased to announce that significant headway was made to address our budgets, stem our losses and provide a level of growth within our reserves going forward.

The Finance Committee had also recognised work put in place by the Steering Committee and approved by the Board to remedy the revenues on two initiatives that will help to generate the funds to reflect the workload for Bond. These include:

  1. Increasing the fees for a new Association to join the GSF (that has increased from $500 to $1,995)
  2. Increasing the fees to apply for the Global Speaking Fellow designation (that has increased to $995 from $499)

During this year, and in the forthcoming year, we anticipated that there will be fewer labour-intensive initiatives. So, with this in mind, we reviewed the budgets for 2019 and saw some positive indications:

  • We worked with Bond to review the scope of services provided to the GSF which subsequently reduced monthly contract fees (which covers the admin side of running the Federation)
  • We reduced the Presidential travel budget and shared the travel within the Presidential Leadership Team for proximity to events to keep costs down, along with video messaging when travel was not permissible

In parallel to this work, we introduced a Strategy Committee, which was led by Liz Weber, CSP and Tiffany Kemp, FPSA. With their sterling work, we have introduced a three-year strategic plan. It has five pillars:

  1. Achieve financial sustainability
  2. Strengthen the Global Professional Speakers Association community through education, networking and collaboration
  3. Become industry data resource for members and media
  4. Attain greater global awareness of and demand for the paid speaking profession
  5. Implement a transition/exit plan

I’m pleased to report that we have seen traction across the Board in these initiatives. I want to thank each Board member (and/or their designate) who has volunteered to head up an area and for their contributions to keep this vision vibrant and alive.

During the year that I served, we have implemented a change in policy that affected the Presidential travel. In addition to reducing our travel budgets, we have shared the workload amongst the Presidential Leadership Team (PLT). Instead of sending me to represent the GSF in South Africa and Namibia, Europe or Singapore and Malaysia, we shared that responsibility amongst the team. For example, it made much more sense to have Shirley, who lives in Singapore, attend the APSS and MAPS conventions, and for Paul to travel from Holland to attend the PSASA, PSAN and AFCP (European) conventions. This has translated to a more fiscally responsible position for the GSF.

In our 2019 budget we have included a new line item of $7,500 to be put in place for additional strategic project execution (for example, projects recommended by the Strategy Committee) beyond the mere administration side of running the Federation.

All this to say, we are confident that we can deliver a positive financial bottom line for 2019, which is expected to produce a surplus of income over expenses in excess of $10K (or even more if we don’t need to tap into the new $7,500 line item)! As you will see from our P&L Statements, we have already delivered $15,123.20 of profit as of June 30th. We continue to track ahead of budget and anticipate this continuing through to 31st December 2019.

The other significant accomplishment was the resolution of the annuity that we had. The initial investment of $50,000 has accrued $12,313.40 of interest as of February 2019. This annuity is now in the name of the Global Speakers Federation, with Shari Bricks identified as the annuitant. The good news, from a financial perspective is that I will be handing over $101,522.63 in assets (as of June 30, 2019) to Paul for the year that he serves.

As I complete this year that I have served, I feel confident that we have financial stability and a viable strategy that can see the GSF deliver value to our members for the foreseeable future. I wish to thank the members of the PLT, Finance Committee, Strategy Committee, Steering Committee, our Board of Directors and Bond for their assistance in making this positive step forward for the future viability of the GSF.

Now I have 372 days – 8,928 hours or 214,272 seconds – left as Immediate Past President (not that I’m counting!).

Elias Kanaris
GSF President (2018-2019)


GSF Past Presidents gather at NSA Influence 2019

GSF Past Presidents gather at NSA Influence 2019

GSF is an Inclusive Organization

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News

In light of a recent post on the German Speakers Association (GSA) website, and subsequent commentary throughout various social media outlets, the Global Speakers Federation (GSF), as a representative of its member speaking associations, hereby distances itself from publications in which groups of people or people of a particular faith are discriminated against, even if it is meant as a joke or as an example in the context of writing humor. The GSF is an inclusive organization. We, as the Presidential Leadership Team of the GSF, believe that our speakers’ worlds are open to everyone and we make no distinction. We respectfully ask our member association leaders to refrain from publishing discriminatory or offensive content and to exercise caution in these areas.

Paul ter Wal, LLM CSP FPSA
President of the GSF


Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News

At the recent Global Speakers Federation Annual Meeting in Denver, GSF President, Elias Kanaris, was pleased to present two awards to these remarkable individuals.

Beverly Babb Award For Extraordinary Service
Martin Laschkolnig

Martin Laschkolnig Beverly Babb Award The Beverly Babb Award recognizes the service of individuals who have contributed strongly to the foundational growth of the Federation and/or member associations.

