I traveled to sunny Palm Springs for the weekend and enjoyed over a dozen speakers at the Summer Symposium from the National Speakers Association. This was a truly amazing event with highly polished presenters sharing to a crowd of business professionals who make a living in the speaking business. There wasn’t a sour note in the bunch and I came away with the inspiration to climb up to the next rung on the ladder of personal development.
The weekend started of on Friday afternoon with management consultant Alan Weiss. Alan’s no-nonsense approach was refreshing and he pointed out that you must differentiate yourself from the crowd. His contrarian views on many subjects have catapulted him to the national spotlight. He has published over 500 articles and 25 books. His latest title, Million Dollar Consulting and the accompanying Toolkit have received rave reviews on Amazon.
Friday night finished off with former Canadian Volleyball player, Vilis Ozols and his motivational story of success and heartbreak as the turmoil of world politics caused him to miss the Olympics. His powerful story of his grandmother and her faith was one that left a lasting memory in everyone in the audience.
Saturday included speaking coach, Alan Sanow, who has written a great book entitled Get Along, about developing interpersonal relationships with clients, co-workers, and family. Alan brought years of speaking experience to the table and shared his insights of the speaking business with subjects ranging from booking more clients to developing a customer newsletter. His enthusiastic approach and “in the trenches” experience were just what many of the new speakers in the audience needed to hear.
Branding expert, Dick Bruso, took us through the process of creating a personal brand. He had two volunteers come up from the audience and worked through events in their lives to create a unique story. From this story he would extract words and sound bites. It was very insightful to see how quickly and expert in the field could position someone and create amazing marketing materials.
Saturday morning finished up with Don Crowther an internet marketing expert. Don gave the audience many tips and tricks for improving their internet presence and talked about the process of creating an online newsletter and carving out the time to write a book and get self published.
Saturday evening included a powerful one-woman theatrical keynote by Susie Vanderlip. Susie has spoken to one million teens and adults in 47 states and Canada over the past 14 years. Her standing ovation performance was mesmerizing. Her new book, 52 Ways To Protect Your Teen, should be on every parents booklist. The evening ended with the magic and comedy of Bruce Gold. Bruce had us laughing and then wondering… How did he do that?
Sunday included entrepreneurial expert Bill Wagner who offered an online personality test before the event. Bill has written a fascinating book entitled “The Entrepreneur Next Door,” which tied into the results of the personality test. In years of research Bill has identified an ideal entrepreneurial personality type. His thesis is the closer you can adapt your current personality to the ideal the more successful you will be.
I took the test and picked up the book. My personality type came out as a “Motivator,” which means I need to work on certain areas to increase my entrepreneurial skills. Specifically I need to focus on details and get the little things done. This is a very interesting book with practical steps to help you start and run a small business.
Sunday also included Internet consultant Phillipa Gamse, who critiqued many different speaker websites for content and flow. Her presentation was eye opening and it was interesting to see how many of the showcased websites were out of date or had links that didn’t work.
The conference ended up with keynote speaker Naomi Rhode and one of the most incredible speaking performances I have ever seen. Her performance had you laughing one minute and drawn to tears the next. Naomi & her husband travel all over the world speaking to influential audiences of business professionals. Her ending story about a monopoly game of life definitely left a lasting impression and she received a rousing standing ovation.
This is one weekend I will never forget. The talent was incredible and I left with a huge cache of ideas along with the inspiration to carry them out. If you live in the Southern California area bookmark the NSA website and plan to attend this annual event in September of 2007. You will not regret it!