Business Cards
Business Cards

Thanks to my friend, branding expert and professional speaker Tom Gosche. who invited me to attend a monthly lunch meeting of Engaging Speakers at the Doubletree in Schaumburg, Illinois today. The meeting was professionally moderated by Dr. Tim Hayes, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and speaker, specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Tim’s inspirational message for the day was essentially to remember that you are more than what you do. The educational presenter was marketing coach, Sarah Victory. Her concluding message was, “Do something brave every day.” Both great presenters with inspiring messages.

For many people doing something brave may be just attending networking meeting like this then having the nerve to approach someone and introduce yourself to a “stranger.” I won’t say it is easy because for many people it is not that easy. But I will say that it can be rewarding because meeting new people means broadening your network of contacts and learning new things. If you are a business owner or job seeker be sure to exchange business cards. Many people say, “I don’t want to look pushy,” or “I am not sure if this is a good contact for me. I still maintain that it is better that someone has your business card and knows how to contact you then to let them get away without it. I met several more people today who did not offer a card or did not have cards with them. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about them because I just don’t have the facts.

Here’s one guy I can tell you about. Mark Papadas who has recently formed a business and foundation called, “I am 4 Kids” Helping Children Build Empowering Identities. This seems like a good idea to me. To learn more about Mark’s project please visit this website when you get there watch the video and learn more about “I am 4 Kids” then vote for the project to help his organization win a $250,000.00 grant from Pepsi. If you use Facebook, when you get to the page, you can click on the Facebook link to vote very easily using your FB ID.

 Some other people I touched base with were Tim Padgett of Pepper Group and Ken Northcutt representing Pre-Paid Legal with his wife Deborah Northcutt who has what I think is a cool business. She sells baby strollers through her website . By the way she has a nice two sided card with the picture of a baby stroller on one side, simple but effective for getting the message across.  I had a nice chat with Diahann from and intend to connect her with my friend and book video client Bonnie-Ross Parker who also helps to empower women in business. Copywriter Nicole De Falco was introduced as the newest member of the Engaging Speakers Group. I suggested that she look into the Independent Writers of Chicago Group that I blogged about earlier this week. 

At a glance you might say Jared Silver of At-a-Glance Marketing and I are competitors and admittedly there is some cross over but there is a growing need for producers of short web videos. Jared and I both help business owners interpret or reinterpret their message in a concise manner using video optimized for delivery via the web. My specialty is Book Video Trailers though I too produce my share of marketing videos and website video introductions. Jared has branded one of his products as Elevator Speech Teaser Videos. Which I think is brilliant. Tell the world what you do in 30 seconds.  Check him out at

Marlin Keesler seems like a nice guy to know. He is the author of “Our Life on the Run” which is a book about his experience running marathons in 50 states and how he used that activity to keep his family together which includes the additional challenges posed by having a son with special needs. Marlin is an inspiring guy with a very simple down to earth nature. You can meet him here briefly in the short video I shot of Marlin on-the-fly.

So the people I am counting toward my 100 people in 50 days challenge include those with whom I feel I made the greatest connections. These are people with whom I had the most interaction or people with whom I shared a lead. Marlin, Jared, Diahann, Deborah, Nicole, Mark and Dr.Tim. The count stands at Day 17 and 31 new people met.

Engaging Speakers

12 thoughts on “Engaging Speakers

  • May 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Hi Reno!

    You are a terrific writer! I am so glad that I know about your blog!

    Thank you so much for you kind words and for remembering my ending to my program.

    You are indeed very brave to make a goal that is ambitious and very cool.

    If you want ideas of places to go and meet interesting people, let me know and I will come up with some thoughts.

    It was a real honor to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you better.

    Sarah Victory

  • May 19, 2010 at 11:09 am

    What a nice assessment of the value of networking through Engaging Speakers – and an appreciation of the great folks that contribute to its success. You’re right. It was an inspiring meeting. Hopefully we can chat at the next one!

  • August 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Not speaking verbally isn’t necessarily a symptom of PTSD but the panic like symptoms may be. I would be concerned about mood issues as well occurring with the PTSD and leading to the lack of verbal communication. Your acquaintance really needs to see a psychologist. All the best.

  • October 26, 2010 at 5:00 am

    baby strollers should be strong and sturdy, avoid those baby strollers that are made from plastic.*.

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