With Veteran’s Day right around the corner, the Speaker Experts have developed their list of the 10 most Popular Military speakers of the past 30 years. This list is only applicable to the commercial speaking circuit and it does not account for the dozens of highly sought after military speakers favored by military institutions and war colleges.

We input the following criteria into the Commodore 64 and, using a complex algorithm, gave weight to the following areas:

  • Longevity on the speaking circuit
  • Number of engagements booked throughout the speaker’s career
  • Speaking fee
  • Level of demand for the speaker
  • Historical significance in the military genre of speakers

 

THE SPEAKER EXPERTS TEN MOST POPULAR MILITARY SPEAKERS
Note of disclosure: Speakers outlined in red are represented by the Speaker Experts

General Colin Powell
Consistently one of the most in-demand speakers on the circuit

Captain Jim Lovell
Spoiler alert: Apollo 13 makes it back!

General Norman Schwarzkopf
Took the speaking circuit by storm at ground-breaking fee levels

Jim Murphy and Afterburner Seminars
Turned “Flawless Execution” into a brand

Captain Gerald Coffee
His reprisal of “Tap Code” will keep you riveted

Mike Abrashoff
100 + presentations a year, for over 10 years puts him on this list

General Tommy Franks
Led American coalitions to victory in both Afghanistan and Iraq

General Tom Kelly
Brought the Gulf War into our living rooms

Gene Kranz
“Failure is not an option”
Air Force Aviator and Apollo lead flight director

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Highest Ranking Military Officer translates
to popularity on the speaking circuit

Some of these heroes are no longer with us, and others are not as active on the speaking circuit as they once were. Nevertheless, the stories and lessons are timeless, and their relevance never wavers. There is no statute of limitations when it comes to the ideas and lessons of great military leaders.

Note to the reader: There are many speakers left off this list who merit consideration; they will probably be on this list five years from now. A few examples are General Stanley McChrystal, Marcus Luttrell and Captain Mark Kelly. All are highly demanded as military speakers but have not been on the speaking circuit long enough to rate as the most popular of all time.

On Veteran’s Day, the Speaker Experts are grateful to those who have served and therefore make it possible for guys like us to sit around and input information into an old computer to come up with a list like this.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

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