February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016 Newsletter

A Note from Your President

New Beginnings

I wasn’t ready. And I was Totally ready.

Friday, November 27th – It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I’m leaving my Mom’s house in Wichita Falls, Texas to drive to Dallas to join a dinner party with old friends from New York City. It is 34 degrees outside, with 30 mph crosswinds, and sporadic flash flooding. Just 25 miles to the north, it’s an ice storm. I shouldn’t be driving in this. And, in hindsight, I believe now that I should.

I’m driving the Black Bulldog, a lightly modified and deeply maintained 2005 BMW E46 M3, like a loving pet to me since June 2008 (yes ok I’m odd). I purchased this sports thoroughbred after returning from Germany, after not owning a car the previous five years in Europe. Through driver education experiences on area racetracks, and over 80,000 miles of spirited driving, it’s fair to say I learned much about the art and science of high-performance driving with my black-on-black vehicular buddy.

Less than 10 minutes from Mom’s house, and the high-performance summer tires are not warm. They are not designed for these conditions, and although they are doing a reasonable job, they don’t like what they are being asked to do. Traffic is fairly heavy, like you would expect around the holidays. The posted limit is 75 mph, and we are all moving along at 50-55 mph. Even at that speed I’m sure all of us are on high alert. The water on the windscreen is like the roar of a drive-through car wash – or the inside of a professional dishwashing machine. It’s torrential.

It’s late November, and I hear a booming thunderclap to the north (off to the left side of the car). 10 seconds later, traveling on glass-smooth pavement, the Bulldog suddenly lurches hard to the right and I’m skidding sideways at speed. The friction between the tires and pavement has completely disappeared. Flash flooding and pool-table pavement have conspired to insert a layer of water between the roadway and Bulldog’s tires. In an instant, I have no control.

Momentum takes me directly into the drainage ditch, bordered by a serious-looking concrete wall, with wet grass and quickly filling with rain downpour. As the sickening slide continues, with my car perpendicular to the roadway, Bulldog and I narrowly miss a 50-foot twin-arm highway lamp pole by roughly 4-5 feet. My mind is in full gear now, which is nice because it’s plainly obvious that I’m heading shoulder-first sideways toward the next pole. They’re clones, but this one looks even more menacing than the last. Originally traveling 55 mph (yes probably too fast for conditions), I’m probably going 50 mph now. And my first fully non-reactionary thoughts are:

  • #1 – I do NOT want to hit that pole left-side shoulder-first, with inches of door and glass between my head and what appears to be very cold, hard steel.
  • #2 – I DO want to drive around that pole and, as a second option (since I have less than a second here), I want to get Bulldog’s nose on that pole. That is what it is designed for in order to preserve life in this type of situation. And that is exactly what it does as I slam nose-first into the pole at about 45 mph. Time crawls as I stare at the pole, as it looms tall at the end of the car’s hood. Thoughts are racing as I ponder the pole’s texture, poised three feet away from me. This might be bad, I think. I believe I am going to close my eyes now in case glass breaks. I should take my hands off the wheel, because of airbags deployment. But I may need to keep steering after impact… BAM! It’s loud and violent as the car shears the pole and we slide to a stop another 50 yards further in the ditch. On top of that, the rain begins falling even harder.

Three things: German engineering, Track training, and the Good Lord above are what enables and guides me to maneuver just enough – and just in time – to save my life with very minor injury. I’m alive.

Yet Bulldog is not. After 8 years of faithful (yet pricey) service and enjoyment, the car is heavily damaged in the crash. Destroyed front-end, dual airbag deployment, shattered windows, and the underside gutted like a fish from the lamp’s steel and concrete base. A total loss I guess. Later, following the departing tow truck, I’m aware this is probably my last drive with Bulldog. And further, it just might be my last time to ever see my dear friend. As shallow and stupid as it may seem to some, in this moment I miss and mourn my mechanical pet. It’s the end of a relationship of sorts…

But, as my good buddy, and 2015-16 Director of Administration Ron Hoesterey (@RHoesterey) says:

You have a choice now. You have the choice to find whatever good you can in this situation. And your future just may depend on it.” Ron knows this topic better than most, and he is so right.

So, I stay calm, work the problem, and look for the silver lining as hard as I can. Two months later, I’m at a better place than even before the accident. I now know that I needed a bit of a shake-up – business-wise and personal. I needed a fresh perspective; although I do hope next time it comes in a different form than staring down a jolly steel giant. But you never know, do you? And life has to be lived to be valuable.

Because of my training, and forces much larger than all of us, I emerged banged up but unbroken. Now, I’m excited about the prospects in 2016, and I’m aiming to make it my Best Year Yet. Won’t you join me? What do you need to do to unlock your next chapter of life and success?

January Meeting Shout-Outs

Our January Special Guest was the legendary Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE, 1995 Cavett Award Winner (@Winninger). I can’t usefully describe how much I admire his energy, spirit, and quest for ongoing renewal and re-invention. As Thom says, “Don’t Get Me Started!”

If you want to be successful in the professional speaking business, and have a ton of fun, follow Thom online and get to know him better. He is a Legend in NSA, and a great friend of our Chapter.

And Thanks to my friend, my 2010-11 Charbonneau Academy Co-Dean, and 2015-16 Presidential Appointee, Past-President Julie Alexander, CSP (Linkedin). Her introduction of Thom was inspired and divine. A true Pro in action.

February – Celebrating Leadership

I’m very much looking forward to our annual Presidents Celebration on February 13th, with a collection of our NSA North Texas Past-Presidents, with Special Guest NSA National President Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP (@7StarService). Ruby is THE Customer Satisfaction Expert, and she will be presenting “Creating Systems to put YOU Center Stage”. You do not want to miss this.

I hope can join us for our special Presidents Celebration theme of “Shining Legacy, Bright Future”. Come on – you know it’s going to be a lot of FUN!

To your continued Success and Happiness,




Chris Price (@ChrisPriceCDP)
President 2015-16
NSA North Texas (@NSANorthTexas)

Our Next Seminar February 13, 2016

Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP: Creating Systems to put YOU Center Stage

  • Learn how Ruby has become a celebrity in her niche market and how you can too
  • Find out how to get referrals and testimonials with one simple technique
  • Learn how to avoid cold calling and still get booked
  • Review strategies  for planning your presentations to plant subliminal seeds that make audience members want to hire you
  • Develop systems to improve your efficiency
  • Learn strategies for becoming a hero to every meeting planner


Ruby Newell-Legner

Ruby Newell-Legner

 About the Speaker:

Since 1994, Ruby Newell-Legner has been the behind-the-scenes force fueling the dynamic advances in customer satisfaction programs for the Sports, Leisure and Entertainment industry. In the last 20 years she has presented more than 2300 staff development sessions in 11 countries.

Her clients range from the only 7 Star Hotel to Ferrari World, the largest indoor amusement park in the world and includes 28 professional sports teams and 60 sports and entertainment venues. She trained the guest relations staff for Super Bowl XLI, the 2006 & 2013 Grey Cup, the 2008 US Open (tennis), the 2010 Olympics and 2012 National Republican Convention.

Ruby has been a member of the National Speakers Association Colorado chapter since 1995, and served on the Board of Directors from 1996-1998. In 1997, she was elected as Member of the Year and received her Certified Speaking Professional designation in 2000, a designation bestowed by the National Speakers Association (NSA) to less than 12% of speakers in the world. She will serve as President of the National Speakers Association 2015-16.


Mark your calendar and make your reservation now!

Saturday, February 13 ,  8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Dallas / Richardson

you, the speaker – My volunteer speaker posse

by Dave Lieber, CSP

I faced a speaker crisis.

Not a bad crisis, but a good one. It was a situation in which I needed some serious speaker help.

After the Garland-Rowlett tornado hit, I wanted to host “A Tornado Town Hall: How to Hire the Best People to Put Your Life Back Together” in my job as The Watchdog columnist at The Dallas Morning News.

We organized the event quickly. Planned it for the 75-year-old Plaza Theatre in downtown Garland.

Because it would be free and open to the public and because the aftermath of the tornado was very emotional and unsettling for more than the 1,000 families who lost their homes, I put out the call to NSA-North Texas chaptermates to volunteer. I imagined an elite corps of ushers. I mean, who can read audiences better?

