Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
ISSUE #328
Speakers stand up, surrounded by hot air

# 328, July 21, 2004

PHOENIX, Ariz.: It’s hot here. Now that won’t surprise most of you, but when the Chamber of Commerce admits it’s hot, you know it’s news. Even the Chamber knows it’s a just a tad short of sizzling, but they’ll remain optimistic as long as there’s enough electricity to run the air conditioners. And enough water. Lord knows where it’ll come from, but there’s millions of people living out here in a desert, full of faith the water will keep on showing up.

I’m here at a convention with fifteen hundred professional speakers. Wow, 1500 speakers. I know what you’re thinkin’… it must be a tremendously big meeting to bring in all those speech makers. Well, it is a tremendous meeting. But it’s all speakers. Nobody else. They have gathered here at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, in this 110 degree Arizona heat, to listen and learn from each other.

This National Speakers Association favors hot air. Kinda like the Phoenix Chamber, they thrive on hot air. Every July they pick out a hot spot for a convention. Now, if you ask any speaker, “where’s your favorite location to speak in the middle of summer?”, you’ll hear places like Vail, The Greenbrier, Banff and Buffalo. (Actually Niagara Falls, but Buffalo is funnier, and has the same climate.) But when speakers decide among themselves where to congregate in July, it’s Dallas, New Orleans, San Antonio and Phoenix. Next year it’s Atlanta, and as one speaker hinted, in 2006 they’re planning to convene in a temporary tent in Death Valley.

With all that heat outdoors, every platform speaker knows they have a captive audience. Even the pools are too hot for a swim.

Even without the heat, nobody would walk out on these great speakers. Larry Winget said the most important thing is to “Be yourself”, and know it’s your Style that distinguishes you from all the other speakers. Seth Godin told us to be remarkable, so our ideas get noticed and spread.

NSA President Mark Sanborn summed up with three points on Love: Love what you do. Love who you do it with. Love who you do it for. That reminded me of something “I” said in a speech in 1935… According to the founder of NSA, Cavett Robert, here is what I said in that speech to the American Bar Association in Los Angeles: “If you want to be successful, it’s this simple: Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”

Well, I used up so much space gabbing about speakers, hardly any left for news. Alan Greenspan decided maybe we should pay some interest on the dough we borrow. Here lately it has been pretty much free… now it’ll cost us a percent and a quarter. Martha Stewart got sentenced 5 months in Federal Prison and 5 months house arrest. I’ve got a house to suggest for the house arrest… mine. It could use a little fixin’ up. For various and necessary purchases she would have to use her own money. (That would be the only sensible part of the entire sentence.)

Have you seen that security video footage on television? Terrifying. It looked so easy to get past the guards with prohibited items. But how can you fault the guards? Just doing their jobs. And if you can’t trust Sandy Berger, who can you trust.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“I would rather have Arizona’s record as a state than New York with her numbers, Massachusetts with her intellect, or California with her modesty. Arizona prolongs the life of the afflicted as well as makes perpetual the lives of the well.” DT #2158, July 4, 1933


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