Monday, January 25, 2016

Pro Speakers

Hello Speakers, Business Owners, Future Entrepreneurs and Big Dreamers,  
 In this months article I would like to discuss Pro Speakers, which is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. Pro Speakers is an advanced Toastmasters Club. The Club organized back in 2007 and that is when I joined as a Charter Member. There are two other Charter Members that are still active. When I first joined this club in 2007, I had made it through most of the Toastmasters manuals and achieved ATM-G as it was classified back then. I made a goal that year to stretch my speaking skills by either joining a National Speaking Firm or Hiring a Professional Speaker as a coach. In June of 2007, I was invited to a meeting where the Pro Speakers concept was introduced. The concept was to bring in members that were focused on speaking professionally for a fee or to accentuate their speaking skills to help move them further along in their career. For me, It boiled it down to this: "We were out to find uncommon speakers with incredible desire to push the envelope of greatness and deliver extraordinary presentations that will propel them onto their ultimate goal in speaking."
The entry to the club has a couple of prerequisites. If you were a Toastmaster you were welcomed to join as long as you completed your first 10 speeches out of the Competent Communicator Manual and secondly, you had to have a passion to be hired as a Professional Speaker for a decent speaking fee,. From my stand point I was rubbing elbows with the best, this was exhilarating. 
The first years membership held at least 12 members and most of them highly polished  and motivated speakers. At least six of the members drove 60-90 minutes one way to attend these meetings. That along intrigued me. The meetings consisted of 2-3 speeches that averaged 7-10 minutes long. You were then strictly critiqued for 2 minutes by each member with succinct purpose, advice and what you needed to do to improve. When you were about present a speech to grammatical experts and professional speakers you knew you had to be prepared and on your game. The critiquing absolutely made you better.The term "Shark Tank" was eventually coined for our club. In the eight years that have since passed, many of the original charter members have moved on, most of them achieved the goals and their purpose from this club. There are many great stories of success! I could cover another page of the successes that have been spawned because of Pro Speakers but I will save that for my Demo Speeches that I am giving for the Club this year. Pro Speakers is searching for new members that would want to push the envelope with speaking skills, being hired as a Professional Speaker, or moving up in your particular firm to do training and other skill set meetings. If your club or organization would like me to do an introductory presentation about the group please get in touch with me to schedule a presentation. If you have that inner passion to stretch your abilities in speaking come and visit us. 
Next blog: February 25, 2016
Contact Information:
Club Number:1029995, District 53, Area F61
Location: Agawam Senior Center
954 Main Street Agawam, Massachusetts 01001 United States 

Meeting Times: 1st & 3rd Thursday 7:00 pm

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  1. Great article, John. This club sounds awesome!

  2. Very interesting. I'm interested in hearing more.

  3. Don't know if anyone will scroll down this far, but one year later 3/2017, Prospeakers has burned to ashes yet risen again like a Phoenix in Westfield, MA, a wonderful place that used to have a Club until about 2007 when it folded. Westfield has needed an evening Club and now has one again. With their new corporate semi-sponsor, Mobius Works, we're meeting right in the presentation room at 1 Arch Road, just behind the Quality Inn. This is now a young, early CC Club, with 3 Advanced members, that includes a DTM, an ACS ALS, and a CC ALB. So we have guidance and newbie enthusiasm. It's a great core group; we might still make Distinguished this year, based on a strong summer from John and some of his former colleagues, none of whom I have met yet. This is a different Club in a different location, but it has strong Leadership and will return to the ranks of strength that it was founded on. We meet on Mondays at 6:00 at Mobius Works, Westfield.

  4. Hey John, I'm not sure if you remember, but you and I attended at least one of the first meetings somewhere in 2006. I had just returned to Western Mass. from living in Nashville (I left in 1996). I remember you giving as speech at that club! So glad Steve Lanning, to hear that the club has risen!