Professional Speaker Academy – Is it for you?

professional-speaker-academyAlways wanted to take the stage as a professional speaker?

In 2006, I had the dream to build out a career as a public speaker. Although I’d been speaking professionally for many years, I wondered what it took to get booked to speak on bigger stages.

So, I signed up for NSA Illinois’ Speaker Academy. Along the way I learned from the best in the business about how to run a speaking business – on and off stage. This spring, it’s my pleasure to be one of the Speaker Academy Deans, along with Amy Simatos and Beth Mund. I’m excited to watch a new class grow as we go backstage and learn from superstar speakers.

Presented by professional members of the National Speakers Association Illinois Chapter, Speakers Academy provides valuable information aspiring professional speakers need to launch a successful career in the public speaking business. Designed by professional trainers, the 24-hour program offers the “inside track” on how to launch and grow a successful speaking business.

Classes begin on March 3, 2018 at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. For more information and to apply, visit

At every session, students will learn the inside out from the best speakers in the business.

Speaker Academy Goals: From Student to Stage to Entrepreneur

NSA Illinois’ Speakers Academy focuses on how to develop and market to people at corporations, associations, and organizations who hire—and invest in—keynotes, workshops, consulting and training.

Students will learn how to:
• Refine business plans
• Increase visibility
• Create a fee schedule
• Craft marketing strategies
• Develop profitable products
• Improve platform skills

NSA Illinois Spring Professional Speakers Academy 2018 Curriculum

Location: Technology Center College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Dates: Saturday March 3 & 17 | April 7 & 21 | May 5 & 19
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuition: $795.00

Each session covers essential information, ranging from improving platform skills to marketing and running your business. Participants will be equipped with the tools they need to succeed as professional speakers in today’s ever-changing market.

Session 1 – Introduction, Professional Awareness and Topic Development
Students will identify their core area of expertise and discover how to define and refine topics for target audiences.

Session 2 – Sales and Marketing
Success in the speaking business depends upon one’s ability to market services. This session covers positioning, the importance of the sales cycle, and marketing techniques to get booked.

Session 3 – Professional Development, Presenting and Performing, and Platform Mechanics
Developing speaker skills includes commitment to the profession, the art of presentation skills, and the logistics of speaking from the stage. Learn about everything from “owning the room” to managing the microphone.

Session 4 – Managing Your Business
While someone can be great on stage, what happens behind the scenes drives success. Understand how to set up and maintain the business side to take speaking from a hobby or sideline into a profit center.

Session 5 – Authorship and Product Development
Giving a speech is only one way professional speakers build their businesses. Books, workbooks, CDs, webinars, and workshops are among the array of ways to generate profits by expanding your platform.

Session 6 – Putting it All Together / Graduation
Time to take a bow! You’ve gone through the 10-module workbook, heard from top-notch speakers in 24 hours of classes! Now, it’s time to take the stage and make a speech. Class concludes with a graduation celebration with NSA Illinois board members, Certified Speaking Professionals, faculty, and guests.

To apply to attend Speakers Academy, visit

Professional Speaker Academy Deans

Amy Simatos helps entrepreneurs and businesses improve profits with the latest sales and presentation skills strategy from her decades of Fortune 50 experience. She is also international speaker specializing in inspirational keynote delivery.

Barbara Rozgonyi is a speaker, consultant and founder of CoryWest Media, LLC, a strategic marketing consultancy that attracts attention, builds brands, and connects communities in three dimensions: digital, direct, and dynamic via the WIRED PR works system.

At Motorola, Allstate, and United Airlines, Beth Mund worked to convey complex technical information to a wide variety of stakeholders, including the public and media. As an educator, Beth mentored students on successful communication strategies, including interviewing, writing, and speaking skills for new job placement, workplace environments, advanced degree acceptance programs, and has inspired them to communicate with confidence.

About NSA Illinois. . .
A local chapter of the National Speakers Association [NSA], NSA Illinois is dedicated to advancing the art and value of those who speak professionally. NSA Illinois seeks to create a professional and supportive environment where speakers can develop their speaking business, improve their skills, and network with peers who are interested in everyone’s mutual success. Board members: Jill Morgenthaler – President, Lynne Franklin – President Elect, Vickie Austin – Past President, Bill Guertin, Amy Segami, Sima Dahl, Wayne Messmer, Barbara Rozgonyi, Carl Seidman, Haydn Shaw, and Amy Simatos. For more information, visit

Have questions? Wondering if the professional speaker academy is right for you? Let’s talk! 

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