A career-changing moment or experience
Membership Has Its Privileges
Imet a funny guy recently when I spoke at a showcase. We chatted about the speaking business and the conversa- tion eventually turned to the National Speakers Association.
He said he had considered joining,
but he heard some negative comments
that were holding him back. I looked
him in the eye and, with absolute conviction, told him that every positive
opportunity that I have ever had in the
speaking business resulted directly or
indirectly through a relationship that I
created through NSA.
That seemed to impress him and, as
far as I’m concerned, it’s the absolute
truth. I would not enjoy my success as
a speaker today if were it not for NSA.
But now I have a new reason to shout
from the mountaintops.
I booked a speech with the
Findyourownleads Association in
Nebraska, which resulted from a cold call.
When I made my travel arrangements, I
decided that I could fly into Omaha on
the morning of the event with a couple
of back-up flights to ensure that I could
make the 8 p.m. speech. However, I
wasn’t counting on the 140 tornadoes
that hit North Alabama and Western
Tennessee and destroyed my connections
in Memphis. For the first time in a decade
of speaking, I was going to miss a speech.
I was horrified. Not only was I going
to lose the fee, my client would have to
refund the attendees’ money.
What was I going to do? Call the
client? Hide in the bathroom? Or call
NSA? I called Nikki Harris at NSA
headquarters to explain my situation
and implored her to “Please find me a
speaker in Nebraska.” Nikki quickly
read off a list of speakers from the corn
husker state and when she came across
my buddy, Jim “Doc” Kramer, my heart
began to race. Not only does he live
only two hours away from the speaking venue, but he’s funny and he plays
I called Jim and explained my predicament. He didn’t hesitate to say he
would fill in for me. Then, I phone
the client to present my problem and
a solution for it. Thanks to the power
of NSA connections, I found a replacement only 15 minutes after I realized I
could not fulfill my commitment.
Yes, it stinks that I lost the money,
but what I gained was a reaffirmation
of my commitment to my contin-
ued investment in NSA. This is one
of the advantages of membership.
Occasionally, we all find ourselves in
negative circumstances beyond our
control. It is reassuring that in the soli-
tary business of speaking, there is a
network of professionals and friends
who will come to the rescue at a
Patrick Henry is a former Nashville songwriter who delivers entertaining, funny and engaging keynote speeches that show audiences
how to create extraordinary customer
experiences. He is what happens when
keynotes, comedy and concerts … collide!