Posts Tagged ‘Mike Eruzione’

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Every 4 years, in early August the world turns their attention to the Summer Olympic Games. This is an exciting time for sports and non-sports fans alike. Coincidentally, it is an important event for the professional speaking industry. Over the years, some of the most sought after motivational speakers on the circuit had first come into the national spotlight at the Olympic Games. Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Mary Lou Retton, Sugar Ray Leonard are just a few examples of Olympic athletes who have become cornerstones of the speaking industry.

The Speaker Experts have been in the speaking industry going back to the 1984 Olympic Games.  A lot has changed in the world of professional speaking since then, but one thing has not…the Olympic Games generate a great deal of demand from meeting planners that are vigorously looking to enhance their events by securing an Olympic athlete. Of course, the interest was demonstrated via phone calls and letters, while today it is demonstrated by emails, tweets, and texts.

This Olympic year has proven no exception. We have already received speaking requests for Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and Maya DiRado. Scheduling an Olympic athlete to speak or appear at your upcoming event can be a great experience; however, you need to have a clear understanding on your desired outcome and goals for the appearance in order to make the most appropriate selection.

If your goal is to capture or take advantage of the Olympic spirit by securing a world class speaker, your best option will be to explore a former champion. While speakers like Peter Vidmar, John Naber, Scott Hamilton, and Vince Poscente may lack the name value of Olympic athletes who are competing in Rio this week, they are seasoned professional speakers who have crafted their speech and message having appeared before hundreds of groups.You can expect to find great options in this space in the $30,000 and under fee range. We often forget that these legacy athletes have a compelling backstory to go with their Olympic experience.  Therefore, we suggest a short high energy introduction video to bring these speakers on stage.

If your goal is to create excitement, increase revenue via attendance/sponsorship or drive attendees to the exhibit floor, securing a current champion could be an option, but there are a number of considerations. The first consideration is that generally younger athletes are not experienced professional speakers. They have spent their lives perfecting their craft and not a speech.  While there are exceptions, we would suggest a Q&A format with a professional moderator to bring out the best in the athlete.  The second consideration is cost. The top tier athletes for the current games can command fees in the six figure range for a short appearance. Finally, not every athlete will be available to appear at your meeting.  Many Olympic athletes will continue on to future competitions, return to a full-time job, or continue their education.

Conclusion:

Scheduling a speaker with an Olympic background can add value and create excitement at your next event.  When doing so, it is important to have a clear understanding of your expectations for the speaker and the session.  Although, this month’s Olympic gold medal winners will bring instant name value and cache to your stage, it is not always realistic to ask them to give a polished 50 minute keynote speech. If you are looking to capture the Olympic spirit with a world class professional speaker, look towards an older athlete who has a proven track record on the speaking circuit.

Tip:

The 2018 Winter Olympics takes place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9th through the 25th. If you have a meeting during this time period, as Olympian hockey player, the Great Wayne Gretsky used to say, “Skate to where the puck is going to be,” and consider scheduling a Winter Olympic Champion to speak at your meeting.  Contact your IASB member speaker bureau to discuss your speaker options in this space.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

 

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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
AWalkintheWoodsmoviePoster























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
everest_movie_poster_2























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
concussionpostersmall


















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

In our inaugural post “Speaker Recovery Options in First Tier Markets”, we pointed out that despite the most careful and detail-oriented preparations and planning, speakers do get sick, or have family emergencies or travel problems that can cause them cancel. The Speaker Experts strongly recommend you have a speaker recovery plan in place before traveling to your meeting. While the resources in “Second Tier Convention Markets” can be scarcer than their larger counterparts, they are out there and available to the forward-thinking event planner. Here are 3 pre-event precautionary procedures you can undertake to help deal with a last-minute speaker cancellation:

  • Mine the local universities and television networks for talent. Often you will find a well-known, local celebrity who knows their way around the speaker stage. (A local or regional speaker bureau might be worth a call as they typically have a handle on this type of talent).
  • Hire a speaker to attend your event and be on stand-by. We recently worked with a major insurance company who was concerned about the logistics of getting their speakers to an obscure location. The solution was to hire a well-known NBA broadcaster to attend the entire meeting and be there on stand-by. While his skills were never needed, his presence provided a nice insurance policy for the event planning team.
  • Have a handle on professional speakers who live in the area or are a short drive away. Below is a list of popular second tier convention cities and a selection of high impact speakers who reside nearby:
SECOND TIER CONVENTION CITIES
Mobile, AL
Fred Haise
Apollo 13 Astronaut

