Reprinted from Sharing Ideas With Speakers

15 Concepts I Learned from Other Speakers

at the National Speakers Association Convention

by Rene Gnam, Marketing Consultant

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I first met Rene Gnam when I attended his two-day direct mail seminar in Los Angeles and was I ever impressed because finally I had listened to a no-bull hands-on practitioner who had tested so many useful techniques that I quickly found myself using them for my own promotions. Then when Rene, a pro who gives 50-60 full-day seminars a year plus numerous other speaking presentations, showed up at NSA in Chicago, I cornered him and requested a first-timer's review for our readers. Here are his comments, as he wrote them for Sharing Ideas readers - Dottie Walters)


by Rene Gnam

I returned from NSA imbued with a new spirit and heartened by new knowledge which I already know will increase my bookings and help educate my audiences.

The new spirit came from my discovery of a jovial but serious-minded group of professionals who did not hesitate to share their experiences and tips with a first-timer.

The new knowledge came from too many speakers to mention in this review, but here's a smattering from my l2 pages of notes. At NSA, I:

  1. Discovered that even a regular speaker can gain helpfulness from others engaged in earning a similar living.

  2. Picked up 44 specific points on incorporating humor into a presentation (thank you, Dr. Charles Jarvis) and another 23 from Bob Murphy who said he was only going to make 7 points.

  3. Tapped Earl Brodie for the important differences in approaching association directors and corporate planners for engagements.

  4. Gleaned promotion subtleties for speakers from Ed Foreman.

  5. Explored new marketing ideas with Somers H. White.

  6. Chit-chatted daily with John Jay Daly, a fount.

  7. Found that the top speakers, like Og Mandino, are not unapproachable. Instead, they do want to assist.

  8. Learned superior audience control and contact techniques from Ed Mason, Ralph Archbold and Don Hutson.

  9. Exchanged experiences with Allan Willey.

  10. Exulted in the positiveness of Mort Utley's stage presence.

  11. Uncovered the value of humility from Ty Boyd.

  12. Compared promotion concepts with Nido Qubein.

  13. Learned acceptable methods of self-promotion within a speech from Charles Jones.

  14. Unearthed delightful voice ranges from Naomi Rhode.

  15. Discovered from Dave Yoho how important it is to sometimes surprise an audience with a personal disclosure that unites the room.

As with every large convention, there were some rough spots and some so-so presentations, but there was no doubt about Bill Johnson's ability to program and coordinate a truly helpful event.

Every speaker closes with an upbeat remark. In print, this remark may not seem as powerful as it would if I were on stage, but it is from my heart:

If 25% of the knowledge I acquired, 25% of the contacts I made, 25% of the techniques I discovered and 25% of the spirit I encountered really do pay off, I will have obtained l0 times l00% of the cost.


Rene Gnam is an independent response marketing consultant

specializing in creative advertising techniques.

He can be reached at 813-407-8400


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Rene Gnam is a Marketing Consultant and Advertising Copywriter

logo for Rene Gnam

I'm usually in Florida, and here are the numbers:

FAX 813-475-4354      CELL 813-407-8400

You can reach me right now by e-mail:


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