National Speakers Association’s “Stumble” Opens Door for a New “Society of Speakers” ™ to Launch

New Group Focuses on Needs of Professional Speakers

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2014 – To better meet the interests of professional speakers, a new association called the Society of Speakers™ is being formed.

“Professional speakers’ voices are not being heard by associations claiming to represent their interests,” said Mitchell P. Davis, CEO of the International Platform Association® (IPA), which is facilitating the launch of the group, but will not play a role in day-to-day operations. “Speakers have unique issues that cannot be addressed by associations that try to be everything to everyone.”

Further fueling the need for the new group was the widespread disenchantment from members of the National Speakers Association (NSA) who protested a proposed name change to “Platform,” and the acknowledged use of the “Platform” brand by others in the speaking industry. NSA announced they would not use the name “Platform” shortly thereafter.

Shep Hyken, the NSA president, called the name change a “stumble, ” in his video announcing the rollback.

The resulting furor from NSA members who posted hundreds of messages on social media sites revealed the flaws in NSA’s organizational structure, including the policy flaw in governance that members do not directly select the board of directors, officers or president.

Mr. Davis said “I was flabbergasted NSA would attempt to usurp our ‘Platform’ brand. When NSA members began joining our association, we knew it was time to act to create a highly focused society. We listened to the chatter and read hundreds of blog posts and tweets.”

“The Society of Speakers™ is a new entity and brand we’ve developed to meet the demand for a speaker-focused entity, just for speakers and run by speakers,” he said. “We do hope to work with NSA by creating a new charter from the ground up to reflect the needs of professional speakers.”

The Society of Speakers will hold its founding meeting on August 7 in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of speakers have been invited. The name, domains, and pending trademark for Society of Speakers will be provided to the invited speakers who, as founding members, will control that intellectual property.

“The formation of this new Society of Speakers will be the main event at IPA’s 184th Year annual meeting,” said Mr. Davis. Founded in 1831, the International Platform Association (IPA) is one of America’s oldest associations with a rich history of famed speakers.

Full information is at the website.

References and resources:

1-July 3 blog posts about NSA to Platform name change
2-July 12 Name Change Retraction Video by NSA President, Shep Hyken:

3-July 14th News Reports

Ragan Communications:

4-International Platform Association website with announcement of Society of Speakers:

5-Facebook Timeline:

6-IPA Archives:


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Mitchell P. Davis, CEO of International Platform Association

Source: International Platform Association

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