Jolly good fellow

Published by Jackie Barrie on

J school

Showing off my junior school uniform

I remember when I first started at senior school at the age of 11. I looked at all the cool sixth-formers walking down the corridor and thought: “How OLD they all are! I might never even live to reach that age!”

They were only 18.

Of course, I waited long enough, carried on living, stayed in school, and eventually reached sixth form… then college, then university and other adult education.

I felt a bit like that 11-year-old again when I first attended a meeting of the Professional Speaking Association and met some of the PSA Fellows.

At the time, I’d joined as a lowly Associate member. I looked at the Fellows from afar, admired their expertise, and thought: “Wow, I might never reach that advanced level!”

And now I am one. I’ve recently been accepted as a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association UK & Ireland.

Fellowship of the PSA (FPSA) is the highest grade of membership, awarded only to “individuals who earn significant income from speaking and who are deemed by other Fellows to be worthy of this status”.

This accreditation helps provide meeting planners and event organisers with the reassurance that by booking me (or any other Fellow), they are getting a speaker who is one of the most able in the profession. That’s what it says on the website, so it must be true.

I can’t quite believe it – especially in a year when the speaking industry has been hit so hard.

My thanks go to everyone who’s supported me along the way.

As well as the chance to learn from my peers, I get the chance to give back. For example, at the moment, other speakers seem particularly interested in my ideas for online interaction.

With that in mind, I’m compiling an ebook of Zoom icebreakers, energisers and games that speakers and trainers can play to help engage their audience and embed the learning.

It’s taking a while to finish because (a) I’m busy with clients (b) I keep having new ideas.

If you’d like to be informed when the ebook is released, please sign up for the Experiential Speaking newsletter on the home page, and / or join the Experiential Speaking Facebook group.

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