Well, as many of our readers may have guessed, there is no Commodore 64,  no slide rule, and no complex algorithm that we use to identify the 10 most booked corporate and association speakers. The list is developed over the course of the year, as a result of our interactions with thousands of meeting planners, executives, and speakers. While there is no real “science” behind our selections, there is one common denominator: all of these speakers give at least 100 commercial presentations during the course of the year. On the intangible side, they tend to be asked for by name, are rarely available when we check their speaking schedules, and their speaking fees are continuously on the rise.

A couple of notes before we begin:

  • These are all popular world-class speakers, but it does not mean that they are the right fit for every meeting or organization. Consult with a Speaker Bureau you trust before scheduling one of these speakers to make sure they can achieve your goals and desired outcomes
  • Charlie Cook is exclusive with Leading Authorities International.  They are your best source to schedule Mr. Cook.
  • The reader can gather more detailed background, contact, and booking information for these speakers by clicking on the links provided.
It gives us great pleasure to present our followers with the 2016 List of the 10 Most Booked Corporate and Association Speakers:
Linkner J-Photo

Josh Linkner – “Last year’s ASAE Keynote List. This year’s Most Booked List”

start

Magic Johnson – “Triple-double on the court and on stage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robbins M-Photo

Mel Robbins – “A recognized authority on leadership development, employee engagement, and motivation

Knight

Jim Knight – “Hard Rock energy comes to the corporate stage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook

Charlie Cook – “Iconic Political forecaster in high demand during election year”

Scott Kelly

Captain Scott Kelly – “Back on Earth and at the podium”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daymond John

Daymond John – “Shark Week is not just for Discovery TV”

Levine A-Photo

Alison Levine – “Top of the Everest Speaking Mountain”

 

 

 

Abrashoff

Mike Abrashoff – “Third year in a row on ‘The List.”

Wahl

Erik Wahl – “The 3 E’s: Energy, Entertainment and Education”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion: 

Of course, it is impossible to identify the 10 most booked speakers on the speaking circuit, but you would have a hard time arguing with any one of the aforementioned speakers. The real trick is to target who will be on this list next year before it happens.

 

One speaker we feel to be a strong candidate is visionary corporate social entrepreneur Derreck Kayongo. In addition to being a compelling, engaging, and high-impact speaker, he will give the closing keynote session at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting this August in Salt Lake City. If past performance of ASAE speakers is an indicator of future corporate and association speaking demand, look for Derreck Kayongo to make this prestigious list next year.

 

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

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You have assembled a World-Class lineup of brand name general session speakers, as well as an educational program featuring the circuit’s leading high-impact thought leaders. The six-figure investment in speaker honoraria is steep, but this part was easy compared to the countless hours of evaluating speakers, working with volunteer leadership, and coming to a consensus within the organization. When The Speaker Experts started in this industry 30 years ago, the next step was to print these speakers in a program and distribute to the membership with some help from the U.S. Post Office. In today’s digital age however, the construction of a program is just the start of a process that can benefit membership and the association for years to come.

In order to help us understand how better to throw gasoline on the social media fire, The Speaker Experts enlisted the help of sought after speaker and social media expert Corey Perlman. Below are his thoughts on orchestrating a comprehensive social media strategy for your big event.


 

Putting Together Your Comprehensive Social Media Event Strategy

Pre-Event

Social activity leading up to the event is all about creating buzz and attracting the right people to your event! This is the time to inform and intrigue followers, broaden your reach, and start to encourage conversation and engagement around your event.

Create A Memorable, User-Friendly Event Hashtag

    • Consider including initials or numbers to create a hashtag that is short, unique and easy to remember. A little research can help you identify if one is taken/has already been used, so you can avoid intermingling your event conversation with someone else’s and confusing followers.
    • HashtagIncorporate your hashtag on your event website, in promotional communications and even some unconventional locations, like inserting it into your email signature—just like anything else, the more exposure a hashtag gets, the better the chance that people will use and remember it.

Lead Time

    • As mentioned above, starting early to allow yourself solid lead time can help you get the most out of your social media campaign and build awareness over a period of time. Just like movie trailers get people excited for an upcoming feature film, incorporating enough lead time as a part of your event strategy allows you time to create and organize great content, build your audience, and tweak certain things, when necessary.

