Journey On to the Global Speakers Summit!

I was honored to represent the United States of America at the Global Speakers Summit this past week in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.  I have been to ALL of them (Singapore, Dubai, Capetown and now Noordwijk!) and I would never miss the opportunity to see the global perspective on professional speaking.

It started out with aplomb.  A first class upgrade on Air Canada with a bed that stretches out.  Yum!  What’s not to like about that?

Joe and I then spent the next day visiting the tulip gardens – and working off the jet lag!  Stacy Tetschner, NSA CEO and NSA Board Member Scott Halford, CSP joined us while tip-toeing through the tulips. My most memorable moment is when the bus driver pulled over and let us walk into a huge crop of hyacinths.  Literally, the moment you walked into the flower bed (be careful not to step on the flowers, he warned!), you were assaulted with the deep, clear smell of the flowers.  I have smelled them in perfumes, but never, ever, before like this!

The next day, the Global Speakers Network started off with a tour of the Microsoft Netherlands Headquarters.  Arranged by Janelle Barlow, We were briefed on the “New World of Work” and got to see it actually play out in Holland – probably the most advanced site in all of Microsoft. We got a backstage peak at an innovative work design and office layout.  It actually seemed a bit Google-ish, but the world of work for information/knowledge workers is dramatically changing. And I think Microsoft Holland has it right.  We then moved an educational format in the afternoon and then dinner at a lovely restaurant, Iets Anders just down the street from the hotel.

The Global Speakers Symposium started the next day.  With over 200 professional speakers from all over the planet congregating in one place, the potential in the air was palpable.  Whenever you put a bunch of professional speakers in a room, magic happens!  We share best practices, learn from each other, and commune with like-minded professionals.

The United States was well-represented with Lou Heckler providing an opening keynote, Tim Gard presented during the Gala Dinner, and Past President Phil Van Hooser, Vice-President Ron Culberson, GSF Executive Council Member Rebecca Morgan and Lenora Billings-Harris (who is Past President AND GSF Executive Council Member!) in attendance. Our CEO, Stacy Tetschner and COO, Beverly Babb, who also serves as Executive Director for the GSF were also present, as were many of the GSF Executives and staff.

Looking forward to the next GSS in Vancouver, Canada – so mark your calendars now to go just a tad bit north of the border from December 7 to the 10th, 2013!

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