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:
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.
The 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.
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.
As 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