Consistency

    • Ensure your tone and engagement levels are consistent. Cute and cheeky in one post and serious in another has the potential to confuse (and likely disengage) followers.
    • Make sure to encourage engagement by sharing and responding to comments made by attendees. Whether you ‘like’, respond to or re-post messages, ensure you are consistent and that you avoid reacting to certain posts and not others.

Promotion

    • COMING-SOON-FRAME_1024x1024Use social platform(s) to offer early registration discounts or reveal exciting news, like announcing who the keynote speaker(s) will be. Ramp up anticipation with a few intriguing posts about how excited you are to reveal who the keynote will be—everyone likes a little surprise and delight.
    • If you’re not getting the engagement or reach you’d like to see, consider creating a budget for digital advertising. A small budget for boosting or promoting posts on Facebook can be extremely helpful to project your message out to a larger audience.

Utilize Speakers/ Talent

    • Ask speakers to promote the event using the hashtag—this is a great and effective way to expand exposure within your event strategy
On-Site

Social activity during your event is just as important as pre-event promotion, especially to capture the essence and power of the live event experience. It is also crucial that you recognize and acknowledge your brand ambassadors—your attendees! They have the power to amplify your event authentically, so make sure you are encouraging, monitoring and maximizing opportunities.

Encourage Sharing

    • word of mouthMaximize the power of your audience by making your hashtag easily visible and encourage sharing.
    • Consider running contests throughout your event—like incentivizing users with the most creative posts or publish clues to a scavenger hunt that runs throughout the conference.

Use a Social Management Tool

    • Platforms like HootSuite and TweetDeck make it easy to monitor activity on Twitter around a hashtag—use these tools to monitor and engage with attendees by liking or retweeting their posts and responding to messages, when appropriate.
    • Encourage your speakers to consider using tools like Kiwilive or Poll Everywhere to keep the audience engaged and connected.

Maximize Video Opportunities

    • With platforms like Livestream, it’s now easier than ever to bring individuals who couldn’t attend the event into the audience in real time and experience the power of the live event experience.
    • If live streaming isn’t in the cards, consider hiring a videographer to record keynotes, presentations and other parts of your event to archive for future use.
    • Periscope and Facebook Live are two growing platforms for live video. Consider tactics for encouraging use among attendees, or using the platform to stream other activities during the event, like post-keynote interviews.
Post-Event

Continue the momentum with your post event strategy! Utilize social content from the event to further amplify it—in follow-up messaging for attendees, communications to other customers, and to promote future events. Identify where you can use video, images, commentary and testimonials on your website, in your database and via social channels.

[Continue to] Maximize Video Opportunities

    • SNAPCHAT LOGOVideo from the event can (and should) be used long after the closing keynote—whether it is to evoke the excitement of the event for those who attended, offer an opportunity for those who couldn’t attend to be part of it, or start to amplify next year’s event. And with platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook allowing video, sharing video via social is easier than ever.

Review Activity

    • Social activity from events provides planners candid, unedited feedback from clients or customers on everything from the food to the keynote speakers to the Wi-Fi connection—don’t discount the significance of this commentary, especially as you consider your next event.
    • Examine posts from attendees during the event for photos and testimonials—on-the-ground insights on how amazing your keynote speaker was or photos taken from their vantage point are invaluable marketing assets.

Harnessing the power of social media throughout the event life cycle by developing a comprehensive event strategy provides planners with the opportunity to effectively make their event much bigger than it is. Use these tips for before, during and after your event to broaden your reach, provide clients/attendees with unique and valuable opportunities to engage, participate and be a part of the conversation, and develop a unique record of what happened and the content that was created.

About Our Guest Author – Corey Perlman

Social Media Expert & Bestselling Author

perlman-c-150x150@2xRenowned for his ability to illustrate the strength and value of social media to audiences ranging from C-Suite executives to communications managers, Corey Perlman is the thought leader and speaker that corporations and associations, including Dale Carnegie Training, the Retail Leaders Industry Association, and the Dallas Cowboys turn to for expertise on remaining relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace and rapidly accelerating business landscape. From generating leads through active monitoring and content creation, to incorporating the latest social commerce tools and SEO best practices, Perlman captivates audiences at his speaking events across the country as he helps organizations harness the power of social media in ways that directly impact their bottom line. For more information, please visit Corey Perlman’s webpage.


