The National Speakers Association’s (NSA’s) website, www.nsaspeaker.org, is a smart place to start the search for a professional speaker.
There, using the options in a section called “Find a Speaker,” meeting planners can glean a great deal of information about NSA’s 3,000 speaker members.
Meeting planners can search for speakers by name, areas of expertise, industry experience, professional designation, chapter membership and home state, and by keywords such as the title of a book or a presentation.
Although the “Find a Speaker” option has long been a part of the NSA website, it is always being upgraded and improved, according to Andrea DiMickele, NSA’s marketing manager.
“With the number of options we have now, you can really drill down your search,” she said. “There are so many ways to drill down: by what they are experts on or have experience in or by their professional designation, for example.”
The search possibilities under “Expertise” have been greatly expanded.
Some 140 areas of expertise are currently listed, from accountability to youth/children.
About 10 new areas of expertise are added each year, mostly the result of meeting planner requests.
Another way to narrow the field of speakers is to search for those who have earned their Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. About 10 percent of NSA members have their CSP, the speaking industry’s equivalent to the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional).
“These people have proven they are above and beyond; they’re at the top of the game,” said DiMickele.
Even more prestigious are the 151 speakers named to the CPAE Hall of Fame. On average, five speakers each year are inducted into the hall of fame. “They are considered the best of the best,” said DiMickele.
Meeting planners who can’t afford to fly speakers across the country can use the Traveling From search option to find speakers who live near the city where their meeting is being held.
Another feature, added last year, allows planners to see where speakers are appearing for the next 18 months, which could allow them to book a speaker who is already in town for another appearance.
The “Where in the World Are NSA Speakers Today?” link on the NSA home page takes planners to a calendar that shows where speakers are speaking. Speakers’ schedules are posted to the master calendar when they update their personal calendars on their NSA profiles.
Those profiles are packed with good information about each NSA speaker member.
A basic profile includes a photo of the speaker, the speaker’s full contact information, company name, website and email address; the speaker’s areas of expertise and professional affiliations; and a summary of the speaker’s work and examples of their presentations.
Many speakers also include sample videos, links to social media, testimonials from clients, samples of magazine articles, white papers and other publications and biographies. The profiles can be printed or shared.