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In honor of Jeanne Robertson, a legendary speaker whose life was marked by exceptional achievements as an athlete, educator, humorist, and motivational speaker, our NSA Carolinas chapter is proud to introduce the annual Jeanne Robertson Award for Excellence. The award recognizes a member of the NSA Carolinas who exemplifies the spirit and drive that defined Jeanne’s extraordinary career.

Click here to nominate someone or yourself! 

              (Deadline is Friday, May 24 @ midnight!)

About Jeanne
Born on September 21, 1943, and having blessed us with her wisdom and wit until her passing on August 21, 2021, Jeanne left behind a legacy of resilience and innovation in every endeavor she undertook.

In 1963, at age 19, she was named Miss North Carolina. While she began her public speaking career with her pageant title, she achieved more national attention as a humorist and speaker.

In 1980, the National Speakers Association designated her a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP®) and one year later was inducted into the NSA speaker Hall of Fame (CPAE). In 1985, Jeanne served as the National President of NSA.  She was then awarded the NSA’s Cavett Award in 1989, as the first woman to receive the award. In 2019, NSA named her the ‘Philanthropist of the Year’.

About The Jeanne Robertson Award for Excellence

In 2023, NSA Carolinas announced “The Jeanne Robertson Award for Excellence,” designed to recognize a member of the NSA Carolinas Chapter who exemplifies the spirit and drive that defined Jeanne’s career. 

Each year, we seek to honor an individual who, in the last year, not only contributed  to the field of professional speaking but also embodied the following core attributes that Jeanne demonstrated:

    1. Staying Relevant - Continuously generating fresh, impactful material and engaging with current trends.
    2. Leading with Innovation - Employing savvy business strategies and embracing growth opportunities.
    3. Demonstrating Resilience - Turning setbacks into opportunities, similar to how Jeanne would harness a positive and humorous outlook to take on challenges.
    4. Staying Persistent - Exhibiting unwavering focus and dedication to achieve long-term goals.


    • Nominees must be current members in good standing with the NSA Carolinas Chapter at the time of nomination and through the selection process.
    • Nominees cannot have won the Jeanne Robertson Award for Excellence within the last five years. (Note: Since 2024 is the inaugural year of the award, all current members are eligible for nomination this year.)
    • Members can nominate themselves or be nominated by another member of the NSA Carolinas Chapter.
Nomination and Selection Process
    • The selection committee will evaluate nominees based on the specific criteria of relevance, innovation, resilience, and persistence, as these qualities reflect the legacy of Jeanne Robertson.
    • Only members of the independent Selection Committee are allowed to vote.
    • Selection Committee members will abstain from voting if they have a conflict of interest (e.g., business partnerships, family relations) with any of the nominees.

Nominations for the 2024

Jeanne Robertson Award for Excellence are now open! Members are welcome to nominate themselves or a peer who they believe truly represents these qualities. Nominations must be submitted by midnight on May 24, 2024.

An independent Selection Committee, composed of volunteers from NSA chapters across the country (but not including any current or past members of NSA Carolinas), will carefully review all nominations and vote on a winner.

The recipient of this prestigious award will be announced at our 2024 Annual Meeting and Banquet on June 14, where we will celebrate the enduring impact of Jeanne’s legacy on our speaker community and the speaking industry at large.

Ready to nominate someone? Click here!

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