I remember attending my first National Speakers Association (NSA) convention in 2000 and being blown away by the wealth of talent and expertise in one place. The National Speakers Association (NSA) is the leading organization for professional speakers… in the world. The opening general session on Sunday morning featured the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) Ceremony, a special award presented to NSA members who had achieved a certain level or distinction in their professional speaking career. As a brand new member of NSA, I was so intrigued to learn more about what these people had accomplished. In all honesty, I was sitting in the audience thinking, “I wonder if I could do that?” That was five years ago.
Today I walked across the stage to receive my own CSP designation… and it took five years of work to get it! Like any other designation, the CSP is a badge or indicator in the speaking profession that an individual measures up to a standard set by a trusted authority.
My good friend Brad Montgomery, CSP explains it this way, “Just because I have my CSP doesn’t mean that I’ll make more money or book more clients next year (although it doesn’t hurt). This award is mostly for me because I proved to myself that I could meet the difficult criteria and join a group that represents the top 1% of speaking professionals in the world. Also, I get to wear a medal and my kids think I cool… for the first day… and then I’m a dork.”
Since 1973, NSA has provided resources and education designed to advance the skills, integrity and value of its members and the speaking
What does CSP mean?
The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, conferred by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers, is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform skill.
The CSP designation is earned through demonstrating competence in a combination of standards: Professional platform skills, professional business management, professional education, and professional association.
Speakers must be members of NSA or another GSF organization for at least three years and complete a rigorous application process to earn the CSP designation. For more information, visit NSAspeaker.org.