Way back in the 1970’s when Bill Gove and Cavett Robert and others believed professional speakers should have a voice, the National Speakers Association was born. In the beginning, they didn’t encourage chapters but Conni Gordon and Lily B. Moskal, who were bunkmates during WWII and members of NSA, believed in spreading the influence of such a prestigious group to more areas than just main headquarters. After a bit of persuasion, NSA permitted the Florida Speakers Association to be formed in 1980…helping develop NSA into the international group it is today.
Lily B. became the first President of the Florida Speakers Association (1980-1981) as Conni’s global bookings prohibited her availability. Besides Bill Gove, others who helped along the way at that time were Robert B. Moore, Rosita Perez, Dr. Gayle Carson, Sam Edwards and others. They increased awareness of our chapter through news releases, radio interviews, and mailing our first FSA directory to countless agencies. Conni made the time to become our 2nd President I 1981-1982 with Gayle following her – for two consecutive terms! With Conni at the helm the second year, she began the tradition of bringing guest speakers from outside to Florida to increase our professionalism and educate members as to types and sources of helpful aids used to conduct business. She has continued to support the Florida Speakers Association in every way possible for nearly 35 years! In 2013, the Conni Gordon Speaker Academy was named in her honor.
“It was the beginning of something great and we knew it.”
Dr. Gayle Carson, CSP
Carson Research Center
History of the National Speakers Association
In 1972, Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, envisioned a forum where speakers could convene to improve their presentation skills, increase their business, and exchange ideas and share experiences with their peers. He felt that everyone involved in the speaking profession would benefit from growing the number and quality of professional speakers, which he referred to as “making a bigger pie.” His vision became a reality in 1973 when the National Speakers Association was born. From 100 members in 1974 to thousands today, the National Speakers Association has become the premier organization for speaking professionals.
To continue the National Speakers Association legacy of sharing and giving, November 14th, is recognized as the Annual Spirit of NSA Day, a national day of advocacy encouraging NSA members to support one another. Every November 14 serves as a reminder to NSA members to:
- Focus on giving back
- Provide genuine support to speaking colleagues
- Take time to connect, help, mentor or refer business to other members without any expectation of reciprocation