Social Media Overload

 Free Copy of Social Media Overload!

The Speaker Experts have acquired 30 copies of Corey Perlman’s book Social Media Overload! Simple Social Media Strategies for Overwhelmed and Time-Deprived Businesses, and would be delighted to send you a complimentary copy. Please contact us via our blog, email, or telephone.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

The American Society for Association Executives has announced their Keynote and Game Changer speakers for the August 13-16, 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Salt Lake City, UT. As we discussed in our blog last year regarding this bellwether meeting, being selected to speak at this meeting is not only an honor, but a harbinger of speaking demand within the Association and Corporate sectors. One needs to look no further than last’s year’s ASAE Annual Meeting in Detroit, MI for evidence of this demand, as Josh Linkner, Sheryl Connelly and Liz Wiseman have been three of the most requested and “booked” speakers on the National and State Association speaking circuit over the past year. Speaking at a National Association meeting has a dramatic multiplier effect, as member organizations often use these meetings as a showcase in identifying the most talented speakers for their corporate meetings, and the three aforementioned speakers are starting to enjoy the results of this effect as well.

This year, over 5,000 Association leaders converge on Salt Lake City to share expertise with industry partners and hear from the speaking circuit’s leading thought leaders. If past performance is an indicator of future demand, these speakers will be among the circuit’s most highly sought after over the next few years.


Keynotes

Captains Mark and Scott Kelly

Captain Scott Kelly (left) and his brother Captain Mark Kelly

Captains Mark & Scott Kelly: Being identical twins is rare, but both being astronauts is something else entirely. A former U.S. Navy Captain, Mark Kelly was aboard the last planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour, and was part of many other missions in the 1990s and 2000s. His brother Scott Kelly recently concluded his historical year in space mission aboard the International Space Station. While addressing a number of topics dealing with leadership, communication, innovation and teamwork, the Kelly brothers also speak on the importance of space exploration, lessons learned and how this mission will directly impact our pursuit of one day putting a man on Mars. Click here to view their webpage

Kayongo D

Derreck Kayongo

 

 

Derreck Kayongo: A passionate world changer, Derreck Kayongo is CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and founder of the Global Soap Project, a foundation that recovers discarded soap from hotels, reprocesses it into new bars, and then distributes them to vulnerable populations around the world with a hope to improve global health. In his energetic speeches, Derreck shares his inspiring journey and provides examples on how we can all make a difference one step at a time. Click here to view his webpage

 

 

Game Changers

Stephens R

Robert Stephens

Robert Stephens: Founder of The Geek Squad, Robert Stephens started the company with $200. In 2002, The Geek Squad was acquired by Best Buy and opened Geek Squad precincts in all Best Buy US and Canadian stores. It is now North America’s largest technology support company offering phone, in-store, and in-home support. Using the Geek Squad story as a platform, he offers audiences how setting the blueprint for a fully connected service organization can drive customer satisfaction and boost overall service sustainability. Click here to view his webpage

 

Best C

Charles Best

Charles Best: Charles stands at the intersection of education, philanthropy and technology. His personal story demonstrates that one person can launch a movement, and his insights inspire businesspeople and students alike. Charles even puts his speaker’s fee in the hands of his audience, giving everyone a philanthropic gift card to spend on a classroom request of their choice. In 2000, while teaching history at a Bronx public high school, Charles launched DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that provides a simple way to address educational inequity. Today, half of all the public schools in America have at least one teacher who has created a classroom project request on DonorsChoose.org, and more than a million people have donated $200 million, providing books, art supplies, technology and other resources to 10 million students, overwhelmingly in low-income communities. Click here to view his webpage

TanLe.jpg

Tan Le

 

Tan Le: Technology entrepreneur, business executive, and popular keynote speaker, Tan Le is the Founder & CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences, a biomedical company on the cutting edge of brain function screening. Tan was born in Vietnam, and came as a refugee to Australia at age four. Her story has been featured in the National Museum of Australia, and her research continues to yield discoveries and innovations in the medical community. Click here to view her webpage

 

Tenney M

Matt Tenney

 

Matt Tenney: Author, international keynote speaker, trainer, and consultant with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute – whose clients include numerous fortune 500 companies – matt works with companies, associations, universities, and non-profits to develop highly effective leaders who achieve lasting success by focusing on serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. he envisions a world where the vast majority of people realize that effectively serving others is the key to true greatness. Click here to view his webpage


Conclusion

As SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci suggested of economics in his Five Minute University,  “when demand goes up, supply goes down, and then the price goes up.” Being selected to speak at ASAE Annual Meeting almost always results in high demand and low supply in the months and years following the event. Of course, not every speaker is right for every group. The Speaker Experts suggest that you check in with your trusted IASB member speaker bureau to determine if one of these speakers is the right fit for your meeting.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

To say last week’s post was not well received by our valued readers would be an understatement. Even Gary’s bride of over 25 years felt the post made little sense to anyone outside the speaker bureau industry. Consequently, we are going to skip the remaining two scenarios and the corresponding solutions. You’ll just have to trust us that there was an easy fix for both of them!

So, how is a meeting in Cancun of a bunch of speaker bureau owners and key agents relevant to the person who develops meeting content? Well the answer is pretty straight forward: the International Association of Speakers Bureaus selected and hosted some of the most in-demand speakers on the national speaker circuit, but the session that garnered the most conversation was, THE INDUSTRY PANEL.

The Speaker Experts make their living by “booking” paid speakers for association and corporate meetings, but we are also quick to point out that The Industry Panel can often be the most important and well-attended session of a meeting. One of the real keys to the success of such a panel is the role of the moderator. The importance of this job cannot be underestimated or taken lightly. Among other things, the moderator must keep the panel moving; get the best out of the panelists (while not being afraid to challenge them in a provocative manner); keep the topic relevant to the audience; and, above all else, end the panel on schedule so the exhibit hall opens on time.

The Speaker Experts feel there are three effective types of panel moderators or interviewers. Let’s take a closer look:


  1. The use of respected industry icons to facilitate the discussion or interview. A good example would be Tony D’Amelio and Rich Gibbons at IASB.  In this case, they both are very good communicators, but their stature within the industry is what commands the respect and interest of the audience and therefore creates excitement before, during, and after the meeting.


  2. The use of a respected Association or Corporate leader. These individuals are generally good communicators and speakers in their own right. They have am unparalleled understanding of the issues impacting the audience, and are able to lead the speaker or panel through a discussion that is relevant to the meeting. Below are a few examples of Association leaders in action on stage:
Volcker

NRUCFC CFC/CEO Sheldon C. Petersen interviewing former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker at the CFC Independent Borrowers Executive Summit 2015 in Tucson, AZ

Kat Cole

NRECA Senior Vice President of Education and Training Tracey Steiner interviewing Kat Cole at the 2016 Directors Conference in Austin, TX

David Gregory

WSWA President/CEO Craig Wolf interviewing David Gregory at the 73rd Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, NV


  1. The third effective type of industry panel moderator or interviewer is the use of a media professional. These experts bring instant name and brand identification to the session. They are world-class masters at keeping the panel interesting, relevant, and compelling. The panel’s advance work with the media professional will insure that the he/she is prepared, briefed, and has a deep understanding of the desired outcome for the session. Below are examples of the world’s most in-demand panel moderators and interviewers:
Karlgaard

Innovation and the Future: Rich Karlgaard – Publisher and Columnist for Forbes

Geoff Colvin The New Rules of Business 2013 Fortune Global Forum

Economy: Geoff Colvin – Senior Editor-at-Large for Fortune Magazine

2014 Texas Conference For Women

Human Resource Management: Soledad O’Brien – Chairman of Starfish Media Group

Susan Dentzer Medicare & Medicaid Next 50 Years

Healthcare: Susan Dentzer – President and CEO of NEHI

Judy Woodruff 1

Washington Politics: Judy Woodruff – Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of PBS NewsHour

Katty Kay Panel

International Affairs: Katty Kay – Lead Anchor for BBC World News America

Nina Easton

Business Landscape: Nina Easton – Political Analyst for Fox News and Co-founder of Sellers Easton Media


Conclusion:

An industry panel can be an effective educational element for most General Sessions. You can find out more about the media experts above by clicking on the provided links. If you are going to investigate the use of a paid media expert as outlined in scenario 3, The Speaker Experts suggest you discuss this with your preferred IASB-member speaker bureau.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Last week, we discussed the 2016 IASB Annual Convention in Cancun and the impact this meeting has on the professional speaking industry. The Speaker Experts did not attend the conference, but understand in talking to those that did (along with reading follow-up social media posts) that one of the most important sessions of the meeting was a “Burning Issues” discussion, hosted by industry titans Tony D’Amelio of the D’Amelio Network and Rich Gibbons of the prestigious West Coast speaker bureau SpeakInc.

We apologize in advance to our readers outside of the speaker bureau industry, as the post will get into the tall grass of the speaker bureau business, but we promise that the conclusion will have relevance to all who schedule professional and celebrity speakers.

The “Burning Issues” Session covered the topic of “co-brokering” between bureaus and things that “annoy, aggravate and anger.” A quick peek at our controversial post “The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker” will give readers some insight into the practice of co-brokering and its implications for those who “book” speakers. Tony and Rich presented five scenarios to spur conversation, create dialogue, and enable the attendees to walk out better equipped to handle such situations when they arise in the future.

Co-brokered speaker bureau contracts can be complex transactions often presenting a unique and challenging set of circumstances. There is often no “black and white” answer, and a group of lecture agents could spend hours discussing each of the scenarios offered by Tony and Rich. With that said, we feel that no matter how complex the situation, the ultimate answer can be found by relying on our three rules for positive co-broker outcomes.

Rules

Let’s apply these rules to the scenarios suggested by Rich and Tony.


SCENARIO #1



♦ You’re working direct with a client. They have a “hold” on one of your exclusive speakers. Out of the blue, another bureau comes to you with a firm offer for the same event. It’s for the full fee.What’s the right way to handle?

Solution:  While in most cases we believe it is not in the client’s best interest to take this course of action (please refer to our The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker post), the client has decided otherwise and, since this is America, the right way to handle this is to respect the client wishes and “co-broker” the speaker (please refer to Rule #1).


SCENARIO #2

♦ A client changes the timetable after the contract is signed. The time change means the itinerary the speaker had counted on does not work and impairs the speaker’s ability to get to their next event. The event date is just days away. What’s the right way to handle?  

Solution:  A contractual communication error was made by someone in this scenario. It may have been made by the customer, co-brokering bureau, or bureau representing the speaker, but an error was made. If the co-brokering bureau has a strong relationship with the customer and the “selling” bureau, there are any number of solutions that can solve the problem. If a solution can’t be found, then sadly this is one of those scenarios that falls under the 5% in Rule #3. Money is going to have to exchange hands in the form of a private jet charter, a cancellation fee, or other fiduciary solution.


SCENARIO #3

♦ A speaker (or manager/agent) discovers that the booking bureau is not only taking a commission, but is also marking up the fee by $1,000. Is this an ethical violation? If so, what do you do about it?

Solution:  You bet this is an ethical violation. If the contract had already been signed, we would have little choice but to complete the transaction, but Rule #2 would apply here. This bureau/person can’t be trusted and therefore we would not work with them in the future.


 

Next week, we will cover the remaining two scenarios and, more importantly, move the discussion back to the role an industry panel can play in creating educational content, excitement, discussion, and revenue at your Association Annual Meeting.

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.
ficp

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, www.howtofascinate.com 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

Many of our blog and Twitter followers have asked us to weigh in on the recent publicity surrounding Carly Fiorina’s availability to participate in commercial speaking engagements while seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for President. For those of you not familiar with the controversy, it was reported by Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and other major social media sites that Leading Authorities International was soliciting paid speaking engagements for Ms. Fiorina last month. The solicitation itself is in an email from LAI Program Consultant Lisa McFadden to a redacted client that reads, in part:

I wanted to send you a quick, private note about Carly Fiorina. Though she maintains an active campaign calendar, she has limited availability for speaking engagements….
We don’t advertise Carly on the Leading Authorities website, but if you have an interest in booking her for an upcoming meeting or event, please let me know and I’d be happy to share her availability and fees.

Fiorina’s campaign quickly responded that the candidate is not booking any paid speeches while she runs for president. “I didn’t authorize anything they sent out,” Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “We aren’t accepting any requests during the campaign.”

Worldwide Speakers Group, the bureau who publicly lists Ms. Fiorina as an exclusive client reached out to the speaker bureau industry with the following statement:

As you are aware, last week a very untimely and unauthorized email was sent out by another speakers bureau suggesting that Mrs. Fiorina is available for speeches. Please be aware that Carly is NOT considering speaking engagements at this time. If ever her stance should change, we will be the first to notify you. Also, the organization that sent this email does NOT have a relationship with her.

The Speaker Experts have no real interest or insight into what transpired behind the scenes in this situation other than it always catches our attention when the speaker bureau industry becomes a national story. What is of interest to us as professional lecture agents is the concept of compensating a declared presidential candidate to speak at an association or corporate event. This is generally something we advise our mainstream clients against doing. Whatever juice there is in the publicity squeeze of landing a presidential candidate, it can be quickly mitigated by the following pitfalls:

    • The strong degree of cancellation risk created by the candidate’s fluid campaign schedule. A commercial speaking engagement can easily be pushed aside by a breaking news story, fundraiser, debate or other pressing campaign event.
    • No matter what side of the political spectrum your membership or employees fall, you risk offending a significant portion of the cohort by not only giving the candidate a platform but compensating the speaker to do so.
    • While the axiom of “there is no such thing as bad publicity” may hold some truth, your organization does risk potentially unfavorable media exposure if the appearance does land on the radar of national press.

Should Carly Fiorina not be successful in her presidential bid, she, like many of the other candidates, will certainly be in high demand on the commercial speaking circuit; however, the time to consider “booking” one of these political titans is after they have left the race.

Side Note: It is always important to keep your guard up during the political season to make sure your contracted speakers do not use the platform for any type of unwanted campaign speech or political endorsement. This point was driven home recently to The Speaker Experts when a national media figure we scheduled to speak for an influential trade association gave a 30 minute stump speech for a candidate instead of the contracted content. Set your content boundaries with a conference call prior to the event, reinforce these boundaries with a meeting on-site the day of the presentation and develop an exit strategy if for some reason the speaker does not respect these boundaries while on stage.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

In our posting last year, Top Ten Films That Have Influenced The Speaker Circuit, we discussed the symbiotic relationship between the success on Hollywood’s big screen and the speaking demand created for the protagonist of the film. Captain Jim Lovell from Apollo 13, Mike Eruzione for Miracle, and Frank Abagnale from Catch Me if You Can are just a few examples. While their life lessons and stories are timeless and well-known, the release of these films was a critical catalyst to market demand and success on the speaking circuit. When you combine a compelling story with savvy podium skills and a major picture, you create a perfect storm of excitement on the speaking circuit.

September 1st marks the opening of the fall movie season and The Speaker Experts have identified three that will have an impact on the speaking circuit over the next six months and beyond:

A Walk In The Woods
A-Walk-in-the-Woods
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Robert Redford and Nick Nolte hit the Appalachian trail for laughs in the film adaptation of the best-selling book by Bill Bryson. A consistently sought-after speaker in the humorist/author space, this film will greatly increase Bryson’s name value among a broad swath of interested conference planners and attendees. Also, though Bryson lives in the UK, he will be speaking to groups in the United States in March 2016.



Everest
left for dead
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Josh Brolin portrays Dr. Beck Weathers and Robin Wright plays his wife, Peach, in one of the most anticipated films of the year. Weathers has been a highly sought-after inspirational speaker for years, and this film will surely add to demand. Another prominent figure and proven speaker featured in this movie is world class climber and IMAX filmmaker David Breashears. Portrayed in the film by Micah Huptman, Breashears also serves as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Leadership.



Concussion
Game Brain
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Will Smith takes on the NFL through his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu in a true David vs. Goliath story. Dr. Omalu is relatively new to the commercial speaking circuit but his compelling story should create high market demand from organizations with both clinical and inspirational interests within the commercial speaking market (Dr. Omalu is represented by the Greater Talent Network).


A word of caution: much like the stock market, past performance is no guarantee of future success when it comes to a speaker bureau predicting a speaker’s increased market demand based on the release of a motion picture. The Speaker Experts feel that the risk is low and the upside is high with the speakers related to these films. However, you should discuss the benefits and risks with your trusted IASB bureau partner to determine if one of these speakers is a potential fit for your next event.

Final Note: Washington Speakers Bureau announced a blog featuring “insights and resources for event professionals” and can be accessed here. WSB has been a leader in the speaker bureau industry for three decades and The Speaker Experts look forward to their industry observations and suggestions.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin