Did NSA Leaders Forget to Google “Platform” Before Stomping on Michael Hyatt’s Brand? – Resolved!

Platform-theater-300x272I’m thrilled to report that the National Speakers Association has abandoned the name Platform, which leaves the wonderful Michael Hyatt able to continue his fabulous work to build their platforms. See Shep’s video annoucement.

Here’s the old post:

At its annual conference in San Diego this week, the National Speakers Association — which has been advancing the speaking profession since 1973 —  announced that it was changing its name to “Platform.”


Wait a minute!

As I sat in the audience at this year’s NSA conference — which was really fabulous, by the way — this name change completely confused me.

More accurately, I felt very sorry for Michael Hyatt, the wildly acclaimed blogger, speaker and New York Times bestselling author of the fabulous book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. which, incidentally, is a must read for any speaker or author.

I sympathized with Michael — former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers — because for years, he has contributed his brilliance, mined his creativity and allocated his hard-earned resources to invigorate and popularize the word, “Platform.”

For those of you not in the know about platforms, having one is imperative these days if you have a book, product, or talk. Learn about it from Michael Hyatt. (I also recommend that you read Seth Godin’s brilliant book, Tribes.)

As you may have guessed by now, I am a BIG fan of Michael Hyatt, which is why I’m posting off topic today.

Not only do I follow Michael’s blog and posts on his Facebook page, but I also often consult and implement his ideas from Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I’ve even traveled across country to attend one of Michael’s conferences, and I plan to fly to another one later this year.

Now you can understand why I”m so appalled and dismayed by the National Speakers Association’s name change to “Platform.”

How can the NSA do this to Michael Hyatt, who is, in effect, The Platform Man?

  • To begin with, Michael has a big platform of very engaged, loyal followers like me. Those of us in his tribe avidly read his thoughts on Facebook; follow him on Twitter;, check out his emails; and travel to attend events where he’s keynoting.
  • And consider this: Michael’s platform — at least on Facebook (41,770) and Twitter (224,000) — is far bigger than that of the National Speakers Association, which has only 16,824 fans in its private Facebook group and only 11,600 followers on Twitter.
  • Meanwhile, Michael Hyatt also runs his fabulous Platform University, of which I’m a member.
  • Furthermore, he hosts the acclaimed Platform Conference.
  • Michael also offers services to help speakers, authors and people like you and me build our platforms. By the way, stay tuned for my new, classier look, which soon will be unveiled on my website and blog, thanks to Michael’s Get Noticed theme.

PlatformNSASo why the heck is the reputable National Speakers Association — which prides itself on authenticity, originality and even ingenuity — stomping on the toes of Michael Hyatt, who, as a sought-after speaker, is essentially one of their own?

Frankly, I’m disappointed and surprised by this questionable move by the National Speakers Association.

Platform-Infographic-5701Indeed, this ill-advised name change puts me in an extremely awkward position.

I’m not yet a full-fledged member of NSA, but I’m a member of the amazing NSA Academy so I can develop skills to become a better speaker, which, in turn, will help me build my platform.

Plus, I greatly respect the many talented, remarkable NSA speakers, some of whom are bestselling authors with remarkable platforms of their own.

Furthermore, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to getting my NSA speaker certification.

Meanwhile, I certainly appreciate the NSA conventions, which, as I witnessed this week and in previous years, are classy, professional events.

But none of this changes the fact that NSA taking the name “Platform” is NOT a classy move.

More to the point, this name-change is completely lacking in integrity, a trait that many NSA members seek to possess. (See Kathleen Ann Thompson’s clever blog post about this.)

Not only that, but the NSA name change violates the organization’s own code of ethics, as Stu McLaren observes.

In short, my loyalty lies with Michael Hyatt, who expressed his astonishment in a Facebook post.

By the way, I even urge you to see the helpful infographic (to your left) that Michael created to help people like us build our platforms.

Frankly, I’m barffled. Didn’t the NSA name- rebranding committee — whose members were praised in the video below — do their homework or due diligence, as platform builder and blogger Daniel Decker asks?

Didn’t at least one member of this illustrious name-change committee do a Google search on the word “Platform” before stomping on Michael Hyatt’s brand and look?

Dian’t at least one committee member hear of Michael Hyatt?

It’s super easy to discover, as Mike Kim so eloquently blogs,.that Michael Hyatt “owns” the word, “Platform.”

Go ahead. Do a Google search now for the words, “Platform and Michael Hyatt.”

As of today, you’ll get a whopping 157,000 hits!

Isn’t t the NSA name change, in fact, brand theft, as Andy Traub suggests?

As you can tell, a number of us in Michael’s tribe are up in arms.

Sure, the concept of a platform has been dicussed for years in publishing and speaking circles and books that predate Michael’s have addressed this subject — but of all people today, Michael Hyatt is the go-to guru about the value of building your platform.

In fact, Hay House, publisher of my most recent book, Beyond Sugar Shock, even recommends that ALL of its authors or wanna-be authors read Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.Likewise, my next publisher, Balboa Press, which has a partnership with Hay House, greatly respects Michael.

Of course, despite my background as an objective journalist, I make no claims to this being a measured post such as those by Ryan Avery or Stu McLaren.

What it comes down to is this: How can a speakers’ organization, which touts the value of crediblity and not stealing others’ material, in effect, create a name and logo that are uncannily similiar to one used for years by Michael Hyatt — whether they did so knowingly or not?

Now, I urge you: Put yourself in Michael Hyatt’s place. How would you feel if one day some organization took the name you’ve been spending years to brand?

I’d certainly be concerned if an organization with similiar goals to mine changed its name to Sugar Shock or Beyond Sugar Shock.

Therefore, as a Michael Hyatt fan, I urge the leadership of the National Speakers Association to:

  • Issue a formal apology to Michael Hyatt.
  • Totally abandon the name “Platform” as its new name.
  • Do due diligence and extensive research to ensure that it won’t again pick a brand that is already taken by another person or organization.
  • Make this entire name-change process more public and enlist feedback from ALL members of NSA and the Academy.

Please weigh in with your ideas. I’d love to hear what you think, but first, watch the video below where the name change (theft?) to Platform is announced at the recent National Speakers Association conference.

Join the conversation. So do you think the NSA name change is right or not? Speak up now. Also please share your comments with NSA leadership.


Become a Mover & Shaker with Hay House

Hay House, Inc

Hay House images If you are an author, speaker, coach, health advocate or healer with empowering messages that you'd like to share with the world, I heartily urge that you attend the upcoming Movers and Shakers conference in Toronto. 

I wholeheartedly heartily recommend this conference to you if you'd like help to reach a broader platform your their programs and services.

Louise HayI freely admit that attending the first Hay House Movers & Shakers conference in December in New York changed my life in so many ways. More about that shortly. 

At this fabulous event, you'll have the pleasure of meeting and getting taught by the amazing bestselling author and life coach Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy, CEO and president of Hay House, the largest and most influential self-empowerment publishing company in the world.

Plus, you may have the rare opportunity to be inspired by the influential, life-changing, bestseling author Louise Hay (seen left), who has been dubbed as "the closest thing to a living saint" by a member of the Australian press.

Now, let me tell you more about my experience with the Movers and Shakers conference. Back in December, I attended the first Movers & Shakers event in New York City.

Now, months later, I still cannot rave about it enough! Over the years, I've attended some 20 to 30 wonderful conferences for authors, speakers, bloggers, social media experts and more, but this Movers & Shakers conference was a powerful event that really pulled it all together for me.

Here's my heartfelt testimonial about this fabulous Movers & Shakers conference:

"If you feel a calling to serve people and help them transform their lives for the better, then you MUST attend the upcoming Movers and Shakers conference in Toronto. This is a powerful, transformative, life-changing experience that gives you valuable tools, tips and insights, which empower you to be true to yourself and pursue your vision at the same time. As if that's not enough, you also could make the most wonderful friends."

— “Smart Habits Girl” Connie Bennett, CPC, CHHC, Author, SUGAR SHOCK!

If you're serious about becoming a Mover & Shaker, I strongly recommend that you sign up now for one of these life-changing Hay House Movers & Shakers events. I predict that you'll be enthused, exhilarated and excited when you meet the amazing Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy.

By the way, I'm now grateful that I have a deal with Hay House for my next book, Beyond Sugar Shock, which is a follow-up to my first book, Sugar Shock. In fact, I'm now very engaged in the writing process and actually enjoying it quite a bit.

Please let me know if you attend this Movers & Shakers conference in Toronto. And please share how this amazing event influenced you.

To learn quickly about this event, go to http://tinyurl.com/HayHouseMoversAndShakersConnie

Disclosure: Please note that I'm a proud, enthusiastic, exuberant affiliate of Hay House, whose programs and services, I believe, can truly change your life, as they have mine.

Connie’s Confession: I’m a Health Hypocrite! Help Each Other

Sick_puppy-600x319 Normally, I don't reveal my vulnerabilities here, on this Sugar Shock Blog. Nor do I share a personal plight, but today, I feel a need to confess to you that I feel like the ultimate Health Hypocrite.

Sure, I eat healthy, wholesome, real foods. Yes, I religiously avoid sugary foods and carbs — and have since 1998 with only a handful of very minor infractions. I don't even smoke anymore. (Inhaling two packs of cigarettes is a thing of the past.) What's more, I've been shunning caffeine since a doctor suggested I do so more than a decade ago. And I don't even chew sugar-less gum or eat candies with artificial sweeteners anymore. In addition, I've triumphed over my diet soda slugging. Plus, I'm huge exercise aficionado. But feeding my body well and moving just aren't nearly enough.

Sleep My body craves — as does yours — ample sleep. We desperately need those zzzzzz's.Otherwise, I'm headed for sniffles, sneezing, coughing and congestion.

Well, lately — especially in the last week — I haven't walked my talk. Despite the fact that I know about the wonders of a good night's sleep and I'm even mentioning it as a "Smart Diet Habit" in my next book, I skimped on sleep myself last week. Now that I'm a health coach, I'm not going to indulge in self-blame. Rather, I'm going to use this realization as an opportunity.

The irony is that lately, I've been thinking a lot about and striving to do excellent self-care, because of my training as a health counselor and life coach and because I've been completing Cheryl Richardson's fabulous book, Take Time for Your Life, which was required reading for my life coaching program through iPEC.

I even just bought Cheryl Richardson's latest book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, this weekend at this remarkable Hay House ouse Movers & Shakers conference. Both books have motivated me to think a lot about how we all will benefit if we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to treating ourselves with respect and reverence, even it it means we have to let go of current projects and disappoint people. 

Well, despite my commitment to treating myself right, last week, I neglected my needs when it came to snoozing. You see, I felt compelled to help you you a lot this month. I really wanted to:

Last week, I wanted to find time to:

My goals also are to:

  • Help support a friend or two, who is doing valuable work. This week, I spread the word about Donna Sonkin's event tomorrow, which unfortunately I may not be well enough to attend now.
  • Send send out an email blast to my mailing list about the exciting programs offered.
  • Plan the 2nd annual Great Worldwide Sugar-Out Challenge in mid January, which includes lining up  top experts to join in our 24-hour twitfest and inviting them to add their names to a press release that will go out to members of the media as it did last year.
  • Send a pitch to The Dr. Oz Show suggesting a show about sugar addiction in January and to invite the producer to book both Stephen (Dr. Sinatra) and myself as well as other sugar experts and sugar addicts to appear on a much-needed episode. (Please help me suggest that we come on as guests to The Dr. Oz Show. And if you're a sugar addict in need of help, feel free to recommend yourself, too.)
  • Plan my radio shows for January. For example, on Wed., Jan. 6 at 2 p.m., you'll get valuable ideas from Gretchen Rubin on how to be happy. She is author of the new book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. I'm also lining up shows tips with Gary Ryan Blair, the Goals Guy and author of the new book,Everything Counts: 52 Remarkable Ways to Inspire Excellence and Drive Results; and Annette Fix, who will give relationship pointers to use in the new year. (Stay tuned for details.)
  • Clear clutter in my apartment.
  • Buy a new printer, because my previous one broke down. 
  • Take time to exercise, meditate, do creative visualization, read inspiring passages and lay the groundwork to manifest a loving relationship.

Kleenex Wow, I'm exhausted just reading my list. Clearly, last week, I overworked, didn't work out enough and ignored valuable sleep time. One day I even put in about 20 hours. Or was it 22?

Clearly, I know better! For goodness sake, I'm both a health counselor and a life coach. People even dub me as the "Smart Habits Girl" (on Twitter), "Smart Habits Coach" or "Sugar Liberator."

But skipping sleep sent me straight to a sore, scratchy throat, hacking cough, a stuffy head and sheer exhaustion. Ironically, recently, I began to research the subject of sleep deprivation for my next book by reading articles such as this one and this one. Getting sick Now I have to miss two holiday parties tonight because of being sick.

While I'd rather be sleeping now, I'm writing because I really need your help. In return, I will help to bring out the absolute best in you. With  your assistance, I could get more sleep, help more people, have more fun, be more energized, take more time for me and lead the kind of balanced life that I help my clients to achieve.

…So I'm currently seeking several part-time independent contractors (2 to 10 hours a week). My goal and intention is to find:

  • An assistant producer for my Gab With the Gurus radio show (a fun gig!);
  • Several people to help build my community through social media — especially my new Facebook fan page and Stop Sugar Shock social network on Ning (also fun!);
  • 2 health writers or bloggers to research, write and post pieces about recent medical studies and other health and lifestyle developments on my Sugar Shock Blog and radio show updates on my Gab With the Gurus blog. The writers also would prepare press releases about upcoming programs to submit to ExpertClick.com (another fascinating project);
  • A marketing consultant, who can make suggestions about expanding my reach so I can help the people who most need my expertise;
  • 1 or 2 assistants to warmly greet attendees at my talks, make them feel welcome, pass out fliers at a variety of places in New York (or wherever I'm booked) and help line up more talks. (Right now I'm seeking people for my January talks — you just need to be warm, friendly and into serving others);
  • A tech-savvy person, who can do website updates (on Microsoft Front Page) and/or possibly move my entire Sugar Shock website to WordPress. This person also would set up my new Smart Habits Blog on WordPress before I add too much content on its current site.

At present, don't have a budget for these independent contractors. The good news is that I do have a BIG desire to help you live a better life. Plus, I have superb training from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), as well as my own experience being the Bad Habits Babe. I also have a proven track record, along with testimonials from clients about my ability to motivate, guide and coach people to break free of their self-sabotaging habits. (Check back here soon for more client kudos. I've been too busy coaching to get more testimonials.)

Life_coaching_logo Even if you're free of destructive patterns, we can still swap services.

I can coach you so you'll finally realize your dreams. (I can help anyone, but I do specialize in health, wellness and personal empowerment, and, in particular, I work with sugar addicts, stay-at-home moms, small business owners, authors, writers, health counselors, marketing experts.)

In addition, if you need writing or marketing services, I'm your gal.

Here's how it will work. You would devote a designated amount of time each week to help me in one of the above areas. In exchange, I'll either coach you in health, wellness and writing, or I"ll help you to write and/or edit something. Depending on how many hours you work for me, you would get either private coaching or you would be part of one of my Break Free With Connie group coaching programs. 

