Thom Winninger is the past President of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the recipient of the prestigious CPAE award. I first met him when he was speaking at a Realtor® event in Minneapolis. I was taken with his strong content and humorous delivery. I thought that this is a guy who could be a mentor to me sometime. I saw him speak at other real estate events over the years.
In 1995 I joined NSA and connected with him again. He took me under his wing and taught me everything he’d learned about the speaking business. He helped me with topic development, business planning and marketing. His depth of knowledge on this business is endless and he offers sage advice whenever I needed.
Early in my career I was at a critical juncture: should I branch out into general sales or stay in the real estate industry. This was a major decision for me so I called Thom for advice. We had a long lunch over which he presented the challenges and time required when he moved into general sales. My conclusion was that it would cost me five years to make the move and I would gain very little. I was known in the real estate industry, I enjoyed what I was doing and all my product development skill was in real estate training products.