President’s Message – May 2017

Collaboration – An interpretation of the CAPS advantage of Sharing

There are many benefits to CAPS membership that make this a very unique association. Without a doubt, there is a special energy that binds us. Even when you may not always feel that connection, you get reminded by just talking to a newer member who reminds you: “I’ve never been part of a association that people are so connected, and that does so much for their members.”

Regardless if you agree with that sentiment or not, there are many unique benefits about this association that should be celebrated – often.  One of the most distinctive characteristics is the membership.

If that is truly the case, and I believe it is, why do we not take more opportunity to collaborate with each other, and make prospects and clients aware of our members’ wealth of experience?

One of the cornerstones of the theme and strategy for 2017 is COLLABORATION and how we can look to our fellow members and create ways that we can work together to elevate our businesses. Many members have shared what they are doing to work with a fellow member where there is a high degree of trust; where they are aware of their level of competence and commitment, where there is chemistry, and a respect for his or her character, and a belief the cost of doing business will benefit both.

These are the conversations we encourage you to have as CAPS members. Look at new targets collaboratively, to help grow your impact in your business or in spreading your message to the masses.

Although this level of trust and awareness is important for collaboration, and possibly referring a fellow member, they can also be barriers to making a prospective client aware of CAPS and our multitude of experts who speak.

I have a challenge for each of you. Don’t feel the obligation to refer a member (let’s face it, most of us need the confidence and experience with a member), but instead, make clients AWARE of CAPS and our members.   After all, CAPS is the association of Experts Who Speak Professionally.

Some suggestions to increase the awareness of CAPS and its members:

  1. Celebrate our members. If you see a CAPS member promoting their speaking engagement, receiving media coverage, or being acknowledge for their achievements — share, share, share. By celebrating our fellow members we provide them more exposure and we collaboratively elevate the CAPS brand.
  2. When you are engaging in a conversation with a prospective client, let them know you are a member of CAPS. If for any reason you are not the right fit you have 400 plus other experts that you can guide them to find – without paying a bureau fee. This also positions you as someone genuinely interested in their success – and a client collaborator.
  3. Direct clients to the “Looking to hire a speaker” portal on the home page of CAPS National Website ( Here they can search for a speaker in their desired area of expertise, geography, with a designation etc.
  4. If you are aware of an event, that isn’t a fit for you – share it: “Post your next event” – You can post it for your client, or encourage them to post it themselves. (Ensure you subscribe to the RSS feed. As a member you will get notified when there are any new listings.)
  5. If you’re not the right fit, or they need more than one speaker, inform your client you know of someone who is an expert in that specific area. You can provide them a couple names where they can assess if they are a right fit for them.

By making our prospects and clients AWARE of CAPS and our fellow members, we amplify all our voices– and that is collaboration that will benefit us all.

If you do collaborate with a fellow colleague, please email [email protected] or Joel Sweeney, National Communications Director, [email protected]  so we can share in CAPS Cares Corner:

While travelling to the chapters, your CAPS colleagues have shared many ways we can collaborate with the community, clients and each other. You can review a summary by clicking here. Reflect on how you can elevate your message and mission collaboratively, then connect to build the bond that will continue to bind us all.

#CAPSCares about you!

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