Thirty current and former NFL players will take part in the first NFL Speakers Bureau in Los Angeles in March. Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho, New York Jets linebacker Josh Martin, and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith are among the players participating in the three-day program.
NFL Player Engagement collaborated with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California to develop the curriculum, which focuses on strategic approaches to effective public speaking and digital storytelling. Panels composed of USC Annenberg faculty, NFL executives and mass media professionals will instruct and demonstrate techniques to strengthen each participant’s presentation skills.
"The NFL Speakers Bureau provides players with the opportunity to learn and develop fundamental skills in fields of public motivational speaking and brand marketing," said Arthur McAfee, Senior Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. "USC's Annenberg School of Communication brings together experienced faculty and industry experts to educate players on the business of public speaking, developing their message and delivering their story."
Sessions in the program include "Communicating Race, Gender and Justice," "Public Speaking: Inspiring, Influencing and Persuading" and "The Playbook for Successful Storytelling." Other sessions focus on digital storytelling and social media.
"We're excited to offer NFL athletes the opportunity to immerse themselves in an engaging and practical curriculum developed and led by our outstanding faculty," said Willow Bay, Dean of USC Annenberg. "We know the players will benefit from our expertise in sports media, branding, strategic public relations, public speaking and digital communication."
The Speakers Bureau is one of several career and professional development programs NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players and their families.