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View Full Version : Speaking Merits...How to start



GregYager
11-15-2010, 08:39 PM
I now have my CPP after my name and am ready to begin my journey towards earning my Craftsman and Master's.

I've volunteered to help at IUSA this year in order to get an inside feel of the organization and to earn a few merits towards my degrees. I enjoy doing things such as this so service merits will come easily for me.

I'm entering my state's Fall Print competition this month in preparation for District and then the International Print Competition. Earning print merits seems to be pretty straight forward, not easy but easy to understand.

Where I stand now is figuring out how to earn my speaking merits. I have considered putting together a few basic classes that are geared toward new photographers starting out in the business. I'm not looking to become a superstar on the speaker circuit but rather a person that's willing to share the knowledge he has with people that are eager to learn.

I have 15 years experience so I feel confident teaching the basics and after all the best way to learn something really well is to teach it.

What I need to know is where to start. By this I mean do I need to draw up a lesson plan, present the plan to someone for approval and then start recruiting students? I have a wealth of new start ups within 3 hours of my studio most of which have no affiliation of any kind. I figured I could make this my target market for both teaching and approaching potential new members.

Any advice on how to get started would be greatly appreciated.

I would also be willing to work alongside another instructor if need be.

Joe_Galioto
11-15-2010, 09:11 PM
greg,
i assume your taking advantage of your resent membership to your state affiliate.
thats the perfect place to start. the affiliates are always looking for free speakers.
find out who is in charge of scheduling the speakers for the monthly meetings.
also call affiliates in the surrounding states. you could do a super monday.
there are many places to get a start speaking.
just come up with a few topics that your confident teaching, you don't have to present anything other then a topic. get the dates then write up a program. don't make it too long, usually your only giving about one hour. so don't expect to teach everything you know on a subject. better to cover a small aspect thoroughly then to try to cover too much. remember at an affiliate meeting you'll have photographers of all levels, so don't make it a program for just beginners. don't forget to leave some time at the end for q&a. at a super monday you could stress in the info that it's a program for beginners if that's what you want to teach.
hope this helps
joe

GregYager
11-15-2010, 09:28 PM
It helps a lot Joe. I have recently contacted my state affiliate to let them know I'm here and willing to work. Based on your advice I think I need to be a bit more specific and let them know I'm available to speak on a variety of topics. The idea of teaching basics was just one avenue I was considering.

Is there anything I need to do beforehand to insure I receive merits? I assume if I speak at an affiliate meeting they can help with this but what if I do put together a class? Finding students will be fairly easy but I want to make sure I have my ducks in a row before I start recruiting.

Joe_Galioto
11-15-2010, 10:26 PM
greg,
the affiliate will ask you for your ppa # and apply for the merit.
you'll probably be earning some type of credit from the state org also which will be applied to state degrees. each state has their own degree program, they should have all that info for you.
at the affiliate meeting, you don't have to hustle to get attendance.
if the speaker sounds interesting, has some credentials or degrees
then people will show up. you've been in business for 15 years and have a cpp, that should do it.
joe

greg,
i see a merit guy on the horizon. we've created the monster.
make sure you take care of your business & family first, the degrees will come in time.

GregYager
11-15-2010, 10:35 PM
i see a merit guy on the horizon. we've created the monster.
make sure you take care of your business & family first, the degrees will come in time.

Hilarious. True, but hilarious.

Family and business do come first but this is what entertains me. My son is 22 and on his own so it's just me and the wife here and we're both photographers. It's our career and our hobby so becoming engrossed in projects like this is a good thing for us.

Joe_Galioto
11-15-2010, 10:37 PM
greg
been there - done that
joe

i'm waiting for the notice to "watch my language"

Betsy_Finn
11-16-2010, 12:56 AM
local and state affiliates will usually have a contract for speaking gigs. They are only allotted a certain amount of merits to hand out ;) -- so the number of merits you receive may vary from place to place. Depending on how far you are willing to travel, there are a number of affiliates across the country that are looking for fresh faces. You might also check with your lab, or another vendor, to see if they would be willing to sponsor you. Affiliates like speakers with sponsors -- it usually saves them a little bit of $$ when you begin talking about paid speaking engagements.

Local affiliates are usually more hungry for speakers than are state affiliates. Meaning, they will probably have openings in their speaker line-up for the current year, or year following (state affiliates often schedule a year to two years out).

If you are talking about hosting a program of your own, you will have to submit a syllabus to PPA for approval in order for them to list it as a PPA merited class. Be aware, when you host a class where the students get merits -- the instructor gets a merit as well, but it's not a speaking merit -- it is a service merit.

Super Mondays are easy ways to rack up merit points (2 speaking merits per Super Monday, the class gets promoted by PPA). As some have mentioned on other threads, they prefer to teach the class out of their competitor's market area. (i.e. plan a trip to a friends studio in another state, or a few hours drive away, and hold the Super Monday there).

Then there is always the option to contact PPA affiliate schools about being an instructor. These are multi-day courses though, so the schools will want to see a track record (i.e. can you teach a full day, or more than one day's worth of material).

