This month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Shawne Duperon, a 10-year member of National Speakers Association and NSA-Michigan. As a former television news broadcaster and producer, she joined NSA to help her with the news speaking business. Last year, she had several recognitions for her years of hard work – the completion of her PhD, a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, and the completion of her Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. Wait! Nobel Peace Prize? Yes, more on that later…
Shawne is the most recent NSA-MI chapter member to earn the CSP. “It is a sucky process” were the first words out of her mouth. “You must be organized. My assistant and I used spreadsheets to track the engagements. We reviewed past tax receipts, invoices, emails and letters.” They spent four months of tedious efforts to complete the data-gathering process.
“I recently got my PhD. I didn’t want to get my CSP until I received the PhD. It took that long to qualify for the CSP. You have to time it so that you have 250 presentations and 20 people who recommend you and the finances must match the requirements.” For Shawne, she relied on her Media Mastery boot camps to make money through coaching and selling product. “From my very first NSA-Michigan meeting, I knew that I needed a product to support my business model; I had a product before I even gave my first speech.” Shawne also presents regularly to corporations.
“I designed the sequence of PhD and CSP because it seemed fitting. It was another level of credibility. The CSP has helped me land keynote speeches. So many things happened at once – the PhD, the CSP and the Nobel Peace Prize. Something important happens in your being… like ‘You’ve arrived.” It is an evolution in your body and how you carry yourself; you become a CSP; you are in your groove.”
And about that Nobel Peace Prize nomination… Shawne started a movement around forgiveness. She now leads a non-profit called Project Forgive, for which she earned the Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Project Forgive has two key functions. First, it provides life skills for youth. Second, it is a resource for mental health. Specifically, studies have found a link between mental health and physical health. For example, individuals who struggle with forgiveness tend to show a decline in their physical health. She has found that many individuals need help to accept an apology that they never received. Her next goals include completion of a documentary. She is also launching an ongoing television show to help individuals with forgiveness.
“Our biggest joys are our biggest challenges. Authenticity matters. We aren’t supposed to “tell” on ourselves. We think we are supposed to be upbeat and positive as speakers. But we can’t always be upbeat. And too much bragging leads to arrogance. Arrogance is a type of fear…People are dying to hear our fear. People want real – Real as in shedding a tear on Facebook Live. Real leads to miracles.”
When Shawne Duperon shares her difficult journey on Facebook and social media (for example, her mother’s battle with cancer), individuals connect with her like never before. “We need to take risks as a leader – in our corporations, and on social media, too. We need to adapt, take risks and forgive ourselves when our risks don’t pan out.” Shawne guides others in this process.
Congratulations, Shawne! We are cheering for your successes and your future endeavors!
If earning your Certified Speaking Professional designation (CSP) is on your goal list, check out http://www.nsaspeaker.org/certification/