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Followers of The Speaker Experts understand the multiplier effect of the ASAE Annual Meeting on the association and corporate meeting industry. This year’s ASAE Annual Meeting will take place from August 18th – 21st in Chicago, Illinois and will feature some of the speaking circuits most in-demand speakers including Forbes Publisher, Rich Karlgaard, Workforce Strategist and Management Trendspotter, Seth Mattison and Presidential Advisor, Tina Tchen.

For the purposes of identifying the next big trend in the speaking industry, The Speaker Experts focus on the meeting’s Closing Session. Over the past two years, each speaker tasked with giving this important speech quickly became one of the most requested speakers in the nation. During the ASAE 2016 Annual Meeting, Derreck Kayongo had an unforgettable high energy speech that challenged attendees to reject easy cynicism and embrace practical problem solving to make a difference one step at a time. At last year’s ASAE Annual Meeting, Chef Jeff Henderson discussed the power of purpose and making life-changing decisions, in order to secure personal and professional successes. All one needs to do is quickly google search Derreck or Jeff to understand the buzz that was created by these inspiring presentations to ASAE’s bellwether audience.

At this year’s 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting, the Speaker Experts are looking forward to World Champion Triathlete, Coach and Author, Siri Lindley’s closing presentation in Chicago. Her speech will help association leaders unlock the potential of the people they lead and the members they represent.

If the past two years are any indication of the influence on the speaker market, we believe Siri Lindley will quickly become one of the most requested speakers among state and national association leaders. The Speaker Experts fared poorly in our economics classes, but continue to subscribe to the economic teaching of Father Guido Sarducci. The increased market demand will result in a higher speaking fee. Now is the time to evaluate Siri as a speaker prior to her speech at ASAE next month!

-Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

One of the keys to a successful Annual Meeting or National Sales Kickoff is the Opening General Session, which provides an ideal forum to inspire and motivate the audience. A good general session speaker will leave the audience energized, inspired and motivated to learn. A great opening speaker will be so impactful that their message will resonate with the audience profoundly, and act as motivational fuel not only throughout the meeting, but throughout the year.

Few environments, if any, are as competitive and dynamic as that of the NHL. With 31 teams of athletes at the peak of human conditioning competing for one trophy, stakes are high, and organizations put millions on the line for the opportunity to win a championship. When competition is that high, motivation and inspiration become critical factors, and it is extremely important for an organization to set a tone conducive to achievement and success.

So, when the Washington Capitals needed a speaker to set the tone for the 2018 Season and to help win the Lord Stanley’s Cup, they called upon acclaimed mountain climber, adventurer and CEO Jamie Clarke.


Jamie Clarke pictured with the Washington Capitals NHL Hockey team after speaking at their Preseason Kickoff Meeting

Jamie’s upbeat perspectives from the roof of the world to the peaks of business success inspire organizations to overcome challenges and understand the thin margin between success and failure. Jamie understands the importance of the combination of perseverance and teamwork, and if understood and executed – anything is possible…


Washington Capitals – 2018 Stanley Cup Champions

Ok, ok we can’t tell you that Jamie Clarke is the reason behind the Capitals’ win last evening.  In the interest of total transparency, we recognize that his hockey career ended as a junior in Canada. However, we can tell you that high performance organizations like the Washington Capitals and the Canadian National Hockey Team can have their choice of just about any motivational speaker on the planet and they selected Jamie. If you are looking for a high impact speaker to help your organization win its version of the Stanley Cup or compete at the Olympic level, put Jamie Clarke on your “first line!”


