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This past weekend I attended the Advanced Speakers Academy in Kelowna, presented by the incredible Hugh Culver and boy did I get my money’s worth! When I was asked to go with my cousin, Mo (a kickass keynote speaker and community engagement rock star), I definitely felt in over my head, to say the least. The part that made me laugh was the literal fact that I was daring myself to suck – in front of a dozen seasoned speakers and doubted my performing experience from high school was worth mentioning… *gulp. I had no idea what to expect and designed an alliance with myself to approach the two days as an open-eyed learner – no faking it till I made it – that I’d be open and honest about my newbie status and would drink in the experience and wisdom I was about to receive. Doing this made it a WHOLE lot easier to walk through those doors. Immediately after introducing myself to the other attendees I felt this reassuring sense of how we are all just people wanting to spread our messages to a bigger audience and make an impact on the world. My nerves began to calm a little bit more. Let’s do this. Hugh dove in with his infectious enthusiasm, humour and ridonkulous experience on the subject and I was fascinated by the world of professional speaking. With every story he told there were invaluable how to’s, tips, tricks and helpful templates and systems to build a solid, organized business as a speaker and facilitator. He consistently delivered ‘one-two punch’ after another. I couldn’t stop...