Celebrity speaker or business speaker


Nina Fountain, one of our most effective and influential speakers, referred me to this article from Ayelet Baron.

Some people believe that when you are invited to give a talk or a speech, you are expected to entertain an audience. I have experienced speakers who post on their social media updates that they are off to be the opening act at a company conference.

It always makes me think about the missed opportunity in having this limiting belief. If this is true then what it means is that most organizations are simply hiring speakers to entertain their people. Another fleeting entertainment show that could be broadcast on a television channel to be consumed and forgotten when we get back to our emails and jobs after the celebrated event. We’ve all seen how this movie plays out, and too often, its sequels as well.

In a world where we manage change in business instead of embracing it, it is not surprising that fear produces predictability and cookie cutter expectations at events. It is part of the current transactional nature of the business that needs a reboot to match the 21st century human to human era.

For some time I have been extolling the virtues of having a speaker that can make a difference. Overseas I have noticed a trend for more and more major companies to go with a speaker who can take the audience to the next level in terms of their personal and business development.

In many cases, these speakers are not well known and not familiar to the audience. I'm not sure where or when it became fashionable for those engaging speakers to select well known, sporting figures, TV figures to address their group. I do know that the value added and the return on investment often decreases with the celebrity status and the size of the fee. In some cases, it is a case of celebrity by association. "My company got the biggest name so we are the best"

In an "up-market" this can happen without consequence but when the market/economy turns all focus goes back on to the speakers who can "get us out of this mess". Why wait! Use the best speakers right now!