I’m Jim Carrillo, President of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association. With every new year in the NSA, we experience a few changes, and I’d like to introduce you to one of our chapter’s first for this new year. You’re seeing our chapter website behind me. Ken Braly took us from the 20th Century to the 21st with our transition to a WordPress Platform. In addition to saving our chapter thousands of dollars, it also gave us the ability to transform the look as easy as it is for me to change mine.
I built upon Ken’s foundation, and with a few hours and a couple of clicks of the mouse, I’d like to introduce you to our chapter’s latest look.
The website content is primarily the same. But with a new paint job it looks likes a whole new system. That’s the power of WordPress.
In this top area, we can highlight those things that we want our site visitors to pay attention to, like finding the right speaker for their function, or attending our Mini MBA style Pro-Track program. This year, our site will change from a repository of information into a marketing engine that promotes our members and our chapter.
Since I became a member in 2007 I’ve been contributing to the chapter by creating programs that were a large draw to our guests. I was so focused on bringing in raw numbers that I had forgotten this was my NSA too. That this chapter was here for me as a member, as it is for all of our members. NSA isn’t an organization that I serve; it’s the organization that I choose to make it. This year I’m taking ownership of that concept, and ask all our members to do the same. My theme for this year: This is My NSA. Not only to remind each of us that this organization is what we make of it, but also that it’s an organization that is here for one reason, to serve its members. My focus for every action this board takes will be the benefit to the member. As an example, the board will conduct its meetings using WebEx, enabling video conferencing for up to twenty five participants. At most, we may use it a few hours a month. Any other time, as a member, it’s your resource, even for business purposes.
Yep, that’s right, we are an organization that is here for you and your business, and if we can help you improve your bottom line, then we’re doing the right thing.
Next on the docket – this summer, we’re bringing back Video Day in the way Karen Walker-Tunoa created it back in 2009. We’ve rented a playhouse in Morgan Hill, and have Studio82 supporting a three camera professional video shoot resulting in a 2-3 minute on stage demo video for our members.
What would normally cost over six hundred dollars for an individual to purchase; we’re bringing to the members for only seventy five dollars. We’ve scheduled two video days, one on July 9th, and the other on October 1st. Since space is limited, we’ve also worked a special package with Studio82 to provide an in studio green screen and teleprompter supported demo video shoot for only $100. The date is still being established, but we’re aiming for the November time frame.
For those of you that aren’t members yet, hopefully you can already see some of the benefits that we enjoy as chapter members. I encourage you to join our organization. If you’re not quite able to meet the speaking requirements, there’s a program that was created just for you our ten month Pro-Track, a Mini MBA style education for professional speakers. This year we’re aligning our Pro-Track program with the collegiate calendar, and Classes will begin in September.
The full program will go through June, and culminate with a final exam consisting of a Ted Style event where our Pro-Track participants will be the main stage speakers. Pro-Track students receive many of the benefits of membership during their enrollment period.
Since classes will be starting four months earlier than normal, we can use your help in getting the word out. We’ll be conducting a marketing campaign throughout the summer which will be crowned with the Achieve program this September 10th. We plan to showcase many of the presenters that provide the educational seminars of Pro-Track at the September meeting. The morning portion of the program will be open to all guests at no cost. Spread the word and let’s make sure this year’s Pro-Track Program continues its success.
One last thing, we can use your help. Whether your a member, Pro-Track participant, or someone eager to be involved, we’re looking for volunteers. Shoot me an email to let me know if your interested at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any additional information on the things I’ve discussed with you today, check out our new blog on our website nsanc.org. We’ve created a post for each item that should answer many of your questions. Or pick up the phone, and give me or any one of our board members a call. I look forward to a great year, and I hope to see you at the NSA Convention July 30th.