Imagine getting paid to be a public speaker, making a living communicating your thoughts to the world. Maybe you have so much to say that you really need to write a book. You know what you want to say to the world but how can you get your voice heard? Some organizations say they can help polish your speaking skills while others claim that they can help you write or perhaps publish a book. There is a Black and veteran owned organization, however, that has been doing it all for over a decade. The Speakers, Publishers & Authors Association (SPAA) is helping Black people find and monetize their voice — if you have something to say to the world, you should check out this dynamic organization.
Founded in 2007, SPAA is the premiere organization nationally for Black speakers, publishers and authors. It is a nonprofit, membership organization that prepares and empowers its members to change the world, with their words. SPAA offers its members monthly speaking, marketing, publishing and writing workshops. SPAA members have the opportunity to not only get help with writing a book but editing, cover design and any other support needed, en route to becoming a published author. SPAA offers professional training for speakers and gives its members opportunities to host their own radio and TV shows, as well as helping to arrange other professional speaking opportunities. For years SPAA has helped people just like you to:
- Overcome their fear of public speaking
- Become better writers
- Develop their speaking skills to a professional (compensated) level
- Significantly improve leadership skills
- Increase personal and professional networking (Relationship Building) opportunities
- Develop professional writing skills
- Become a published author
- Learn to become a professional publisher
- Become an entrepreneur and better control their future
…and so much more.
An organization so committed to the Black voice must, of course, be rooted in a strong Black voice, itself. That voice is Dr. Michael Wilkins, an army vet and native of Chicago. Wilkins is a strong tree with roots down in the Mississippi Delta. His grandfather, Hartman Turnbow, was one of the first Black people to vote in Mississippi and for that offense his house was firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan. Turnbow fired back, literally, killing a Klan member. That Klan member also happened to be a sheriff deputy, which put Turnbow in hot water. He was arrested and jailed, which triggered support from the likes of Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer and eventually, Bobby Kennedy. Turnbow’s charges were dropped. Dr. Michael Wilkins comes from fighters; he’s got no back-down.
While in the service Wilkins pursued education vigorously. He got his bachelors and master’s degree, before getting doctoral degrees in accounting and theology. He did taxes while in the military and later, opened his own accounting office. Michael’s trajectory changed one day when he went to see Zig Ziglar speak — Michael was impressed with him. Michael also thought that he, too, could be a speaker and he actually said as much to Ziglar. Ziglar agreed. Along with assistance from Les Brown, Michael set out to build a national organization for Black speakers. Earl Graves of Black Enterprises liked the idea and encouraged Wilkins to pursue it. As the organization grew, the focus was expanded to include Black writers and now there are chapters all over the country. Wherever you are in life, SPAA can help you become the professional you’d like to be. If you have the desire to be a professional speaker, SPAA has the training you need to do it. If you have the desire to improve your writing and even become a published author, SPAA has the tools to help you. Give SPAA a look, today. www.spaausa.org or call them at 708-785-7371.