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In 2004, Desi was inducted into the National Speakers
Association's CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, where he joined such notable figures as President Ronald Reagan, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, General Colin Powell, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. CPAE stands for Council of Peers Award for

Admission into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame is a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism. Inductees are evaluated by their peers through a rigorous and demanding process. Each candidate must excel in seven categories: material, style, experience, delivery, image, professionalism and communication. Admission is based upon a unanimous decision from all members of the CPAE selection committee. The award is not based on celebrity status, number of speeches, amount of income or volunteer involvement in NSA.

To date, 186 men and women have been inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. Up to five new inductees are named each year at a gala celebration held in conjunction with the NSA National Convention. There are currently 146 living members of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame.

National Speakers Association CSP award logoIn 2001, Desi received the coveted CSP award which is the highest earned designation by the National Speakers Association. Of the thousands of speakers, there are less than five hundred and fifty who have earned the CSP designation.

The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, conferred by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers, is the speaking profession's international measure of professional platform skill.

The CSP designation is earned through demonstrating competence in a combination of standards:

  • Professional platform skills;
  • Professional business management;
  • Professional education; and
  • Professional association.

Speakers must be members of NSA or another IFFPS organization for at least three years and complete a rigorous application process to earn the CSP designation.

Professional speakers who have earned the CSP designation bring a proven track record of experience and expertise to your meeting.

As speakers go through the five-year process of becoming certified, they are required to:

  • Receive excellent ratings from past clients on performance evaluations;
  • Demonstrate that they serve a wide variety of clients;
  • Take part in ongoing education;
  • Perform and document hundreds of presentations;
  • Submit testimonial letters from their clients; and
  • Provide samples of their promotional materials.

What Do People Who Hire Speakers Say About the CSP?

"When I see the CSP designation, I recognize it as the hallmark of a speaking professional who has met the impressive and high expectations required to earn the certification."

Nancy A. Woolever, PHR
Society of Human Resource Management

"When I have a choice of a speaker who is a CSP or not, I will select the speaker who is a CSP."

Michelle Lemmons Poscente, President
International Speakers Bureau, Inc.