If you are a professional speaker, an aspiring professional speaker or simply a speaking professional, there are 2 organizations that you should join. One group deals with the business of speaking and the other deals with the practice of speaking. Now I know that the speaking professional, someone who speaks for their profession or business but does not receive compensation for that speaking event, will say that they don’t mind joining an organization to become a better speaker but why join an organization that deals with the business of speaking. The answer is simple. One day you as a speaking professional might want to monetize your content. If you may want to make money from your content, you do fall into the category of a professional speaker.
The first association you need to join is the National Speakers Association, http://www.nsaspeaker.org/ . They are a national group with local chapters. Here in Georgia I am a member of Georgia chapter of National Speakers association, http://www.nsageorgia.org/. This is the place where you form business relationships, personal friendships and acquire the knowledge concerning the business of speaking. Every dollar you spend on dues you will reap many times more in what you receive back. It is the best bang for your dollar you can hope for.
The second association deals with the practice of speaking. You do mini-speeches in front of small groups. Learn the art of evaluations. Practice new ideas and receive feedback on the these ideas. All this for the price of a weekly small cup of coffee. This organization has served hundreds of thousands of individuals who want to improve their speaking and leadership abilities for close to 100 hundred years. This association is Toastmasters International, http://www.toastmasters.org/ , and you may find a meeting close to you.
If you are truly interested in becoming a better speaker than you must join these two groups!