Sound intriguing?

If you're a fellow health expert, please join in the discussion here and on Facebook. Do you, too, feel sometimes like a Health Hypocrite? How? How have you overcome this? I'd love your ideas to improve.  (Plus, I'm working on a story for several sites.)

Enough writing. My shoulder and arm are very sore from typing, and I need to sleep, drink liquids, finish my chicken soup, take herbs and supplements and recuperate.

Hope you will take advantage of this amazing offer to help you set and reach your goals, tap into your inner purpose and passion and connect that with your outer goals to achieve extraordinary and sustainable results.

In the meantime, I'm now committing to you, dear readers, that I will conquer my destructive sleep deprivation habits. I need to live up to my "Smart Habits Coach" title. Besides, I know that I can lick this bad habit just as I have all my other bad habits over the years. But feel free to wish me luck!

Please spread the word about this offer — and feel free to share your thoughts here and on Facebook about my unhealthy hypocrisy!

Authors & Aspiring Authors: Get Tips From Mark Victor Hansen, Arielle Ford & Others

Attention, authors! Have you listened yet to today's Gab With the Gurus Radio Show?

If you're now published or want to be, you need to check out this show and learn from the masters.

Listen now — at any time that works for you.

Authors & Author Wanna-Bes: Experts Tell You How to Become an Author-Preneur

Mark Victor Hansen Are you an author like me? Do you aspire to be an author? If so, I urge you to become one of 100 people who attend Author 101 University, which takes place May 28 in New York City.

This will be an amazing event, I'm convinced. You see, in the past (as I was gearing up for SUGAR SHOCK! to be published, I've learned from most of these speakers, and I promise you that they'll give you valuable information galore.

Meanwhile, on April 28 at 3 pm EST, would-be authors also are invited to my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show, when you'll hear from a variety of
exciting authors, PR and publishing experts, including Rick Frishman, Arielle Ford, Susan Harrow, Robyn Spizman and Warren Whitlock, who will tell you about how a new breed of authors — the
author-preneur (a word I coined).

As always, you can listen either live at 3 pm EST or later, at your convenience.

Meanwhile, at Author 101 University, a variety of publishing and marketing will give you tools and techniques to get your book published and double or triple your income as an author or publisher.

The amazing, bestselling author Mark Victor Hansen will MC the event. (Mark, for those of you not in the know, is the mega-bestselling co-author with Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, which have sold a whopping 100-plus million books.)

To learn more and sign up for Author 101 University on May 28, go here.

And please join me either live at 3 pm EST or later for my radio show about author-preneurs.

Facebook: Is It a Fast Path to Friends, Fun & Even Fame? Get the Scoop with Gurus Jesse Stay, Mari Smith, Shama Hyder, Etc. on March 24

Are you on Facebook yet? What about Twitter or LinkedIn?

If not, it's time to get on the social networking bandwagon!

First, I strongly urge you to join the more than 175 million hip people now using the wildly popular Facebook social networking service!

If you're not on Facebook yet, would you like to know how to find friends, become popular, get people to check out your services, attend your teleseminar, etc.? Of course, the answer is "Yes!," right?

If you are already on Facebook, would you like to learn how to use it to find friends, fun and even fame?

So newbies and veterans alike, get a Facebook education!

Join me — for free — on March 24 at 3 p.m. EST on my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show. You can listen live or later.

Get details now on my Gab With The Gurus Blog here.

Also, stay tuned for 2 more social networking shows — March 31 is a hot Twitter show with gurus galore and a LinkedIn show is on April 7.

Got any ideas for experts for the LinkedIn show?

We need your help. My wonderful new Gab With the Gurus Associate Producer Meghan Walker and I can't do it all ourselves.

Send suggestions for LinkedIn speakers now.

