Key Takeaways from our April Chapter Event

On Friday, April 5th I had the pleasure of attending the NSA NYC chapter meeting at Serendipity Labs. I got some really great ideas about how to leverage media coverage when the lightning strikes from Kate O’Neill as well as how to best engage an audience from Steve Spangler.

First, attendees were asked to identify the best audience engagement technique or activity that we’ve experienced at an event.

Here are some things people said:

  • Find people you do not know and give 5 hugs to strangers
  • Gave out a chicken swag thing for everyone to mess with
  • Music and dancing during talks – Tony Robbins does this well
  • The best one was the Energy Stick that people can experiment with!

Kate O’Neill presented a Member Insight on how to be prepared for media coverage. She was featured in Wired magazine and within hours received dozens of media inquiries.

Here’s how she handled the attention and her top tips:

  • First, think about how your general topic intersects with what everyone wants to talk about.
  • Get organized so someone can support you during the blitz.
  • Here are some questions you can ask: Contact, Format, Segment Length
  • Exude the same energy as the people who are interviewing you.
  • What do you want the lower third to be? Keep it on brand. Think about this beforehand.
  • Have a beginning, middle and end. You know what they will all ask you. There will be very little surprises so make sure you have these things prepared.
  • Rehearse bigger thoughts, offer up amazing thoughts and great tidbits.
  • Know your strategic positioning vs. the topic and how it works with their questions
  • Anchor your comments about the broad value that you bring to your topic. Bring it back every time they float away from your strategic positioning.
  • Collect your assets and snippets. Get people to help you do this because you may be too busy.
  • Get behind-the-scenes videos. Find someone that will follow you around for those times that you are out and about.
  • Follow up. Say thank you, get your clips and share your segment. Express what your real expertise is and offer to help them again in the future. They will reach back out to you again.
  • Use the words “media contributor” in your LinkedIn profile so people can find you.
  • Bring meaningful attention to your area of expertise.

Keynote Speaker Steve Spangler, CSP, CPAE, presented on How to Connect, Engage & Create Unforgettable Experiences to Grow Your Speaking Business…

How to create the BEST DAY EVER. #BestDayEver

Steve started out like this:

“If you are happy and you know it clap your hands…” Everyone clapped it was JOY!  – Pure Engagement.

He spoke about:

– Engagement strategies

– Speaking business journey

– Social media insights

– How can I help you?

He challenged the audience to think of the first day of the first job you ever had.

A few things about Steve:

– Since he was a young child he was obsessed with tricks and getting attention.

– He was a teacher in a school, the way he learned to get attention and be a great teacher was by watching the teachers next door.

– He was placed by his principal in EVERY class – observing every teacher in every classroom each day so he learned how to get the best engagement.

– He had this cool trick that makes it seem like you are breaking a bone: Place a cup under your arm and while you are twisting your neck, crush the cup and it sounds like you cracked your neck. It’s fun to do and get people’s attention.

Steve challenged the audience:

Think of these words and what they mean to you: “That was the best day ever!”

– Someone once told him: “You have their attention, so do something worthwhile.” That changed his life forever.

– Do something with the attention that you get. If it gets to the dinner table you win.

– What you do is an EXPERIENCE, not an activity.

– How do you engage and build a connection?

– Work for the best day ever piece. That is what we want to hear from our kids.

– “If you need some more money, get a job.” – Grandfather’s principle.

– Steve shared his Energy Stick and challenged people to start conducting energy by physically connecting. Emotion doesn’t flow through email.

– How do we connect & engage to create an experience for our audience? What does it look like?

– How can you use the Energy Stick to connect people and give them an EXPERIENCE?

– Steve shared a story about his son in an art museum. His son got lost but really he was mesmerized…with the experience of the art photo he loved.

– Speaking is like Jazz: you know where you start, you know what will happen at the end but you do not know what will happen in the middle.

– 4500 speaking engagements is a warm up!

Key takeaway: Engage your audience by building a real human connection and give them an experience.

It really made me think about physical connection and the power of touching the people you love and care about. Give them your energy and let your positivity pulse through you to them. BOOM!

Additional Key Takeaways from Members:

-Connect to your own self.  Be a whole being.

-Prepare your body to accept the information.

-Create the room for the experience.

-The experience is the new product.

-The discovery was yours (the audience’s) not mine (the speaker’s).

-If what you do is an experience, not an activity, you win!

-”I see you.” Make the eye to eye contact and connect with people.

Key Takeaways to Be a Better Speaker:

1 – Create the Gold Standard for yourself.

2 – Speak as much as possible – at least 3-5 times per month.

3 – Speak EVERYWHERE and get better.

4 – Create an EXPERIENCE.

5 – Be VISIBLE. (See Steve on Ellen trying to get the attention of Alka Seltzer)

6 – For inspiration, look at everything and come up with new things.

7 – If you are not active on social media, stop putting the icons on your website.

8 – YouTube – you should have enough content for people to binge and still have more.

9 – Create 100 videos on your topic.

10 – Success = Drive, determination and hard work.  Engage, Connect and Experience to win!

Tony Chatman introduced our Book of the Month, ”Congratulations! Now Get Over Yourself: Confessions of a Management Development Coach” by Ralph Peterson, a leadership expose into what it really takes to lead a group of diverse people.

Our President Sylvie DiGiusto, Treasurer Corey Kupfer, and President-Elect Jay Townsend shared exciting news about accomplishments during this “Year of Excellence” and the financial health of the chapter and unveiled a brand new Education Fund member benefit – watch for more details in your inbox!

Lou Diamond, Director of Member Benefits, shared additional details about next month’s Headshot Day – an opportunity to replace your outdated headshot with a professional image that captures your essence and helps position you as a thought leader – at an incredible price by an incredible photographer. Special thanks to our partner and friend John A DeMato ( for this offer and for once again capturing our meeting in a way no one else is capable to do.

Thank you to Serendipity Labs NYC Financial for hosting us in their beautiful downtown location. Make sure to check out if you are looking for a co-working space in and beyond New York City. Hope to see many of you at our final chapter meeting of the year on May 10!


Joe Apfelbaum is the CEO of Ajax Union, a B2B digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, NY. Joe is a business strategist, marketing expert and certified Google trainer. Joe is the Author of his new book High Energy Secrets, How he lost 95 pounds and has more energy than ever. When he is not Mojovating entrepreneurs at events and on social media he chills in Brooklyn with his Wife and 5 kids

Rochelle Rice, CSP, AS is a past president of NSA NYC and currently serves on the National Board of Directors.  She is the only woman in the world to hold both the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from NSA and the Accredited Speaker (AS) designation from Toastmasters International.  She is an expert in Body-Based Leadership – creating opportunities in the body for effective leadership.