Thursday, July 19, 2012
WOW, I Enjoyed the 2012 National Speakers Association Convention in Indianapolis
I have returned home from an eight day trip to Las Vegas and Indianapolis (yes, since I live in Austin... this was not easy to navigate).
I was in Vegas to speak at a conference. Then I flew to Indy for the 2012 National Speakers Association Convention. I have been an active member of NSA for several years, and this was my fourth conference. As always it was a chance to spend time with several colleagues and learn from those who are making an splash in the Speaking Industry.
(I find it interesting how many people do not attend their industry association meetings. Not just speakers... but professionals in a variety of fields. If you love what you do, you should find a way to support the industry and want to be around peers. For me, NSA is directly responsible for my success in the business. This success is not from direct referrals... although other speakers do refer leads back and forth.... but from the inspiration and exposure to new ideas and ways of looking at the profession of speaking!!! It is a weird business, and nobody can see all angles from one vantage point)
I had a couple of roles this year at the convention. I was a speaker for the Youth Leadership Program. For decades NSA has hosted a program for the children and grandchildren of professional speakers. Many of the nations leading presenters address the teens with a variety of topics. It was a huge honor to be asked to speak (and be warned.... the youth are a tougher audience than their parents!). My eldest daughter has attended the event for three years, and even she thought her old dad did a good job.
This year's NSA Conference had a "Learning Lounge" and I was the host of this experimental option. The idea for this came from the 2012 PCMA Convening Leaders Conference (where I was involved with the Learning Lounge thanks to Dave Lutz and Jeff Hurt from Velvet Chainsaw). It was an alternative learning area with lots of different things happening all the time. There were "Ask the Experts" table, "Tech Talk" areas, and a variety of short and long format stage presentations. Plus, lost of couches and tables so people could relax and talk with other speakers.
The conference was a combination of learning, friendship, and contemplation. I am inspired about the future of the business, and walked away with many ideas that will have instant impact how I run my own business!
Plus, over the last four years I have developed friendships with a lot of people in the NSA family. I was honored to be able to share best practices, test out ideas on how to market, and just have fun with these amazing people.
If you are a speaker (or if you are working toward a career as a speaker), you must plan on being in Philadelphia in July 2013. The organization is continuing to change and grow to meet the needs of speakers in the new business environments.
Have A Great Day