One speaker’s perception of types of speakers.

Serious speakers – these are individuals who see public speaking as a career/business choice and are actively seeing information and opportunities to lift their skills and make valuable network connections to further their goals. They regularly attend NSANZ meetings and actively participate, as well as using on-line sources and are members of other, allied networks;

Dreamers – these are people who like the idea of being a public speaker, but that’s where things end – they basically get a buzz out of the dream, and usually leave the group once the excitement wears off. At the risk of offending others, I’d suggest the the majority of NSANZ members fit into this category;

Leaders – these are people in key business management roles or aspire to political office who feel a need to be able to address groups effectively. They may already be using the likes of Toastmasters to gain the necessary skills and it would be important to identify what extra/better benefit NSANZ could alternatively offer;

Career-changers – these are people, such as sports and media personalities whose primary careers have ended and they’re looking to leverage of their celebrity. NSANZ offers the same benefits for the change in career that the Serious speakers are seeking;

Scaredy-cats – these are people who are using public speaking as a way to gain confidence. I believe Toastmasters has been the main place for these people to do this;

Speech issues – People who stutter, stammer, and other speech disorders are often sent to public speaking classes as a form of therapy. When I did a public speaking class at university there was a classmate who had a serious stuttering problem and was sent to the class by his speech therapist; by the end of the term he had overcome this impediment and spoke with confidence. As an aside, I met a Chinese man with cerebral palsy at last year’s EthnicA conference who was keen to get into public speaking and invited him to attend a local meeting. Sadly he didn’t;

Young achievers – this is a younger age demographic whose needs parallel those of the Leaders segment;

Pasifiki – I see an opportunity to approach the Pacific Islands and Maori communities where oratory is an important part of culture, but where there are cultural restraints that need to be overcome. We could also include some of our migrants’ communities as a segment for exactly the same reasons, if we felt we could attract people from there.