I just came back from Paris, France where I attended the French Professional Speakers Association (Association Française Des Conférenciers Professionnels) where over 60 professional speakers came together for an “immersion into the know-how and awareness of world-renowned speakers.” After many informal discussions, most participants agreed that France is an emerging market for professional speakers. French companies are used to asking people from within their own organizations to read their powerpoint slides. They don’t do a whole lot of motivation, storytelling, or interaction. I would call these presenters “industry speakers” vs. a “professional speaker” who gets paid to deliver that presentation.
The United States and other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom are undeniably more mature markets where the participants are used to seeing professional speakers and have a rather high expectation for exceptional content and platform excellence.
Okay, so this is an oversimplification – as there are multinational companies and organizations that cut across geographic boundaries, but for this “trend,” let’s keep it simple!
Thanks to internet access and the availability of global communications technologies, countries (and organizations in those countries) are becoming more sophisticated, savvy buyers AND participants. Yes indeed, the world is becoming flatter every day, and there are opportunities to speak all over this planet – if you are a good match between the culture and maturity.