This award recognizes individuals who have typically served behind the scenes without expectation of recognition or reward – someone who has contributed extraordinarily to the growth, strength and substance of the Federation.

This year’s Beverly Babb Award was given to Martin Laschkolnig, who has just completed 10 years of service with the Federation. A past President of GSA, Martin has been a strong contributor to the GSF, serving as a member of the Steering Committee as well as the Finance Committee

Congratulations, Martin, and many thanks for your huge contribution to the GSF over the years.


President’s Award for Service
Liz Weber, CSP

Liz Weber, CSP, President's AwardEach year, the GSF President has the opportunity to present a special award to someone who made outstanding, visible, and very much appreciated contributions to the Federation during that presidential year.

President Elias Kanaris thanked Liz Weber, CSP for her leadership in enabling the Federation to articulate and define our 3-year strategy. Liz, who is the NSA representative on the GSF Board, an active participant on the Steering Committee and led the Strategy Committee, put a lot of effort to ensuring that the momentum gained in this FY continues to drive initiatives that add value to our members.

Congratulations and thank you, Liz.



Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News



At the GSF Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas on July 14, 2018, outgoing President, Shirley Taylor (shown here with past Presidents of the Federation and the current leadership team), reported on progress in 5 key areas:



1. Harmonization

This year we started a few Harmonization initiatives, and progress on these initiatives will continue in the coming year. Harmonization will be even more important as the Federation grows. Many thanks to the leaders of these Harmonization task forces.

2. Global Designation

Thanks to Alan Stevens for leading the task force that revised the criteria and process for the global designation. Several months ago, applications were invited for the Global Speaking Fellow, and several were received. Brian Walter (NSA President 2017-18) and I were pleased to welcome the first two new Global Speaking Fellows at NSA’s International Day – many congratulations to Dr Helen Turnbull and Alan Berg.



We must now work on inviting more applications for this designation. This is an income generator for the Federation, and a non-dues revenue generator for each association, so I’d love to see all of us work on promoting this more. Let’s spread the word to over 700 CSPs and FPSAs worldwide. You can see the criteria and application form here.


3. Global Speakers Summit 2018

This was one of the highlights of the year for me and I know also for many of us. After a long gap of 4 years, NSA New Zealand took on the huge task of organising the Global Speakers Summit and making it an enriching four day event. I must acknowledge here the fantastic work done by the GSS chair Mike Handcock, CSP, Global Speaking Fellow, as well as the whole team involved.

What stood out for me at GSS 2018 were the people, the camaraderie, the friendships, the collaboration. There were 240 delegates at GSS 2018, with 186 people from all 15 GSF associations, and a total of 21 countries were represented. Now that’s what I call a Global Speakers Summit.

4. Communication and Collaboration

Communication is something that will never stop being a priority for the Federation. I’m happy that we’ve seen an increase in people using our GSF Speaker Community Facebook group. I’m keen to see how we can encourage more engagement in this group, with people sharing resources, and engaging in discussions. We now have GSF Global Ambassadors at our associations, and I’d like to see us mobilizing these Ambassadors more, getting their help to share Federation news within their home associations, and helping to create a wider awareness of all associations’ events and activities.

5. Growth

gsf-heart_of_our_community-2018The Federation has grown again this year, with us welcoming the Philippine Association of Professional Speakers as the 15th association in our global community. Plus there is interest from several other countries who are very keen to join us.

Growth also led us to restructuring. If we look back to this time last year, Nabil had led the Federation through the important first year of our transition to the new Board structure. To quote Nabil from his report last year: “With this new structure, we have given ourselves the means to create one of the most powerful masterminds on the planet. It’s up to us to take advantage of our tremendous combined brainpower to resolve our challenges with a concerted and collaborative mindset.”

This new structure is serving us well, and strengthening communication between all Board and Steering Committee members and the leadership team will continue to be a focus.

Grateful Thanks

I can’t finish my report today without some thanks: First, to everyone who served on committees and task forces, a huge thank you for your time, energy, support and service to the Federation.

Also, to all the associations I’ve visited this year, thank you to everyone for the very warm welcome and of course all the hugs. I’ve learned so much about our associations, their leadership and their members as I’ve travelled around. It’s also made me much more spontaneous and flexible, with last minute TV interviews, last minute podcast interviews, last minute switches from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, 15 minutes to 5 minutes, being a round table host, and judging speaking contests. I think this is so important to mention because (a) it’s helped me to grow, and (b) the President’s role is ultimately to serve, whether it’s for 5 minutes, 15 or 45.

And Finally…

shirley-magic-wandAs you know, the gavel sits in front of us all here at every annual meeting. The gavel was a gift from the Founding Chairman to future generations of leaders. So we have Warren Evans to thank for this.

