Thursday, July 9, 2009

And the Winners Are...!

In case you missed the Virgina Speakers Idol Contest held after our program in June, you missed a great time!

The speakers graduating from the Pro Track class had the opportunity to showcase what they learned throughout the year. Not only that, but they got great feedback from a panel of Idol judges, including Paula, Dog and Simon, a la Doris Young, Tom Davidson & special NSA guest Darren LaCroix!

Enjoy a slideshow of the event at:

We loved you all - it was so hard to choose the final winners!

And the winners are...
#4 - Yvonne Ortega
#3 - Winston Bersch
#2 - Coleen Kenny
#1 - Debbie Bowie

Congratulations to all who participated. You are all winners in completing the Pro Track course and enhancing your speaking & business skills.

If you haven't signed up to join the upcoming Pro Track class that's starting in September, be sure to visit: for details and an application. There may still be one or two spots available.

P.S. - For the latest list of UPCOMING EVENTS for 2009-10, click here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Speaking of Resources

Be sure to check out the latest Speaker Resources to help you grow your business and improve your speaking.

Upcoming June speaker Darren LaCroix has a great list on his site with anything from shrink wrap machines and CD duplication to fulfillment and speaker boot camps.

I've just posted resources from John Kremer (huge!), especially if you're interested in publishing. He also has great info on podcasting and promoting your business online. After all, he's the author of "1001 Ways to Market Your Book!"

I also "stumbled upon" some great free NSA-sponsored webinars on Social Networking and Social Media. The first one that is archived is from none other than David Nour, a speaker earlier this year. The rest planned for 2009-10 will be archived as well, but you can register to attend each one live if you like.

Visit the link at:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Catapult Your Career!

Would you like to advance your speaking career at lightning speed? Then sign up today for the Pro Track Speaking Academy. You will advance and polish your speaking skills under the tutelage and guidance of seasoned pros. You will also learn other essential skills that will help your speaking business grow. Pro Track is limited to 12 people, and there are only a few spots left, so hurry.

Pro Track grads are eligible to compete in June 2010 for the “NSA Idol Contest” and the top prize is valued at over $1,000. Other prizes are worth hundreds of dollars. All 12 contestants will receive prizes, so get your application in today!

Visit for details and program overview.

Register today by clicking on the above link and printing the form to fax in. See you in the limelight!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April's "Big Shtick"

Need a mix of humor and good business sense to ramp up your speaking biz?

Mikki Williams is a professional speaker with her own speakers school. She will focus on great presentation techniques, including using humor and being different to stand out when you speak.

As a Vistage chair coaching CEOs, you can be sure her time with us will be content-rich as well as fun!

Here's what a couple of our members have said about her presentations:

Whether your audience is 2 or 2,000, international speaker and trainer to companies worldwide, Mikki Williams, will show how to dazzle your audience and get over your fear of speaking. You’ll walk away empowered!
- Sandy Dumont,

I’m not sure how many NSA-VA programs I’ve attended in the past ten years, but I’ve only missed a few. Every program gives me something I can use to steadily grow my business.

There are some programs that are CAN’T MISS opportunities to see a phenomenal talent! I would NEVER want to miss an opportunity to laugh and learn with Mikki Williams!

I had an opportunity to see Mikki speak at a Winter Workshop in 2006 and I’ve never forgotten it. She is a FORCE of NATURE! As a speaker, she brings a rare combination of laugh-out-loud humor and SOLID, practical content.

Be there this Friday and bring your friends, family and staff. Mikki does it all – she keeps her audiences roaring with laughter AND she coaches CEOs and entrepreneurs through Vistage – The World’s Leading Chief Executive Organization. If you want to build your business in a down economy, Mikki will show you how to use your authentic, unique qualities to build the highest level of speaking skills and a solid business structure.
- Gloria Thomas,

For more info about her, visit:

You can also see a short video clip of Mikki on YouTube at:

If you haven't yet signed up for the program in Chesapeake this Friday, April 17th, you'll want to do so as soon as you can! Click here to see program details and register:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tough Talk for Tough Times?

Thinking the speaking business is in for tough times along with this challenging economy? The Northern California NSA sponsored a panel of four Past Presidents, including the founding president (Patricia Fripp, who recently spoke at our NSA meeting), who addressed that topic.

Here are the links to the 4-part panel discussion, which I'm sure you'll find enlightening and encouraging - with suggestions about what you can do to improve your bottom line this year. I've condensed the links here for you:

For more insights, you can visit NCNSA member Ian Griffin's blog (he recorded the above) at:

Monday, March 9, 2009

IMPROV Training Opportunity 4/27

Want to become more spontaneous or physical in your speaking?
Just want to have fun?

Improv for Speakers and Trainers

Join PLAYBACK Hampton Roads on Monday, April 27, 2009

You Tell a STORY, we ACT it out.

The public is invited to attend this hilarious, educational, and thoroughly entertaining performance by this talented ensemble. Be introduced to improvisational theatre – in a unique and eye-opening manner.

A short Toastmasters meeting will open the evening events at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 27th at Unity Renaissance Church, 1120 Eden Way, Chesapeake. (2 blocks behind Greenbrier Mall). Playback Theater will “Raise The Curtain” promptly at 7:30 and will extend to 8:15 p.m.

Contact Dick Biondo at 460-2829 for further information and directions to the church, or visit our website at

For full information and to view this as a pdf file you can print out, go to:

Monday, February 23, 2009

FRIPP Teleseminar this Thursday

Join Patricia Fripp for this no charge teleseminar Thursday of this week – a great lead-in to our NSA Virginia March program (Friday the 20th) when she will be here in Richmond !

“Taking Your Presentation to the Next Level: How to UP Your Value in a DOWN Economy,” with Patricia Fripp

It is no secret…corporate travel budgets are down, associations are predicting less attendees, and convention committees are asking speakers to cut their fees. What can ambitious speakers do? They can UP their value in a DOWN economy!

Patricia Fripp says, “We need to increase the effectiveness of our marketing and revisit the quality of our presentations.” Being perceived as a dynamic, inspiring, and persuasive presenter is no longer a nice skill to have; it is a matter of business life and death!

This starts with your marketing and is magnified in your presentation. If you are a novice, intermediate, or even advanced business or professional presenter, you will benefit from this TeleSeminar. Patricia has a unique ability to demystify the process of what it takes to transform a good presentation into a GREAT one! With Patricia, you will learn some often over-looked marketing philosophies and hear Fripp’s Good to Great: 10 Little-Known Techniques to Transform Your Speech…and a bonus!

Your registration link is:

During this call, you'll discover how to:
  • Revisit your marketing with fresh eyes
  • Identify do's and don’ts that ensure a successful presentation
  • Adapt two comedy techniques that add retention
  • Open and close with more impact
  • Avoid the unconscious goof that will hurt your credibility
  • Improve listener buy-in for your point of view
  • Be remembered and repeated
  • Be persuasive, clear, and concise
  • Make your stories memorable

BOTTOM LINE....Receive high caliber advice for a low investment

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2009
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
Cost: Complimentary

We will not be using a toll-free number. You will be responsible for the small long-distance charge if dialing out of your area code. This will appear on your phone bill.

Your registration link is:

SpeakerMatch is the only service of its kind when it comes to matching speakers and speaking opportunities. SpeakerMatch reaches emerging professional speakers, business leaders, technical gurus, educators, and other subject-matter experts who want to communicate what they know. There is no better service available for event organizers who need to reach this very diverse group of experts who speak.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Need A Marketing Coach?!

Three great opportunities to plug into the mastermind of an innovative marketing speaker (and internet marketing guru) are coming your way this week. Of course, I'm referring to Ford Saeks of who is our February 20th program speaker.
Here are the perfect combination of opportunities to move your business ahead of the curve:
Take advantage of one or all of these opportunities to get your questions answered or develop some strategies that will kick your business to a higher level!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Getting the Spin on PR!

Our PR Chairperson, Susie Galvez, had been doing an outstanding job of getting more visibility for our chapter and programs this year.

Check out the most recent article, written as a result of the January program:

Prior to that she ws able to get us some spin in the V Magazine in Richmond. View here:

We were also mentioned as a "Hot Pick" in the Richmond Times-Dispatch for the event on Social networking, which helped drive our program registrations through the roof!

It's great to have such a go-getter on the board doing an outstanding job in PR! Let's be sure to give her kudos, as well as any suggestions or contacts on what else we could do to get the word out about our great programs and chapter benefits.

Brains, Bodies and Advice Needed NOW for Next Year

by Tom Davidson, President-Elect

If you were at the January 16 chapter meeting on Social Networking with David Nour, then you saw the energy and spiraling growth of NSA-Virginia, including 45 visitors to one of the most exciting chapters in the Nation. As your president-elect and with the help of many, I have started to make initial plans to keep this spirit alive and thriving in the new NSA year, which begins July 2009 and continues through June 2010.

For example, your new national president will make Virginia one of his first stops after the National Convention (July 18-21) when he presents a special program to us on August 7th. Many more big programs are being arranged to partner with other professionals across the state and to keep up the momentum we have inherited. Your Board of Directors continues to do a uniquely outstanding job of planning and executing under the leadership of our current president, Dorothy Erlanger. But now is not the time to rest.

Please consider the following requests and respond to me directly with your comments:
1. Volunteering. Your help is badly needed for a growing list of volunteer jobs and potentially open positions on the Board of Directors. If you have an interest in any of the following areas, of if you are unsure where you might fit but just want to take a more active role in the chapter, please let me know right away. There is more than enough to do so that anyone with an interest can be accommodated in some way, and it is one of my goals to help leverage your membership through networking and volunteering of this type.

a. Membership services
b. Meeting logistics
c. Financial management
d. Leveraging technology
e. Internal and external communications
f. Library resources
g. Special projects

2. Programs. While some groundwork as been laid for programs in the new year, I am still working to identify top speakers on relevant topics that you will find inspiring for yourself and practical for your businesses. If you have any suggestion for a topic or a speaker who has made a difference in your NSA experience or elsewhere in your lives, then please let me know. Also, if you belong to another professional organization with a goal that intersects with those of NSA Virginia, let me know who they are so we can potentially build bridges with them in the year ahead.
3. General Advice. Finally, if you have any advice for providing leadership and managing the organization’s resources in the new year, please let me know that as well. I will value every word and appreciate every minute you spend sharing your wisdom.