Jamie Clarke pictured speaking to Canadian National Hockey team at
PyeongChang 2018

 Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

The Speaker Experts regularly point out the symbiotic relationship between Hollywood and the professional speaker circuit. Legendary speakers with the highest demand on corporate and association stages are often first “discovered” on the big screen. This phenomenon is most prevalent in military genre films. Look no further than Lone Survivor (Marcus Luttrell, Navy SEAL who journeyed into the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan during Operation Red Wings), Black Hawk Down (Sgt. Matt Eversmann, Army Ranger whose team was deployed to Somalia and trapped in a hostile district of Mogadishu.), Zero Dark Thirty (Robert O’Neill,Navy Seal operator and part of team that raided Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad Compound), Apollo 13 (Captain James Lovell, NASA commander who guided the Apollo 13 mission) 13 Hours (Kris “Tanto” Paronto, US Army Ranger responded to attack of CIA Annex in Benghazi). These military heroes are among the most popular and most requested motivational speakers on the American Speaking circuit. Their stories of courage and patriotism are timeless, and the lessons and message are needed today, more than ever before.

In early 2018, we see a perfect storm of heroism, story, movie casts, and directors that have great potential to spawn the next big blockbuster speaker:

  • “12 Strong”  releases in theaters this Friday on January 19th. This film is directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Chris Hemsworth as “Captain Mitch Nelson” (Nelson is a synonym for the real thing – Captain Mark Nutsch). The film is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 and tells the story of an elite group of 12 Green Berets who were the first US Soldiers sent into Afghanistan to battle the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. They fought in combat on horseback in remote areas of northern Afghanistan while vastly outnumbered and against overwhelming odds.
  • “The 15:17 to Paris” releases in theaters on Friday, February 9th, 2018. This film is directed by Clint Eastwood and tells the story of American Soldiers who discover a terrorist plot on a Paris bound train. Eastwood casts the heroic trio in the film as themselves Anthony Sadler, National Guardsman, Alek Skarlatos and US Airforce First Class, Spencer Stone

We believe that the protagonists of these films could be blockbuster speakers in 2018 and beyond. Meeting professionals who schedule these speakers will initially “buy low” as the speaker fee’s have the potential to exponentially increase after the films hit the big screen. With that said, these are not proven professional speakers with a long history of standing ovations following their remarks. Evaluate the “risk” vs.“reward” when considering these speakers for your next event.

– Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Retail innovators, Sy and Marcy Syms were well known for their company slogan, “An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer.” Although, this philosophy was derived from the competitive off-price retail clothing industry, it does have a direct application to the speaker bureau industry. The Speaker Experts believe “An Educated Consumer is in the Best Position to take advantage of industry trends.” Trade and professional association meeting planners strive to schedule speakers that are relevant, timely, and current. This would be a rather simple task if conferences were scheduled weeks or even months in advance. However, the challenge faced by most association meeting professionals and corporate meeting planners is the long-lasting meeting cycle period. Usually, educational programs are scheduled for events that take place 8 – 15 months in advance. Furthermore, unless you have a crystal ball, magic pixie dust, or a leprechaun advising you on the future, this can be a challenging task.

The Speaker Experts have analyzed speaker industry trends for over three decades. During this time, we have seen speaker demand trends come and go, ranging from the early days of Searching for Excellence and Megatrends to more updated topics, such as, Market Disruption, Internet of Things, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence.

We are 5 months into a strong trend of demand for Security related speakers. We believe this trend will last for at least another 12 months and will carry us into the mid-term demand cycle for political and media speakers. If your meeting is taking place within the next 12 months, then exploring a security related theme will be relevant and timely.

Below you will find some of the circuit’s leading security related speakers:

CYBER-SECURITY: Theresa Payton






WHITE HAT SECURITY: Dr. Charlie Miller


FRAUD SECURITY: Frank Abagnale








To borrow and adopt American Economist Paul Samuelson’s quote, “Identifying speaker trend cycles of demand has never been a science and it’s even less now than a few years ago.”  We can never report with 100% certainty what the demanded trend will be a year from now, but given the current market landscape you can feel comfortable exploring speaker options in the security space.

– Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Followers of this blog understand The Speaker Experts are big fans of the NHL great, Wayne Gretzky’s concept of focusing on where the puck will be, instead of focusing on where it has been. With Gretzky’s lessons from the rink in mind, we believe that the differentiating factor between a good lecture agent and a great lecture agent is when the agent can not only effectively communicate which speakers are prevalent at the time, but can also forecast which speakers will subsequently become in demand in the future. Of course, if stockbrokers, professional gamblers, and lecture agents alike could consistently predict the future, then we would all be settled into retirement. Peering into a crystal ball and seeing the future is not an easy thing to do!

Nevertheless, every so often opportunities arise and the possibility to capture lightening in a bottle seems achievable. The Speaker Experts have studied speaker demand curves for years and recognize the catalyst moments in a speaker’s professional speaking career where their demand, visibility, and fee exponentially increase. The Speaker Experts often look to Hollywood for clues in this space and we believe to have found a bellwether event in Lionsgate’s August 11th release of, The Glass Castle, based on Jeannette Walls’ New York Times bestselling memoir.


The Glass Castle recounts Jeannette’s unconventional, nomadic, and poverty-stricken childhood at the hands of her deeply dysfunctional parents. Released in 2005, the memoir landed on the New York Times bestseller list for a total of 261 weeks! Fast-forward to 2017, 5 million copies have been sold and the book has been translated into 30 languages. Jeannette’s story is a timeless classic and the Speaker Experts project the film to be a major release. Oscar winner, Brie Larson will portray Jeannette Walls while Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts will portray her alcoholic father and eccentric mother.

The relationship between the success of one’s speaking career and their benchmark successes is historically positive as mentioned in The Speaker Expert’s Top Ten Films that Influence the Speaker Circuit. The Speaker Experts understand that a major motion film is only a small piece of the pie when it comes to spiked speaking demand rates. However, Jeanette Walls is a veteran motivational speaker with years of experience in front of corporate and association audiences. “The Glass Castle: Demon Hunting and other Life Lessons,” is one of the most genuine and thought provoking presentations that we have ever seen.

If your organization is in search of a high impact speaker in the late summer or early Fall, take advantage of the publicity, social, and digital media that will likely be generated by Lionsgate Entertainment as they promote this major movie release. As always, the best way to determine if Ms. Walls is a good fit for your audience is to consult with your trusted speaker bureau partner.

-Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Last week the American Society of Association Executives released a portion of their speaker schedule for the August 12th -15th, 2017 Annual Meeting held in Toronto, Canada. Our blog readers understand the impact that this annual meeting provides to the professional speaking industry. ASAE possesses a multiplier effect that grants the opportunity to choose among the world’s leading speakers. The competition to speak before this group is fierce and association leaders and meeting attendees take careful notice to the speakers selected. Historically, the exposure given to ASAE speakers lead to substantially increased demand as a result of a successful main stage presentation.

Proven examples of this spiked demand trend include 2015 Opening General Session Speaker, Josh Linkner and 2016 Opening and Closing Session Speakers, Derreck Kayongo and Captains Mark and Scott Kelly. Today, despite their inflated standard speaking fees, Linkner, Kayongo, and the Kelly Brothers are among the most sought after speakers in the nation. 

This year, the Speaker Experts are delighted to note ASAE’s selection of Chef Jeff Henderson as the 2017 Closing Session Speaker in Toronto. Jeff is a man of many talents. He is a thought leader, a motivational speaker, an award winning chef for brands like Caesars and Bellagio, a Food Network star and The New York Times bestselling author of Cooked. Jeff discovered his passion and gift for cooking in an unexpected place, prison. On stage, Jeff shares the lessons learned from his transformative journey from drug dealer to celebrity chef.

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Many industries do not rely on past performances to predict future results, such as, the financial services industry. In contrast, the professional speaking industry tends to rely heavily on quality past performances as key predictors to sustainable future outcomes. The Speaker Experts believe it’s a safe bet that Chef Jeff Henderson will be one of 2018’s most in demand speakers due to the added value and exposure presented by this prestigious ASAE Closing Session Speaker selection.

