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CSP Application Assistance

Speakers often ask me:  "Why should I apply for my CSP?"

My answer is:

If you speak to certification-granting organizations or industries, you should apply for your CSP.

If you want to attend NSA CSP-only learning opportunities, and social media platforms and you want to be included in eSpeakers’ CSP only directory, you should apply for your CSP.

If you want to let meeting planners know that by hiring you, a CSP, they are getting a speaker with a proven track record of experience and expertise; a speaker who has earned the highest designation in the speaking profession, you should apply for your CSP.

So my question to you is:

Why WOULDN’T you apply for your CSP?




This is an overview of the requirements and process to apply for your CSP. There are additional strategies we can talk about, and you are likely to have questions. Kate has submitted more applications than anyone on the planet, so you’ll be in good hands.

TL:DR – Too Long, Didn’t Read. If all of this information is too overwhelming, just book an appointment at the link below. Kate offers every potential applicant a no-cost, no-obligation 30 minute call.

What this overview addresses are the requirements and processes – this does not address your platform skills which are an extremely important part of the application.

It is also recommended that you visit the NSA website for any additional clarification.

Kate Holgate has completed more CSP applications than anyone on earth

January 10, 2024

“Don’t even bother to do this without Kate Holgate. She’s the bombdiggity. Kate is a CSP savant and has special Jedi powers that will change the game for you. The force is with her.”

~ -Jerome Wade, CSP 2017; the Epic Advantage; Extraordinary Performance, Intentional Culture ~



  1. In the TEN years immediately prior to the year in which you are applying (2014-2023 for 2024 applications):

    • You must have delivered a minimum of 250 Presentations for which you received a fee or same-day product revenue (or both). Unpaid or very low fee presentations do not qualify.
    • Presentations must be at least 20 minutes in length and at least 75% of content must be your own spoken word.
    • 25% of submitted presentations can be delivered to audiences between 3-14 attendees. 75% of submitted presentations must be delivered to 15 or more attendees.  Audience counts of 3-14 have to be indicated on the spreadsheet; audience members of 15 or more do not need to be indicated on the spreadsheet.
    • NSA allows presentations made by salaried employees and adjunct faculty (there is a formula that must be used to determine your speaking fee as a salaried employee/faculty; we can help you with that).
    • Podcasts, webinars, teleconferences, videoconferences, and/or hologram sessions qualify only if the number of live viewers is known and documentable.
    • SESSIONS THAT DO NOT COUNT: Emceeing; coaching; radio or TV broadcasting; Board and manager meetings; Vistage Chair facilitation; or if more than 25 percent of the time is spent entertaining i.e. singing, dancing, juggling, auctioneering, etc.
    • You must attend at least one live NSA or GSF National event.
    • You must view the Professional Competencies Session, Professional Business Ethics Session, and How to Earn Your CSP educational sessions. This process will take approximately 3-4 hours.


  2. Within your ten year window, choose ANY five years:

    • You must include a minimum of five years in which you earned at least $50,000 in revenue for each year.
    • Years do not have to be consecutive and you can include more than five years as long as you have five years that reflect at least $50,000 in revenue each. Many applicants need more than 5 years to meet both their total number of presentations and revenue.

MEMBERSHIP – Membership in NSA is no longer required to apply for your CSP. Members do get discounted application fees.



    • Verification – NSA verifies the information on the presentation spreadsheet then…
    • Evaluation – If you pass the Verification process, you will receive the survey link to send to your evaluators, then…
    • Review – If you pass the Evaluation process, your video is reviewed, then…
    • Notification – You’ll be contacted by NSA advising whether or not your application has been put forward to the next phase.


For 2019, NSA received 51 applications; 42 of which earned their CSP.  (I don’t have the statistics for the 2020-2022 application years but I understand that half of the 2022 applications did not make it through because of their video). Kate has submitted more CSP applications than anyone on the planet – 42 have been successful. (Of the ones rejected, six were because of the video, one was rejected due to a lack of verifiable presentations, and two because of a lapse in membership during the time that membership was a requirement.)

Application Components

  • Presentation Spreadsheet
    While the vast majority of the applicants I assist with this process earn their CSP designation, most of those who don’t, are declined because of their video. Your video represents your best work. If you are a keynoter, submit a video of your keynote. If you are a trainer, submit a training session. Videos that do not successfully demonstrate platform skills, expertise, or ethics are the most frequent reason for the application not being put forward to the next phase. 

    For the Class of 2024, there are two video options.

    For Option 1, submit two 20-25 -minute videos.
    For Option 2, submit one 40-45-minute video.

    Videos can be raw footage, count toward the 20-minute or 40>45-minute limits. It is essential that the individuals reviewing your video can see and hear you speaking. The audio track must be easily understood.

    The audio track must be continuous with one exception: You may cut audience portions if you make a statement on the video, note this in the description section when uploading your video to YouTube, and indicate that the camera and audio will be off while the audience engages in an exercise. For example, if you give directions to the audience, such as, “You have 10 minutes of work time,” then cut back in when you say, “It’s been 10 minutes. Let’s discuss your work.” Making note of audio cuts avoids the chances of your video being disqualified and dispels any questions of possible ethics violations.

    The visual portion may be shot using multiple camera angles to show the speaker, the audience, and the slide deck or other visual aids if the audio is uninterrupted.

    While not a requirement, you should consider adding a slide at the beginning of your video giving context: I was speaking to 25 people at a sales meeting, or I was speaking to 1,500 people at an annual membership conference.  Something that will give the reviewers an idea of the type of audience you were presenting to. 


    Non-English speakers must provide a written transcript in English of the audio track. Videos will be reviewed by speakers of your language whenever possible.

    You may ask a seasoned speaker (or two) to review your footage prior to submission but beware of asking friends and new CSPs. The first can be too generous and the latter can be too harsh. Choose seasoned CSPs who can be direct and offer constructive feedback.

    Remember NSA’s Four E’s:

    • Expertise – knowledge, skills, and experience
    • Eloquence – the art of speaking
    • Enterprise – the business of speaking
    • Ethics – principles governing the conduct of members
  • INFORMATION GATHERING: For each event on the Presentation Spreadsheet you must have:

    • Presentation Date
    • Company Name (no acronyms – unless, like IBM, their name is common knowledge)
    • Contact Name, Email Address, and Phone (current at the time you last worked for them)
    • Evaluator Name and Email Address for the people who have agreed to return the evaluation survey (must be current at the time you submit the application). This person can be the same as the person listed in the contact column, but if you are regularly booked by bureaus who would be listed under the contact section but who don’t actually see you speak, the person who contracted with the bureau would serve as your evaluator if they saw you speak
    • Presentation Topic
    • Fee or Salary Received** (if listing a Bureau event, list the gross fee the Bureau booked you for)
    • Total of any revenue from same-day back of room sales
    • Indication if the presentation was virtual; separate indication if delivered to an audience of 3-14 attendees

      **If you are including speaking done as a salaried employee/adjunct professor, there is a formula to use to determine your per-event speaking fee. We will discuss this if it is applicable.


Evaluators MUST “be familiar with your work and hold the decision-making authority to hire you for future presentations.”  They cannot simply be an audience member. 

We work with our applicants to create a strategy using the evaluation process to reconnect with their former clients.

If 20 responses are not returned by the deadline, your application will be rejected. This is why we recommend including at least 30 evaluators.

    • $375 – First-time new application fee 
    • $100 – Resubmission fee
    • $200 – Renewal fee
  • RENEWING YOUR CSP: Your CSP must be renewed every five years to remain active.  In the five years between receiving and renewing your CSP you must:

    • Earn 24 Education Credits by attending the Annual Convention or Workshops, Winter Meetings, Labs and/or Summits. You can mix and match events and activities to reach your 24 Education Credits. Each event/activity is assigned a different number of credits; for instance:
      • National Convention, full registration – 8 Credits per year
      • Winter Conference, Media Lab, and Tech Lab, full registration – 4 Credits each per year
      • CSP/CPAE Summit – 8 credits
      • Chapter Event Attendance – 1 credit per event, up to 12 credits annually
    • Complete the CSP Applicant Oath
    • Pay $200 administrative fee


Lifetime CSP status is granted if you meet all three requirements:

  • You are more than 65 years of age or older
  • You have renewed your CSP at least once
  • You have completed the CSP Applicant Oath


Each speaker’s application process is different. Some need us – a lot – and want us to handle all data entry and they send us their paper calendar, paper invoices, and address book or (hopefully) links to information online and they want us to submit the application. Sometimes NSA requests a written business model. If your speaking model is different, then it’s good to go ahead and provide it. Others have completed the data entry in either eSpeakers or on a spreadsheet and all they are looking for is an experienced eye to look over their application and return it to them so they can submit it.

Depending on the option you choose below, we are responsible for:

  • Verifying your membership with NSA before proceeding with processing
  • Consulting with you and/or your staff by phone and/or email as often as needed to discuss the process, the criteria, as well as answering your questions 
  • Performing any data entry as needed and making certain that all information entered by us and/or by you/your staff meets NSA criteria
  • Compiling, generating, and analyzing all required components; providing NSA with a criteria overview
  • We will work with you on best practices and will provide email templates you can use when contacting your clients and evaluators prior to the submission of your application
  • If you are a retainer applicant, we will email all required components and submit the online portion of the application to NSA on or before the January 10, 2022 deadline. This is dependent on your providing information to us on the timeline below
  • Being available after submission to answer any questions you or NSA may have about your application
  • Continuing to assist you, if needed, after submission through notification.


The best option for you is to get your materials, the signed agreement, and payment to us by November 1 so you can take advantage of our early-bird rate.  After November 1, the amount due is based on the date we receive the materials. When materials are received, we will invoice you based on that date; the invoice is payable via ACH securely through our system.

OUR FEES: Because speakers can need different levels of assistance, we offer two options:

In this hourly option, you and/or your admin staff have mad spreadsheet skills and are extremely detail-oriented. In this option you do ALL of the data entry. Kate will run data sorts to ensure accuracy; you will have gathered all of the support material, written your business model, uploaded your video, and completed the online CSP Oath. Once we have looked it over, made changes, and have finalized it for submission, we will return it to you for confirmation before we submit it to NSA. If you need assistance after submission, we will invoice you every 30 days at the original hourly rate. 

If you choose the hourly option, upon signing the agreement, we will send you an invoice for a deposit equivalent of 2 hours time (e.g. $190) to be paid via ACH through our secure online invoice. The remainder of the time spent on your application will be invoiced upon submission to NSA. 

Final materials received by:

Nov 1, 2024: Early Bird rate: $95.00 per hour
Nov 2 – Dec 1, 2024: $105.00 per hour
Dec 2 – Dec 31, 2024: $135.00 per hour
Jan 1 – Jan 5, 2025: $165 per hour
Jan 6 – Jan 9, 2025: $205 per hour subject to availability
Jan 10, 2025: Go ahead and buy me a Lamborghini. Seriously, if I can help you I will, but the rate for that date begins at $300 per hour and increases depending on what time you get me your materials and how complete your materials are. I have worked as late as 2:30AM EDT on the deadline date to ensure an ill-prepared speaker still got their application in on time (they received their CSP that year!).  I really hope to not do that again!.

If you would rather have the full assistance experience – whether you need data entry, consultation on best practices about how to contact former clients, leveraging potential evaluators into repeat clients, assistance with creating your business model, etc. we have an initial retainer fee starting at $775.00. This retainer fee covers up to 10 hours.  We speak from experience when we say that if you need us to do data entry and you send us your presentation information on separate invoices, contacts on individual Outlook V-cards, etc., and presentation topics on post-it-notes, it will take longer than 10 hours and you will be billed at the hourly rate above based on the date of the hourly shortfall.


Our retainer depends on when we initially receive the bulk of your materials, signed agreement, and payment

With Data Entry Without Data Entry
By 11/1/24 – Early Bird rate $775.00 $775.00
Between 11/2 – 12/1/2024 $875.00 $775.00
Between 12/2- 12/31/2024 $1075.00 $975.00
Between 1/1- 1/8/2025 Quoted on request $1175.00
Between 1/9 – 1/10/2025 Quoted on request Quoted on request