Please email me with your thoughts at or call me at (O) 804-217-8365 or (H) 804-769-1754. I look forward to hearing from you on any or all of the topics posted above and seeing you over and over again throughout 2009 and beyond. Thank you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Take Your Speaking Business to New Heights!

The February meeting in Chesapeake, Va. features marketing guru Ford Saeks. This should be an incredible meeting that you won't want to miss!

For total details on this marketing maven and the resources he's bringing us, view the one page pdf file at the link below. Then click on the link to register for this awesome program!

See you in Chesapeake!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some Like It Loud!

I was recently listening to a speaker who was very emotional about his material. He thought it was very important for us to know and understand his message and so his voice became quite loud. The more important his points were, the louder he became eventually yelling his main points. I was shocked by his style in spite of being a former rock and roll drummer in the 70’s and serving in the artillery in the Army.

Listening to this gentleman, however, led me to wonder if I’ve overlooked yelling as a technique in my professional speaking toolkit. As I considered it further, I realized I’ve been missing out on a number of advantages to yelling in my presentations.

1. It would keep people awake during the presentation. I’ve often wondered how to motivate audiences who were not very interested in my topic. My yelling and the involuntary flinching responses by the audience would certainly discourage nodding off.

2. My message would reach those in the rest rooms. Invariably, someone steps out of the room just as I’m getting to the most important part of my message. I did the same that morning (the coffee will only stay with you so long) but it didn’t matter. I was able to hear most every word the speaker shared while addressing my biological needs. Not every speaker is that considerate.

3. It would reduce the number of annoying questions that come up after the presentation. No one will say “Sorry, but I missed that point, would you yell it again?”

4. It is a multi-generational approach to sharing my message.
a. As our population becomes older, my message would easily reach those who refuse to get a hearing aid.
b. Middle-aged audience members will be happy not having to repeat the points in the message whenever an older person utters “What did he say?”
c. The younger members of the audience will appreciate the intensely emotional volume of the message since it is similar to the screamer music they listen to.

5. I could save my clients significant cost. All clients are interested in saving money. Instead of cutting my fee, I can save them money on equipment costs by eliminating microphones and sound equipment.

6. It’s green to yell. Everyone is worried about the environment. By skipping electrical usage for the sound equipment I can help save on green house gases.

7. It could become a real competitive advantage. I could differentiate myself in the market. It is a wide open niche at this point. I could advertise my skills by listing how many decibels I can reach in a presentation.

8. I believe it will increase the application of the teaching points in my message. Many audience members would be afraid not to apply what they heard. Who knows how I will respond if I find out they were not applying the techniques.

9. There is the potential for personal health benefits to yelling. If done correctly – using the diaphragm, not the throat – it could increase deep breathing, lower blood pressure and release tension.

10. Marketing consultants stress how important it is to be heard in this crowded marketplace of ideas. Being louder is a technique that has been shown to work. After all, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

Be on the lookout for my new line of products and services: Keynote Presentations (Yell Your Way to Success) , CD’s (Best of Yelling – audio tracks), DVD’s (Best of Yelling Live), e-Book series (Yelling Isn’t Training, But It Works Anyway), training seminars (Yell All the Way To The Bank), webinars (Yelling Over the Web – It’s More Than ALL CAPS!) and personal coaching program (Anyone Can Yell, But Only I Can Show You How To Make Money By Doing It).

I also plan on developing affiliate relationships with manufacturers of microphones (Screamers Choice for Distortion Free Yelling) and sound amplification equipment (Maxed Out Amps – Our Knobs Go to 11!)

With all these benefits, I’m amazed that not more presenters and speakers use this technique. It appears I’m on the cutting edge of a new trend and I’m excited.

Here’s yelling at you!

Written by NSA-Virginia Chapter Member Ron Chapman, 5 Star Performance Solutions

Monday, January 5, 2009

January Program Features Afternoon BONUS Session!

We're not only planning to have a super program with Social Networking guru David Nour during our regular morning program. He's agreed to put on a special afternoon Bonus Session as well! It's all happening at the January 16th program in Richmond.

Details about the main program and registration are at:

If you’re REALLY ready to rock and roll, we’ll have a hands-on, mini-workshop format in the afternoon from 1-4 pm where we’ll critique your online presence, review templates of best practices, and discuss how to leverage article marketing via applications such as Twitter, Digg, Slideshare and multiple article distribution engines.

We’ll also discuss and review tools for you to build your own private social network via Ning and IntroNetworks (and this is just to name a few!). Blogs and forums build interest in our topics, while those smart speakers who leverage social networking applications are developing their businesses by networking from the desk chairs! This optional session at the same location will be worth far more than the $20 investment for the three hours of practical information!

You can opt in at the morning meeting or as part of your online registration at: . Seeyou there!