Speakers on every topic under the sun
I've spent the last four days at the National Speaker's Association annual convention. Imagine 1,700 people who love to talk, give advice, and be the center of attention. Now turn up the volume another few notches.
Despite the occasional din, this has been one of the most fabulous professional growth experiences I've ever had. While Toastmasters is an excellent place to learn how to speak more coherently (especially if you have "um" problems), NSA is a place to learn how to manage the business of being a speaker. They have four core competencies they develop in their members:
Your depth of skill and experience in the subject matter on which you focus
Creating more powerful and engaging presentations
Running and marketing your speaking business, including the often related businesses of consulting, coaching, and writing
Doing all of the above with integrity
While I've been blown away with the experience, expertise and variety of topics of the people I've met, what has struck me most about NSA Northwest and the people here at national is their welcoming attitude. Very few organizations or associations are so delighted to welcome people to the fold, and determined to make sure they keep getting value to return again and again.