The directory that so many professional speakers have purchased is the “National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States”, a.k.a., the NTPA directory. I did not state that the speakers have used them much as the book or online service is overwhelming. With approximately 7,500 national associations and societies listed, where does one start? That’s the challenge for most speakers. Start at the “A’s” or start at the “Z’s”, either way is not the best approach.
The NTPA directory also includes indexes. This is where you mine for gold! The Subject Index is the first place to start. The Subject Index has a little over 400 subjects (categories or industries). You should look through the index and find the subject (categories or industries) that you most resonate with. Which industries have you delivered home run presentations? Pick one and start here.
Before you contact the association, take a look at their Website for the most current personnel, meeting, and chapter data. Yes, the chapters. For every association you contact, there might be 30-300 chapters—some having meetings and needing speakers. Contact all the chapters. If you use this strategic and methodical approach, it might take you several months to exhaust your first Subject Index list. When exhausted, select another and take the same steps. You have several years of prospecting, going deep in each industry, by correctly utilizing the NTPA.