There are those who say that the most important element in a successful meeting is having the right speaker. We wholeheartedly agree! And from our perspective, the right speaker is a professional speaker.
When considering a professional speaker, you can be assured of their qualifications as they will provide you:
- Details on the subjects they speak on
- List of the types of presentations they give (seminar, keynote, etc.)
- Outline of a presentation customized to your audience
Click below to see details on professional speakers from this chapter of NSA.
- Speaker Qualifications
- Why Hire a CSP?
- 10 Tips for Finding the Right Speaker
- NSA Professional Code of Ethics
Our speakers must meet stringent requirements
Our NSA Kentucky speakers must conform to stringent requirements as a professional speaker in addition to signing a Professional Code of Ethics. When you hire one of our members you will find they make time to understand your audience, they do their backgrounds and deliver a program to achieve the results you are looking for. They have the necessary knowledge to make your meetings even more successful.
The NSA Kentucky Chapter follows the Professional Competencies adopted by the NSA and to be mastered by Association members.
The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation is earned through a combination of professional association, professional education, professional performance and professional business management standards.
A CSP brings a proven track record; it will make your job easier!What Is CSP?
The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, established in 1980 by the National Speakers Association (NSA), is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform skill. CSP is conferred by the US-based National Speakers Association and by the National Speakers Association of Australia only on those who have earned it by meeting strict criteria. The letters CSP following a speaker’s name indicate a speaking professional with proven experience who understands what is required and knows how to deliver client satisfaction.
Why Should You Hire a CSP?
It will make your job easier! The success of your meeting will be judged largely on the caliber, professionalism and appropriateness of the topic and presenter(s) you select. Choosing a CSP maximizes your opportunity of providing a speaker with a message that will focus, elevate and enhance the mission of your meeting and stick firmly in the memories, attitudes and action plans of your attendees.
How Many CSPs Are There?
Less than 10% of the speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation. The membership of the International Federation for Professional Speakers is comprised of professional speaking associations worldwide. CSP is the international standard that these associations agree represent competence in the speaking profession.
What Benefit Does a CSP Bring to Your Meeting?
A CSP brings a proven track record of continuing speaking experience and expertise. CSPs are committed to ongoing education, outstanding service and ethical behavior. CSPs offer wide varieties of approaches, topics and styles. Only you can determine which speaker will best fit your needs. A Certified Speaking Professional provides a solid place with which to begin your search.
What Are the Criteria?
Every CSP must…
1. Maintain membership and subscribe to the Code of Professional Ethics.
2. Serve a minimum of 100 different clients within 5 years.
3. Present a minimum of 250 professional speaking engagements within this same 5-year period.
4. Submit testimonial letters from clients served.
5. Submit professionally prepared promotional materials.
6. Receive excellent ratings from past clients on professional performance evaluations.
7. Continue education in the professional speaking field.
NSA, a member association of the International Federation for Professional Speakers, is dedicated to advancing the art and value of experts who speak professionally. The International Federation for Professional Speakers provides nearly 5000 members with the resources and education designed to enhance the talent, ethics and business acumen of professional speakers. The CSP Certification is an indication that you are booking a committed professional who has a history of success with many audiences.
10 Tips for Finding the Right Speaker
The most important element in a successful meeting
Your speaker selection is one of the most important elements in a successful meeting. Selecting the right speaker for your meeting can be a daunting task, as speakers are available in every fee range and specialty topic. The National Speakers Association, comprised of more than 3,000 professional speakers, has compiled these tips to help make your meeting a success.
1. Determine the needs of your audience
Thorough knowledge of the needs of your group is essential in selecting the right speaker. Does your meeting require that the audience leave with specific or technical information? Do you need someone to motivate the group to sell? Are you looking for after-dinner entertainment with a message?
2. Establish your date, time and budget
Start looking for a speaker as soon as the date for your meeting is set. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance and you will want to get on their calendar as soon as possible.
Consider how much time you have to fill and where that time falls in your overall program. If your time slot is flexible, a professional speaker can often tell you the right amount of time for the job. A professional can also make recommendations about the order of topics/speakers if one presentation will follow another. (You may not want to follow a humorist with a detailed educational presentation.)
Factor in the fee you are willing or able to pay for a speaker. Your search for a speaker can be narrowed or broadened based upon your budget.
3. Identify the type of speaker who will best match the needs of your audience
A speaker’s expertise in a given field may be the big draw, but a well-known name does not guarantee a professional presentation. High prices don’t always mean high quality. Will your audience and the overall program benefit most from a celebrity; an expert in the field; a popular sports personality; a best-selling author; or a professional speaker who has a thorough knowledge of the appropriate topic?
4. Locate your resources
Personal referrals are a great way to narrow your search. Ask colleagues for recommendations.
Speakers bureaus locate and book speakers according to your specifications and needs. A bureau can locate speakers and quote fees. Many bureaus specialize in particular speakers such as celebrities, authors or athletes. Speakers bureaus can often be found in your local phone directory under “Speakers Bureau” or “Agent.” You can also use the internet to find bureaus. Try the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) or Marketplace NSA.
