The Spirit of APSS
Asia Professional Speakers Singapore (APSS), then known as Asia Speakers Association was formed at a Board of Directors meeting on 2nd March 2004.
Founding members included; Margaret Loh, Ray Bigger, Ernest Chen, Dave Rogers, Philip Lim, Michael Podolinsky, Benjamin Cheng, Roger Konopasek, Deborah Torres Patel, Ron Kaufman and others.
The intention was to:
"Build a bigger pie for all in the speaking industry”
This mission or ‘Spirit of APSS’ was adopted from the founder of the USA based, National Speakers Association (NSA), Cavett Robert.
Cavett Robert was born in 1907. He always had a desire to help other people and to speak. He joined Toastmasters International and won the International Speaking Contest in his second attempt. This launched his speaking career at the age of 60. For the next 25 years he went around the country speaking. In those days the only ‘professional’ speakers were doctors, lawyers and politicians.
Realising that most professions are so filled with competition that this thinking isn't rewarded, he set out to create an association or professional speakers, who would support each other’s growth. After a number of set-backs, NSA was formed to promote high ethical and professional standards of its members. It was never to exist for selfish, self-promotion of its members.
The NSA, inspired speaking associations in other countries such Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and the National Speakers Association of Australia (now known as PSA Australia). Today there are 13 associations who a connected together by the Global Speakers Federation (GSF). For more information on GSF see our Global Page.
First GSF Summit in Singapore
APSS really took off in 2005 with the first GSF Summit. Scott Friedman, (now CSPGlobal & Cavett Award Winner), who was then the President of the NSA, approached APSS with his vision of creating the first Global Summit in Singapore. APSS member Ron Kaufman, hosted a dinner at The Grande Copthorne Hotel, at which, Jerome Joseph, CSPGlobal and Michael Podolinsky, CSP were enlisted to help - the seeds were planted to transform the vision into reality.
APSS was invited to manage the event with a summit task force lead by Angeline Teo, Rob Salisbury, CSP volounteered to connect with Australia & New Zealand resulting in 68 people attending from 'down under'. The Summit drew speakers from around the world and APSS was able to leverage on the event in terms of growth and expertise. This was a significant milestone in the history of the association and was a powerful step in building APSS to what it is today.
The APSS Experience
You can read about our Mission and Focus on our 'About' page, but this does not do justice to the experience you will have at an APSS Convention or by being mentored by experienced members of the association, such as Ron Kaufman, David Lim, Shirley Taylor, Fredrik Haren, Andrew Bryant, Christian Chua, Tim Wade, Brenda Bence, Robin Speculand, Philip Merry, Nishant Kasibhatla or Cynthia Zhai- to name a few. Just attending a monthly meet up can be transformational; for example, a complete stranger may offer you support, advice or insight to jump start or develop your speaking business.
This is the Spirit of APSS - to make the speaking pie bigger by making sure speakers are better!
APSS is lead by the members for the members. Each year a new Executive Committee (Exco), lead by a President (currently Cathy Johnson) is elected to serve the association. It is a truth that you get from the association in proportion to what you put in, and this is another aspect of the 'Spirit of APSS' - service, because service leads to growth.
APSS Past Presidents
Margaret Loh (2003-4), Ray Bigger (2004-5), Benjamin Cheng (2005-6), Dave Rogers (2006-7), David Lim, CSP, Global Speaking Fellow (2007-8), Christian Chua, CSP (2008-9), Nishant Kasibhatla, CSP (2009-10), Tim Wade (2010-11), Shirley Taylor, CSP (2011-12), Andrew Chow, CSP (2012-13), Thaddeus Lawrence (2013-14), Raymond Thomas (2014-15), Andrew Bryant, CSP (2015-16), Tom Abbott, CSP (2016-17), Jerome Joseph CSP Global Speaking Fellow (2017-18), Fredrik Haren CSP Global Speaking Fellow (2018-2019)