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DC Speaker Academy™

What is it?

The life-changing DC Speaker Academy™ is offered by the National Speakers Association’s DC Metro Area Chapter. The DC Speaker Academy™ is an intensive 5-month program for emerging, aspiring, and current professional speakers, trainers, “solopreneurs,” and business owners ready to turbocharge their careers and move from free-to-fee.

What is the value?

You benefit from an intensive professional and personal development experience that provides relevant speaking industry guidance, resources and robust handouts, hands-on activities, and lively interaction. Your DC Speaker Academy™ experience will be supported by:

  • A Mentor who is a National Speakers Association Professional Member,
  • An accountability manager,
  • Personal coaching from your Academy deans, guest experts, and your colleagues, and
  • A video recording of your Spotlight Speech for use to promote your speaking business.

Each session is designed to accelerate your skills and confidence to ensure a smooth business launch and conversion to professional membership status.

What is my commitment to the DC Speaker Academy™?

For 5 months you will:

  • Participate in two DC Speaker Academy programs per month,
  • Attend NSA-DC Chapter professional speaker events (your admission to all live and virtual NSA-DC events is included in your DC Speaker Academy™ tuition),
  • Connect with your Pro-Speaker Mentor,
  • Complete your Speaker Pro Action Items each week, and
  • Commit to being a better speaker and growing a better speaking business.

What is the schedule?

The DC Speaker Academy™ offers two, five-month cohorts per year. You can join the DC Speaker Academy™ during the February – June or August – December session. The Academy programs are held twice per month, a virtual content deep dive on the first Wednesday of the month from 7-9 pm and a Meet Up & Speak Up program immediately after the NSA-DC chapter meetings, usually held the second Saturday of each month, from 12:15-1:45.

2021 Dates for August - December

Virtual Content Deep Dive: 1st Wednesday of the month, 7-9 pm ET (Virtual)

  • Virtual Deep Dive #1: August 4
  • Virtual Deep Dive #2: September 1
  • Virtual Deep Dive #3: October 6
  • Virtual Deep Dive #4: November 3
  • Virtual Deep Dive #5: December 1

Speaking Opportunities/Coaching/Networking: 2nd Saturday of the month, 12:15 – 1:45 pm ET (In person when possible.) *subject to change

  • Meet Up & Speak Up #1: August 14
  • Meet Up & Speak Up #2: September 11
  • Meet Up & Speak Up #3: October 9
  • Meet Up & Speak Up #4: November 13
  • Meet Up & Speak Up #5: December 11

What are the key topics?

  • Module 1 - Personal Assessment
  • Module 2 - Marketing Your Topic
  • Module 3 - Live On-Stage Presentations
  • Module 4 - Virtual On-Stage Presentations
  • Module 5 - The Business of Speaking


What is my investment?

Your investment for the entire program is only $2,080. The value of your tuition includes:

  • Access to the monthly live training programs featuring award-winning speaking professionals ($1,500 value),
  • Admission to all regularly scheduled NSA-DC professional development events, live and virtual ($760 value),
  • Individual mentorship with a professional member ($1,000 value),
  • An assigned accountability partner with whom to brainstorm and problem-solve throughout the DC Speaker Academy™,
  • Your DC Speaker Academy™ Graduation and Spotlight Speech Showcase before a live audience with professional feedback coaches ($750 value), and
  • Networking opportunities (priceless).

You pay only $2,080 and get over $4,000 in value.

How do I apply?

To apply for the DC Speaker Academy™, complete the application below, email your completed application to info@nsadc.org and submit the $85 non-refundable deposit using the "Pay Now" button below. Once you have completed the application and paid the deposit, your application will be forwarded to the DC Speaker Academy™ leadership for review and acceptance.


7 Reasons to Enroll

1. You will learn from successful Speaking Professionals

2. You work with a mentor chosen specifically for you

3. You learn the fine art of speaking including storytelling, topic selection, platform skills and more

4. You will learn how to Integrate humor and engagement within your program

5. You work with an accountability partner to problem-solve, brainstorm, and support each other to glean the ultimate learning experience

6. You will cultivate a network of colleagues who will be lifelong resources

7. You will put your skills to work by participating in a videotaped Spotlight Speech/Graduation program before a team of select judges and your peers/guests

What Graduates Say 

"For me, one year of the Speakers' Academy is worth 15 years of trying to find out this information on my own. You’ll find that the benefits include finding your niche as a speaker, and learning the mechanics of running your speaking business. You’ll have access to some of the best minds in the industry. Possibly the best part is being exposed to lecturers who really care about your progress. Oh wait, there’s more…. maybe the best part is the fabulous classmates you’ll have. 
An observation about NSA: it’s a generous organization."

Mitzi Perdue (Mrs. Frank Perdue)
Author, Speaker, Businesswoman

"I just want to express my personal thanks and gratitude for the fantastic experience in the Speakers’ Academy. The things I learned will hold me in good stead for a lifetime, but what I will really treasure is the relationships I have formed with you and my fellow participants. Thank you for helping me establish a great foundation for my speaking business."

Ann Murdoch
Speaker, Businesswoman

"Darlene, thank you so much for leading the Speakers Academy and providing vital information that helped me along my professional speaker journey. Your empathy is what I most admire about your leadership. It’s the force that connects us all that helps people like me use my voice to change lives. Thank you for caring."

Darryl Webster
Speaker and Author, I Thought I Was Going Crazy

DC Speaker Academy™ Leadership

Dean - Darlene Carver

Associate Deans

  • Dr. Candy Campbell
  • Jeri Mae Rowley

Accountability Coach - Dr. Xavier Bruce

Mentor Coach - Ann Murdoch

The National Speakers Association (NSA) is the leading organization for professional speakers. Since 1973, NSA has provided resources and education designed to advance the skills, integrity and value of its members and speaking profession.

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Email: info@nsadc.org
Phone: (240) 284-3152

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