The meeting was the first major "Special Event" hosted by the ASN, which was founded earlier this year. ASN holds monthly lunch meetings for professional speakers on the first Wednesday of each month, but this whole day special event was open to the entire Austin business community. The nearly sold out function was well received by all in attendance. Special KUDOS to Sara Canaday (ASN's Chief Catalyst) and the rest of the board for a job well done!
(In Photo: Austin Speakers Network Board- Marny Lifshen, Sam Horn, Sara Canaday, Thom Singer, Anne Tiedt, Jim Bagnola, Sylvia Stern and Patti DeNucci)
I believe in attending meetings and seminars in your career area of specialty. No matter what you do for a living you can and should consistently expand your knowledge and skills, and a great way to do that is to participate in your trade organizations. Interacting with the people at all skill levels in your profession will bring you a variety of perspectives and expose you to those who can bring your interesting opportunities.
Joining groups and having your name on a roster is not the same as showing up at local meetings and attending the national conferences. To get real benefit from belonging you must be actively involved and serve the community.
Some executives question why anyone would be active in the local or national chapters of their industry associations. I hear "why would you want to spend your time with other (insert job title), they do not hire me?".... or "I do not gain anything from attending those meetings" (you wont if you are not looking for things to gain!)... or "that group is all amateurs, I am so beyond them". These responses are usually B.S. and often just excuses for a battery of other petty reasons for not participating. My favorite excuse is "the real professionals are not involved in these groups". I disagree, the selfish ones are not, but most successful "givers" have attachment to their industry associations (sometimes you see people who have moved on from active service, but most top players served their time in their industry organizations and continue to give moral support to the group).
You get back more than what you give, and being involved with your peers and serving the greater good has huge benefits that are hard to quantify in the short run.
This is true of my association with ASN and NSA. I have not only had the opportunity to meet some amazing speakers, but my involvement has made me a better speaker, marketer, businessman, and student of life. I am inspired to do more and honored to be part of a group of people who care about more than just their own success. This group takes pride in the success of all the members!
Sam Horn's presentation was not just for professional speakers. Her lessons about messaging crossed industry lines, as every profession is riddled with high levels of noise, and everyone is looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. In some ways the guests from outside the speaking industry were the ones most touched by the message.
I purchased Sam's newest book: "POP! Stand Out In Any Crowd" because she was great and I wanted to hear more of her advice, and also because I have a strong belief that the biggest complement you can give an author is to read their book. I will start reading it as soon as I post this blog.
If you live in Austin and missed this event, keep your eyes open for future ASN luncheons, as guests are welcome. The next lunch meeting is August 3, 2010 and will feature Barbara Miller of Barbara Miller Communications.
The Austin Speakers Network is working to form the Austin Chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA), and has received positive support from the community of professional speakers who live in the Austin area. I can only imagine the future of successful luncheons and special events that are coming in the future!
Have A Great Day.