Thursday, August 7, 2008

NSA Rocks!

Just back from four unforgettable days in the Big Apple and the annual conference for the National Speakers Association. NSA Rocks! featured the likes of Omar Minaya, Cathie Black, Steve Forbes, and many others providing a multitude of thought-provoking insights.

From Jerry Simmons, I learned that publishing is a 25 BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY. Six major publishers control 90% of that market, primarily though their arrangements and shelf space fees with major retailers such as Costco, Target, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart etc. Basically, about 250 people are making the decisions about what the world reads. Shelf space is just real estate for lease. 90% of the revenues come from 10% of the titles. That works out to 45,000 titles generating 90% of the 25 billion dollar pie. These are the works of about 1,350 authors. Approximately 292,000 books represent the remaining 10% of the market. Check out Jerry at

Can't say enought about Marshall Goldsmith who advised delegates to "help more, judge less". Marhsall is a generous guy who gives away his best stuff at . In his words, “I’m going to die anyway, might as well do some good while I am here”.

Jeff Hayzlett of Eastman Kodak made us appreciate the level of complexity in rebranding a company that was selling $15 billion dollars worth of film five years ago. It’s now down to $50 million dollars as Jeff meets the challenge of getting 19 business units to speak with one voice. It is so not your father's Kodak.

Simon Kirke, co-founder of the rock group Bad Company advised us to "Save the planet because it’s the only one we’ve got. And don’t be an asshole”.

Speaking legend Les Browne beleives that "people are living in desperation because of the stories they believe. Through guidance, practice and patience you can change people through a speech". Browne is the kind of guy who reads 2/3 books a week and does 140 pushups at the age of 65. “Not to impress you but to impress upon you but if information could change people, everyone would be skinny, rich and happy"

Best of all, in my opinion, was the riveting keynote delivered on the final day by Bill Strickland, the man who is changing the world one slide show at a time. Bill beleives that people are born into the world as assets – not liabilities. Environment drives behavior and poor people deserve to see beauty. Founder of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, Strickland shared that people are a function of little things like sunlight and flowers that serve as cures for spiritual cancer.

You will be fascinated by what you will discover if you explore what Bill is up to and how one person can change the world at

Many thanks to NSA President Marc LeBlanc for all his efforts to lead this world-class show, to Dan Martell for making the trip with me to the Big Apple and Martin Latulippe for pushing me to take this plunge in the first place.

1 comment:

dmartell said...

What a great time ... I posted my notes up here: (scroll down).

Thanks for the great summary.