How Long Is a Piece of String? At NSA in NYC

Okay, everybody “gets” NYC, but since NSA isn’t exactly a household word, here’s the lowdown. The reason I was in NYC and went to two knockout Broadway shows is to attend NSA, also known as the National Speaker’s Association. The purpose of NSA is to promote the speaking industry. Yes, to NSAer’s, Speaking is an industry, even though you won’t find it on any SIC code listings.

It’s an odd industry, because like consulting, it spans every profession and kind of business imaginable. It’s an organization that provides speakers with resources, business models, eithical guidelines, metworking, and inspiration. And this year, for the first time in history, the national conference was in NYC.

Need I say it? At an NSA conference, you’ll hear a lot of speakers from the uber hip to the uber influential. I heard Wall St. Journal top 10 consultant Marshall Goldsmith and author of What Got you Here Won’t Get You There. President and CEO of Forbes magazine, Steve Forbes spoke on the economy and the elections. Then there were more than 80 other  sessions featuring every one from people you may never have heard of such as professional summarizer and funnyman Dale Irvin, to blog whiz kid Tim Ferriss, author ofThe 4-Hour Workweek, whom Wired calls one of the greatest self promoter of all time.

Because the theme this year was “NSA Rocks,” Keven Cronin the lead singer of REO Speedwagon and Simon Kirke, founding memeber of Bad Company were among the rockers who took the main stage to talk, not sing, and to indirectly promo Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. And they were as refreshing as a snow-crisp, authentic, and unpretentious.  Clearly selected for their ability to deliver one-liners. Answering what’s your favorite song, Simon said, that’s like asking, “How long is a  piece of string?”….

By the way, how long is a piece of string?….