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Public speaking in Europe vs. America

Standing oration
Public speaking in Europe vs. America
By Kristian from Speakers Loft • Issue #7 • View online
Apples to oranges: When it comes to public speaking the Europeans, and the Americans navigate in radically different business landscapes.

There is no reason to beat around the bush: the United States has a significantly more advanced speaker market than the ones on European soil. Not only does the United States have active and robust organizations - most of the speaker directories are hosted there as well. We covered that in this rather sexy issue of Standing Oration.
It might be that the this-pony-brakes-for-no-one-entrepreneurial spirit of America has created this success for speaking as a business niche, but it could be something far simpler too:
The median fee for a (bureau-sold) speaking gig (in US dollars):
European Union: $3283
United States: $9913
The old world.
The old world.
Well organized (and certified)
Some of the difference between the US and Europe may be due to organization like the NSA.
(If you are European the name may make you think of a particular flower in the bouquet of American security services. It fooled us the first time we heard it. The NSA in our context is the National Speakers Association, and not the National Security Agency. They are, I assume, markedly different organizations.)
But the American love of acronymic proliferation doesn’t stop here. If you’re in the NSA, you can get a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) certification and maybe get awarded a spot in the Speaker Hall of Fame as awarded by the CPAE (Council of Peers Award for Excellence). 
(We should probably do an acronym guide at some point? Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.)
Although the use of acronyms may elicit a WTF from Europeans, there is arguably something to be won by this approach. The difference in speaker income is case in point.
The explanation of the difference in income for speakers can’t be explained by the wealth of the nations alone. Several European countries are very close to the US in terms of per capita income - and still nowhere near in terms of speaker fees. To phrase it differently, there is something more than economics at play here.
By the way, if you are an American speaker wanting to go to Europe, keep in mind that customers in the old world may not know what a CSP is - and promoting it in your sales material may be something similar to speaking Chinese to them. 
Ni hao ma.
The newer (and in this case slightly photoshopped) world.
The newer (and in this case slightly photoshopped) world.
Gauging professionalism
We thought it would be interesting to see how markets differ in terms of topics. We reasoned that more distinct topics indicate a more evolved market. It’s a little akin to what you see in a new company - for the first couple of years; everyone does everything. Specialization and distinct departments come later (usually alongside obscenely detailed manuals, code-of-conduct policies and HR departments). 
To measure this, we collected speaker descriptions from websites in two countries: The US and Denmark. We then clustered them around meaning, to ask: what do speakers talk about in these countries.
It involves an algorithm, but I will spare you the details. Here are the maps.
Size of circles = importance / Closeness of circles = relatedness
Size of circles = importance / Closeness of circles = relatedness
So Danes talk about schools a lot more, and Americans talk a lot about presentations and innovation.
The exciting thing is that the American market is more divided into discrete clusters of meaning - signaling a more mature market.
While Danes (thankfully!) do not represent Europe as a whole, it may be an indication that speaking in Europe still has some leeway concerning professionalization.
That’s all for now. I wish you tons of success and remember that you have tons of speaker colleagues right here.
See you with a new edition in a week.
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P.S. If you enjoyed this issue please share it. The more readers we have, the more ressources we can allocate to researching trends in global public speaking.
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Kristian from Speakers Loft

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