Posts Tagged ‘humorist’

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

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.

left for dead

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.

Game Brain

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

So what is the difference between a humorist and a comedian? There are many ways to approach this question, but The Speaker Experts have turned to the words of celebrated humorist and speaker Jeanne Robertson for the answer:

Humor is not about one-liners or being able to tell jokes. It’s about accepting things about yourself that can’t be changed and finding the humor in situations around you. Things happen on a daily basis that are really funny, but people often let the funny stuff get away, either because they don’t notice it as funny, or they don’t make it a priority to look for it.

The eight personalities listed below are among the most popular and most-requested celebrity humorists and satirists available to meeting planners. Humor is found within the context of their stories as opposed to the usual one-liners and jokes.

Garrison Keillor
American Storyteller and Writer
Laughter, song, and American values on stage

Dave Barry
Bestselling Author
Crockett and Tubbs are the second most famous personalities to come out of Miami

Bill Bryson
Acclaimed Author
Humor is always better with a British accent

PJ O’Rourke
Journalist and Writer
At the intersection of William F. Buckley Jr. and Art Buchwald

Mark Russell
Political Satirist
The Shoreham Hotel is long gone but Mark Russell is going strong

Scott Adams
Creator of “Dilbert”
The wisdom of “Dilbert” comes to the podium

Rick Reilly
Sportswriter and Commentator
There is often humor in the drama of athletic competition

David Feherty
Golf Broadcaster and Author
You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy his presentation, but it helps!

The benefits of humor to the meeting industry are well-established. A humorist can be used to set the tone for the meeting as an opening speaker, to send attendees home on an upbeat note as the closing speaker, or in an informal, after-dinner setting. Humor reduces stress and encourages cohesion among meeting attendees that will result in a more positive and productive meeting experience. Finding the right humorist for your event is like discovering lightning in a bottle – of course, putting the wrong humorist in front of your membership or employees can be a disaster. Not every humorist, no matter how well-known, is right for every group. When it comes to identifying a humorist for your next meeting, The Speaker Experts strongly suggest contacting a IASB-member speaker bureau to maximize laughter and minimize risk at your next meeting.

……a duck and a lecture agent walk into the a bar and order two whiskeys. The bartender says to the lecture agent, “How are you going to pay for these drinks?”. The lecture agent points to the duck and says, “I’m going to put it on his bill!”. Tip your waiters and waitresses! The Speaker Experts will be back next week to finish this post by looking at the leading humorist speakers from the non-celebrity category.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin