The idea of creating a truly global entity for the professional speaking business began evolving around the late 1980s. An initial exploratory meeting held at the NSA Dallas Convention in 1989 clearly identified the challenges involved in finding a mechanism that would address the concerns of autonomy, resources, consistency and commarderie for professional speaking associations around the world.
Federation Leaders Sign Original Agreement, 1997 Anaheim, California
A breakthrough meeting between then-NSA president-elect Patricia Ball, CSP, CPAE, and Warren Evans, CSP, at the 1995 NSAUS Convention sketched out the conceptual format of what became the Global Speakers Federation. Both Ball and Evans had long shared a vision of a truly international organization, and sensed that, while there was no shortage of skeptics, there were others in international leadership positions that shared this vision. The timing was right to identify the way to make it happen.
Patricia Ball, CSP, CPAE committed to being a driving force within NSA during her presidential term, identifying other supporters (including Jim Rhode, CSP) to explain the concept and highlight the advantages to the NSA Board.
Over the next two years, in concert with committed visionaries such as David Price, CSP, in Australia and David Sweet in Canada, they refined the concept, resolved issues, and moved the process forward. Warren Evans, CSP drafted the final proposal and presented it to the NSAUS Board during the 1997 NSAUS Convention. Its passage marked the completion of the journey from vision to reality.
During that 1997 NSAUS Convention, the U.S.-based National Speakers Association (NSAUS) became a partner in the formation of an umbrella organization created to support the growing importance of the speaking profession globally. By making its resources available to existing international associations for professional speakers, NSA is able to enhance the value of those association memberships, encourage the formation of new associations for professional speakers, and set the benchmark for platform excellence worldwide.
The Boards of Directors of the first four Federation member countries—Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States—approved the formation of the Federation in July 1997. The Federation officially launched in January 1998.
“NSAUS has cemented its position as a preeminent resource in the speaking profession worldwide,” says founding chair of the Federation Executive Council, Warren Evans, CSP. “The Federation has extended the reach of NSA’s printed and audio publications, which are now being enjoyed by hundreds of additional speakers in member associations. At the same time, strong, independent national associations in other countries evidence the maturing significance of our business. The Federation creates numerous opportunities to enhance professionalism, grow markets and improve businesses.”