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Recruiting New Members:
Expanding the Pie
A La Many Modes

By Craig Harrison
President, 2004-05
NSA/NorCal Chapter

December, 2004
edition of
Profesional Speaker —
The Monthly Magazine of the National Speakers Association

Past NSA president Chris Clarke-Epstein CSP taught us well that speakers lead the way to learning. In my seven years in NSA, I've begun leading the way to NSA for non-members. You too can lead the way. You possess many tools to recruit for NSA and your chapter on a daily basis.

When you travel:

Wear your NSA pin. It’s a conversation piece. When asked about mine I proudly explain I am part of a National/International Association for professional speakers and explain its benefits. It even works with NSA earrings!

NSA Business Cards. Carry yours. I'm constantly passing ours out to prospects. Yours can contain your chapter phone, e-mail and web contacts, as well as meeting dates and a mission statement. They're lightweight and readily accepted by strangers.

NSA apparel. Whether or not strangers think we’re from in NASA, our new logo on shirts, scarves, jackets et. al gets the conversation rolling. How do you respond when asked about NSA?

Your elevator speech: I always have a sixteen second sound bite about NSA to share with others. Focus yours on benefits, outcomes or solutions and end with a question to engage your listener:
"I am a member of the National Speakers Association, a dynamic group of speakers, trainers, educators, entertainers, consultants and other experts that speak. We polish our professionalism, support each other and share solutions in collegial fashion. What associations support you in your work as a communicator?"

The testimonial: My own success story centers around the difference NSA has made in my career. Share yours. Give listeners the before vs. after of your prowess as a speaker and businessperson:
"Since joining NSA my speaking fees have soared, They’ve helped me create new revenue streams through product development and telseminars. NSA's also taught me to raise my media exposure and given me a great support system too. It’s paid for itself a hundredfold!"
Before you speak:
My written introduction read on my behalf mentions my affiliation with NSA, as does my biography used in pre-engagement promotion. My one-sheet on chairs and tables contain the NSA logo, leading to inquiries about NSA. Yours will too.
While I speak:
In the course of most presentations opportunities arise to reference NSA. You needn’t deliver a commercial for NSA but can touch on it as appropriate. Furthermore, you are modeling NSA professionalism when you speak.
After I speak:
When speaking at conferences or conventions I make a point of meeting our colleagues on the program. Wherever possible I attend their sessions as well. I’ll inquire if they are aware of NSA or have been a member of National or a chapter. If not, I offer to help them to attend.
It’s surprising how many speakers don’t know about NSA and are thrilled to learn of its existence. Ditto CAPS and PSAE.

Q’s Cue Others to NSA

I ask numerous questions of other speakers I meet. Sales veterans John Tenza and Jim Meisenheimer CSP taught me that asking key questions leads directly to the answer "NSA!"

  • Where do you go to discover best practices for speaking, marketing, sales and more?
  • What associations do you belong to that help you improve your speaking prowess?
  • What does your support system look like? Does it include professional speakers?
  • How many like-minded professional speakers, consultants, and trainers do you interact with? Where do you find them?
  • Who helps you improve your platform skills? 

    The Ever-Expanding Pie

    Make NSA founder Cavett Roberts proud: use your voice and leadership to build a bigger NSA pie. When you meet prospects let NSA know. They'll send you applications, brochures, slide cards and business referral cards, or else contact prospects directly.

© Copyright 2004 Craig Harrison. All Rights Reserved.

Craig Harrison was the 2004-05 president of the National Speakers Association's Northern California chapter, and 2003-04 chairman of NSA's Sales Professional Emphasis Group (PEG) and founded the Storytellers PEG. Request Craig’s free PDF handout on recruiting prospects to NSA:  Craig@ExpressionsOfExcellence.com

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or by phone: (510) 547-0664.

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