Click here to jump to a The National Speakers Association’s Online Directory of Professional Speakers. This directory contains information on more than 3,000 speakers and can be searched by topic, keyword, location, name and so on.
5. Review your options and interview your speaker candidates
A professional speaker will be a real partner in this process. Often they will ask questions about the needs of your audience and what they can accomplish for you. Ask your candidates for references and, if they are speaking in your area, ask if you can attend the program and observe them in action.
Assure that a potential speaker has addressed groups similar to yours. Talk with them about their experience. Ask for a biography, testimonials and videos of their presentations, preferably before a live audience.
Find a speaker who will tailor his or her presentation to your group.
Ask the speaker if they belong to professional associations. Also ask what awards or certifications they have earned. The National Speakers Association’s designation is the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). The CSP is earned for extended speaking experience and client satisfaction. You might also choose a member of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. Click here for more information on the CSP designation or the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame.
6. Select your speaker
Hire a professional and you’ll hire an ally. Professional speakers understand that your reputation is riding on their performance. Their experience with hundreds of audiences can add to your peace of mind and to the success of the event.
When selecting your speaker, consider that you are not only paying for the time the speaker is on the platform but also for the hours spent researching, preparing and customizing the presentation. Some speakers may negotiate their fees when they are doing more than one program for you or when they are allowed to sell their products. Ask about your options.
7. Get it in writing
You should have a letter of agreement or contract that clearly outlines the expectations of both you and your speaker. Consider:
8. Work with your speaker
Share information about your group or company. This will help the speaker become familiar with your organization, while facilitating a customized presentation. Send your newsletter or anything which would include key people, buzz words or insider news and views.
Give the speaker a clear outline of what you expect. Be specific about the size and demographics of your audience. Let the speaker know in advance about other speakers on the program. This gives the speaker the opportunity to build on (and not duplicate) what the other speakers say.
9. Set the stage
Make sure the room is set up for optimum impact. Consider the number of chairs and how they are arranged. Also consider room temperature and lighting. Stay on schedule. Although a professional will be able to “make up” time or slow things down if needed, keeping your program on schedule will allow your audience to get the full impact of the program you have created for them.
Your speaker should be able to provide you with a good introduction of themselves and their topic. The introduction should be short, energizing and create positive expectations.
10. Evaluate the results
Have your audience complete evaluations on the speaker and his/her presentation. This will allow you to gauge your results and plan for future programs. Send copies of the evaluations to your speaker. The National Speakers Association stands ready to help you with the most important element of a successful meeting—finding the right speaker. Although we do not book or recommend specific individuals, we’re pleased to answer any of your questions. You can phone NSA at 480-968-2552, or send us an e-mail.
Code of Professional Ethics
To establish and maintain public confidence in the professionalism, honesty, ability and integrity of the professional speaker is fundamental to the future of the National Speakers Association, its members and the profession of speaking.
To this end, members of the Association have adopted and, as a condition of membership, subscribe to the Code of Professional Ethics. By doing so, the members give notice that they recognize the vital need to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in the profession of speaking.
Members of the National Speakers Association are dedicated individuals sincerely concerned with the interest of all who come in contact with the profession. For this purpose, every NSA member subscribes to this Professional Pledge:
I pledge myself to honesty and integrity; to pursue my profession and education to the end that service to my clients shall always be maintained at the highest possible level.
I pledge myself to seek and maintain an equitable, honorable and cooperative association with fellow members of the Association and with all others who may become a part of my business and professional life.
I pledge myself to comply with the National Speakers Association as set forth in its Bylaws and this Code of Professional Ethics.
The NSA member shall accurately represent qualifications and experience in both oral and written communications.
The NSA member shall act and speak on a high professional level so as to neither offend nor bring discredit to the speaking profession.
The NSA member shall exert diligence to understand the client’s organization, approaches and goals in advance of the presentation.
The NSA member shall avoid using materials, titles and thematic creations originated by others, either orally or in writing.
The NSA member shall share knowledge and experience with others.
The NSA member shall treat other speakers with professional courtesy and dignity.
The NSA member shall limit services to those areas in which the member is qualified to serve, taking into consideration available opportunities for the member to develop new materials or undertake new fields. When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for presentations, the NSA member shall make every effort to recommend the services of other qualified speakers, agencies or bureaus.
The NSA member shall maintain the trust of clients, and fidelity concerning the business or personal affairs of a client, agents and other speakers who may reveal confidential information.
The NSA member shall protect the public against fraud or unfair practices and shall attempt to eliminate from the speaking profession all practices which bring discredit to the profession.
The NSA member shall not be a party to any agreement to unfairly limit or restrain access to the marketplace by any other speaker, client or the public, based upon economic factors, race, creed, color, sex, age, physical handicap or country of national origin of another speaker.
Violations of the obligations of this Code shall be determined in accordance to the Bylaws, policies and procedures of the National Speakers Association. Disciplinary actions shall be instituted by the National Speakers Association in accordance with Bylaws and Rules and Regulations established by the Association. Any such disciplinary action shall be final and binding upon the NSA member and without recourse to the Association, its officers, members or staff.