The Value of the
What is the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation? It is a symbol of an incredible accom- plishment. It is a
milestone on a long and often bumpy
journey. It is the dues that professional
speakers pay to join a wonderful tribe
of colleagues. It is a selling point and
a differentiator. It might even be the
mechanism that forces speakers to look
at their business models, and build on
what works and abandon what doesn’t.
An interesting conversation erupted
in the CSP Group on LinkedIn in
response to this question: What did
you learn on your way to achieving
the CSP designation?
After commentaries on getting cheer-
leaders, using forms, hiring a virtual
assistant, and being clear with clients
about what they can do to help speakers
succeed, someone interjected, “I learned
that nobody outside of NSA cares.”
That comment prompted an ava-
lanche of responses, including stories
about winning contracts based on the
designation, especially when a competing
speaker was not a CSP. A few members
said that Asia-Pacific countries hold the
designation in high regard, and it was a
factor in being selected to conduct work-
shops and deliver speeches.
But that was just the beginning.
Arnold Sanow, MBA, CSP, is glad that
potential clients are unaware of the des-
ignation’s meaning. When he explains
the stringent accreditation process, they
are duly impressed. Standing for excel-
lence is always admired.
How to Earn Your CSP
To qualify, you must be an NSA member for three consecutive years at the time of
application and provide five years of information on your speaking business. For an
online application, visit www.MyNSA.org. Application deadline: Jan. 12, 2011.
Marcia Reynolds, CSP, MCC, speaks globally on leadership topics and coaches top talent employees in making big decisions and building
important relationships. She is the author of
Wander Woman: How High-Achieving
Women Find Contentment and Direction
and Outsmart Your Brain. Visit http://