Saturday, December 13, 2014

What is the CSP and What Should Event Organizers Know About It?

Since earning the CSP designation in July 2014 (Certified Speaking Professional) I have witnessed several people roll their eyes, scoff, and dismiss the importance of the certification.  I am always shocked when people knock things that are important to others, especially when they do not really understand what they are saying.  We live in a world where personal opinions trump facts in the minds of many.

Mostly these jabs come from other speakers who are not part of the National Speakers Association and do not qualify for the designation.  One person recently told me "NSA and the CSP don't matter to anyone.  Meeting planners don't care if a speaker supports their industry groups".  

Huh?  Meeting organizers and association executives are the ones who care the most.  Many conferences are hosted by associations, and many of those who work for these groups have achieved their own CAE and CMP designations.  

These professionals do care about (and respect) those that have earned their own industry designations (like the CSP).  We work in an industry that is made up of many areas of business (associations, organizers, hoteliers, catering, transportation ,etc.. ), and there is much respect between the different industry groups that make up the meetings industry. 

While it is true that a speaker wont be passed over for not having a designation or belonging to NSA, many planners applaud those who are committed to the dedication it takes to earn such a certification.

A quick search showed 23 certifications that can be earned by professionals who serve in and around the meetings, association and hospitality industries (there might be even more).  These include the CMP, CAE, CPCE, CSP, CRME, CHA, CFBE, and the CGMP.  All of these are bestowed on those who are committed to excellence in their portion of the industry. 

Why should anyone care about the CSP?  Does it mean one speaker is better on stage?  


Speaking an art form, thus it is too subjective to judge without seeing a presentation.  So what the CSP shows is an individual who is committed to the profession of speaking and thus the meetings industry.  It highlights professionalism and longevity, which are too things that are hard to quantify from a website or brochure.

I am proud to be a member of the National Speakers Association and to have earned the CSP.  I work hard to help promote the organization and this designation.  I see no harm in adding this to the list of accomplishments in decade long speaking career!

As we launch into the new year, I am self-proclaiming January 2015 as "Promote the CSP Month" and I am challenging the other 600+ professional speakers who proudly hold this designation to do something to educate others about this wonderful certification.  

If you want to know more about how to find someone with the Certified Speaking Professional designation (and what it really means to you), reach out the the NSA at

Have A Great Day

thom singer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Thom -

I think this is a great reminder that industry initials DO mean something. Please don't forget about CTP from the National Tour Association and CTC from the Travel Institute :)

Michael (CTP, CTC)