Stan_Lawrence
11-16-2010, 01:20 AM
greg
been there - done that
joe

i'm waiting for the notice to "watch my language"

What would be really cool is to watch it before the notice arrives.... we do try to keep the language professional. :cool:

GregYager
11-16-2010, 04:42 AM
Thank you very much everyone.

Just to let you know that your advice didn't fall on deaf ears I have dispatched an e-mail to the area director in my state to offer my services in any way they might need.

I also e-mailed the director in our neighboring region to offer my services there as well.

I then looked up the information on Super Monday and submitted a class for the May 16th event to be held at my studio.

If anyone has further advice please feel free to let me know. All input is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Mark_Levesque
11-16-2010, 01:56 PM
If anyone has further advice please feel free to let me know. All input is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Oh, in that case, get a haircut. hahaha :D

Joe_Galioto
11-16-2010, 02:23 PM
mark,
you sound just like my father.
joe

GregYager
11-16-2010, 02:47 PM
No way Mark, nope, uh uh, aint happenin.....:cool:(Stan said I need a sax in my picture to use this smiley but I think he'll let me get away with it this time)

Cindi_K_McDaniel
11-18-2010, 06:25 PM
Hey Greg! Contact Jim Stokes in Mobile and tell him I sent ya! You may be able to pick up a few cities down here on a speaking tour :-)

GregYager
11-18-2010, 07:01 PM
You ROCK Cindi!!! Thank you!

D._Craig_Flory
12-04-2010, 10:48 AM
One more jumping in on this Greg. I am retired, not entirely by choice ... I had a stroke on May 30th. With that said - I was a pro over 40 years. I was certified in 1986 and was a proctor & then liaison for many years. I made a vow to get Craftsman in 3 years and did exactly that. I had plenty of education merits from Pa. State Assn. meetings and such. My 1st class was an early bird on MS Publisher for studios. I had a good response so, from then on I taught Photoshop around Pa. as well as New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. I also got some merits as a print judge several times for a pro sub-state sized group that did not require all judges to have more than C.P.P. I have since judged there as a Craftsman.

GregYager
12-04-2010, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the advice Craig and I'm glad to see you're up and doing better. I also work in the medical field and I know a stroke can be tough to recover from.

I'm currently working on putting together some classes in subjects I feel confident in that I can offer to local affiliates as a way to earn my speaking merits. I enjoy speaking so I'm really looking forward to it.

I would love to get into print judging but I feel I need to get a few competitions under my belt first and then take the classes on it. I entered our state fall competition and did much better than I thought I would by walking away with Best of Show and overall print case winner. I've been in business for 15 years and am playing catch up right now so I'm trying to get my Craftsman in under 2 years and going for my Master's immediately thereafter.

I look forward to seeing you come out of retirement as a mentor to the many new faces here that need the guidance of an experienced mind. Thank you for staying active in that capacity.

D._Craig_Flory
12-05-2010, 08:08 AM
Hi Greg; I still get people asking me advice on Photoshop which I welcome. This past week I helped a photographer on facebook with a problem ... I solved it and got lots of thank you's. I enjoy helping and do not charge anything. My knowledge is available to anyone who asks & that includes from my 40+ years in photography too. On competition ... I recommend a book by Patrick Rice on it.

GregYager
12-05-2010, 03:10 PM
Looking that book up now Craig. Thanks a million!

BrittAnderson
12-05-2010, 04:37 PM
If you are ever in the Savannah area, we would love to hear you!

Cindi_K_McDaniel
12-05-2010, 04:46 PM
I just ordered the book Craig!

George_Hawkins
12-05-2010, 06:28 PM
No way Mark, nope, uh uh, aint happenin.....:cool:(Stan said I need a sax in my picture to use this smiley but I think he'll let me get away with it this time)

Look at John Paul Caponigro, with the hair tied back in place all the time.
He is extremely well respected, in PPA and non-PPA circles of the industry. The info on his website alone, before attending his workshops, is phenomenal.
Would Mark agree about the hair?

Bob_Coates
12-17-2010, 08:42 PM
I would love to get into print judging but I feel I need to get a few competitions under my belt first and then take the classes on it. I entered our state fall competition and did much better than I thought I would by walking away with Best of Show and overall print case winner. I've been in business for 15 years and am playing catch up right now so I'm trying to get my Craftsman in under 2 years and going for my Master's immediately thereafter.


Greg it will take you a while to get into the national judging arena. It's recommended that you are close to or already have your Masters. Then attend the judging school and start on your rounds of state judging. If you are really interested in the meantime attend as many state regional and national competitions as you can. As you get more print merits and attain your merits you can judge at states... It's a pretty rigorous job getting to the approved level at National but the journey is worth it. Every time I come home from a judging my work seems to move up a level.

moehler
01-04-2011, 03:24 PM
Greg:

If I were to offer any advice, it would be to join Toastmasters International. It has clubs all over the world. I did a look at their site and see they have several within 25 miles of you. Toastmasters will give you the opportunity to hone your speaking skills in a supportive environment. I have been a member for a couple years and it has made a world of difference for me.

