October's APTS Meeting

On Thursday (last Thursday of the month again), I was, once again, at the APTS meeting. One of the first announcements was about our collaboration with another association of professional speakers - Asia Professional Speakers Singapore (APSS).

The speakers that night were Jeremy Foo and Matthew Quek, both of whom doubtlessly added great value to the attendees.

Jeremy taught us how to communicate with the media (not social media) and told us why it's important for our careers as speakers. One of the points that struck me was his reminder that journalists are always on the lookout for new stories and fresh perspectives. They are generally open to hearing us out if we have something of value to share.

Of course, that doesn't mean that we should simply mass e-mail every journalist we can find (although some people do that). Rather, it takes some effort to pitch a story and to help journalists, even if it isn't a story about us or our brand / company.

Matthew was a vocal coach and he taught us to use our voice effectively, especially since it's such an important part of our work. Using the voice incorrectly can hurt our health as well as our credibility.

He went on to guide us through exercises to produce better vocal quality and also gave us useful tips on how to keep our voices healthy.

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening, interspersed with charming conversation and getting the opportunity to help others.

Picture taken from  APTS website

Picture taken from APTS website

Communication with Dealers from Other Countries

For the past week or so, I've been on a number of merchant sites, communicating with different dealers from around the world.

Truly, there are many kinds - there are some who are friendly and chatty and others who are purely business-like with no room for small talk; some who are quick to reply and others who take a long time; some who are accommodating to requests and others who refuse to make any changes.

It's quite an experience to talk to them and I learned that, above all else, clarity in communication is very important, since many of them do not speak English as a first language though they do try hard.

The other thing I learned is that timing is crucial. Sometimes, the timing needs to be gotten just right in order to strike a good deal for both parties. For example, I managed to get a delivery of some gems that I bought through the overseas dealer's Singaporean friend who happened to be coming back to Singapore the next day. I didn't have to pay shipping or fund transfer fees! It's hard to predict such things, but when they do happen, everybody is happy.

Clarity and timing. My two takeaways from this week.