For Action Conference 2014 Speaker Lineup

Most of the For Action Conference speakers are in place and ready to roll. I’ve been working hard this week to secure their contracts (there’s a lot to these things, trust me). They’re flying into Colorado Springs in January to teach 50 young adults how to successfully build their own platforms to ultimately impact their world.

For Action Speakers

I’ve been blogging about the For Action Conference for the past week, but I haven’t posted the purpose of the conference till now. The purpose of the For Action Conference is why the speaker lineup is so important. The purpose is:

To teach young people — primarily through the example of successful role models — crucial next steps in their path into business, charity and higher education, to ultimately maximize their impact on the world.

It is “through the example of successful role models” that drove me to seek out these speakers. I wanted to find examples — really good ones — of individuals who successfully broke out on their own. You look into their lives and you think, “Yeah…they have it together.”

More than that: I sought speakers who were actually impacting the world for its own good. These people may be making good money or a good name for themselves, but much more importantly is that they are making the world a better place for their fellow mankind. Their hearts are genuinely bent toward Christian goodwill and compassion for others. They’re generous with their ideas and eager to model to others the joy they have found in their good work.

This is the next level for talented young people, a level too many fail to climb. The For Action Conference attempts to give attendees a leg up to the action that is destined for them. You’ll want to be there — and I bet you can think of a young person who should be there, too — in January at Focus on the Family for the For Action Conference.

Check out the awesome lineup we have so far…

Return on Your Investment

The base cost of the For Action Conference is $179, and lodging is not included. Add airline and hotel costs, you’re talking perhaps a several-hundred-dollar expense, a fair estimate. Quite an investment, I know.

Focus on the Family

If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Is it worth it?” In the business world, we look at our expenses through the lens of “return on investment.” With a little thought on ROI, a businessman can save quite a bit of money and effort when considering expenses.

If you are a young person considering the For Action Conference, or if you are an adult who wants to sponsor a young person you know, I bet you’re thinking along the lines or ROI. There are some givens. You (or the young adult you know) want to…

  • Make an impact on the world.
  • Take full advantage of the next few years of your life.
  • Avoid mistakes that others commonly make.
  • Network with leaders who have similar ambitions.
  • Connect with a “band of brothers” to learn and grow together.
  • Be trained in fundamentals that will help you succeed.
  • Enjoy Colorado in peak skiing season.

There may be other reasons you’re considering the For Action Conference. From my perspective, I’m throwing in every resource I’ve got to make this first For Action Conference a tremendous value for the investment. I have three huge ROIs that you will most definitely feel from your attendance.

Background of the For Action Conference

When people ask for an explanation of what the For Action Conference is, I direct them to the landing page. When registration opens on Sunday, September 15, there will be a lot more information. For now, this page should explain what Training Minds Ministry is up to.

The 2011 Debate Title Winner was an alumni. He's shaking things up in college now. I want more stories like his.

The 2011 Debate Title Winner was an alumni. He’s shaking things up in life now. I want more stories like his.

“Just give it to me straight,” someone asked me. “Give me the background…why is Training Minds doing this?”

Ah, yes. There is background. And it may surprise you. But when I tell you it, you’re going to totally relate.

5 Similarities in Your ‘For Action’ Speakers

I’m so excited I can barely stand it. We have perhaps the most exciting speaker lineup for the For Action Conference, the best of my 12 years of running events. This is my newest event January 2-4 at Focus on the Family. I have been working on this hard for at least a year (the idea has been several years old) building the best speaking/coaching team I could come up with, and I don’t think I could have asked for a better team.

Registration opens on Sunday, and I can't wait to tell you who is there to teach you.

Registration opens on Sunday, and I can’t wait to tell you who is there to teach you.

The For Action Conference is a new Training Minds event that attempts to “train minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13). It is very different from my debate camps. Rather than training young people to succeed in speech and debate competition with a set curriculum and practice rounds, the For Action Conference brings the “action” to the next level. Intended for 16-24 year olds, the For Action Conference teaches fundamental strategies for building businesses, starting ministries, and doing college right. It consists of three days of workshops taught by modern-day successes of business, ministry and higher education, all meant to launch the attendees into a most successful future.

Sound exciting? Check out the speaker lineup here. When building the speakers list — which takes phone calls, emails, long conversations, etc. — I found five very similar responses in all of the speakers.

I Learn and Love Every Time I Go Hunting

Whether or not you’re a hunter, you may appreciate this post about my first of two planned bow hunting weekends this month. I didn’t harvest an animal, but I have a pretty decent story. I always come back with a story, as well as lessons learned—this time three specific lessons to chalk up for next time.

Our first trip in for bow season was awesome, though we need to stick to the trail next time.

Our first trip in for bow season was awesome, though we need to stick to the trail next time.

Lydia, Micah and I are the ones that really dove into this sport (the other teens are sticking with rifle). It’s a big commitment. Last year we sunk a lot of money into gear, so we had a lot already this year. We decided this year to expend our preference point in archery, not rifle, and go hunting in the same Game Management Unit as our rifle season, a GMU that has one of the largest elk herds in the country. I missed going hunting here in 2011 when I had a health issue that kept me from hunting that year, but the kids knew the area well. We have been planning two trips out: a 2-day excursion opening weekend, plus a 4-day excursion later in the season. Lydia bought a bow (she borrowed one last year just to see if she would have interest), and we stocked up on new arrows.

Forgive me, this may be TMI. All this to say: we’re committed, we’re invested, and we’re stoked. Back to my story.

The Most Important Step to Communication

We’ve all witnessed breakdowns in communication. Someone says something regrettable or hurtful, writes an editorial or email that makes matters worse than before, communicates something that isn’t helpful or persuasive. I know I’ve found myself in communication breakdown, and sometimes I realize it’s me that is the problem.

My son Josiah at a small chess tournament at a book fair.

My son Josiah at a small chess tournament at a book fair, giving thought to his next move.

I prepared a lesson yesterday for my writing class that explained why we take the time to study the process of writing. I listed the logical progression of what most of us derive from “communication.” We have the following things in mind:

  1. Writing. Get your thoughts on paper.
  2. Speaking. Get up in front of people and speak.
  3. Communicating. Engage people and dialogue.

It’s sort of a progression, opening up healthy methods of engaging the world around us through writing, speaking and communicating. This makes sense, doesn’t it?

But there is something missing in what we assume to be healthy communication, and it’s really, really important.

The A-B-Cs of 3,930 Pages of NEW Content

I am so incredibly blessed to announce the end of my publishing cycle. More than ever before, my company Monument Publishing published 3,930 pages of new content in 2013. Incredible!

All 2013 publications are now available at

All 2013 publications are now available at

If you have your foot in the speech and debate world — Stoa, NCFCA, and NFL included — you’re bound to be served in some capacity from Monument Publishing. We’ve been producing resources for this audience since 1998, the longest in the homeschool market, and we are stronger than we ever have been.

Not JUST Speech and Debate

My speech and debate club had its open house last night. About forty people showed up for information on how to get involved with what I call the “homeschool sport.” I’d like to share a perspective with you on why I think everyone should be involved in speech and debate.

Jesse is one of my coaches, but he's doing much more than "just" coaching.

Jesse is one of my coaches, but he’s doing much more than “just” coaching.