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NSA-Wisconsin and My Journey

September 28, 2011

This is a story about a guy with a dream, a mission and a purpose with no roadmap on how to get there! You know anyone like that? Well, hello my name is Larry Cockerel, and today 11+ years later a proud member of our National Speakers Association, Wisconsin Chapter, and for seven years now a member of National NSA with no regrets.

Allow me to share the journey, you may be asking why? Just because, no, just kidding, I know there are many professionals that have a dream, a vision, and a story or program to share, to help make a difference. Just like this guy did when I came to my first Chapter meeting and there was a professional speaker by the name of Bill Geist that offered to meet for lunch in Madison and share what the chapter was all about. Then I meet a fellow by the name of Robert Ian, ten years later helped me move into the president role of the chapter to serve, and also helped me to discovery my cancer-fighting team at UWM, Madison. It’s amazing the connections you can make, and you never know how far a relationship can take you or help you!

I remember one program many years ago, in my early years, Chris Clarke- Epstein, CSP shared with the ”Fast Track” program back then, now Speaker U, led by the wonderful and giving Eliz Greene. Chris shared on marketing, with her one-sheet, business cards, and talked about products, got me thinking back then, I need more stuff. What a great giver and mentor Chris is to so many members. Talking about “Fast Track” program and I sure liked the title, fast track- get it, get the stuff and get to work. Well back in those days the honorable Sally Anders steered that ship and what a job she did. Looking back she added much value to me and many more, maybe her mentorship is why I mentor as many new speakers coming into the business, to give back, thank you Sally Anders.

So many to mention, like watching Mike Domitrz CSP, build his business from his passion and purpose with a cause. Mike’s passion helped me identify mine and build my branding. I remember listening to Dennis Mannering share his passion and I liked his style, Rob Bell, CSP with his enthusiasm to “WOW” the audience and Jim Morrison’s dedication to the chapter. I believe all these ingredients have help me build my business and better serve my clients. It’s always interesting when we invite other speakers from around the country come and share about the business, from marketing too business, style and delivery techniques.

I must mention Jason Kotecki, what a powerful and fun program he offers, not only does Jason Kotecki help us with the blog and site development, I learned about being very creative with my message from Jason. His blog is worth checking out if you haven’t already, you may even be able to win something, I tried! The creative mind is a wonderful thing, and I’m sure his audiences enjoy this skill that Jason masters.

When it comes to product and aids that can help me help my clients once I’m gone from the presentation, from books, CD’s, booklets, my time with NSA Wisconsin has been the key foundation for helping me build my business as a business to better serve my clients. I remember Debra J. Schmidt sharing about teleseminars and getting your book to market, to Mike McKinley, CSP-CPAE, sharing the power of a fun and engaging PowerPoint presentation. I’ve had the opportunity to grow and lead newer speakers through my experiences, mentor and help them grow. I know that this is what the chapter is all about. Just the other day I was able to team up with an awesome up and coming speaker, Traci Bogan we shared a conference together and I was able to help her deliver her powerful program on Goal Mastery.

I must mention two awesome ladies in our industry and chapter and that his Patty Hendrickson, CSP, a person on a mission to change lives and with a smile that won’t stop shinning. Patty is the type of person you can count on, and will do what it takes to help the chapter to be the best it can be. And that other lady that I must mention who has taught me about just being yourself and sharing your passion, is Kinza Christenson, a lady on a mission to offer laughter and inspiration.

It’s all about giving, to our members, friends, clients and ourselves, to get better at what we do, serve, motivate and educate. You wonder why is this guy is sharing this article, well let me tell you, it’s about the chapter and what we stand for. It’s about making a difference in our industry and being the experts for our clients. The chapter has given to me over the years in so many ways, so it’s my time to acknowledge the good, complement those that have added value to me and let those that are researching the NSA Wisconsin chapter say, this is it folks. If you want to build a professional speaking business, trainer or consultant this is the place to be. This is the place where others will reach out and offer you a helping hand; this is the place to learn all the different aspects of the speaking business. And yes for you Meeting Professionals that are looking for the best experts to help you help your clients, this is the place for you, too.

So why write this piece, because it’s my duty to share, inspire and motivate others about who we are and what we can do. My story on what the chapter and some of its members have done for me. I may have left some names out, excuse me please; there’s been many over the years and the years to come. I’m not going anywhere, I’m here to stay and contribute and mentor and get better at what I have to offer to my clients and the industry. Oh yes, there is a couple more names to mention, the two folks that are behind the scenes every day helping us move forward, keeping us in line as a board, watching the “T’s” and doting the “I’s” Terry & Terry Estness, our Executive Directors.

Now with all this said, let’s get out there and make a difference, help change the world, inspire and motivate others and have fun along the journey!

Larry Cockerel, Professional Speaker – Training Specialist – Author
Helping to inspire change! Thanks to my NSA Wisconsin Chapter the journey is the reward not the destination.

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