This space is usually reserved for a monthly lesson on customer service, where I share my latest insights into helping you and your team deliver exceptional guest experiences every single time. We’ll return to that regularly scheduled programming soon, but first I’m excited to share a career milestone that I recently celebrated at the National Speakers Association annual conference in Las Vegas.
This week, I was honored to receive the NSA’s Council of Peers Award for Excellence®, a recognition awarded to only five professional speakers a year. Or as it’s better known in my industry, I was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame! This is truly a humbling honor, since it’s an award voted on by my peers and because there are fewer than 140 professional speakers in the Speaker Hall of Fame (and of those, fewer than 50 are women). Professionally, I can now add a few extra letters to my moniker: Laurie Guest, CSP, CPAE.
In the speaking world, this honor is truly like getting an Oscar, and like at the Academy Awards, I was able to accept the recognition with a brief speech. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to give one of those speeches, the pressure you’d feel in front of peers and colleagues, family and friends, everyone waiting to hear their name in appreciation?
The pressure was definitely on to give a great speech—this is what we do for a living, after all!—in just five minutes. And since the NSA lets recipients know that they’ve been selected for the award in advance, I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve spent countless hours writing, editing, memorizing and revising what I wanted to say that night.
What I realized while working on my acceptance speech is that the people I really wanted to thank were not in the room that night. That’s because I want to thank you – yes, I’m talking to YOU! Each of you has crossed my path in some way over my years in this industry, whether it was to participate in one of my programs, follow my messaging on social media, or hire me to present to your organization. It is because of your interest and support of my work that I have the privilege of doing a job a love to do every day. So, I want to be sure I pause in the midst of all this excitement and give YOU a heartfelt thank you. I would not be in the business at all if not for you.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. Now let’s get back to work!