January was Quadruple NSA Chapter Month! by @laurastack

By Laura Stack, NSA President

NSA/Northern CA with President Jim Carrillo 2

Starting on January 7, right after the New Year was in full swing, I took my 10-year-old son, James, and visited NSA/Northern California in San Francisco. This was his first time there, so we took the obligatory Fisherman’s Wharf tour and saw the sea lions and ate whole Dungeness crab.  Then we went on the night tour to Alcatraz!  James was absolutely fascinated. At the meeting the next day, I was delighted to see Susan Roane there, whom I haven’t seen in years, and even Fripp turned out to support the chapter. I presented my program on “How Speakers Can Use Video to Get Booked and Stay Booked,” and Fripp told me it was “incredible,” so I guess I did fairly well. Although I will never say “a bunch of” after her on-the-spot coaching!  J

NSA/CO Road Warrior Panel

January 14 brought me to my own home chapter of NSA/Colorado (whoooooo!), where Mark LeBlanc was be the featured speaker.  Buddies Scott Halford, Ruby Newell-Legner, and I kicked off the meeting with a moderated “Road Warrior” panel and took questions from the audience. It was interesting how different our responses were, and even veteran speakers reported they gleaned valuable information. It really drove home the point that there are many different ways to do this business, and they can all work really well.  There were 90-100 people in attendance, which is the highest I’ve seen at any chapter.  I was delighted to see old and new friends and love coming back to my chapter where I was president ten years ago!

Next I visited NSA/Mountain West on January 18. They did a wonderful joint evening program with MPI/UT.  The MPI chapter paid for a reception to kick off the evening, complete with wine and a mashed potato bar (what a blast!). One of their national board members also attended.  Congrats to president Jeri Mae Rowley for putting the evening together and garnering such a great turnout!  I kicked off the formal program with my session on with a program on “Cool Productivity Tools.”  Then we broke for dinner, which was sponsored by the NSA chapter for both groups. We came back and saw a panel with speakers (including Chad Hymas and Brad Barton) and two meeting planners, fielding questions from the audience on speaker/client relationships.

NSA/ Mountain West with Tyler Herd and Chad Hymas

NSA NYC with Rande Gedaliah

Then I flew from SLC to NYC and the Marriott Marquis in Time Square, which was also the site of the infamous 2008 NSA convention with chair Eric Chester! My room looked out on to the hustle and bustle of Time Square.  Rochelle Rice, NSA/NYC president, Ron Karr, NSA Vice President, and several other board members, took me to a lovely dinner at a steakhouse that evening. The next day, I once again presented my video program.  The chapter boasted a record turnout for the program and overflowed into the next room of the venue. They are experiencing great success moving their candidate members to national members!

The thing that struck me the most on all this month’s chapter visits was the HOPE I felt among our colleagues.  There was a general sense that the speaking business was turning back around again, leveling out, and starting to improve.  Some speakers’ businesses had significantly improved over the last few months, and not a single person told me business was down. I saw smiling faces and a level of excitement I haven’t seen in years (literally).  As I said when I became president in July 2011, this is a great time to be a professional speaker!

Thank you for driving me around, taking me to dinner, rolling out the red carpet, and welcoming me to your chapters and hearts. I’m so privileged to spend this special time with all of you and am sad about ½ of my term is over.

For pictures of my chapter visits, click here.  

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One Comment on “January was Quadruple NSA Chapter Month! by @laurastack”

  1. Sean Carroll Says:

    It was a pleasure having you out to dinner here in New York City Laura. I look forward to helping NSA in the future as much as NSA has helped me!


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