Scott is the proud recipient of the following honors.
2014 Lifetime Achievement
After working as an events coordinator for a show productions company and in sales and marketing for a printing company, Scott Friedman found his calling as a professional speaker 28 years ago. Along the way, he has served as president of the National Speakers Association and helped create meaningful organizations such as the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado, International Association of Speakers Bureaus/National Speakers Association Council, Global Speakers Summit and Together We Can Change the World.
“The work he is now doing in Asia is very impressive and is recognized by industry leaders as an incredible bridging of cultures”, says Gary Schirmacher, who nominated Friedman. “Scott is an accomplished author and has written books that help readers to bring humor into their professional and personal lives”.
As a motivational humorist, Friedman speaks more than 80 times a year, with 30 percent of his time spent in Asia and other global locations. Just back from a trip to Singapore, we caught him in Golden for a brief Q&A.
CO M+E: What motivates you to get up and do your job every day?
SF: Life is one long holiday for those who love their work. I love my work. I wake up every day with gratitude and passion to learn more. I love the opportunity to make a difference and collaborate with good people. Loving what you do makes all the difference in the world.
CO M+E: How did you get into the meetings and events industry?
SF: Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, encouraged me to become a speaker. Being a collaborator and connector, it seemed natural for me to plan events and meetings and bring like-minded people together.
CO M+E: What advice do you have for up-and-comers in the industry?
SF: Collaboration is the new competition. Look for ways to leverage your relationships. Always come from a place of what can I give not what I can get and your life will be filled with abundance.
2013 The Cavett Award
Since it was established in 1973, NSA’s strength has sprung from its Co-Founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE. His love, encouragement, generosity and wisdom embody the spirit of NSA today and continue to guide the association as it grows in number and diversity.
Humility, generosity and teamwork are just a few of the qualities Cavett possessed and in fine professional-speaking style, expressed so eloquently. Cavett once said to NSA Past President Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, “You guys have done so much more with this (NSA) than I ever imagined”. The truth was that NSA members have simply built upon the legacy that he humbly established for us.
Likewise, Cavett displayed an uncanny ability to inspire others and share his wisdom and expertise. “A desire to help others is our most noble attribute; it gives immortal momentum to life and is our only certain path to heaven”, he would say. Hence, the Cavett Award, the highest award bestowed by NSA, was created to celebrate and honor those members whose careers demonstrate the spirit of sharing, guiding and inspiring other professional speakers.
The Cavett Award is NSA’s most cherished award. It is presented annually to the member whose accomplishments over the years have reflected outstanding credit, respect, honor and admiration in the Association and the speaking profession and whose actions (in terms of sharing, guiding and inspiring other members) most closely parallel the illustrious career of our Founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.
2013 Meeting Industry Leadership
The Rise Award
As reported in Meeting Professional International Spotlight Magazine.
The RISE Award for Meeting Industry Leadership was presented to speaker and author, Scott Friedman, CSP. As founder of the Global Speakers Summit and Meetings Industry Council of Colorado, speaker Scott Friedman, CSP, based in Golden, Colo., has played a major role in bringing together meeting industry professionals both inside the U.S. and around the world.
Friedman has also made giving back a major focus of his work as a founder of Together We Can Change the World, a group through which professional speakers help fundraise, promote education and build sustainability in orphanages in Southeast Asia.
A motivational humorist and author of Celebrate! Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Admired Corporations, he has spent much of his career since the mid-1980s traveling the globe, bringing a blend of amusement and business savvy to speaking engagements at major organizations.
With his international work often bringing him in front of human resources professionals in Asia, Friedman has a passion for learning about new cultures, so he can ensure relevancy in his presentations.
“Being a motivational humorist, I have to find the laugh buttons of the different audiences,” he says. “The three things that make a difference to any international audience are authenticity, vulnerability and humility. If you have these things, you can pretty much relate to any audience”.
A desire to build similar bridges to meeting professionals around the world prompted Friedman to establish the Global Speakers Summit—first held in Singapore in 2005, with 300 speakers from 20 countries. Friedman, who had been working in the region since 1998, saw it as the ideal setting to bring global speakers together as the Asian market was heating up.
The event aims to help the speakers connect, collaborate and improve their business models and is now run by the Global Speakers Federation. It has been held in Dubai, Cape Town and Amsterdam and will be in Vancouver this December.
Friedman’s global travel exposed him to the considerable poverty in Southeast Asia, and in 2007 he co-founded Together We Can Change the World with singer Jana Stanfield, who was also doing frequent business in Asia. The group raises money to support non-governmental groups that serve women and children in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Speakers who get involved travel to the countries and provide services such as training for local business organizations or holding a fundraiser for an orphanage.
“It was something we wanted to do because of our love for the countries of Asia”, Friedman says.
Friedman says he was quite humbled to receive the RISE Award, especially being nominated by industry professionals he looks up to and calls the award luncheon during MPI’s 2013 WEC a great production.
“It was so exciting to have the industry that has provided me such a great life recognize my contributions”, he says. “And how thrilling to have my parents there to see it live and on the big screen. After such a wonderful ceremony and honor, I’m compelled to make a bigger difference in the world”.