Winter Conference


Join us in Austin for Winter Conference 2016!

What is your expertise? How can you utilize your talents, skills, knowledge and experiences to deliver even greater value to your clients? Supercharge your business strategy at the 2016 Winter Conference in Austin, Texas, where the focus will be on reinvention, transformation and change. From the insightful pre-conference workshops to the results-driven closing, this event is sure to help you move yourself – and your business – forward!

After attending this event, you will:

  • Learn how to maximize your expertise by exploring different delivery methods.
  • Discover future trends that will shape your business.
  • Get performance, improv, and comedy techniques that will grow audience interaction and spur referral and repeat engagements
  • Experience facilitated mastermind sessions or choose to enhance your existing focus through powerful concurrent sessions.

Video Tips

A Look at Dan Rather's Career



*Subject to change.

Be sure to download our NSA Events app!


Start planning your schedule now by logging in to the NSA Events app. Your agenda will save to the app for easy access onsite. Please note that saving an event to your schedule is not a registration process and does not guarantee availability. Some sessions have limited capacity. Due to their popularity it is advisable to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Friday, February 26

7:30amRegistration Desk opens


Pre-Conference Sessions

Authority of One: Building Confidence From Your Core
Candace Fitzpatrick, CSP
No one is ever going to be a better expert on you, than you. No one can relive all of the things that have happened to you and feel all the richness of your life better than you. Becoming an authority of one means that you take into your own hands the responsibility of knowing who you are at your core, growing the talents you have into true strengths and showing that incredible being to the world. This session will help you tap into your own personal expertise and show you how to connect that expertise to your audience with passion and authenticity. Learn how to create a powerful competitive advantage by leveraging your talents every day!
*Please note this session has a $40 materials fee. If you choose this option someone from our office will call you for payment information.

Be You. Everybody Else Is Taken.
Jessica Pettitt, CSP
Jessica asks, "Do you know what differentiates you from other speakers or trainers in your topic area? Do you really?" Be prepared for a highly interactive, high energy, humorous afternoon where NO question is off limits as she leads an exercise to help you know how to lean on what makes you YOU and not THEM.

2:00pm-3:00pmFirst-timers session

If you are at an NSA Winter Conference for the first time, or you just want to make sure you leverage your time in Austin to your best advantage, this orientation will cut your learning curve! Come meet your peers, set some goals and let us introduce you to what you can expect in this jam-packed weekend. We have some new offerings that you will want to think about and lots of choices - so come let us help you decide how to get the most out of this NSA experience. We look forward to meeting you!


Opening General Session
Change. Transform. Reinvent.
Moderator: Randy Pennington, CSP, CPAE; Panelists: Tracy Brown, Wendy Keller, Judson Laipply, CSP
We're kicking off the afternoon with four speakers who have made significant changes in their lives and businesses.


Join us for a dine-around! Reservations will be made in groups of six at restaurants within walking distance of the Austin Hilton. Please note you are responsible for your own food, beverages and transportation costs.

Saturday, February 27



General Session
Unlock Your Potential and Reinvent Your Business
Chris Clarke-Epstein, CSP
Chris will lead you through an exercise to determine the skills and expertise you currently possess and how you best deliver your message. Throughout the rest of the day, you'll have the opportunity to attend Cadres to explore how they might transfer those skills to a different delivery method. Are you currently a trainer who wants to start giving keynotes? Attend the keynote cadre! Currently a consultant who wants to start training? There is a cadre for you too.


Concurrent Sessions

Thought Leadership in a World Overwhelmed with Knowledge
Jim Ware
The world today is richly interconnected; any one of us can communicate with almost anyone else almost instantaneously, and at almost no cost. We can tap into all the world’s knowledge no matter where it is, again at almost no cost. And social media enables everyone to participate in a global conversation about almost any subject. Given this new reality, what is the role of a thought leader? How can professional speakers and facilitators provide meaningful information, influence, and inspiration when our audiences have access to the same knowledge and networks that we do? This session will be a highly interactive, guided conversation about the future of our profession. I believe that no one of us is smart enough to confront this challenge alone. But together we can deepen our understanding of our collective future and identify viable strategies for success.

Want to Build a Membership Site? 5 Things You Should Know!
Jim Jacobus, CSP
The new wave of "content marketing" has opened up yet another channel for speakers, trainers and consultants to leverage their expertise into a revenue stream! In this session we will give you the blueprint for what it will take for you to make this a part of your business model!


Cadre Sessions

Consultant Cadre
Discover Your Expertise from Lead to Contract
Barry Banther, CMC, CSP
How do you get from prospect to contract? In this session we will explore the best practices, debate them vigorously and you will leave with a personalized strategy you can implement immediately. The result - close more deals for more dollars more often.