As we continue into our third decade, I’d like to use my magic wand again for one final wish. May we always remember and honour the man who gave us the gift of this gavel – Warren Evans – as well as all the leaders who have gone before us. And let’s never forget these words inscribed on the gavel: Wisdom in Service to the Future Good of the Whole, which the gavel story explains as:

“This is not a forum for advancing or protecting individual interests. It’s a place where we can collectively create a better future.”

I look forward to working with you all as we continue creating and shaping an even bigger and greater global community, with the Global Speakers Federation at the very heart!

Shirley Taylor, CSP
GSF President 2017-18

July 14, 2018



Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News

At the recent Global Speakers Federation Annual Meeting in Dallas, GSF President, Shirley Taylor, was pleased to present three awards to these remarkable individuals.

Beverly Babb Award For Extraordinary Service
Lindsay Adams, CSP, HoF, Global Speaking Fellow



The Beverly Babb Award recognizes the service of individuals who have contributed strongly to the foundational growth of the Federation and/or member associations.

This award recognizes individuals who have typically served behind the scenes without expectation of recognition or reward – someone who has contributed extraordinarily to the growth, strength and substance of the Federation.

This year’s Beverly Babb Award was given to Lindsay Adams, who has just completed 11 years of service with the Federation.

Congratulations, Lindsay, and many thanks for your huge contribution to the GSF over the years.

President’s Award for Service
Nabil Doss, Immediate Past President

nabil-shirley-presawardEach year, the GSF President has the opportunity to present a special award to someone who made outstanding, visible, and very much appreciated contributions to the Federation during that presidential year.

President Shirley Taylor thanked Nabil for his leadership in taking the Federation through the transition to a new structure.

She also thanked him for his contribution, service, and support, and for always keeping at heart the vision and mission of the Federation.

Congratulations and thank you, Nabil.

President’s Award for Service
Shari Bricks, Executive Director



President Shirley Taylor surprised Shari Bricks by giving out a second President’s Award.

Shirley praised Shari for her hard work and contributions during the year, and for always offering very welcome advice and huge support.

Congratulations and thank you, Shari.


Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News

john-molidor-edited-2The Global Speakers Federation’s (GSF) Board of Directors and its Presidential Leadership Team are pleased to announce that Dr. John B. Molidor, Ph.D., CSP has been selected as its Vice President for 2018-2019 and will serve as its President in 2020-2021.

The GSF supports and provides resources to help develop associations of professional speakers worldwide. The GSF currently comprises 15 independent speaker associations representing over 20 countries.

Dr. Molidor comes to the GSF from the National Speakers Association (NSA) of the United States, where he has served as a Board Member, Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. He currently chairs the GSF Strategic Planning Committee and is a member of Steering Committee and Board of Directors.

During his tenure as a NSA-US member, Dr. Molidor developed, proposed, and implemented the Four Es of Professional Speaking Competencies (i.e., Expertise, Eloquence, Enterprise, and Ethics). He then linked these competencies to a certification process by designing, revising, and updating the evaluation process to include both external and internal reviews for the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. He has also been a strong voice for moving the speaking profession from a club-mentality to a professional mind set in order for it to thrive into the future.

Dr. Molidor has a long-standing interest and fascination with the functioning of our brains. He has presented internationally on the ‘Neuroscience of Speaking’ and is finalizing work on the ‘Neuroscience of Leadership.’ During his non-speaking moments, Dr. Molidor can be found at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, where he is a Professor of Psychiatry, Community Dean, and the CEO/President of a non-profit educational organization that brings together three teaching hospitals with a Big Ten University.

In a recent message to GSF leadership, Dr. Molidor shared his observations on recent Federation enhancements and his focus for the future:

“The GSF has undergone some major changes during the past year: a new governance structure, a new Bylaw, and new policies. These developments and changes have been in place for approximately 17 months. Our next steps in the coming months will be to review these changes and to make any adjustments and modifications that reflect how we are (and will be) addressing the Federation’s mission and its future impact.

This is a pivotal time in the development, evolution, and growth of the GSF. Given that our Federation relies on the talents and energies of individuals, given that our financial resources remain an issue, and given that there is a need to be crystal clear on the value that we provide to our member associations, I will be reaching out to you for your counsel, insights, and input. I also feel strongly that it is imperative that we be as inclusive as possible, especially given the vagaries of our current global climate. Our viability, strength, and future depend on our diversity.

I am humbled and honoured to have run for this position with Mia Liljeberg, a trusted colleague and friend. I look forward to working with Mia as well as each of you in the coming years.

I will bring my heart, soul, and brain to this endeavour and new role, and I look forward to my years of service to the GSF.”