Blog Tour Visit #16—Women Speakers Association

When the prospect of writing a guest post for a site called Women Speakers Association came up, I was immediately intrigued. Since I write Women’s Fiction and speak primarily to women, I knew this would be a match.

Women are up to something interesting in the world these days. We like to connect, rather than compete; we like to compliment and complement because this way of behaving creates a background of relatedness, which lays the groundwork for agreement and synergy. My post today, for example, is the Who, What, When, Where, Why of creating a Speaker’s Platform.

Drawing not only on my journalist experience, but also from one of the key themes from my novel-series, it was fun distilling this information down to a few bullet points that will help others who are creating a speaking career.

Not surprisingly, when I spoke with founder Liora Mendelhoff, I truly found a kindred soul. Animated and articulate, Liora talked about her extensive background in the speaking industry, and also gave me a fascinating perspective on two paradigms.”I’ve been in the speaker-author world for over 20 years,” she explained, “and have watched it evolve. A major shift is going on. Predominant mind-sets have expired. It was masculine-oriented, money-focused. Butts-in-seats was the model, and eventually values went out the window.”

So in the old paradigm, driven by the bottom line, information was presented as proven and practical. But in the new one, we hear words like synergy, synchronicity, and possibility. The basic concept is that you have to change your thought-framework first, then take a look at things from your newfound perspective. Information is presented as experiential and transformative.

Liora’s core purpose for WSA? “I’m a maverick. I’ve never have colored inside the lines. So first, I wanted WSA to be at the forefront of defining a new paradigm; and to do that, I wanted it to be a global gathering place for women speakers so we can mentor and progress.” Already, this brand-new organization is hitting goals way beyond “reasonable” expectation. “We had our soft launch in January 2011. By our second week, we were getting hits from seven continents. Now, eight months out, according to Google statistics, out of 123,000,000 results, we hold the number 1,2,3,5 spots. And this is without SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is all word of mouth.” This, too, is no surprise—word of mouth if how women tend to communicate, even if we use to internet to do it.

Are all the would-be speakers coming from this new paradigm? “We still get a lot of blog submissions in an old-school way of thinking. But we’re a stand for doing something differently, so we ask these contributors to think outside the box as much as possible. WSA is a place to capture, showcase and share what’s working, and also to create a new model.”

This paradigm shift is thematic for Liora and for her organization. And as we spoke, I shared with her my own theme as expressed in my new book Bender What the Heart Knows, and in my whole novel series—the shift from head to heart. “That’s exactly what’s going on now,” she enthused. “These are very exciting times right now. Many people are aware of the serious shifts going on the planet. Perhaps you’re right—the whole shift is from the head to the heart.” Liora was quiet for a moment as we both let this sink in: a moment of synergy and mutual understanding. Then she said quietly, “Heart is my connection with God. That’s where the communication is, where the co-creation is. When I’m in touch with my true desire, that can dictate to my head. So it’s far beyond just surrender. It’s about who we’re being behind the curtain.”

If the “curtain” is our old sense of who we’re supposed to be as we present ourselves to the world, then what a wonderful time this is to draw aside that which hides ourselves from ourselves. Can a speaker dare to be that vulnerable as she stands on a global stage like the Women’s Speakers Association? In this new paradigm that is both challenging and nurturing, the answer is a resounding yes. The French word for heart is “coeur,” the root for the word “courage.” This is the new kind of courage, that comes from what the heart knows.

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