Training and Facilitation Cadre
How to Sell Training
Carolyn Strauss
You already have a business. You already have clients. From your perspective, you can see the "holes" or "blind spots" where you have the expertise to mitigate or even solve their problem. How do you sell your current customers on training that you create and you will deliver? How do you
create the need for YOU in their mind? What constitutes a training and how can you charge for your expertise as the “trainer"?

Keynote Cadre
Bill Stainton
You’re a great trainer/coach/consultant/etc.—but there’s a part of you that’s always looked at the big bucks conference keynoter and thought, as Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there!” But how do you get there? How do you turn your already great content into an equally great keynote? And, for that matter, just what is it that a keynote really needs to do? This session will answer these questions, AND you’ll walk out with a VERY clear outline of your new keynote program!


Luncheon General Session
An Interview with Dan Rather
Dan Rather Interviewed by Theo Androus
During lunch we'll get a candid look at Dan Rather's 40+ year career at CBS News. He'll discuss how he learned to connect and remain relevant with an ever-changing audience. Learn how he has reinvented himself in the wake of unexpected and somewhat unwanted change and the exciting work he's doing in this next chapter of his remarkable career.


Concurrent Sessions

7 Superstar Branding Strategies To Drive Leads & Raise Prices (When What You're Selling Is YOU)
Michelle Villalobos
This session illustrates how compelling branding attracts prospects and opportunities, increases perceived value and helps you charge more. Michelle will take attendees through an interactive 7-part framework to developing THEIR compelling identity, branding and monetization strategies.

Turn your Expertise Into a Six-Figure Coaching Program
Marquesa Pettway, CSP
In this session, Marquesa shares her successful journey and steps for creating high end programs. It's so much more than putting up a membership site. It's about strategy, structure, expertise and choosing clear marketing strategies that will keep your program filled. Not only will I share what a high end program is, I will also include how adding parts like Live Events, virtual events, staff and automated systems makes all the difference. Only attend this session if you want to take your expertise to the next level.


Cadre Sessions

Consultant Cadre
Apply Your Expertise to Healthy and Profitable Consulting Relationships
Jeffrey K Hansler, CSP
In this expertise medley, Jeffrey provides recommendations to ensure a successful project, polls attending individual’s specific interests, creates situational cases for application and discussion of your consulting knowledge, and stretches your mind with the group’s energy.

Training and Facilitation Cadre
The Process of Training and Facilitation
David Dye
Effective trainers help participants to experience and retain learning. Great facilitators draw out the answers that are in the room. In this session we’ll discuss how you create meaningful activities and experiences that help your participants internalize learning objectives, interact with one another, and increase the likelihood that they’ll use what they learn.

Keynote Cadre
Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP
Develop your sticky messages for high impact; uncover your powerful personal stories; explore whether to script or not to script, and discover fun and easy tips to engage today’s diverse audiences. Come prepared to share, question, and be engaged! And she will share cool resources that can help you deliver memorable keynotes.


Concurrent Session

The Flexible Stance: Adapting & Growing Your Expertise for an Uncertain Future
Bill Conerly, CSP
The external environment of our clients is changing rapidly in terms of the economy, technology, social attitudes, government regulations and competition. Your old message can turn stale, while your clients’ needs become radically different. This seminar will help you position your expertise for whatever future evolves. The seminar builds upon your current knowledge, exploring how your expertise could be applied in different ways, depending on external changes that impact your clients. The seminar also discusses how your current abilities could be grown to meet new needs and opportunities.

If They Can't Find You, You Can't Get Booked
Darnyelle Jervey
You are ah-mazing at what you do. There's only one problem, your ideal clients don't know that you exist and so they've hired someone else. But, you are way better. In this interactive presentation, Darnyelle reveals the five keys for rising above the noise in the crowded marketplace so that you become known, get found by your ideal clients and, most important, get booked (and paid.) These secrets, when applied consistently in your business, will position your business for more opportunities and more importantly, more clients.


Cadre Sessions

Consultant Cadre
Leverage Your Expertise by Going Deep with Long-term Contracts
Liz Weber, CMC, CSP
Consulting doesn’t have to be a one and done process. Simply leverage what you already know and do, so you can spend less time hunting for multiple small projects, and more time making money with long-term, multi-phased client engagements!

Training and Facilitation Cadre
How to Keep Participants Engaged
Tracy Brown
What can trainers do to maintain interest and learning objectives with a group of people for an extended time? How do you create enthused, excited energetic engagement? Discussion topics in this session include:Dealing with audiences who are forced to be there versus those who want to be there; training on topics that are controversial; training on topics that are mundane, repetitive, and boring and creating a dynamic learning experience.

