On the 27th of April I attended the opening day for the #vocalislekker PSA conference.

We had a number of international keynote speakers and they are all awesome.

Charles Marcus was our opening keynote and he left such an impression on me I just had to write a post on his keynote.

He starts by stuttering for the first minute and my heart just reached out to him. I was not sure what we were going to hear from him. It brought visions from the movie The Kings Speech.

He then stops and tells us without a stutter, that, that was what he was like before he overcame his challenge in life.

Wow, I was gob smacked.

The message I got from Charles was that you can overcome diversity with a vision that takes you where you want to go.

He says that people talk a good game but very few play a good game, how true. And a one liner that was worth a tweet, “Relationships are the key to everything in life, Technology may rock but relationships rule”

That is something the younger generation should consider, as they are more into using technology to maintain relationships.

He goes on to talk about sustainability and how you need to keep relevant to stay in the game. Here’s one of his golden nuggets, “People are not looking for speakers, they are looking for experts that can help with things that they do.” I’m taking note of this as I position myself as a Digital Marketing Expert, who speaks, trains, and consults

His statement on the value proposition for speakers is so true, “Never think that value and price are the same. You must differentiate yourself with value or die on price.” “You will be a commodity as hired help” How true.

Value is the expertise that we as speakers bring, it is our duty to be memorable and provide a WOW factor as part of our service.

A great tip I picked up; as a speaker you should notify your organiser that you have just arrived and are looking forward to speaking at their event tomorrow.

Speakers who are struggling need to have guts. Guts is a game changer. Get on the phone to all your clients, ask them if they need your services and while you are about it, ask them if they can refer anyone to you. Overcome your fear for adversity. There are many people who are doing well in spite of the recession.

Be memorable and have a great attitude. But remember having a great attitude will not guarantee you success, but having a lousy attitude will guarantee failure.

He shared a defining moment in his life when he worked for Vidal Sassoon, a famous hair stylist business. He met Vidal while he was a junior working in a salon washing hair, cleaning up and making coffee for clients. Vidal came up to him and asked his name, and Charles said that he saw his whole life flash before him. As saying your name is one of the things that stutterers have real difficulty in saying.

He started to stutter, and Vidal bent down to his knees and took Charles’ hand and said, “don’t worry son, take your time.”

My eyes welled up and I had to swallow hard. I could just imagine what he was going through. from that moment on he changed his life, set his vision and accomplished it to become a highly sought after keynote speaker.

His message, “Have all the time in the world for the people in your life.”

I love it, thanks Charles for your transparency and courage to open up and let us see the real you.

You may know that I consult on online reputation and one of the things is to develop credibility and have people trust. You can achieve this by being transparent and authentic.