CNNMoney Recommends NSA

Summary: In this CNNMoney article titled, “What to do with $1,000 now!” the writers recommend joining NSA’s Academy for Professional Speaking to help polish your presentation skills and further your career. The Academy is ideal for aspiring speakers who want to learn how to be a paid, professional speaker. Academy members will learn how to develop marketing, product development, authorship and presentation secrets; and will be able to network with their peers, as well as those at the top of the profession. There are no requirements to enroll and you can cancel your membership at any time. You can be an Academy member until you qualify for Professional membership at NSA.

Article: By Beth Braverman, Carla Fried, Anne C. Lee and Donna Rosato –

Polish your presentation skills

Knowing how to effectively communicate ideas to your boss and clients can expand and extend your career.

Just starting out? Cover the basics at the Academy for Professional Speaking, run by the National Speakers Association.

For $600 a year, plus an initial $175 fee, you can attend local and online workshops on effective public speaking, delivering presentations, and working with new technology. Then join Toastmasters ($192 a year) to learn the art of making witty impromptu remarks.

Take your skills to the next level. Lessons with a private speech coach run $100 to $200 an hour. In five to 10 sessions you’ll learn how to command an audience, make Q&A look easy, and use tools such as PowerPoint, says executive coach Jill Bremer.

For help finding a coach, reach out to your network via LinkedIn and choose someone who works with clients in your field and at your level.

Learn how to think on your feet. Study improv. “Some of the most successful businesspeople I know have taken an improv class,” says DHR International executive recruiter Craig Randall.

The Olympic Improv Training Center in Chicago offers three levels (sessions run for eight weeks, one class a week), from the basics to group presentations. Cost for all three: $825.