Take action and contact your speaker bureau of choice today to determine if Chef Jeff Henderson is a good fit for your upcoming meeting. Get ahead of the market demand that will likely take place as a result of this bellwether association event.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin





Last fall, we posted a blog “With a Name like Hogshead, She Better Be Good!”summarizing the specific importance and relevance the Financial and Insurance Conference has, in regards to, the professional speaking industry.

Recall, the FICP, (Financial & Insurance Conference Planners) has an executive membership of over 1,500 planner professionals and hospitality partners. With a history spanning over 60 years of leading experts, the FICP offers first-rate access to education experience and resources targeting the needs of financial services and insurance meeting planners from all across North America.

On November 9th, meeting industry leaders from key financial firms, such as Disney Destinations, DMC Network, 360 Destination Group, Hosts Global Alliance and Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Oceania Cruise, will gather at the Omni Nashville Hotel to attend the 2016 Financial and Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference.

Why is this particular conference important to the professional speaking industry? Essentially, the firms that are represented by FICP members invest large amounts of money in motivational speakers, trainers and thought leaders. Therefore, the competition to speak to this important group of meeting industry leaders is fierce. It is advantageous for a speaker to address this group because it builds their speaking credibility and reputation. It is no surprise that last year’s keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead, was one of the most “booked” and sought after speakers in the financial services sector.

Following this year’s meeting, The Speaker Experts believe that the chosen General Session speakers for the upcoming 2016 conference will benefit similar success and demand.

For the Opening General Session FICP stages:

Thomas Koulopoulos 


Tom Koulopoulos is the author of nine books and founder of Delphi Group, a 20-year-old Boston-based think tank, which was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the US by Inc. Magazine. Delphi provides advice on innovation practices and methods to Global 2000 organizations and government agencies.Click here to view his website.

For the Closing General Session FICP stages:

Captain Scott Kelly


On stage, Scott speaks on the themes of teamwork, crisis management, accountability, and leadership. Scott’s book, Endurance, will be published in 2017 and the movie rights to his life story have been acquired by Sony Pictures with a tentative release date in 2018. Click here to view his website.

Currently, Koulopoulos and Kelly are high demand speakers. Without hesitation, their speaking talents will increase following their General Session presentations. You can gather background information on both speakers and view streaming video of their presentations by clicking on the links provided above.

For those who may be interested, The Speaker Experts have acquired a limited number of Tom’s best-selling book Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business In his book, Tom delves into a vision of the future where disruptive invention and reinvention is the acknowledged norm, touching almost every aspect of how we work, live and play.

Please contact us in the event that you would like to recieve a complimentary copy of this quick read.  


Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

The International Association of Speaker Bureaus is the professional association that sets the standards and professional practices for the speaker bureau industry. Its members share a common passion: making a difference in the lives of others through the power of speech. The association’s membership is comprised of most of the world’s leading speaker bureaus and speaker management firms.

IASB held their 2016 Annual Convention last week at the Iberostar Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. Speaker bureau owners and executive-level employees converged on Cancun Iberostarto network, discuss business practices, strategize for business growth, and preview speakers tied into the meeting theme “Disrupt, Innovate, Thrive.” The latter is of particular relevance to the reader of this blog, who is tasked with evaluating and scheduling professional speakers. IASB can have their pick of the world’s leading speakers, as an invitation to speak before these high-powered speaker “agents” can result in increased income and demand on the association and corporate speaking circuits. Below are the speakers selected to present at the 2016 IASB Annual Convention. They represent a combination of established speakers, celebrities, and up-and-comers:

From left to right and top to bottom: Tim Sanders (CMI Speaker Management),  John Heffron (John Heffron), Lynn Rose (Lynn Rose), Robert Cialdini, PhD (Influence at Work), Felipe Calderon, Mike Walsh (CMI Speaker Management), Mel Robbins (See Agency), Freddie Ravel (Freddie Ravel), William Taylor (Washington Speakers Bureau)

You can reach these speakers or the speaker’s representative by clicking on the provided links. The Speakers Experts have firsthand experience with most of these speakers, but we are looking forward to doing our homework on the few we have not worked with in the past. Being selected to speak to the IASB membership is a prestigious and much sought-after honor in the professional speaking community. A speaker who receives such an invite most certainly knows his or her way around behind the podium and on stage. Of course, as we have repeated in this blog over the last few years, it does not mean that these speakers are always the right fit for your audience, meeting, or desired outcome. Your preferred IASB-member speaker bureau is a great first step to finding the right speaker for your next meeting.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

On March 27, The Speaker Experts held their drawing to win a brand new Harley Davidson Sportster. All of the 857 entries, made eligible by scheduling a speaker with The Speaker Experts during the contest period, were placed into a large rotating hopper (think David Stern, NBA Draft lottery circa 1985). After a drum roll, much fanfare and excitement, the entry belonging to the American Health Care Association was randomly selected as the grand prize winner.

David Stern

We even spun the drum… about 6 turns (we think)


Theslideshow_big_1201-l-street-northwest-washington-dc-20005 American Health Care Association, based in Washington DC, is a professional association who advocates for quality care and services for all patients of the American healthcare system, particularly those reliant on long-term care and treatment options. This non-profit federation represents upwards of 11,000 non-profit and for-profit nursing facility, assisted living, developmentally-disabled, and subacute providers, whose services reach over one millions elderly and disabled Americans every day.

The AHCA was thrilled to win ahca_large_colorthe motorcycle, but in order to share the benefit of the contest with their full membership, they requested that The Speaker Experts sponsor a speaker for their next event whose fee is comparable to the cost of the motorcycle. The Speaker Experts know a lot more about speakers than air-cooled engines and Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection, so we were delighted to take them up on their request!

Thank you to all who entered the contest. Although the blog has been dark for the past few months, you can look forward to a number of cutting-edge posts in the weeks and months ahead, covering the fast-paced world of speakers and the speaker bureau industry!

Earlier this year we posted an article highlighting the impact of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Meeting on the professional speaking and speaker bureau industry. To recap, this conference is the crown jewel of the association meeting industry. Being selected to speak at this particular event provides speakers with a unique showcase opportunity in front of 5,000 key association leaders. A successful performance on the ASAE stage will often lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking income; two great examples from this year’s meeting in Detroit are Josh Linkner and Sheryl Connelly who have become two of the most in-demand speakers on the association circuit, with the ASAE Annual Meeting playing a key role in this success.

This week, a similar key bellwether event will take place for meeting leaders in the insurance industry as The Atlantis Resort plays host to the November 15-18, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Financial and Insurance Conference Planners. Influential meeting executives from the nation’s leading insurance companies will converge at this exclusive resort to cover topics ranging from creating an interactive meeting environment to strategic thinking for today’s leaders.
sally h

As it is with ASAE, the competition amongst speaker bureaus to place their speakers in front of these key leaders in the financial services industry is robust. It will come as no surprise to followers of this blog that Sally Hogshead (10 Most Booked Corporate/Association Speakers) was selected by FICP as the General Session speaker on Tuesday, November 17, to cover the topic of “The Fascination Advantage: Unlocking Your Personality’s Natural, Hardwired Advantages”. Along with being the CEO and Founder of How to Fascinate, Sally is also a notable Hall of Fame speaker and international author. Since publishing her first book, Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career and Your Life, she has conducted research and measured more than 200,000 people to identify a scientific approach to personal branding and travels the country explaining those teachings and how attendees can appropriate them into their everyday lives.

The already high demand for Sally’s speaking talents will surely increase after her General Session speech this week. Contact your IASB-member speaker bureau or reach Sally directly at her site, to learn how her fascination system can transform your organization and its next meeting.

Bonus: The Speaker Experts will send a copy of “The Fascination Advantage” to the first blog or Twitter follower who can tell us what a Hogshead is.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin