Providing you with the team to create your individual success!

Providing you with the team to create your individual success!

CSP Application Assistance

Speakers frequently 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, 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:

If you are a member of NSA, 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. There is a link at the end of this page if you’d like to schedule a free consultation with Kate Holgate who has completed 39 successful applications as of 2021 - more than anyone on the planet. (No… really! Where are the people from the Guinness World Records?)

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.

"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

Criteria changes (if any) will be announced in September 2021

All criteria below are based on criteria that was in place for the 2021 application period. 



  • In the TEN years immediately prior to the year in which you are applying (2011-2020 for 2021 applications):

    • You must have delivered a minimum of 250 Presentations for which you received a fee or same-day product revenue (or both)
    • Presentations must be at least 30 minutes in length and must be delivered live but can be delivered in person or virtually 
    • NSA requires that the audience contain at least 3 people; there are limitations (25%) to the number of presentations that were delivered to audiences of 3-14 people.
    • NSA allows presentations made by salaried employees and adjunct faculty (there is a formula that must be used to determine your speaking fee as 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; if more than 25 percent of the time is spent entertaining i.e. singing, dancing, juggling, auctioneering, etc.; recorded presentations.
    • You must attend at least one NSA National event
    • You must download the Professional Competencies Session, Professional Business Ethics Session, and How to Earn Your CSP.   Please note that only the virtual programs specifically developed for the Class of 2021 will qualify.  A post-test will follow each of the three sessions and must be successfully completed (pass/fail) before advancing to the next stage. To access the recordings, visit NSA MEMBER LOGIN  Once you log in, click on the MY LEARNING button to access the CSP educational recordings and assessment course. 
  • Within your ten year window, choose ANY five years:

    • Regardless of how many years you include in order to reach your 250 presentations, there must be at least five years during which you earn a minimum of $50,000 each year in total revenue - this can be combined speaking fees, salary and/or same day sales of products and services
    • 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
  • One year prior to your application submission:

    • You must have uninterrupted national membership in NSA or in one of the GSF member associations between January 11, 2020, and January 12, 2021

GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Put your membership on auto-renewal and keep your payment method current. Lapsed membership (even for one day) will cause your application to be rejected. Lapsed membership after receiving your CSP will prevent you from being able to renew.


    • Verification – NSA verifies the information on the presentation spreadsheet, your uninterrupted membership, and attendance of the required sessions, 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 approved


For 2019, NSA received 51 applications; 42 of which earned their CSP.  (We don't have the statistics for the 2020 application year yet). Kate has submitted more CSP applications than anyone on the planet - 37 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.)


    (submitted via email to NSA):

    • Presentation Spreadsheet
    • You may be asked to submit a business model after your Presentation Spreadsheet is received

    (submitted online through the NSA website):

    • Month/Year you joined NSA
    • Link to your unedited YouTube Video (not Vimeo, etc). Submitted video duration is 30-45 minutes in length. The video can be unpublished but it cannot be private. The audio must be continuous but you can use a multi-camera shoot that reflects camera changes as long as the audio is uninterrupted. Delete any introduction; that does not count toward the minimum time. Make sure your video represents you at your best. Videos that do not successfully demonstrate platform skills, expertise, or ethics are the most frequent reason for application denial. 
    • Statement of completion of required CSP sessions 
    • Personal Contact information & Credit Card information
    • Applicants no longer need to provide the names of two speakers to serve on the review panel of their video. NSA now provides all reviewers. 

    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 2021, there are two video options:

    Option 1 - submit two 30-minute videos
    Option 2 - submit one 60-minute video

    Videos can be raw footage, unedited, and show an audience. Long introductions of you as the speaker do not count toward the 30-minute or 60-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.

    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

    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 


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


    Your CSP must be renewed every five years to remain active.  In the five years between receiving and renewing your CSP you must:

    • Have maintained membership in national NSA with no lapse whatsoever in membership
    • There is a $200 Administrative fee payable to NSA when you renew.
    • 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
      • Chapter Membership earns you 1 Credit per year up to a maximum of 4 Credits
      • Presentations you give at a Chapter Meetings (45-minute minimum) - 2 Credits per presentation up to a maximum of 8 Credits
      • Listening to and/or Viewing Convention/Workshop/VOE CD’s DVDs - .25 Credits per (1 credit for four CDs/DVDs) up to a maximum of 4 credits (for 16 CDs/DVDs


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

  • You maintain active, uninterrupted NSA membership and
  • You are more than 60 years of age and
  • You have renewed your CSP at least once


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.

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 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 13, 2020 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, you will have run data sorts to ensure accuracy, you will have gathered all of the support material, written your business model (if it is requested by NSA), uploaded your video and all you need is for someone to look over your Presentation Spreadsheet for accuracy and do a final analysis and then bless it. Once we have looked it over, made changes and finalized it for submission, we will return it to you and you will be the one who submits the online portion and email portion of the application to NSA. Once the application has been returned to you for submission, our interaction ends.

Final materials received by:

Nov 1, 2020: Early Bird rate: $85.00 per hour
Nov 2 - Dec 1, 2020: $95.00 per hour
Dec 2 - Dec 31, 2020: $125.00 per hour
Jan 1 - Jan 5, 2021: $150 per hour
Jan 6 - Jan 11, 2021: $175 per hour subject to availability

If you would rather have the full assistance experience - whether you need data entry, consultation on best practices about how to contact former clients, assistance with creating your business model, etc. we have an initial retainer fee starting at $750. This retainer fee covers up to 10 hours.  Please keep in mind, 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 (yes, I speak from experience).

We take a much more hands-on approach in this option and we will be the ones who will submit everything to NSA. Because Kate has submitted so many applications, NSA has come to expect high standards from her.  

Our retainer depends on when we initially receive the bulk of your materials, signed agreement, and payment.  Dates for the 2022 Application fee schedule will be posted here in September after we receive the new criteria from NSA.

By 11/1/20 - Early Bird rate $750.00 $750.00
Between 11/2 - 12/1/20 $850.00 $750.00
Between 12/2- 12/31/20 $1050.00 $950.00
Between 1/1- 1/5/21 Quoted on request $1150.00
Between 1/6 - 1/11/21 Quoted on request $1350.00
Do you have Questions?
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