GregYager
01-05-2011, 01:34 PM
Thanks Mark but I have no problem with public speaking. The inquiry was geared more toward where to speak; not necessarily how to speak.

pweatherington
01-30-2012, 09:32 PM
Hi Greg,

Are you still trying to earn speaking merits? I am the new speaker coordinator the the 4 local affliliates in Tennessee located Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. We are looking for great speakers for later in 2012 and in 2013. We offer the opportunity to earn 4 merits in one week.

Peggy Weatherington

GregYager
01-30-2012, 09:52 PM
Very interested. Sending you a PM now.

Rick_Massarini
01-30-2012, 10:04 PM
Greg,
The Tennessee tour was a lot of fun - four bunches of very nice people. You'll enjoy it - Memphis on Mon, Nashvile on Tues, Chattanooga on Wed and Knoxville on Thurs - and maybe, if you're lucky, they'll have the Ocoee River running when you get there - it was turned off when I was there.

GregYager
01-30-2012, 10:19 PM
I just spoke with her and will be e-mailing my programs tomorrow. I'm sure it will be a blast and being able to address 4 affiliates in 4 days is awesome.

Ed_Sharp
02-01-2012, 02:14 PM
Peggy, If anyone was born to be a PPA speaker it's Greg, you are in store for a treat.
I just hope when he starts speaking at IUSA he will still be able to set aside some time to help set up the print exhibit.:D

Tss1203
02-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Peggy, If anyone was born to be a PPA speaker it's Greg, you are in store for a treat.
I just hope when he starts speaking at IUSA he will still be able to set aside some time to help set up the print exhibit.:D


Y'all are my only friends when we go there, he better not forget us little people!

Rick_Massarini
02-01-2012, 08:30 PM
Peggy, If anyone was born to be a PPA speaker it's Greg, you are in store for a treat.
I just hope when he starts speaking at IUSA he will still be able to set aside some time to help set up the print exhibit.:D

We'll pull some strings to get him scheduled on Monday...

GregYager
02-02-2012, 11:25 AM
I'll never give up my spot on the print crew guys. It's the highlight of Imaging for me.

GregYager
02-15-2012, 08:05 PM
Ok, I just did the math and it looks like I will have everything I need for my Craftsman degree by November. It feels good to have a goal which is something I lacked before becoming a member. I'm actually enjoying the process.

Rick_Massarini
02-15-2012, 08:14 PM
Congratulations on the (soon to be) letters after your name !

GregYager
02-15-2012, 08:21 PM
Thanks Rick. Some may say I'm jinxing myself but I see this as more of a challenge that makes me stay on track.

I thought the process of earning my merits was gonna be a royal pain but I found out it was completely different. I'm actually enjoying it, a lot. It's not just the speaking, it's the other jobs as well such as being a CPP liaison, working on print crews, serving on committees, etc... It gives me a reason to achieve something each day.

Angela_Lawson
02-16-2012, 01:20 PM
I feel the same way, although I'm not sure I will ever go after my craftsman. I'm thinking I'll try for Master Photographer and Master Artist instead. But like Amy said, you best not forget us little people, Greg! LOL And I already contacted Colleen to sign me up for print crew in Atlanta! So see ya all there!

GregYager
02-16-2012, 08:29 PM
Angela,
Are you skipping Craftsman because you don't like speaking/teaching or do you feel it's something you can't do?

Angela_Lawson
02-20-2012, 08:18 PM
Sorry Greg - just saw this. As to your question, my answer is that I really don't like speaking in front of a group of people, and I'm not sure I feel qualified to teach. However, I must admit that after spending several days talking up the certification program at our state convention, I'm thinking that maybe I'd be willing to do smaller groups. I just want to make sure that it is something that I feel confident that I can teach. I don't want to be one of those photographers that just starts teaching without having something worthwhile to teach. I've thought about maybe starting with a Super Monday class, but I'm not even sure of what I'd teach.

GregYager
02-21-2012, 04:19 PM
Here's some food for thought Angela...

Speaking isn't always teaching. It can simply be sharing. The main class I'm presenting this year is called "Marketing to a Captive Audience". Chances are very good that each time I speak there will be a room full of photographers with way more experience than myself so "teaching" them something is probably out of the question. What I can do is share with them something that's worked for me and then go one step further and explain why it worked. It's not a new marketing plan but rather a new way to look at a marketing plan and if people know why it works then they can better adapt it to their needs.

You have experiences you can talk about. You just need to study yourself for a bit to realize what they are. One good example would be your recent move to a brick-n-mortar location. I'm sure there are many people out there that would like to open a studio so they can have their garage back. Take notes along the way so you can share with others how to make this type of transition a smooth one.

Another thing to consider is why speak in the first place. There's more reasons than just to get the degree. It's your way of supporting affiliates by providing them with both information and entertainment. This is what helps them hold the interest of their members thereby keeping the group together.

Angela_Lawson
02-21-2012, 05:54 PM
Interesting perspective Greg. Let me think on that for awhile. Thanks!