Posts Tagged ‘General Norman Schwarzkopf’

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

…even speaker bureaus. Starting today, C-Level executives from the worlds’s leading speaker bureaus will converge onto New Orleans for the International Association of Speaker Bureaus‘ (@iasbweb) 2015 Convention. Like any trade or professional association, they will discuss topics ranging from external threats to the industry, legislation effecting speaker bureaus, as well as trends and technology that will impact speakers and the meeting world – they might even have an adult beverage or two! But when you put a group of speaker agents into a room, the topic ultimately leads to speakers: who is being booked the most, what type of feedback agents are hearing, who is the next big speaker, the list goes on.

So what does this meeting mean to those buying speakers? The Speaker Experts suggest you look to the speakers that these industry professionals have secured to address their most important meeting of the year. While The Speaker Experts have no idea what criterion IASB uses to select their speakers, we do feel it is safe to say that a group who makes a living finding and booking speakers would only select world class speakers to address their membership.

Here is the line-up of speakers for the IASB 2015 Convention:

Keynote Speaker: Lt. General Russel L. Honore

Honore R-Photo

Note of disclosure, Honore is represented by Keppler Speakers-where The Speaker Experts work.

The leader of Task Force Katrina and one of the world’s foremost experts on leadership and preparedness, Lt. General Russel L. Honore (@ltgrusselhonore) is a combination of John Wayne, General Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell. He still lives in New Orleans and is a popular speaker with groups meeting in The Big Easy.

Featured Speakers

The Speaker Experts have done a lot of work with General Honore, Terry Jones and Corey Perlman – we find them all to be both world class speakers and professionals on and off stage. We have “lost” enough business to Ronan Tynan over the years and have heard so many great things that we feel comfortable putting him in the same space. As for the rest of the speakers, though we have little if any experience working with them, the fact that they were chosen for this event commands attention and consideration. You can bet we will do our homework in finding out more about these speakers in the future. Check with your preferred speaker bureau to see if any of these speakers are a good fit for your next meeting.

Side Note: A Speaker Experts Tip of the Microphone to former Keppler Speakers Associate and blog follower Wajid Syed. Wajid worked as a sales assistant at Keppler from 2001-2002, leaving the firm to pursue a law degree and future career in sports management. He ultimately joined Sean “Jay-Z” Carter’s firm Roc Nation Sports last year.The Washington Post report from earlier this week indicates Wajid signed American tennis phenom Francis Tiafoe to the Roc Nation Sports roster. Tiafoe is the next great hope for American tennis and he is in good hands with Wajid. While we only worked with Wajid for a year and a half, we learned a lot more from him than he from us. Keep an eye on Wajid and Tiafoe.

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