4-5 Manage Industry Certifications (CSP/NSA)

Many speakers seek certifications in order to validate their speaking credentials with established communities and to market their speaking and other products or services. Associations use certifications to create excellence and to recognize their members who have established certain benchmarks in their businesses.

The National Speakers Association

The National Speakers Association (NSA) is the leading organization of professional speakers. NSA has 4,000 members in 37 state and regional chapters throughout the U.S.

The NSA has created the Certified Speaking Professional Designation (CSP) to show professionalism as a speaker in these areas:
* Professional platform skills
* Professional business management
* Professional education
* Professional association

To be eligible for certification, the speaker must be a member of NSA for at least a year and have attended at least one NSA educational event, such as the annual conference. It is important to make sure the speaker does these two things so they won’t be surprised when they are ready to turn in their paperwork.

There are minimum requirements for numbers of presentations and annual fee income. The application also requires 10 testimonials from different clients and there is an application fee ($187.50 in 2014).

There is a lot involved in becoming a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). The place to go on the web for all CSP_Spreadsheet_Template.xls.

There is only one time per year to submit an application for work completed in prior years and that is in mid-January. The certification lasts for five years and the renewal date is August 31 in the renewal year.

The VSA’s role is to create a process and to actually organize information in the speaker’s office so that the speaker can more easily comply with the rules and regulations of the certification process.

The submission must be done in a particular way and the NSA has provided a CSP Spreadsheet Template and Sample showing the spreadsheet filled out the right way. This spreadsheet (and the requirements) may change, so make sure and see the website for the most current forms.

The VSA can fill out the spreadsheet with what the speaker has done so far and then after every speech, put the information about that speech as it relates to the certified speaking professional format in that document. Because it is a running document, it allows the speaker to decide when they have enough speeches for the fee level that they need. Then that list can be submitted quite easily.

International Speaker’s Associations

Here are some of the major international speaker’s organizations:
Canadian Association for Professional Speakers
National Speakers Association of Australia
Professional Speaking Association of the United Kingdom

Other Related Certifications

The International Coach Federation has a certification for coaches that many speakers are involved with.

Next Steps

Button - how to guide

Are you feeling stuck?

Go to our Speakers Facebook page to ask your question and get a good answer.