Day of the event, I was ecstatic when nine colleagues arrived to help. They worked the back of the auditorium; I worked the front.
I’m blessed to have this space to thank those who gave their assistance to members of a shell-shocked community in need.

Here’s the best squad of ushers any presenter could want:

Nikki Nanos was first to arrive – a half hour early. Her punishment was this: I named her Chief Usher.

Charlotte Ann Moore was an usher. Few North Texans are more community minded than her.

Chuck Inman was there. He’s quite a giving soul, a great energetic speaker and someone you should know.

Carolyn Sims, a Charbonneau Academy grad, has worked with me on community events for more than 20 years. She helped me create my www.SummerSanta.org children’s charity in 1997. She’s my good luck charm.

Julie Alexander, CSP lives in the Garland area. She used the event to meet her neighbors and help them — in the words of her business -“make every day a great one.”

Tim Marvel is a Charbonneau Academy member who shows terrific support for chapter events.

Cherrie Fisher was a star member of my TED speakers club last year. If she’s on your team, you’re golden.

Rex Houze, who has been a speaker for more than 40 years, is so enthusiastic, helpful and eager to learn that he acts as if he’s just starting out.

My final usher was Bob Phillips, a veteran of the hospitality industry who instinctively knows how to make strangers feel like part of a community.

Whenever I need a helping hand, NSA-North Texas colleagues are always there. Thank you all.

Front Row: Bob Phillips, Cherrie Fisher, Dave Lieber. Back Row: Charlotte Ann Moore, Nikki Nanos, Chuck Inman, Carolyn Sims, Julie Alexander, and Tim Marvel

Front Row: Bob Phillips, Cherrie Fisher, Dave Lieber. Back Row: Charlotte Ann Moore, Nikki Nanos, Chuck Inman, Carolyn Sims, Julie Alexander, and Tim Marvel


Since 2008 @DaveLieber, CSP, has been writing a monthly column about all things NSA-North Texas. He’s The Watchdog investigative columnist for The Dallas Morning News. DaveLieber.org

January Meeting Recap

From Zero to Sixty – How to Create a Busy Speaking Schedule and Having Fun Doing It - Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE

by Bill Lynch

Thom Winnin

Thom Winninger

Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE was our speaker on Saturday January 9th and he spoke so fast and shared so many ideas that my notes will not be able to capture his entire message. That said:

If you want to build your speaking business, focus on what your customer’s problems are, not on the solutions that you offer. If you understand their problems best, they will want you to help them find solutions.

It is better to find an audience looking for a speaker than to be a speaker looking for an audience. Focus on groups that already have meetings and hire speakers and become the best possible choice for them in your field.

Don’t focus on what the competition is offering, focus on the issues facing your audience and help them. Lead. If you watch your competitors you place yourself a step away from the market. Watch your customers.

Develop a mission. Thom’s is “helping companies see the future before it is too late.”

People say you need to see the trees, not the forest. Thom said we need to see the path through the trees, that is what our customers need.

Thom’s dad’s wisdom: you don’t grow when things are great, you grow when you face struggles.

When you present, control the feedback. Always have as a question “Invite Thom back”. You want the audience to be working the meeting planner to invite you back for a future engagement. To that end, Thom has 8 modules in his keynote, but only does 4 of them. Customer gets to pick which four, but that always leaves 4 for the next event.

Own your category and become a celebrity in it. Read everything written in your field so that you become the expert.

When you title your speeches, use titles that create tension. Don’t title a speech “I can solve your problems” everyone does that. In my field a title like “Chance are you will Fail” would be better than I can help you succeed.

Answer these questions:

1. Who are you
2. What do you do
3. Who do you do it for
4. What makes you unique (not better)

Learn about your upcoming audience. What 5 characteristics do they have? Think about age, sex, experience, problems, expectations. Always call and talk to a half dozen people who will be in your audience and record those conversations. Send edited copies of the recordings to your meeting planner. After the meeting ask questions like:

1. What did the speaker talk about
2. What did you like most and why
3. What did he not talk about that you would have liked to hear
4. What did the title of the presentation mean to you
5. Give them a check box that says invite me back

Always get into the room and practice your presentation before the audience arrives. Own the room.

