Wow! What a fantastic session this afternoon at the NSA Winter Conference in Baltimore. Here are some highlights.
The first presenter was David Hogue, Technical Director of The National Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center. David identified several major threats that affect national security as well as the work we do as professional speakers, and Scott Halford, CSP, CPAE, moderated the Q&A session after Hogue’s talk.
“Do we need to be concerned with how we use social media?” Scott asked.
“Yes!,” David replied. “Be aware of the information you give out online. As soon as you press ‘send,’ your personal information is out of your control.”
“Today will the be slowest day of your life,” he added. “Life gets faster every day, so we have to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI).”
Josh Packard, PhD, James Taylor, MBA, and Brian Fanzo gave previews of the labs they were to gave shortly during concurrent sessions.
Josh is Executive Director of The Social Research Lab at the University of Northern Colorado, and he noted, “True thought leadership is a combination of experience and expertise backed up by data-driven insights. But data alone is boring. Remember: Research makes you credible. Story makes you memorable.”
Josh showed how to create a step-by-step research plan, complete with timeline and budget, for becoming a thought leader. To work with him to create your own research plan, visit joshpackard.com.
James Taylor gave us a glimpse of his lab, “The Future is Global: Using Online Summits to Reach the Rising Billions.”
“As a global speaker, you’re entering a whole new world, “ James said. “In the next three years, nearly three billion people will be coming online for the very first time.”
James made a compelling case that the speakers who know how to position and package their ideas and expertise online will reap the rewards of influencing these “rising billions.” He talked about how he has used online summits to go from being a new speaker to traveling the world as a highly paid global keynoter—all in less than 12 months. Learn how to create and launch your own profitable, evergreen online summit by checking out James’s website, jamestaylor.me.
My only disappointment with James Taylor’s presentation is that he declined my request to sing “Fire and Rain.”
Brian Fanzo previewed his lab, “The Future of Storytelling is Raw Emotion… Experienced Virtually.”
“Telling stories draws us to our audience and makes what we teach memorable,” he said. The problem is that because of the rise of virtual presentations, it’s getting harder to sustain an emotional connection with our audience.”
“Online will never replace offline,” he said, “and I’m a millennial saying this!” Still, he encouraged us to ask ourselves, “Is what we’re representing online representative of what we’re presenting on stage?”
“Relatability is the secret of online success,” Brian added, giving props to Jay Baer, who made a compelling case for that idea on the main stage Friday. “Live video is the gateway drug,” but too many live videos are bad because the presenters don’t attempt to be relatable or take their audiences’ needs and interests into account. Brian’s slogan is, “Think like a fan.”
“Facebook live videos receive on average six times more interactions than regular videos,” he claimed. It’s time to learn how to do these well. And that means being willing to be vulnerable in public.
See for yourself how you can use new technology effectively in storytelling by checking out Brian’s website: socialfanz.com/tag/storytelling/.
Bon vivant Eddie Turner gave a presentation entitled, “The Future of Facilitation: New Interaction Techniques to Leverage your Expertise.”
“We are more effective as speakers when we involve our audiences,” Eddie said. “If we want to educate, we must facilitate. The future of highly paid speaking is facilitation.”
What is facilitation? Eddie quoted the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The word means “to make easier.”
“The more you engage the audience—facilitate the learning—the more bookings you’ll get,” he added.
Uh oh! “Training is disappearing from the corporate lexicon,” Eddie warned. Employees want less monologue and more dialogue.
Eddie talked about how virtual facilitation as a way of increasing employee engagement. He likes Adobe Connect as a platform for doing this with corporate clients. Eddie also uses the LogiTech conference camera with its 360-degree technology in his global facilitation programs.
ThinkTank.net is an enterprise-level tool that allows you to brainstorm with the client. The company built an entrepreneur-friendly platform called Meetingsphere.
The Google Jamboard is another device that allows our audiences to interact with each other and with us. Sli.do allows us to do Q&A and polls with our audiences, and entrepreneur-friendly polling platforms include Mentimeter and Umu.
If you don’t want to use technology, Eddie recommends Sessionlab.com/library, a library of facilitation resources that allows you to find the content for your next session .
Visit Eddie’s website to learn more: eddieturnerllc.com.
The dynamic afternoon closed with three more FutureInFIVE speakers.
Kathy Gruver spoke about stress-free productivity.
“Presence is power,” Kathy said. “With every exhale, we have the ability to make a different choice, whether we respond or react to a situation.”
To promote presence, try affirmations. Make them short and specific: “I want to be on the main stage at Influence 2019” or “I want to speak to senior leaders at Google next year.” Learn more at kathygruver.com.
In his talk, “The Silver Tsunami,” Reiner Roeske gave some takeaways for booking more business with baby boomers.
1. Buy wine! Boomers love it.
2. Boomers like to travel. They spend $150 billion in travel last year. So speak to travel associations, which have strong connections to boomers.
3. Boomers have $15 trillion in personal wealth. Speak to financial planners. Teach “silverpreneurs” how to start small businesses.
4. Remember what baby boomers want: wine, wealth and health.
Finally, Winter Conference co-chair Benjamin Wolff tied the content of the afternoon’s speakers to the theme of the conference. Albert Einstein kept his early imagination to himself for fear of being laughed at. He imagined a world in which time was elastic. “On this perfect planet, we alone can imagine the future. We have the ability to plan for it, and act on it,” Ben said, “and this is an awesome responsibility for ourselves, our families, our businesses and our world.” With that, he encouraged us to celebrate our strong community of professional speakers by going out and having a good time in Baltimore that evening.
We owe the co-chairs of this event, NSA NYC immediate past president Ben Wolff and president-elect Sylvie di Giusto, a huge debt of gratitude for bringing this outstanding roster of speakers to us.
Finally, I had the pleasure of sitting next to NSA’s new CEO, Mary Lue Peck. Are we lucky to have her as our humble leader! Fasten your seat belts, folks. This is going to be an exciting ride.