Key Takeaways from our May Chapter Event

If you were present at the NSA NYC chapter meeting in May then you know just how important it is to be in attendance.  Write-ups and summaries no matter how detailed simply cannot capture the essence of the meetings.

Anyone familiar with the NSA NYC chapter knows that nothing (other than the weather) is ever left to chance other than who attends our meetings. Rather, the meetings are carefully cultivated and the speakers we are lucky to have exposure to, are experts in their chosen corners of the industry.

Jeanne M. Stafford led the meeting as she always does with tremendous enthusiasm.  She immediately got our blood flowing with a great thinking question: What is the most distinct quality you possess as a speaker?  If you haven’t thought about this it might be worth taking some time to do so.  What do you want to be known for?  How will you stand out versus your fellow speakers?  This message certainly foreshadowed the presentations that were to come.

Next, industry veteran Tami Evans introduced Tamsen Webster , an industry expert on TEDx talks. If you ever thought you wanted to pursue a TEDx speech this was a segment you had to hear.  It was a great example of why you should never miss a chapter meeting (unless of course, you are out speaking)!

Tamsen was kind enough to provide a “go or no go” exercise that you’d be wise to review well in advance of attempting to speak at a TEDx interview for consideration.  Without going into too much detail I can tell you that if you are seeking fame and fortune as a result of a TEDx talk, Tamsen urged us not to waste our (or TEDx’s) time.  Some other bottom line advice with regard to pursuing a TEDx engagement:

  1. Is it a BIG Idea?  It might be worth going for it.
  2. Will the audience learn something new?  It might be worth going for it.
  3. Can you explain and excite about your topic in a 140 character (yes I said character) sentence?

For more details head to

Next up Jill Schiefelbein introduced our keynote speaker, Chris West .  Chris is at the very top of the videographer pyramid and his talk was well worth the trip downtown.

Chris’s overall point was to “Turn your distinction into a story.”  When we are told stories our brains are activated in ways that make us more engaged in what a speaker is saying.  Your video that you use to promote yourself, your business or your speaking must tell a story as well.  If your video doesn’t engage us then we will never see it through and we’ll never know the message you are trying to convey.

For Chris there are just two ways to stand out:

  1. Go-to-Expert – You must be known in the market for one thing and be “the” expert people want to hear from on this topic.
  2. You’ve developed a unique niche in one industry and you are “the” expert who needs to be heard from on this topic.

Chris also stressed the idea of “going long” in your area of expertise.

The idea here is to be focused on what you know and master it. Specialize in what you speak about and don’t chase gigs (as tempting as it might be) just to get a fee.  Take the time to master your topic and then become the go-to expert on this chosen topic. 

According to Chris, “There is a definable point where your expertise meets your audience’s greatest needs.”  This is where you’ll find your greatest match in terms of what you do and what the audience is expecting from your presentation.  In other words, this is your perfect storm.

Chris then reviewed his handout which was adapted from Donald Miller’s “How to Tell a Story” This exercise took us through a sequence of questions including:

  • Who are you best at serving?
  • What are their biggest areas of struggle?
  • What is your story?
  • What are the steps for change?

You can see Chris’s work and get a feel for what he does at:

During Chris’s intermission we were in treated to the book-of-the-month courtesy of author and chapter member; Carole Weaver Linsner .

Carole recently wrote and published: Side Affects – The Art of Surviving Cancer, her own story of triumph over disease using artwork and personal resilience to inspire her.

This was the last meeting until the fall.  But we hope to see you all at the annual chapter celebration lunch taking place on Friday, June 14 at Battery Gardens.

And don’t forget Influence ’19 taking place in Denver, Colorado in July.

More information:

Have a great summer!


See you soon,
Glenn Rudin  
Owner –  Always Been Creative
Sales & Marketing Consultant