The Voice of Professional Speakers in Arizona

September 2020 News Flash

Welcome to the September 2020 issue of the NSA-Arizona News Flash!

Please forward this newsletter to others whose careers benefit by improved skills in speaking and presenting.

President's Message—Rethink. Retool. Reinvent.

September 12 Program—Cracking the Course Creation Code

Candidate Program: Town Hall

Webinar Series for Members

Bravo Corner

Speakers Lab—Cultivate Your Speaking Skills

Upcoming Events

Librarian's Notes

Word Tripper from the Platform

Welcome New Member

Volunteer Spotlight

President’s Message—Rethink. Retool. Reinvent.

Welcome to your speaking community’s monthly newsletter. I come before you humbled in the trust you have so generously bestowed upon me to guide the NSA-Arizona chapter through the troubled waters of these times. Waters that all are required to currently navigate. But, like Simon and Garfunkel, we will work to build a bridge over our troubled waters. A bridge built on the structure of community, the NSA-Arizona speaking community. A bridge for all of us to safely cross when the pandemic is over. My theme as your president is: Rethink, Retool, and Reinvent.

RETHINK. As a chapter, and as a community of speakers, we need to rethink the way we do business. Rethink how we serve our customers.

RETOOL. Throughout time, people have produced new tools to advance society. What are the skills, services, and product offerings that will lead you not only through the storm, but position you better for after the storm? How, as a community, can we retool together?

REINVENT. Speaker success models are changing. The delivery of our products is changing; they were prior to the pandemic. The pandemic has just pushed this change ahead at warp speed. It is not about pivoting–it is about reinventing.

Let us not forget that you are not alone. We are a community of like-minded, hardworking, invested speakers, committed to the proposition of providing benefits to clients and knowledgeable value to attendees.

Your chapter leadership is working hard to advance your association. We have scheduled education programs to help you advance in your career. It is going to be an exciting year ahead and it is time to kick it off.  I look forward to seeing your smiling faces at our next monthly program, Saturday, September 12. We have made this program free for all to attend, so there is no reason not to attend.

See you soon!

Roger Rickard

NSA-Arizona President, 2020-2021


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Meeting: 9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m.

Click here to register.

This monthly program is offered FREE as a THANK YOU for being a part of our community of speakers.  Please feel free to invite prospective members. Space is limited - so register now.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER—Cracking the course creation code: A proven system for creating great training that gets results! with Nancy Giere

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MEETING WILL BE VIRTUAL. We will meet via Zoom Meetings so you can interact with other participants.

In this program, you’ll learn the best-kept secrets in course creation from a Fortune 500 learning and development consultant. She has over 25 years of experience creating training that is interactive, engaging, and gets results.

As more and more people are moving their content online, what can you do to ensure that you produce high-quality content that showcases your brilliance? How can you set yourself apart from your competitors, expand your reach, and grow your business?

In this presentation, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Turn your expertise into interactive and engaging webinars, or online courses that create lasting change.
  • Leverage a systematic, repeatable course creation process.
  • Create a training business model.
  • Determine the type of virtual programs (online, webinar, or a blended approach) that will expand your reach and generate revenue.
  • Customize your programs to meet the needs of your target market.
  • Create a training content planning matrix to organize all your content and simplify the course creation process.
  • Select the right learning management system.
  • Use training in all phases of your business from lead generation to ongoing support.

After a lifetime in the corporate training world, Nancy knows how businesses operate and she isn’t afraid to shake things up. Her unique perspective, combined with 25+ years of experience, has empowered her with fresh insight. She's ready to share the industry’s best-kept secrets with you. On a lifelong campaign against boring training, she uses the power of storytelling and light-hearted humor to create an engaging, fun, and interactive environment. Masterfully intertwining comedic humor with life lessons, her stories make learning stick! Nancy has worked with the biggest names in corporate America like Johnson Controls, Harley Davidson, and Northwestern Mutual.

Please Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Chair Monthly Meeting Program John Iannarelli


PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY: Leverage the Power and Knowledge of the NSA-Arizona Professional Member Community

Facilitated by Michael Haley

Join your peers as we develop tangible action items cultivated from the material presented during the monthly meeting. Accountability, brainstorming, and creative thinking lead to the tactical implementation of business-generation ideas!

Join us from 12:15-1:30 p.m. immediately after the regular chapter meeting. Please register in advance for this meeting, as it is a different Zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Attendance at the Professional Opportunity is for Professional members.



