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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

NSA was founded by Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Chairman Emeritus Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, died.

NSA celebrated its Silver Anniversary in Philadelphia.

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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