Sunday, July 19, 2009

National Speakers Association Conference First Day

Last year I qualified for membership with the National Speakers Association and I attended the annual conference this week. I was skeptical as to the value of the meeting, but after the first day I was inspired, motivated and impacted by my participation.

Highlights of Day One:

The first person I met was Ann Bloch. Ann is a 24 year NSA veteran and had a lot of great advice in our brief meeting about how to get the most out of the NSA Convention. She also shared with me many nuggets of information she had gained from her years as an author, speaker and business communications consultant.

I then had lunch with Clint Greenleaf from Greenleaf Book Group. Clint lives in Austin, but it took a 1500 mile trip to Arizona to get us scheduled for lunch. We ate at In 'n' Out Burger.... which being a native of So Cal is a historical staple for me. My friends and I hung out at In 'n' Out in high school.... so I know the "Double Double" very well. The food was great, and the conversation was even better. Clint is a classy guy and very helpful.

I also attended the meeting for the NSA XY Group. This sub-group brings together professional speakers who are "Generation X" and "Generation Y" for discussions around best practices and other tid-bits of information that impact younger speakers. I was the oldest person in the meeting (nearly 50 people), but related directly to the subjects discussed (maybe I am young at heart, even though I am on the "old" end of Gen X!!!).

The official opening keynote event for the convention was amazing. "The Passing Zone" kicked off the evening with the entertainment. As someone who has dedicated much of the last decade to observing the best talent in the speaking business, I thought these guys were spectacular. If you are not familiar with Jon and Owen (the dynamic duo who makes up "The Passing Zone"), you have missed out. To call them "jugglers" undermines the power of the message they brought to the audience. Their humor and underlying message made a memorable impact on everyone... in between flying chainsaws!!!

Finally the evening was highlighted by Vince Posente. Vince is one of the most engaging professional speakers to grace the stage at NSA or any other conference. He is a former Olympic speed skater and business professional who has a powerful message for the audience. He filled the room with more than his words... instead he sparked each person with the hope and desire they needed to be more than they were before.

I walked away from "Day One" of the NSA Conference inspired by the speakers, and infused with the message that you need to have fun in your life, regardless of your career. If you are just going through the required motions, you will never have the passion that gets others fired up to be part of your cause. Both "the Passing Zone" and Vince Posente demonstrated what it takes to be amazing.

Have A Great Day.


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