Posts Tagged ‘General Colin Powell’

One of our initial posts last year covered the topic of “The 10 Most ‘Booked’ Corporate and Association Speakers”. We will be making a similar post later this year but today we reveal our list of the five most requested speakers in the world. In order to do this we must first differentiate between the concepts of “most requested” and “most booked”.

    1. “Most booked” are those on the speaking circuit who actively seek paid speaking engagements and are in high demand as commercial speakers. Generally these speakers are scheduled close to 100 times a year, sometimes even more!
    1. “Most requested” are speakers that may or may not be on the speaking circuit; however, they are requested by those looking to book speakers based on their name recognition and background.

These two categories are not mutually exclusive, and you would be pressed to find a speaker that qualifies for both lists. Frankly, those who are generally going to be the “most requested” do not have the availability to be the “most booked”, or the speaker market can’t support a speaking fee that makes it worth the speaker’s time. There have been a few anomalies to this postulate over the years – some examples would be General Colin Powell and General Norman Schwarzkopf.

The Speaker Experts came up with a list of the five most requested speakers in America based off the results of our Speaker Needs Analysis. When discussing a client’s speaker needs and desired outcome of a certain event, we cover a lot of territory including audience demographics, industry trends, past speakers, time allotted, etc. At the end of the analysis we always ask, “If you could book any speaker you wanted, with price and availability not being an issue, who would you book?”, making sure to keep track of all of these responses over the course of the year.

Here are the five most requested speakers over the past twelve months:

President Obama


He and the First Lady could be the highest paid speakers
of all time when they leave the White House.

Bill Gates


Microsoft founder, philanthropist and at the top of Forbes’ list of
the World’s Richest People. If every man has a price, we have
no idea what his would be!

Warren Buffett


CEO/largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway and philanthropist
(see Bill Gates re. speaking fee).

Elon Musk


The CEO of Space X and product architect of Tesla is a tough
get, but he will be speaking at the Edison Electric Institute
Annual Convention
in New Orleans.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

His Holiness the 14. Dalai Lama

If you are fortunate enough to schedule him for a speech,
you will receive total consciousness.

Clearly there is no scientific or analytic formula to identifying the world’s most requested speakers. However, through our communication with a large sampling of groups looking for speakers, these are the five we are asked about the most.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

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


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