Town Hall

Join us as we kick off the year with a Town Hall. We're going to ask you, the candidate, what you would like to see in programming for the upcoming year. Come prepared to share what you need to become a successful speaker. Learn what the chapter has in store for creating the education you need to survive and thrive amid today’s challenging environment. The Town Hall will be facilitated by Roger Rickard, Chapter President, and Elaine Simpson, Chapter President-Elect.

Register in advance for this meeting as this is a different Zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

As always, we’d love your feedback on your experience so far and what additional topics you might want to include in future sessions. Email Roger Rickard.


Train-the-Trainer and Licensing your IP

NOTE: New Date - October 5, 2020

Join us for NSA-Arizona's webinar series with host Kristin Arnold, CSP. Our next webinar is September 28, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. Arizona time. The webinar is free to Professional members and Candidates of NSA-Arizona. Watch your inbox for the zoom link.

This month's topic will be Train-the-Trainer and Licensing your IP with Michelle May, M.D., CSP.

Michelle May, M.D., CSP.  As a mindful eating expert, inspirational speaker, and award-winning author, Michelle’s passion, insight, and humor stems from her own personal struggle with food and body image.

Virtual Happy Hour

Join us in September for a virtual happy hour with your peers from NSA-Arizona. Let’s catch-up, network, and create deeper connections!
We will meet via Zoom at 5:00 p.m. on September 24, 2020. Bring your own beverage!
Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here.

Virtual happy hour is a member benefit for Professional members and Candidates of NSA-Arizona.


Due to COVID-19, Living Room Forum has been canceled until further notice. We have added an Evening Speakers Lab. See details in the Speakers Lab section.

BRAVO Corner


Kudos to Laurie Battaglia for being promoted from Candidate to Professional member.



Congratulations to both Maria Church and John Iannarelli on receiving the highest professional designation in the speaking industry as Certified Professional Speaker (CSP).


Let fellow NSA-Arizona members know about your achievements. Email Linda-Ann Stewart at to be included in Bravo Corner.

SPEAKERS LAB—Cultivate Your Speaking Skills—Reason to be at Speakers Lab #46

Practice (verb): perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency

“Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent.”–Unknown

“Neurons that fire together, wire together.”—Neuroscientist Donald Hebb, 1949

Practice can lead to bad habits as well as good ones. Feedback can make the difference in which ones we develop.

In our current online environment, many of us have been presented with new challenges regarding engaging our audiences. Both the NSA Chapter meetings and the NSA Speakers Lab meetings have gone online. This presents an appropriate opportunity for practicing in this environment and getting feedback. Our presenters may seek help with marketing materials, website design, book ideas, or presentations. NSA-Arizona Speakers Lab is known for providing valuable feedback from skilled evaluators. They help the presenters (and others in the session) to engage their prospects, customers, clients, readers, or audience.

Our methodology: We ask presenters what their purpose is and what kind of feedback they want or need. We provide feedback in a structured environment that includes guidelines both for evaluators and for speakers. This helps to provide supportive, constructive, and useful advice.

Is there an area of your speaking or your speaking business that would benefit from some feedback? Come join us at Speakers’ Lab and experience the valuable feedback and encouragement to help you improve in any area of the speaking business.

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 9:30-11:45 a.m. Normally, we would be meeting at NSA headquarters. However, in the current environment, we have changed to an online format. An announcement regarding the Zoom session for the Lab will be emailed prior to the Speakers Lab. When you respond to that email to register for that session, you will be provided with a link.

You may attend these sessions as a Guest. However, if you wish to present at the Lab, you must be a chapter member in good standing. We ask that you attend as a participant twice before you sign up for a time to present.

In a normal meeting, we have three 30-minute slots. Speakers can use the time to receive feedback and tips for a specific purpose, like trying out new material or trying a new form of speaking. They can also get feedback about marketing materials, web sites, or a book idea.

Extra. Extra. Read All About It—A New Version of Speakers Lab

Introducing a brand-new version of our celebrated Speakers Lab: Virtual Evening Speakers Lab

For a limited time (the next 6 months) we will be offering an evening version of Speakers Lab. Because of COVID, we will be virtual, which means no searching for a site to hold it, no commute time for you to get there.

The evening labs will be on the 3rd Wednesday every month for a trial period of 6 months. Our first Virtual Evening Speakers Lab will be at 6:30 p.m. on September 16.

If you want to network in advance of the session, you can log in as early as 6 p.m. Sessions will start at 6:30 p.m. and last 90 minutes (until 8 p.m.). They will feature two speakers plus the usual round-robin feedback from your fellow attendees. Speakers will also receive feedback from a Guest Enricher. Sessions will conclude with words of wisdom from the Guest Enricher.

Step up to your computer or smartphone and bring your favorite beverage. Enjoy the value of Speakers Lab from the comfort of your own home (or car, or office, or wherever you have an internet connection).

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” ―Benjamin Brewster (sometimes attributed to Yogi Berra, who was often quoted as saying “I didn’t say half the things I said.”)

To claim your spot, contact Natalie Sayer. Please put “Speakers Lab” in the subject line.

Upcoming Guest Enrichers

Join us virtually for the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in May!

09/08/2020—Natalie Sayer

09/16/2020—Roger Rickard this session is an evening (online) session

09/22/2020—Naomi Rh0de

“Speakers Lab is one of the greatest features provided by NSA-Arizona. It is designed to be a safe place to not only practice and hone speaking skills, the feedback given by NSA members is extremely valuable and well worth the price of membership. I highly recommend Speakers Lab to anyone serious about advancing their speaking career.” —Rita Hudgens

NSA-Arizona Speaker Lab Leadership Team: Michael Haley, Debra Exner, Natalie Sayer, Antonio Valles, Jake White, Chair.


Winter Workshop 2021: February 26–February 28, 2021–Atlanta, GA

Influence 2021: July 10–July 12, 2021–Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV

For details, go to the NSA website at


Editor’s Note: This feature reminds you to take advantage of our fabulous lending library of NSA Convention recordings.

By Richard Victor

Well, I got word that most, if not all, of the employee benefits events that I facilitate, will be virtual this year. So I won't rack up any frequent flier miles, but it has me thinking. What can I do instead for revenue while live events aren't an option? I checked the library and found a session from the Influence 2019 event called Separating Fact from Fiction - How to Generate Passive Income with Online Courses by Sylvie Di Guisto, CSP. Great idea! I have a bunch of stuff I can turn into an online course, and wouldn't passive income be nice?

Here's what I learned from Sylvie about content creation, delivery, and pricing.

Content Creation

  • Sylvie is an image consultant. She could offer her classes to a broad general audience, or to a narrow audience of professionals. She targets the narrow, professional audience. It is easier to market to a narrow audience because we know more about them; what they need, where hang out, what they read, and what they do. A broad audience is more difficult to target, but also requires a low price point-anywhere from free to $497. A program to a professional audience could sell for $5,000.
  • However, increased competition has affected pricing. What used to be a $5,000 certification is now $1,700.
  • Before you create your course, you must study your audience. Sylvie discovered that traditional demographics such as age, gender, and occupation data were of little value. But knowing her clients' learning styles, the problems they need to solve, and what they need for their communities was very valuable. She was able to group clients and prospects based on these attributes.
  • Now that you have studied your market very well, you are now able to create products based on that information. Please do not think that you already have a product because you already have thousands of PowerPoint slides. Instead, Sylvie bases her products on a model that should deliver on the following: 1) What information do you want to deliver to your audience? 2) How will you check performance so that you know the content works and that clients can assess their progress? 3)What will the learning experience be like?

Content Delivery

  • Think about the format that you'd like to deliver. Will it be video, narration over PowerPoint, or include animation? Will it require authoring tools to allow interactive content such as quizzes, drag and drop, fill in the blanks, infographics, and so on? Sylvie's courses include workbooks and multiple quizzes, and participants must pass assessments in order to move forward.
  • Sylvie used to record a lot of videos, including everything she knew, and as she put it, "vomited content in front of them." Now she storyboards her content into three categories: Must Know (MK), Should Know (SK), and Nice to know (NK). The training method will then be created according to the category. For nice-to-know categories, a simple e-book or a checklist may be enough. Must-know information will require an investment in production and may include videos or animation.
  • To deliver content, you need to select the appropriate technology. Sylvie originally hosted content on her own website using a highly sophisticated WordPress template. While this template had hundreds of features, she didn't use 90% of them and 10% never worked. She has since switched to Thinkific.
  • You may choose a stand-alone platform like Thinkific, but you will need to integrate other tools like email management, funnel management, or payment systems. Instead, you may decide on an all-in-one platform like Kajabi. If you have a large LinkedIn following, you may want a platform that offers to do the marketing for you, such as Lynda. Or you may need an enterprise solution if licensing or marketing training to a corporation.
  • Before deciding on a platform, consider more than the up-front costs. Will the platform be able to deliver the content you created, such as drag and drop tools, assessments, and quizzes? Are there hidden costs of onboarding, converting from another platform, or adding administrators? Also, test the provider's customer support. You may regret the low-price option when an email to tech support requires a 72-hour turnaround. Your clients may not want to wait that long. Can their payment system handle PayPal, coupons, discounts, or bundles?