Tell your friends now about the Facebook show, which they can listen to live or later. For details, send them to http://tinyurl.com/FacebookForAll-GabWithGurus

BlogTalkRadio.com Founder & CEO Alan Levy Joins Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio on Thursday

On Thursday, at 1 p.m. EST on the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show, you’ll have a chance to hear Alan Levy, CEO and co-founder of BlogTalkRadio.com, the groundbreaking social-broadcasting Internet platform that allows thousands of us to happily, easily, painlessly host radio shows on the Web.

It will be very exciting to hear Alan chat about how he conceived of the idea for this "democratized environment" (his words), which allows 3,000 hosts to broadcast live, call-in shows online.

Alan also will share about how he founded this unique platform in August 2006 with Bob Charish while mourning for his father’s passing.

Meanwhile, Alan — who hosts the popular Alan Levy Show — will tell you would-be radio hosts out there that you don’t have to be someone like Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern to be a host on

All you need to have a radio show, he says, is "just… a phone and a vision." BlogTalkRadio, he says, lets you be "be a citizen
journalist" who speaks "what’s on your mind."

Tune in Thursday to the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show to hear CEO/founder Alan Levy chat about the amazing BlogTalkRadio.com and how he envisions it becoming "the largest social broadcasting platform in existence."

By the way, if you just look all around the Internet, and you’ll find all kinds of stories about BlogTalkRadio.com and about Alan.

For instance, here’s one article about how bloggers are becoming radio hosts. Here’s another about how anyone can be a radio DJ.

Hope you join us Thursday — or at least afterwards, at your convenience. 

Learn to Write How-to Articles To Get Credibility, Visibility & Clients In a Teleclass On May 21 or Afterwards

  • Do you yearn for quick visibility and recognition in your new career as an author, entrepreneur or holistic health counselor?
  • Worried because you don’t know how to write?
  • Want to nab some new clients and fans, who will come to you out of the blue – well, out of cyberspace – with minimal effort on your part?
  • Can’t consider expensive advertising?

No problem. You can easily promote your expertise and land clients by writing how-to articles. Don’t know how? Fret not. Writing stories like these isn’t as tough as you’d think! That’s if you get some good guidance.

I’m here to help you get writing help now.

Here’s how: Art_joanstewart_framedI’m presenting a teleclass, "How to Write How-To Articles to Get Credibility, Visibility & Clients," on Mon., May 21 at 2 p.m. EST with one of my mentors.

The teleseminar will be taught by Joan Stewart, a.k.a. “The Publicity Hound,” with a little input from me.

FYI, this How to Write How-To Articles teleclass will be the first in a series of programs that I’m presenting to help fellow authors, holistic health counselors, entrepreneurs and others, who want to develop their marketing prowess and build their platform.

"Publicity Hound" Joan Stewart — who I first met at a conference two years ago – will give you lots of valuable information in this How to Write How-To Articles teleclass.

Don’t worry if you’re busy May 21. You can still listen to our teleclass after the fact, because you can download an audio replay or MP3..

In this How to Write How-To Articles teleseminar, Joan will tell you how to easily write a simple 600-word article that explains to your target audience how they can solve a particular problem.

FYI, Joan (like me) is a former newspaper editor. More importantly, she’s now a real pro at using articles as a valuable marketing and publicity tool. Her articles – which you can find all over the Internet – bring lots of traffic to her website, including customers who buy her information products and services. Not only that, but her stories bring her dozens of requests from editors, publishers and bloggers, who want to reprint her articles.

In this 60-minute telephone seminar, you will learn:

  • How writing articles can bring you fame and fortune even if you don’t know how to write or you don’t like to write.

  • How to identify your target audience. (If you don’t do this before you start writing, then you’ll be just wasting your time.)

  • How to know which topics to write about so your articles attract the greatest number of readers possible.

  • Tips for writing kick-butt headlines that pull in readers like a giant magnet.

  • Why editors, publishers, online article directories and bloggers are hungry for your articles.