Kristin Arnold and Alan Stevens join the FPSA for their convention in Paris
Paris on 14 October to 15 October saw the convention for the FPSA. Read the report from James Dillon to see how it was.
“Words into Action” was the theme and Espace Rochefoucauld in Paris was the scene of the 2nd Convention for the French Professional Speakers Association. Under the auspices of Pascale Pailhé, President of the FPSA, and Alan Stevens, President of Global Speakers Federation, the Paris convention presented a wide range of styles, messages and inspirations.
French speakers were ably represented by Olivier Soudieux, speaking on how he managed risk in the Arctic’s extreme conditions, with Philippe Bloch, describing entrepreneurial challenges in France. Father Guy Gilbert, decorated with the Légion d’Honneur for his 30-year engagement in favor of young delinquents, gave a talk salted with pithy, frank observations on what it takes to give youth constructive hope. Jean Watin Augouard made his public grasp just how successful brands resonate with their own unique history, while Philippe Cahen gave his listeners a sneak preview of future trends and innovations that await them. Sébastien Millecamps, media expert, demonstrated useful tips for meeting the challenge of a camera. Laurent Tylski, Past President for the Association, interviewed Laurent Gounelle live on his successful bestseller in French (600,000 copies sold) L’homme qui voulait être heureux (The Man who wanted to be happy).
2010’s Convention was also a marvelous opportunity for French attendees to open up to the world. Paul Du Toit, from South Africa, spoke powerfully on the theme of Mind Shift. Ghislaine Labelle, from Quebec, shared key lessons on building and turning a successful consulting activity into a speaking and coaching business. Joanna Tong, from England, took her audience all the way back to Confucius for management insights, while Juliet Pratt, from New Zealand, championed her cause on fighting mercury poisoning. The international speakers were topped off by Neil Dorward from Scotland, fully capable of impersonating himself as an older Neil, using short sequences of video along with a bit of make-up, conveying a sense of what it means to make a legacy out of living one’s life to the fullest.
No Convention should be without its Summarizer, and Words into Action was more than entertained by Paul Hulschilt, in French no less, singing, imitating and improvising his hilarious send-up of the Convention’s highlights.
The organizers, Pascale Pailhé, James Dillon, Eric Martin, Jean-Pierre Giruad, Brigitte Warnez, Laurent Tylski, Benoit Mahé and Jacqueline Theault, out-did themselves with a Gala on board the Capitaine Fracasse, taking an evening cruise on the Seine. Our event was graced by Kristin Arnold, President of the National Speakers Association, Joe Sherren, Past President of the GSF, Siegfried Haidler, founder of the German Speakers Association and Nabil and Sylvie Doss, representing the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), holding its next convention soon, December 5th – 7th.
The 2010 convention was also the start of what organizers hope will become an Annual Video Competition for members of the FPSA, ably stage-managed by Sébastien Millecamps, Brigitte Warnez and Jacqueline Theault. This year’s winners were Didier Barbet, for his Video Production, Laurent Tylski for his Presence before a Public and Grazyna Koperniack for her Marketing Concept.
The final touch for this year’s Convention was when the public was taken on an inspiring exploration of the Spice Trade, with Mark Raison, a Belgian member of the association and « Piperomane », as he calls amateurs of exotic peppers, drawing parallels with creative and courageous thinking for our own times. Martina Bayers and Brigitte Warnez prepared an astonishing tasting of rare and exotic peppers from all over the world. What more stirring way to close out a Convention in Paris than to whet appetites with champagne and flair aromas from the furthest reaches of the world.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making “Words into Action” a moving reality.