National Speakers Association

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National Speakers Association
National Speakers Association logo.png
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersTempe, AZ
  • Tempe, AZ
Region served
Mary Lue Peck

The National Speakers Association (NSA) is a US based association that supports professional speakers.[1] It is the oldest and largest of 13 international associations comprising the Global Speakers Federation.[2][3]


NSA was founded in 1973 by Cavett Robert who was born 14 November 1907 in Starkville, Mississippi and died in September 1997.[4] Even though Robert suffered from stage fright in his younger years, he joined Toastmasters International and went on to receive his first paid speech at the age of 61.[4] Cavett's idea for NSA began with 35 attendees of the Phoenix Summer Sales Seminar in 1969.[4] He incorporated the National Speakers Association on 12 July 1973. In July 1979, Robert was honored with NSA’s first Member of the Year Award, later renamed “The Cavett Award.”[4][5] In honor of Robert's birthday, NSA celebrates the "Spirit of NSA" day every 14 November.[4]

The association launched the Academy for Professional Speaking in January 2004 to teach those exploring a career in professional speaking.[4] The Academy consists of eLearning and the one-day Cavett Institute, named after NSA founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.[6]

Organizational structure and operations[edit]

NSA has its national office in Tempe, Arizona, and 34 regional chapters throughout the United States.[7] NSA's professional competencies were adopted in June 1985 and continue to drive all facets of NSA today. These competencies are known today as the four E's: Eloquence, Expertise, Enterprise and Ethics.[4] In January 1991, the NSA moved into the new headquarters building at 1500 South Priest Drive in Tempe, Arizona.[4]


National Speakers Association membership is available only to paid professional speakers and they need to provide required proofs and documents for it.[8]


NSA holds an annual national convention every summer featuring successful speakers in the industry, such as Steve Forbes, Sally Hogshead, Erik Wahl, Nancy Duarte, Walter Bond, and Penn Jillette.[9] NSA's first Convention was held 1 June 1975 with 62 attendees gathered at the Scottsdale Camelback Inn.[4]


NSA holds labs throughout the year featuring a deep-dive on speaking business, marketing and eloquence topics to help professional speakers grow their business and improve their speaking skills.[10] NSA's first lab was held 30 April 1994 at the International Center for Professional Speaking.

Local and regional chapters[edit]

The 35 individual chapters are led by an elected president and a board of directors. Chapters usually hold monthly meetings featuring a speaker and networking time. Nationally, NSA has a Chapter Leadership Council composed of past presidents who serve as resources and volunteer consultants to current chapter leaders.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame[edit]

In February 1977, the Association established the Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) Speaker Hall of Fame. This lifetime award was created to honor the organization's top professional speakers for their speaking excellence and professionalism. Inductees are evaluated by their peers on the different criterias.[17] As of 2015, 232 men and women have been inducted; there are currently 172 living members. The association conferred an honorary CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame award on General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) in 1999, D. John Hammond in 2007, and Joe Larson in 2012.[17]

Certified Speaking Professional[edit]

Conferred by the Association, the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform competence.[18][19] In 2015, NSA recognized 51 professional speakers, the largest class of individuals to receive the designation at the Annual NSA Convention.[20]

Speaker Magazine[edit]

NSA also publishes a magazine 10 times annually in print and digital formats for the marketing strategies, tips, information and innovative ideas from professional speakers. NSA's magazine was rebranded and renamed to Speaker magazine in January 2007. A year later in June 2008, Speaker magazine went digital. In 2013, NSA launched and introduced a mobile application [4]


NSA has published following books

  • Paid to Speak: Best Practices for Building a Successful Speaking Business. Greenleaf Book Group. 2011. ISBN 9781608321407.[4]
  • Association (U.S.), National Speakers (2012). Speak More!: Marketing Strategies to Get More Speaking Business. Greenleaf Book Group. ISBN 9781938416026.[4]
  • National Speakers Association: Celebrating 40 Years of Conventional Wisdom, describing the history of the National Speakers Association, highlighting the individuals, events, initiatives and programs involved in the association's growth and influence was published in July 2013.[21]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ Mark Lewis (16 February 2010). "Podium Dreams". Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Mission -". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. ^ "The Art and Business of Motivational Speaking". Inc. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "NSA Interactive Timeline". NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  5. ^ Mathis, Jim. "Living With Spirit". Cavett Robert Memorial Website. Jim Mathis. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Academy for Professional Speaking". Aspiring Speakers. NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Find NSA Chapters". NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Qualification Information". Qualification Information. NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  9. ^ "INFLUENCE 2019". NSA. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  10. ^ "NSA Labs". NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Chapter Leadership Council". CLC. National Speakers Association. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ Cox, John B.; Radwan, Susan S. (27 January 2015). ASAE Handbook of Professional Practices in Association Management. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118775394.
  13. ^ Incorporated, Facts On File (1 January 2008). Careers in Focus: Coaches & Fitness Professionals. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438117348.
  14. ^ National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations. Taft Group. 1 January 2000.
  15. ^ Harris, Philip M. (1 January 2001). The Guide to National Professional Certification Programs. Human Resource Development. ISBN 9780874256321.
  16. ^ "Hospitality Net - Cancellation fees, Smaller Meetings, and Shorter Lead-Time - By David M. Brudney". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Recognition". National Speakers Association (NSA). Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "Certifications". NSA. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ Arnone, William J.; Kavouras, Freida; Nissenbaum, Martin (16 November 2001). Ernst & Young's Retirement Planning Guide. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780471083382.
  20. ^ "Celebrating Greatness: The National Speakers Association's Highest Honors". NSA. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  21. ^ "NSA Books". NSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  22. ^ "NSA Announces 2012 CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame Inductees". Member News. National Speakers Association. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  23. ^ "Zig Ziglar Bio". Zig Ziglar Bio. Zig Ziglar. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)