Content Pricing

  • Sylvie's second-favorite price point is free. She will give away content to get users into the system as lead generation, and will frequently license or donate courses.
  • Her least-favorite price point is the middle range. This could be $27 to $49 or could be $149 to $297. While she does offer products in the mid-price range, the marketing budget becomes a large percentage of this price. And there is also an issue of perceived value: can you really change my whole life for $27?
  • Her favorite price is $1,000+. How can you get to that level? By offering very specific content. A course called, "How to Use LinkedIn," is a $27 product (you can get this info free on YouTube). But "How to use LinkedIn as a professional speaker to find clients in the association market" moves up the price. Add a certification or partnership on top of it, and the course commands a higher price.
  • You'll put just as much time, energy, and money into one $1,500 course as you will into 10 $150 courses.

Our library is still open for business! Contact me directly on how to get physical media sent to you, and for download instructions for digital media.

Richard is NSA-Arizona’s librarian who accepts donations of books, tapes, magazines, CDs, and videos of interest to speakers. Contact Richard for instructions to download recent NSA Convention sessions.


By Barbara McNichol

Do you ever confuse this word pair? Now you know the difference so you won't get tripped up!


Intrusive, obtrusive – They both describe something or someone as disruptive, adverse, or prominent in an unwelcome way. The difference lies in the implied direction of each word. “Intrusive” implies thrusting into a place or situation, while “obtrusive” implies thrusting out beyond accepted or expected limits. “At the opening, the artist was attentive to his guests without being obtrusive. I can’t say the same for the intrusive gallery owner who repeatedly interrupted the patrons’ conversations.”

The creator of Word Trippers Tips writing resource, Barbara edits nonfiction books and articles for NSA members. You can contact her via email.


Mike Staver, CSP, Professional Member. Mike is the current Chair-Elect of NSA.

Click here to learn more about Mike.



John Iannarelli, CSP

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family? I am originally from New Jersey, just outside NYC. But I transferred regularly during my career, so I have lived in a lot of different places. I now reside in Scottsdale, not far from the NSA office.

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share? I have always traveled for work. When not working, I enjoy reading, the gym (when it's open), and the occasional round of golf.

What is your speaking specialty? I speak on how to keep yourself, your family, and your business safe. I focus on the topics of cybersecurity, active shooter preparation, and terrorism prevention.

What kind of work did you do before you started speaking? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to speaking? I started as a police officer in San Diego. After earning my law degree, I practiced for a while. I then entered the FBI Academy. I spent the next twenty years as a Special Agent in various assignments around the country and working throughout the world.

When did you start speaking? When did you join NSA-Arizona? Throughout my FBI career, I held various leadership positions that called for me to speak before audiences. This included having served as the FBI national spokesperson in Washington, D.C. addressing the national and international media. After retiring from the FBI, I began appearing on the national news as a law enforcement consultant. I discovered NSA about three years ago, which is when I joined the Arizona chapter.

How have you volunteered for our chapter? Two years ago, I was asked to be the Program Chair, arranging for our monthly speakers.  More recently I became a member of the Executive Board as this year’s Vice President.

For you, what is the best advantage of NSA-Arizona membership? In the world of professional speaking, there is so much to learn and so many potential mistakes to be made. The best advantage of NSA is that there are others who have already been down this road. You can learn from their experiences, allowing you to avoid many of the mistakes which save time, effort and money.

About This Newsletter

Email your News Flash announcements to editor Linda-Ann Stewart or call 928-600-0452 by the 15th of each month. Thanks to proofreaders Michelle Cubas and Richard Victor.

To view back issues of the newsletter, visit our web site. Click on Newsletters and select the edition you wish to view.

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Cavett Robert

"As speakers, we never fight over the size of our slice of the pie, we build a bigger pie."
-Cavett Robert, NSA Founder