Putting a fine point on the speaking industry
My “Top Ten” List
David Letterman has his “Top Ten” list and so do I. Here are my
top 10 insights while serving as your NSA president.
1 NEVER CHECK EMAIL AFTER DINNER or
7 p.m., whichever comes first. Even the
slightest nuance, idea or member concern
will rattle around in your head throughout the night.
2 IT’S THE PEOPLE. I am often asked,
“What’s the best part of being president?”
Hands down, it’s the people I have met.
It is the spirit of caring, sharing and the
love of speaking that holds the NSA community together.
3 SPEAKING IS JUST A PART OF YOUR EXPERTISE EMPIRE. In addition to sharing their
expertise and information via a keynote,
general session, break-out session, training, coaching, consulting or facilitation,
many speakers provide complementary products and services that allow
clients to access more valuable information at their leisure and at their own pace.
Theoretically, all of your offerings should
support your expertise empire.
4 EXPERIENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES. I was chatting with a speaker who said his area of
expertise was leadership. Then, I discovered he had never managed nor led any
organization! Nothing beats experience
when talking about your area of expertise.
Some call it practicing what you preach. I
call it “eating your own dog food.”
5 WE ARE IN A DECEPTIVELY COMPLEX BUSINESS. While it is easy to get into the
speaking business, it is becoming even
more difficult to stay in it. I don’t think
we are ever going to be able to turn
back the clock to the good old days.
We are living in the “new
normal” and the NSA community is here to support you as
you grow your business.
6 DON’T DRINK THE NSA KOOL-AID.
Don’t adopt everything you
hear at NSA as the gosh honest
truth. That’s drinking the Kool-Aid. Sift through the ideas that
resonate with you and adapt
them to your own business model. Better
yet, be a thought leader and create your
own unique path that aligns with you as a
person and your brand promise.
7 WE ARE LIVING IN THE ERA OF ENGAGEMENT.
By asking for the audience’s contributions
and comments up front, you can create an
event that really engages your attendees.
Keep the conversation flowing long after
the presentation via social media.
8 KEEP IT SMALL AND FOCUSED. There is a
global trend toward fewer and smaller
meetings with more tightly focused
content, and fewer attendees who
are physically present. These hybrid
meetings include simultaneous streaming video and content discussions so
people outside the room can participate in real time.
9 THE WORLD IS INDEED FLAT. NSA is
the world’s largest and oldest association dedicated to the art and business of
professional speaking. Our sister associations in the Global Speakers Federation
(GSF) look to us for leadership and to set
standards. It is imperative that the GSF
Kristin Arnold, MBA, CPF, CMC, CSP 2010-11 NSA President
continues to be a leader in this global
community and that we support its efforts
to raise the bar around the world.
0 LEADERSHIP IS NOT ABOUT IMMEDIATE
GRATIFICATION. It is the long-term progress
to our strategic plan that keeps us focused
and motivated. I am deeply honored by
your faith and trust in me as we steer this
big ship called NSA toward greater value
for our members.
Thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve you and represent you
across the United States and the world.
I hope to see you at the NSA Annual
Convention—Influence ‘ 11—in
Kristin Arnold, MBA, CPF, CMC, CSP
National Speakers Association