Earlier today, I told my subscribers about my intention to train more leaders in public speaking. I will write a series of books. The second one is about delivering persuasive speeches and the first one will help people become a more confident speaker.
It is getting dark now. And I was about to get inside the house when I thought of writing about speaking certification.
I have a lesson to share with you today. I hope you’ll appreciate this.
Here’s a follow-up article: 15 Benefits of Being a Certified Professional Speaker.
Public Speaking Certification
Do you want to become a Certified Speaking Professional?
In 2006, when I started my motivational speaking career, I wondered if earning the designation would help me get more clients. It is common for people who are just starting to think that adding acronyms after their name will boost their confidence. And I was thinking the same way too, in 2006.
But the one giving it is the National Speakers Association of the US of A. It was a long shot.
Toastmasters International was also a good opportunity. You can become an Accredited Speaker. If you are a sought-after expert who has excellent public speaking skills, you can apply. Applying does not guarantee membership. One has to pass the criteria which includes having 25 speaking engagements (clients). I am not sure if someone from the Philippines has applied.
But both awards from NSA and Toastmasters are good credential builders.
When you are a certified speaker, an organization vouches for your ability to deliver. From this perspective, the designation is not given so you will have more clients and become more confident.
The CSP designation and the Accredited Speaker recognition are for your prospective clients. Both tell prospective clients that you’ve been tried and tested by your peers, and you have the most important requirement: many clients.
Let me rephrase that. The CSP designation is not a way to get more clients; getting more clients is a way to get the designation.
A Public Speaking Certification Is For Clients
Frankly, a client does not really need a certification that says you are a public speaker. A public speaker is someone who speaks to a crowd.
But it helps if clients know that you are a professional speaker and a respected organization can vouch that you have more than 25 clients who paid for your speeches. And they will know that because it is one of the criteria for giving the designation.
That means the organizer won’t have to worry about their money. They’ll only concern themselves with knowing whether you are the right speaker for them.
Joining a two-hour webinar will not make you a professional speaker. I saw an ad on Facebook. It promises to make you a certified public speaker. You will get a certificate too. Your clients are wise enough to know that a Speech Power certificate is better than that.
Attending a two-week training program on speaking won’t cut it. You had speaking opportunities before learners like you, but they did not pay to hear you. Even if you get an acronym, what you are really getting is a certificate of completion.
I am not saying that the program is useless. But it is not the kind of certification you need.
Clients are smart. They’ll do their research.
If your intention is to get the certificates, join Toastmasters. Many of the great speakers I know learned much from Toastmasters. There are many competencies you can learn which none of the Filipino organizations can provide. The organization has a robust program on speaking and leadership.
But even Toastmasters recognize that in order for you to be an Accredited Speaker, it is important for you to have clients.
Get More Clients
Getting more clients is the solution to becoming a professional speaker. Get more clients. They don’t have to be paying clients, but getting paid is not bad at all.
Consider what you are good at. And then find the group of people who need your ideas and solutions. You will be amazed by the number of organizations that are looking for public speakers who can teach life-changing ideas.
Offer your services to colleges. Speak in Rotary and similar organizations.
A Genuine Public Speaking Certification
I am hoping that an organization can provide a reliable, defensible, and trustworthy certification. Perhaps, PMAP and PSTD may initiate that. These are trustworthy organizations.
Or perhaps, I will start a public speaking academy that provides opportunities for experts to master delivering speeches that people can’t unhear. I will also help them run their public speaking business.
But that will take a lot of work. And that’s not what gives me joy these days. But I am not closing my door to that opportunity because we need more high-impact speakers in the country. Most of them are people we don’t know yet.