VOE – September – Overview of NSA’s Strategic Plan

In preparation for this presidential year, the question most members ask me is “So what’s your theme?”  The answer shocks some, and excites others.

Drum roll, please.  There isn’t one!

And there won’t be a presidential theme in the coming years.  Are you shocked?  Most are, because we have had a long-standing tradition (over 35 years) of presidential themes.  So, yes.  Not to have an annual theme is a radical departure from a time-honored tradition. Are you excited?  Well, you should be because NSA is working to serve you even better.

Your national board has set forth a rather ambitious strategic plan to ensure that NSA is the leading source for community, for education, and for entrepreneurial business knowledge.  Because that’s what you need from a professional society- an association dedicated to help you be successful in this business. That is really our theme….and will continue to be our theme over the next three to five years.

Your Board believes it is their job to provide the strategic consistency of our mission to guide NSA so you can be wildly successful in the speaking business.

So how can we be the leading source for community, education and entrepreneurial business knowledge in the next three to five years?  Well, we do it by making sure NSA is providing real value to you, our members.  In today’s economy, we believe that one size does not fit all.  So you are going to see more segmented programming to meet your specific professional needs, wants and aspirations.  For example, in April of next year, we’ll be having a CSP/CPAE Summit in Dallas, Texas.  And at the recent convention in Orlando, we hosted a Million Dollar Roundtable for those making over a million bucks in this business.  And for those of you who want to make a million bucks, we’re compiling the timeless truths about what it takes to be successful in this business!

You will also see a concerted effort to enhance your NSA experience at each and every contact point.  Every time you connect at the local, regional and national levels, you should be delighted with the experience, and feel included and connected to each other and to the association.

I wholeheartedly believe that that Chapters are the heart of NSA. As the local gathering place for professional speakers, Chapters are often times the front door for new members to NSA. They may not be new to the speaking profession, but they are new to NSA.  So NSA is collaborating with each chapter about how we can support them in their mission to extend the NSA brand into the local marketplace, consistently targeting their education and community efforts to the working speaker level.

And as the premier association representing the speaking profession, NSA is also striking a new direction to do for the profession what each of us alone cannot do.  Part of this is conducting research into the profession and meetings industry.  That includes collecting worthwhile information from our members, and from a variety of credible sources and sending it to you in a timely fashion so that you can be more proactive in making solid business decisions.

The other part is about creating a high touch-high tech portal for you to get your questions answered quickly.

Finally, the last objective in our strategic plan is about creating the story.  We all know how important stories are in communicating our expertise to our clients and our audiences.  NSA faces the same issues. So we are dedicating considerable energies toward creating a powerful story so your clients and other stakeholders in the meetings industry will want to hire NSA speakers.

We also have to get much better about telling our story within our association – to you, the members, and to other professional speakers who aren’t members – yet.

If we do this right, every professional speaker will want to be a member of NSA. We aim to provide so much value that you not only speak more and speak better, but you speak with confidence that you are on the leading edge of this profession.

I am honored and excited to be your President this year – and I look forward to sharing my perspective with you each month on Voices of Experience.

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