Chennai-based speakers group churns out professionals who can make you listen

Chennai: Speaking of careers, did you know you could make a career out of speaking? Chennai-based author and speaker, Kiruba Shankar, worried by the fact that there aren’t any professional speaking groups in India, focusing on enhancing a speaking career, decided to take the initiative to set things right.

‘There are associations existing in other countries like Australia, the US and Singapore,’ recalls Kiruba. ‘When I attended a speaking session in New Zealand, I realised that speaking profession is a very mature industry and many people make a decent living.’ That was when an idea sparked in Kiruba’s mind; he reached out to his friends and started the Professional Speakers Association of India (PSAI).

What is PSAI?
To say in a nutshell, PSAI is a body that helps speakers in their business of speaking. ‘PSAI focuses on two vital points,’ explains Kiruba. ‘The first is how speakers can get better in their domain of expertise. Here, we explore their opportunities to get paid by speaking. The second area of focus is how speakers can aim for a global audience and speak at summits in other countries.’

Honing the craft
Kiruba talks about how PSAI functions. They host monthly meetings where international speakers are invited to share their nuggets of life on stage. They also organise sessions where members are taught how to use social media to widen their audience base.

Tips for newbies
Kiruba is generous in offering tips to budding speakers. ‘At PSAI, we encourage speakers to first project themselves professionally,’ he says. ‘They should create a good personal website. The second step is to choose a niche topic and become an expert in it. The world doesn’t pay for generalists, but for specialists. Also, you should network with fellow speakers because you will get many opportunities through referrals.’

Going global
Kiruba is happy to say that PSAI is now affiliated to the Global Speakers Federation (GSF). ‘GSF is an umbrella body for speaking associations around the world. India has been accepted as the 16th nation member,’ he says. Members of PSAI have privileges and exciting opportunities to take part in other GSF member-nation’s speaking summit. Today, PSAI has over 113 members across India and has chapters in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Kiruba says, ‘We aim to spread our wings to over 25 chapters by the end of 2019.’ For details visit, www.indianspeakers.org

Mohammed Rayaan