What a week!

7th – 11th May 2012

The week started with an international convention of speaking professionals and ended with a day full of inspiring stories from some amazing women; and an action-packed Athena Executive Club meeting in the middle!

Here are some of the many highlights of the week:

Tuesday 8th May 2012 – Asia Professional Speakers Singapore (APSS) Convention 2012

Over 150 worldwide delegates gathered to learn, listen and interact with certified speaking professionals (CSP) and aspiring speakers. An opening musical number by Jana Stanfield and past APSS President Tim Wade ensured the day started with a kick!

The agenda for the day provided attendees with an array of content-packed sessions delivered by world-class presenters on topics from ‘How to develop the X factor’ by Mike Handcock, ‘Providing high-content virtual events’ by Pamela Jett and ‘Harnessing and expressing your true passion as a speaker’ by Charles Kovess.

Some key take-aways from the day were:

•             Think RADIO to ensure your presentation wows the audience (via Mike Handcock):






•             Anything worth doing is worth doing with Passion, Purpose and Excellence (Patrick Liew).

•             Let it go – you can’t control everything, all the time, so pick the priorities and let the rest go (Pamela Jett).

Athena Executive Member and current APSS President, Shirley Taylor, received the well-deserved Spirit of Service Award for her contribution and leadership to the APSS community. Another Athena supporter, Andrew Chow, also received a Spirit of Service award for his work to build APSS membership and inspire members – well done to Andrew and Shirley!


Wednesday 9th May 2012 – Athena Executive Group

Our monthly Executive meetings are consistently attracting some wonderful new visitors as well as our fantastic members. This month we saw several ‘hot seats’. Hot seats can be a friend, colleague or business associate (first time visitor) or a member from another Executive group (visiting member) to take your place at the meeting if members are unable to attend. They can promote their business as long as they do not conflict with any member professions as well as representing your business, opening up new contacts and business opportunities for the group. This ensures that our meetings are always full and well worth the time we take out of our busy diaries to invest in networking.

We had two excellent training sessions; Gina provided tips to ‘Get to know your fellow networker’ and Lara Kanga showed us ‘How to write and distribute a press release’.

Athena Executive Membership is for discerning executives and entrepreneurs looking to benefit from establishing long-term, strategic connections.

Contact us if you would like to find out more about the Athena Executive Club.

Thursday 10th May 2012 – Rock your Business

There were so many stories and highlights of this success-driven day that it would take up a whole post in itself! Mike Handcock and Dave Rogers led the Quantum Business School X-Factor event in Singapore as part of a worldwide tour to provide entrepreneurs with the most up-to-date and forward thinking business strategies for phenomenal success. Dave and Mike shared their own success (and failure stories) and invited guest speakers and X-Factor judges to evaluate participants while they provided their ‘One Minute Pitch.’

Athena Executive Member Gwen Yim was on hand to facilitate visitors and Shirley Taylor provided her professional advice on communicating for success. Well done for your participation ladies!

We were immensely proud of Athena member Kate McPherson of Belicious Swimwear who wowed the judges with her 60 second, word perfect, highly focussed business pitch! Kate said her Monthly Minute training at Athena helped her to prepare for this nerve wracking experience. Kate now joins the worldwide winners from other competing countries to go into the X Factor final in June. Best of luck Kate!

Kate McPherson - Belicious Swimwear

Other key highlights of the day, included:

•             Failure does 3 things:  1 – it softens you. 2 it hardens you. 3 it enlightens you. (Patrick Liew).

•             To be successful, I must have a compelling reason to be successful. (Mike Handcock).

•             Surround yourself with people who will support you in all aspects of your goal (get the right advisors, advocates and financiers). Dave Rogers.

This is a brilliant event for a boost of inspiration and motivation – check out their future events in India, South Africa, UK, Europe and Australasia. Rock Your Life events.

Friday 11th May 2012 – Joyful Women

Athena Executive member Joy Mahubani runs several businesses from restaurants to large-scale events and Joyful Women is the pinnacle in her calendar of events geared towards empowering, enriching and engaging women from a variety of backgrounds. Two keynotes started what was a fantastic, inspirational day of learning and sharing.

First, business leader and publisher, Jennifer Ong, spoke candidly on ‘What doesn’t crush you makes you stronger’ – a belief Jennifer has lived by throughout her young yet tumultuous life which has seen her ‘tick every box on the paperwork’.  Having married at a young age, to later become widowed, remarried and then divorced, sheer willpower and courage keeps Jennifer going and drives her to achieve the best she can in all aspects of her life.

Jennifer’s passion for recognising staff in the hospitality sector led her in 2002 to launch HAPA (Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards) and she continuously works to raise the standards and quality within the industry.

Whilst Jennifer opened her talk saying she was not a keynote speaker, she certainly had the audience hanging on to every word.

Jennifer Ong

Masami Soto then took to the stage to provide a moving account of her journey to build a micro-finance charity with the aim of turning ‘giving’ into a habit we can all incorporate into our lives. Masami provided thought-provoking statistics to prove that it is up to each of us to help those who need it without simply expecting governments and large corporations to shoulder the responsibility. Did you know that it would cost $6billion for every child in the world to receive education, yet we spend $8billion in the US alone on cosmetics and beauty products in just one year?

Buy1 Give1 (B1G1) was born out of the realisation by Masami that if we all waited for success or enough money before helping others the world simply could not function; instead, we should all create a habit of giving to others despite how little we think we have to give.

Buy1Give1 currently runs over 630 projects and to date has generated over 11.2m ‘giving’ activities.

Masami Soto

For more information about this wonderful initiative, please visit their website.

The Joyful Women afternoon workshop sessions ranged from building confidence, to personal image and stress management. Each session was led by experts in their field including Athena Executive members Carla Henry and Shirley Taylor (who also performed her emcee duties to perfection). Well done ladies!

A fantastic week of meeting new people, sharing, learning and connecting – we’re feeling energised and inspired!

The Athena Network, Singapore

Asia-Pacific’s Leading Business Community for Female Executives and Entrepreneurs Focusing exclusively on female executives and entrepreneurs, The Athena Network provides a platform for members to share knowledge and experience across a diverse range of industry sectors, and to collaborate for mutual success.

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