Keynote Cadre
Scott Friedman, CSP
As the business models of professional speakers continue to evolve, so does the relationship between speakers and bureaus. Come join the dynamic discussion of how Bureaus and Speakers can innovate traditional models leading to greater revenue for both parties. We’ll take a look at on-line strategies, evolving spin-off opportunities, the role of social media and how best to help Bureaus book you. Please come ready to share your innovative ideas.



After a day packed with learning, unwind and enjoy an evening of food, fun and festivities! The hotel ballroom will be transformed into our very own street fair, complete with food trucks, games and music. Attire is casual and Texas style... don't forget your boots!

Special appearance by Ida Mae Fudpucker.
Ida Mae was born to party and she loves street fairs. She'll share her insights on NSA and promises to keep Austin weird!

Sunday, February 28



General Session
How Twitter Changed My Life
Melinda Emerson


Concurrent Sessions

INSTRUCTIONAL MOMENTS™: How to Facilitate Learning & Self-Discovery Activities Using Improv Theater Techniques
Izzy Gesell, CSP
People learn best through experiential involvement and Improv works by responding to an experience as it happens, creating flashes of spontaneity that lead to insight and creativity through participant self-discovery. Improv activities make these “instructional moments” evident because people play these games very much like they respond to real-life situations with similar emotional content. By staying present and focused on process, you respond when these opportunities show themselves as emotional responses. Then you can, without judgment or correction, invite the participant to pause, observe the beliefs that spark the emotion, and bring them to consciousness for dialogue and discussion. You become the agent for their success…and your own! The mindset helps expand our comfort zone, relate to others in a cooperative way, confidently accept reality, learn to act on things we can control and let go of things we cannot control, enjoy and value working with others. Come learn, play and have fun!

Successful Sales Strategies For Speakers-Getting more Gigs!
Scott Lesnick
As speakers we bring great talents from many industries. Successful as we were, the art of booking business and growing the pie requires a strong understanding of sales. You must have this to survive in our profession. You must understand how and when to push, poke and when to back off. I’ll give you the tools, confidence and show you exactly how to go from introduction to yes!

Customer Experiences: How to Differentiate Your Business with Content and Social Media
Jeff Korhan
Differentiation used to be the result of product or service excellence, but that is now expected. What your media does or does not do throughout the buyer’s journey and customer experience is the engine that drives success or failure, and that experience today starts online.

Stop Doing Things That Don't Help Your Business! Create YOUR Three Year Speaking Business Plan
Liz Weber, CSP
Are you constantly jumping from one new idea to the next hoping to find that "magic bullet" to speaking success? Are you tired of spending your time and money on yet another "sure-fire" gimmick, product, or process, only to have it fail? Would you like to work on the things that DO positively impact your business and STOP doing what doesn't?If so, join this session with Liz Weber, CMC, CSP (aka - The Dragon Lady of Leadership Accountability®)! In this focused session, Liz will walk you through how to develop your three year strategic business plan. Your plan is your tool to keep you focused, on-track and on-target to creating the speaking business YOU want!



General Session
Do Over
Jon Acuff
12:00pm-12:30pmWrap Up with the Event Chairs




Hotel Information:

Austin Hilton
500 E. 4th St.,
Austin, TX 78701
Group Rate: $199

Book your room today online or call Hilton Central Reservations at 1-800-236-1592 and be to reference National Speakers Association, or group code NSA, in order to receive the special rate. The deadline to receive the NSA rate is February 3, 2016 or as long as rooms are available.

NOTE: The NSA room block at the Austin Hilton is full. Click here to add your name to the roommate request list.

Airport Information: The hotel is a short seven-mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Overflow Hotel
If you have not yet reserved your hotel room, please note that our block at the Austin Hilton is currently full. We are pleased to have secured additional rooms at the Embassy Suites, less than a mile away. The rate is $189 for a King bed, $209 for two Queens. These rates include Wi-Fi in your guest room and transportation to and from the Austin Hilton (specific times TBA). To make your reservation online, click here or call 1-800-Embassy (1-800-362-2779) and reference National Speakers Association.



Online registration is now closed. To register for this event, visit the NSA registration desk at the Austin Hilton on the fourth floor.

*Cancellation Policy: All cancellation notices must be sent in writing (email acceptable) to NSA headquarters. A refund of your registration fee minus a $100 administrative fee up to 60 days prior to the event. From 60 days to 30 days prior, the cancellation fee is $150. There are no cancellations within 30 days of the start of an event. For those who purchased a bundle: this cancellation fee still applies, and the fee is per event.