3 Things I Learned from the NSA Winter Conference

I had the good fortune to attend the National Speakers Association (NSA) Winter Conference this past weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.  While there, I met a wide variety of people from across the United States as well as from many other parts of the world.  Being new to NSA, I didn't know what to expect, but I found the time there well spent.

As I reflect this Tuesday morning, there are 3 key things I learned while attending this event:

  1. Most of the people who profess to be professional speakers also have other tricks in their bag.  I say this to emphasize that speaking is a great profession, but I was impressed with the wide variety of skills and knowledge my peers there offered.  Not only are they skilled, but they are also very open to sharing and assisting newer members of the group.
  2. The diversity of the membership is wide-ranging and growing.  I did see many boomers like me, but there were also people in all shapes and sizes, backgrounds, races and preferences.  The variety of people was great, but the variety of emphases in their speaking niches was also intriguiging.  I sometimes have "speakers block" when I try to think of new and innovative topics, but last weekend really opened my eyes into new ways I can use my skills to better inform and educate those I work with.
  3. Technology has infiltrated the speaking world and will only become more influential.  While at the Winter Conference I was exposed to a wide range of platform methods and the ability to integrate with technology was also eye opening.  I came away with many new ideas, some that I hope to implement sooner than later, and I also learned enough to whet my appetite to learn more.

I give thanks to NSA and to the conference co-chairs, Sylvie di Giusto and Ben Wolff, for their leadership and innovation in putting this event together.  Having had my first taste, I look forward to getting another "bite" by getting more involved with this group.