I’m a South African and have lived in London, England for the past fourteen years, but still eagerly look forward to my regular visits and speaking assignments in South Africa each year.
South Africa is a rainbow nation, with a multitude of cultures that live together in harmony. Cape Town with Table Mountain, picturesque drives and excellent seafood restaurants makes it a year round tourist attraction. A short drive takes you into the wine lands and a great day out is wine tasting at a number of vineyards and a picnic under the oaks at the Boschendal Estate is a memorable experience.
Johannesburg is the financial and business capital with numerous speaking engagements available.
Five hours drive or a short flight takes you to one of the worlds top tourist attractions, the Kruger National Park. It is the largest game reserve in the world and is larger than most small countries. Daily game drives will ensure sightings of more animals in the wild than you could ever imagine.
A total contrast is Sun City. After driving two hour from Johannesburg into the wilderness, an oasis appears that is a mini Las Vegas. It is made up of luxury hotels, The Lost City and The Palace (ultra luxurious) man-made lakes, casinos, one of the finest golf courses in the world (the Million Dollar Classic) and the Superbowl that has featured superstars in concert including Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson. It is also a favourite convention venue for conferences and conventions and speakers have numerous assignments there.
I spoke at a large convention in Sun City last year and after the twelve hour flight from London, we enjoyed the typical excellent South African hospitality and four days of paradise.
If you’re given the opportunity to speak in South Africa, grab it with both hands but be prepared to make some concessions. You need to view it as a working holiday as the value of the Rand (the monetary value) makes it very expensive for South Africans to book foreign speakers. You also need to learn a bit about the local humour and cultures. South Africans are similar to Americans and they enjoy high-powered, high-energy speakers with lots of humour. Your money will go a long way in South Africa and $8 will buy you a world-class meal at the finest restaurants. $10 will buy you a bottle of South Africa’s finest wines.
One thing that impressed me when I was there was the quality of the South African speakers. People like Quentin Coetzee and and Ian Thomas are world-renowned speakers. There are also excellent bureaus. Stuart Lee and Marie Grey run professional bureaus and are great people to work with.
If you’re looking for somewhere wonderful to visit, put South Africa at the top of your list.
Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales, technology and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries. His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org and for resources take a look at http://www.frankfurness.com/ and http://www.frankfurnessresources.com/
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