By far, Influence 2017 was one of the best NSA conventions I’ve attended.

Thank you Colleen and everyone involved with the welcome to Florida committee booth that we shared with the South Florida Chapter everyone appreciated our warm sunny welcome to Florida!

The brilliant co-chairs of Influence 2017, Christine Holton Cashen, CSP,CPAE and Michael Hoffman, CSP wove the love and kindness throughout every part of this convention. They started the convention with Sergeant Mark J. Lindquist, magnificently singing our National Anthem. Then they honored all of the International countries that were represented by Speakers attending the convention, showing each country’s flag and continued to honor the global world we live in!

Every speaker on the main stage & all of the breakout speakers I heard shared an enormous amount of great content. Many emphasized and demonstrated the power of sharing our own personal stories, which has inspired me to dig deeper in writing more personal stories for my speeches.

Elaine Pasqua shared a wealth of tips for cold calling at the Power Women of NSA session. Some may not like this approach, but it has served her well as she broke into the college market and even helped her land some gigs with professional sport teams. The key is to be focused in who your audience is, and what you have to offer them. Do your homework to know about the client needs and info about their organization. Re-evaluate what’s going on in the world and adjust your message. Be relevant, consider what makes you different from other speakers that would interest your potential clients and share your expertise.

Emmanuel Kelly asked us, “What energy do I give to the world?” “People care about what’s in my heart. Learn to love yourself, and dream big!”

Yasmin Abdel-Magied spoke to us about our unconscious bias. She reminded us that there is magic in looking past what we originally expect. Tap into empathy and human connection through storytelling.

Vinh Giang reminded us that Mindset is everything. Failure isn’t a destination, its just a detour. Influence is one of the most powerful forces of life. You become the sum of the top 5 people that you spend the most time with. Be generous and kind. Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.

Kindra Hall spoke about the importance of storytelling with lots of great examples. Humans are attracted to stories. Stories are memorable. A story is a moment, has a beginning, middle and end, has emotion, has a character that we care about and something is at stake. Tell stories with photos. Share stories in your presentations, in blogs, emails, newsletters, video and social media.

David Horsager, CSP spoke about the importance of Building Trust. Everything of value is built on trust. A confident belief in trust increases more ideas to share and profits increase. At the core of everything is a trust issue. Lack of trust is the biggest expense we have, it costs time, stress and burnout. Trust is earned. Don’t trust a blamer. Pillars of trust include, clarity, compassion, character-do what’s right – isn’t necessarily easy, competency, commitment, connection, contribution, consistency. We trust those who stand in the face of adversity. Make and keep commitments. Little things done consistently is what makes the biggest difference. Every interaction we trust someone a little more or less.

New NSA President Brian Walter gave us his un-theme, since NSA isn’t really creating themes any more, LOL, is WSLTC- Want Something (for yourself and others-vital for NSA Chapter Business) and Leverage the Community. Connect with a speaker coming to your town. Ask a speaker if the things you are doing are bold enough for you. Challenge yourself to tune it up. Serve and don’t keep score.

Patrick Henry, CSP Becoming Re-memorable. A keynote is when you inspire to ask questions. A breakout session you answer questions. Share your legacy, as Patrick did ending his speech with a clip from his father’s speech- the legendary Robert Henry. Be re-memorable.

Mark J. Lindquist, yes, the same multi-talented person who opened the convention singing the National Anthem had a packed room for his breakout session Zero to 250k in 3 years. This was so much more than that. He shared 10 minutes of his story with photos demonstrating why he gets booked often. He said ” telling my story is like a pilot of a TV show, vital for capturing the audience’s interest.” He asked us if we are taking our audiences from sitting their with their arms crossed to leaning forward to hear what we have to say and inspiring them and keeping them from wanting to stare down at their phone. Everything we do matters- from setting up the room, to the lighting, music & our intro, we must win them over 5 minutes at a time.

Geeta Nadkarni- Baby Got Booked: Gain Exposure, Build Credibility, Charge More. Geeta suggests that we could build our audience by borrowing them from the media that already has a built in audience waiting to hear our message. Do your research for which media outlets would benefit from your expertise. Know who you are pitching to. Give the reporter fresh ways to share your content. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the media and their audience needs. She reminded us that we are one pitch away from everything we want to make our dreams come true.

Lynn Rose- You have the power to WOW! Connection is everything. Lead with connection, then content follows with conversation and a contract. Loosen up before you are on camera or on stage. Speak means Smile when you talk, Play with how you say it, Energy when you speak, Authentically amplify and Know who you are- what honors me and who I am. Vulnerability is power.

Best of the convention shared by NSA-CF members:

“Make your emails to clients shorter. Very short. Depending on your market, over 50% of your now opened on Smartphones. Very little space, and very little time to grab their attention!”

Shared by Andy Masters.

“Words have never been enough. Powerpoint has the potential to be powerful and memorable when done creatively.”

Shared by Colleen Hare Sweeney

“Jeannie Robertson ended her fabulous session by proposing giving punch lines to others in the story because the speaker can’t have all the good lines. Brilliant! “

Shared by Katie Nall and Andy Masters agreed this was a key nugget.

“Another option on LinkedIn, you can view a persons’s profile, periodically and over time (without connecting) to be visible (i.e For a meeting planner) instead of making the connection and pitching what you do. Another strategy to stay in front of them and visible.”

Shared by Debbie Peterson.

“The biggest take-away for me was the importance and impact of personal stories from the heart. Although Kindra Hall actually focused on this topic, it was woven through many of the keynotes, including outgoing President Dr. John B. Molidor, PhD, CSP remarks about the importance of heart. I am great on content but I need to weave my personal stories into that content to make it memorable. I learned a lot at Influence 2017 that will help me become more of a storyteller.”

Shared by Sally Mizerak.

The perfect end to a magical convention in Orlando was shared at Epcot, which was walking distance from our hotel. We enjoyed a few hours walking around Epcot, then we were treated to a delicious dessert reception, then lead to a private area to enjoy the fireworks! WOW!

Influence 2017 is now in the memory books and we’re all busy implementing what we learned into our business.

Influence 2018 will be July 14-17 in Dallas, Texas, it’s not too early to plan to be there!