Here is our list of the five most influential people in the world of commercial, corporate and association speaking, all of whom influence the economics and politics of the professional speaking industry. While they also may influence speaking style and content, that is entirely different list that we will save for another day.

JohnGraham

5.  John Graham, President & CEO at ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership : Somewhat of a symbolic pick here, but Mr. Graham leads the American Society of Association Executives that represents over 21,000 Association Executives.   The Association community spends millions of dollars a year on speaking fees, but if you factor in the number of corporate groups who schedule a speaker after seeing a speech at an Association event, that number goes into the billions.  Associations are a force multiplier for the speaking industry, and John Graham leads that force.

Chris-Anderson-TED-007

4. Chris Anderson, Entrepreneur and Curator of TED Talks : Under  his leadership and stewardship, TED has transformed the way we in the meeting industry view the impact and potential of a session.  Who knew a relevant, impactful and entertaining message could be delivered in 20 minutes?  Prior to the emergence of TED, speakers were just getting “warmed” up at the 20 minute mark.  While the long form keynote session will always play an important role in the meeting world, the innovative approach taken by Chris Anderson to the short form presentation makes him one of the top 5 influencers. Of course, we cannot forget the man with the original vision of TED, founder Richard Saul Wurman.

Farrell_Rhoads

3. Harry Rhoads Jr. and Christine Farrell, Founder and President of the Washington Speakers Bureau : No explanations needed here.  Washington Speakers Bureau is the largest speaker bureau with the most prominent roster of professional speakers in the world.  WSB has been a leader in the speaking world for over three decades and they continue that trend today.  Rhoads and Farrell are the chief influencers and architects at the top speaker bureau.  They make the list.

Barnett

2. Robert B. Barnett, Partner Williams & Connolly LLP : Mr. Barnett is the premier lawyer in the world representing authors, broadcasters, and former government officials.  His clients include Presidents Clinton and Bush, Secretary Clinton, Alan Greenspan, Queen Noor, George Will and dozens more high-profile celebrity speakers.  When a high-profile government official leaves office, chances are their first stop will be a visit to the law offices of Willams & Connolly.  This may be the case when President Obama leaves office in 2017 as well.  Mr. Barnett’s roster of current clients and potential future clients make him  not only a high-powered Washington lawyer but a top 5 influential person in the speaker world.

Berners Lee

1. Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium : Another symbolic pick here, but the man who invented the World Wide Web created a paradigm shift in the way we research, view, promote, evaluate, negotiate and contract with speakers.   While Tim Berners-Lee was at the leading edge of this wave, Mark  Zuckerberg/Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook),  Dick Costolo/Biz Stone ( Twitter) and  Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn) all play major roles in influencing the world of professional speaking.

Of course the real “influencer” is the meeting industry as an aggregate – armed with the tools given to us by the aforementioned internet pioneers, meeting leaders drive market demand, price and the business of professional speaking.  We are a diverse mosaic of meeting influencers, but putting us all on the list would take too long so we have settled on these five!

Please let the Speaker Experts know who would be on your list.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] Association community is one of the most competitive markets in the lecture industry (see post on ASAE President John Graham) and Rainey is the number one agent in this landscape. To be successful here you need a certain […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s