Tape yourself at every presentation and listen to yourself.

Vertically integrate your offering:

1. Your presentation
2. Videos
3. Blogs
4. Articles
5. Seminar materials to be presented by company trainers

Educate your customer about your offering:

1. Keynote: 45 minutes for 150 people
2. Seminar: 2-3 hours with 60 % of the content from me, 40% from the audience
3. Workshop: ½ day to a full day with 40% of the content from me, 60% from th audience

Just because you don’t want to do one or more of these, does not mean you should not include them in your offer. It makes you look more complete to offer them.

Stop quoting other people. Be the source in your field.

There is magic in the number 3. Always offer three options in a proposal. Give a bare bones choice (I deliver the keynote), a second options where you do the keynote and a seminar in the afternoon and a full day option with follow up.

Your promotional piece should list the 5 top problems faced by your target audience, then a title to your presentation with a 24-word explanation of the topic. Always lead with their problems.

Write every day. It is a way to stay relevant and to keep yourself focused on the issues.

Send sample agreements at the time you make your proposals. The agreement may have several TBA parts. Thom thinks that 15% of his engagements come from the fact that the client has a contract to sign in front of them for him, but not for the speakers with whom he is competing.

Good News from Our Professional Members  January 2016

Kaylene Mathews was chosen for consultation with Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran video live on YouTube.

Cindy Arledge closed on 2nd house across street from daughter and 2 grand daughters.

Ann Ranson was invited to speak at the Live, Laugh & Learn event by Celebration Magazine.

Joy Macci was honored to be asked to speak again at the PTR International Symposium in Hilton Head.

Kate Delaney will begin her stint at the host of Voices of Experience at the Winter Conference in Austin next month.

Danielle Girdano had her radio contract renewed for another year and booked 6 new speaking events in the past week.

Dianna Booher has two new online courses on Udemy. She offered access to members of NSA-NT to the courses free if they would sign up and give an honest review in the next seven days.

Dave Lieber is hosting a free town hall meeting for victims of the tornado Saturday January 16th at the Plaza Theater in downtown Garland. He will teach how to avoid getting ripped off by contractors offering to repair storm damage.

Get on the Bus! The NSA-NT Bus To Austin Winter Conference

Get On The NSA Winter Conference Bus! Limited space available!

Are you traveling to NSA Winter Conference in February? Join us on the Bus! Let’s ride together on the Vonlane 1st-Class Bus Service down to Austin. This selected bus gets us in Austin late afternoon Thursday, before the Pre-Conference sessions begin on Friday morning.

BUS INCLUDES — Free food, Free drinks, Free WiFi, Friendly attendant, Loads of TVs, and NSAers including Tami Evans (President NSA-New York City), Russ Riddle, Linda Byars Swindling, Andrew Szabo, Chris Price, and More (and hopefully You)!

Book your seat online now! http://vonlane.com/getinthelaneDiscount Code – GETINTHELANE

DEPARTURE — 2:00 pm Thu 25-Feb-2016 — Doubletree Hotel Love Field (Mockingbird Ln)

ARRIVAL — 5:30 pm — Austin Hyatt Regency

The arrival location is 1 mile FROM the Convention hotel (Hilton Austin, 500 East 4th Street). We are checking on the best ways to make that transfer.

COST — $89 One-Way — 3 hours non-stop (Regular price $100)

RETURN — On your own. There are 2 Vonlanes that run back to Dallas on Sun 28-Feb — 2pm and 6pm. Or 6am Mon. Or fly. Or ride back with somebody in the Chapter who is driving! Just do it!

Chapter Meeting Location

hilton-garden-inn-richardsonFor the 2015-16 meeting schedule, we’ll be meeting a the Hilton Garden Inn located at:

1001 W. President George Bush Hwy,
Richardson, TX 75080
Phone: (972) 792-9393.
Click here for a map.

Photo Gallery

January Speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE

January Speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE

NSA-NT President Chris Price, speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE, and NSA-NT Director of Programming Andrew Szabo

NSA-NT President Chris Price, speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE, and NSA-NT Director of Programming Andrew Szabo

Speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE speaks to a full house

Speaker Thom Winninger, CSP, CPAE speaks to a full house

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