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NSA History

In 1972, NSA's founder, Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, came to the realization that he was spending more to get bookings than he was earning from them. He wanted to create a forum for speakers to improve their skills, increase their business and network with their peers. Cavett had a vision for an organization where professional speakers could convene to improve their presentations, exchange ideas and share experiences. He felt that everyone involved in the speaking profession would benefit from growing the number and quality of professional speakers. He referred to it as "making a bigger pie."

NSA has since grown to more than 4,000 members representing 23 countries and has become a major player within the meetings industry.

Milestones Along the Way

1973
NSA was founded by Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.

1976
NSA's first Convention was held in Phoenix, Ariz. The June meeting featured 189 speakers.

1977
The Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) was established. The CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame® honors professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform performance.

1979
The first Member of the Year award was given to Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.
Now known as the Cavett Award, it is NSA's most cherished award and reflects outstanding credit, respect, honor and admiration on the Association and the entire speaking profession.

1980
The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation was established. This designation recognizes a commitment to ongoing education, proven speaking experience and ethical behavior.

1981
The NSA Foundation and the Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF) were formally established. NSA's Code of Professional Ethics was adopted and made a condition of membership.

1984
Voices of Experience, an audiocassette program featuring interviews with leaders in the speaking profession, was established.

1992
NSA's newsletter, SpeakOut, became Professional Speaker magazine, a publication covering trends, issues and perspectives about the professional speaking profession.

1997
Chairman Emeritus Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, died.

1998
NSA celebrated its Silver Anniversary in Philadelphia.

2000
NSA enters the future with a renewed commitment to servicing the needs of the expert who speaks professionally and raises the bar on membership requirements

     
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