“I have never quite understood the concept of the ‘professional speaker’. I have read books, listened to tapes, breezed through blogs on the ‘best practices’ of a public speaker. The proclaim edicts such as ‘have a call to action’, ‘don't read your slides’, and ‘it's normal to be nervous’. We live in a world where public speaking is something that happens constantly - a billion or so people publicly broadcast themselves every moment of every day as they update events in their lives to a public audience via social networks. Today it is important to understand the role of the new public speaker, and how this role affects the event and the audience. Firstly, today’s speakers, as should always have been the case, must have a level of mastery in a topic that is seen as ‘common sense’. Secondly, they need to be able to present their message with a level of humility that transcends what we used to call ‘genuine’. Audiences have been exposed to every cliché and trick in the book; they deserve a speaker who has taken the time to consider, both intellectually and emotionally, the topic at hand. Finally, today's orators have to come with something that, just three years ago, didn't exist. Today’s speaker must bring their own audience, amplify events and lift the dialog out of the room through the audience’s use of social media. This feat is unique to today’s connected world. Good speakers fill up the coffers of events with hope, and a feel good message. A professional communicator must offer to a physical event, an online brand and persona that attendees can consume before, during and long after the event. Public speaking in 2013 is full of best practice but, ultimately, it is full of new responsibilities. I have had the rare pleasure of experiencing presentations from Karen Ferris at events on three continents over the past three years. I can, without hesitation, endorse her persona, her person and her message. Karen is a human who effortlessly transcends the physical room and creates a complete digital experience for conference organizers. Karen is followed by tens of thousands of people online, and her authenticity is indefinably out of this world.”

— Chris Dancy, BMC