President’s Message – April 2017

A CAPS advantage – beyond learn, share and grow

The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers is a not-for-profit professional business association, primarily made up of solopreneurs and small businesses. Each of us invests so much time and energy in learning, sharing, and growing our expertise, in hopes that we challenge, inspire, and move audiences to positive action.

Our core competencies are Expertise, Enterprise, Eloquence and Ethics (4 E’s); without, however, our mental and physical health and well-being, our ability to transform audiences become muted.

Over the course of the last four months, through conversation, I have been struck by the number of members who have health issues, or who are taking care of someone with health issues – and in some cases, managing both.

For one member, he is happy to be alive; for another, she doesn’t know what her speaking future will be, and for a third, he is living each day to the fullest hoping that he can win this fight for his life.

Some members share their struggles publically, and some share with family and close friends. Regardless, they all need this community now more than ever.

Randall Craig, CSP recently posted on Facebook his sad news of being diagnosed with Leukemia. He shared with his CAPS Community that he will be placing all his attention on his health and advises us all to:

  • Donate blood immediately: 50 donors are required for one bag of platelets.
  • Make sure that you have both disability insurance and critical illness insurance
  • Spend your time and energy with those you love and the causes that are important to you.

Very sound advice, but not surprising based on the source.

There is one benefit of this community that doesn’t get discussed when members are debating whether they will renew their membership or not – what happens if I, or my business, is in distress?

The CAPS community gathers around you with offers of support.  We listen, we offer assistance, we give it and we care. Personally, I have never been part of a professional association that so deeply understands that success emanates from our personal well-being of mind, body and spirit.

There are many members that need us now. Some may need our Foundation, others may reach out to the Peer Support program, where well-trained fellow members will listen and offer an empathetic ear. Some will reach out to their closest network, and others will suffer in silence. No matter what approach a member takes to heal, let’s rally together and let them know we care.

Care can come in many forms, from listening, to inspiring, to easing the burden and stepping in on some client requirements. Whatever the member needs. CAPS is a community that reaches far beyond the four E’s, which is why the CAPS Advantage is, learn, share, grow and perhaps most importantly – belong.

So take a moment and reach out to a fellow member and let them know you care… you never know, he or she could be the audience that needs to hear your message the most.

#CAPSCares about you!

Suzanne F. Stevens, CSP
2017 CAPS National President
Canadian Association of Professional Speakers