“What happens when a couple thousand passionate speakers meet up in the coolest hotel on the busiest street of the most-celebrated city in the world? Well I don’t know, but hold on to your bell bottoms, ’cause we’re planning a shindig in Times Square that’s sure to drop the ball a few months early.”
Last weekend I attended the National Speaker’s Association Convention. The NSA is a national organization founded in 1973 to help public speakers. It was all that the blurb above promised and more.
I spent 4 days in seminars watching great speakers share their secrets for success and learning everything I could about how to be a more effective public speaker, and how to get my message about writing (“Don’t Get It Right – Get It Written”) out to more people.
I saw many remarkable speakers with interesting life stories that caused them to become speakers. Among them was Chad Hymas, who had an incredible life story: His life changed instantaneously when a falling one ton bale of hay broke his neck. He was pronounced a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest-down, with limited function of his arms and hands. But instead of falling down, under the weight of his bad luck, he transformed his life and became a highly paid and respected speaker whose motto is: “Who Needs Legs When You Have Wings?”
I am reminded of a quote from the very underrated film Zero Effect, in which Gloria Sullivan (Kim Dickens) explains to our hero the mysterious Daryl Zero (as played by Bill Pullman) how the old addage “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” isn’t inaccurate, it’s just incomplete, and then explains that she much prefers the motto: “What doesn’t kill you defines you.”
What inspired me about the convention is that once again art really does imitate life. The great stories that need to be told are out there.
As an exercise, think of a time in your life when you were faced with an obstacle. How did you handle it? Would this make a good movie?
Visit Chad Hymas on YouTube: