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A Message from NSA President,
Scott Friedman, CSP

Enjoy the Journey

"When will things return to normal?" you might be wondering. Welcome to the "new normal!" For most of us, the days of 90 to 100 engagements a year are over. The days of making a lion's share of our revenue from presenting alone are history too. The days of having more business than we can handle have come to an end. But don't fret'it's a scary but exciting time. The transformation of the speaking business as we knew it necessitates many new business models and creates countless opportunities.

During 2004-05, the focus will be about celebrating our incredible profession and all of its opportunities. It's time to "Enjoy the Journey." This is the greatest profession in the world! How many careers provide you the opportunity to experience the finest places in the world on somebody else's nickel and leave you with a little spending money to bring home nice souvenirs?

Professional speaking allows you to create whatever lifestyle you want, gives you an opportunity to spend time with the people you love, and provides a way to make a contribution to society in your own unique way. When you "Enjoy the Journey," you design a life that you feel good about living. You live true to your values and leave a lasting legacy. When you "Enjoy the Journey," you celebrate your relationships with family, friends, colleagues, staff and industry partners.

My theme, "Enjoy the Journey," will focus on three major areas:

1. The Power of Partnerships. NSA is unique in that its members have the desire to help one another. We share our trade secrets in an effort to make everyone better and more successful. Strategic alliances with CIC, MPI, PCMA, ASAE, IASB and others will help shape the industry and position NSA as an equal player. We will continue research initiatives and partner with meetings industry groups to gather needed information to help us make better career decisions. We will strengthen local Meeting Industry Councils and challenge the chapters to work with partners in their community. We will also work toward forming more corporate partnerships, since corporations provide many of us with a significant portion of our speaking engagements and revenue. Once we define potential clients, we can work together to provide relevant expertise to their employees.

2. Creating a more cohesive international community to globally advance the art and value of those who speak professionally. Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, encouraged us to think in terms of baking a bigger pie. Creating global partnerships and business opportunities will allow us to increase the revenue potential for all of us. Markets are opening up all over the world and right now none is hotter than Asia. In April 2005, the first International Federation for Professional Speakers conference in Singapore will take place. We'll bring together our international community and provide opportunities to network and do business in Asia and beyond.

3. Create a more cohesive NSA virtual community. Strategizing on how to best package our intellectual property could be the key to the future. Today we're seeing more diversification into web-inars, on-line courses, e-books, and other e-file downloads as well as tele-seminars, executive coaching, consulting, strategic planning, facilitating, live interviews with CEOS and retreats. NSA will look for new ways to provide on-line opportunities for members to communicate and collaborate, highlight our members' uniqueness through the NSA Web site, and create a greater awareness of the NSA community through prudent and strategic digital channels. The sign of a great association is to the ability to stay attuned to its member needs and add value without requiring face-to-face interaction.

NSA will continue to further its mission by advancing the art and value of those who speak professionally. Through NSA's five strategic intents of enhancing platform excellence; facilitating business development opportunities; fostering community; increasing NSA's brand identity; and developing strategic partnerships, NSA will continue to be the voice of the speaking profession and a leader in the meetings industry.

It's an exciting time; it's a scary time. I'm committed to offering relevant professional development to help you create a thriving career. 

Here's to enjoying the journey together,

Scott Friedman, CSP
2004-2005 NSA President

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