Mesa, AZ
Captain Mark Kelly
Commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Vail, CO
Aron Ralston
subject of 127 Hours

West Palm Beach,FL
Jim Knight
frmr. Director of Training at Hard Rock Int.
Mike Abrashoff
frmr. Commander of the USS Benfold

Shreveport, LA
General Russel L. Honore
Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina

Baltimore, MD
Commander Kirk Lippold
Commander of the USS Cole

Jackson, MS
General Russel L. Honore
Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina

Indianapolis, IN
Derek Daly
Author and international racing champion
Scott McKain
customer experience expert, best-selling business author
Wildwood, NJ
Stuart Varney
FOX Business News Host of Varney & Co.

Albuquerque, NM
Mike Mullane
career NASA astronaut and author

Cleveland, OH
Jim Gilmore
author and sought-after consultant

Pittsburgh, PA
Rocky Bleier
frmr. Super Bowl champion

Columbia, SC
Frank Abagnale
subject of the film Catch Me If You Can

Salt Lake City, UT
Adrian Gostick
best-selling author of The Carrot Principle

Virginia Beach, VA
You are on your own!

Milwaukee, WI
Dan Burrus
best-selling author, business strategist and technology futurist

Providence, RI
Michelle Stacy
frmr. Green Mountain Keurig President
Mike Eruzione
Captain of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team and subject of Miracle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

These preparations can be initiated with just a few hours of internet research or by reaching out to the IASB-member speaker bureau of your choice. On a closing note, congratulations to Elaine Howard of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Her name was drawn from over 100 entries for the signed Billie Jean King tennis racquet!

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Hollywood loves an underdog – but not as much as the speaking circuit! Every once in a while a movie comes along that captures the imagination of the country. These very films remind us that anything is possible, and that extraordinary accomplishments can be achieved by ordinary people. These ordinary people have been on the speaking circuit for years, delivering inspirational lessons of overcoming obstacles and achieving impossible dreams. Fredi Lajvardi is one of those speakers, and Spare Parts, starring George Lopez, is on a trajectory that could push Fredi into the spotlight. With a January 16, 2015 release date, Spare Parts is the story of veteran teacher Fredi Lajvardi (played by George Lopez) and a group of deserving high school students from Phoenix who end up defeating the reigning champion MIT robotics team in a national competition. Think Rocky meets Stand and Deliver! To get a better idea of the movie, check out this recently released trailer:

It would be a Hail Mary to suggest that “Spare Parts” will crack the following top ten film list that have influenced the speaking circuit, but the speaker experts feel it is possible:

Miracle (2004)
miraclePlayers Mike Eruzione and Jim Craig are two of
the most in-demand sports speakers of all time.
Sadly, Coach Herb Brooks passed away before the film’s release.

Apollo 13 (1995)
apollo13Jim Lovell, Gene Kranz, and Fred Haise bring
“Failure is Not an Option” culture to corporate America.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
pursuithappynessChris Gardner breaks the cycle of poverty.

Catch Me if You Can (2002)
catchmeNow FBI consultant, Frank Abagnale is the nation’s
number one fraud and values speaker.

The Blindside (2009)
The Blind Side movie posterNFL plus Oscar equals speaking
success for the Touhy Family.

Stand and Deliver (1988)
standdeliverJamie Escalate and Edward James Olmos were two
of the educational circuit’s most popular
speakers in the 1990s.

127 Hours (2010)
Aron Ralston makes 127 hours fly by on stage.

The Rookie (2002)
rookieA physics teacher turned left-handed MLB pitcher
with a 98 MPH fast ball, Jim Morris is still
bringing the heat to the speaking stage.

Moneyball (2011)
Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta and Michael Lewis bring
baseball sabermetrics from the field to the board room.

Remember the Titans (2000)
rememberthetitansThe Speaker Experts live in Northern Virginia
and do not remember the story going the way of this
Hollywood portrayal, but Coaches Herman Boone
and Ed Yost were powerhouse speakers.

Note:  We received an overwhelming amount of suggestions and questions regarding our post on the ten top military speakers of the past 30 years and three to keep an eye on.  With the news events of the past week, the answer is “yes” – Navy Seal Robert O’Neil is one to keep an eye on!

Disclosure notice: The Speaker Experts represent Fredji Lajvardi. We have a horse in this race but we feel it is a winner!

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin