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Will A Sitting CEO Speak At My Event?

by Jonathan Lane, Vice President & Senior Program Consultant
Will A Sitting CEO Speak At My Event?

Our clients frequently ask us to help them find and book big name speakers, celebrities, famous public figures, or well-known CEOs from major organizations to speak at their next event or meetings. They ask questions like, “Can I book Jeff Bezos as a speaker?” or “What will it take to book Mark Zuckerberg as a speaker at my next event?”. 

While these are not uncommon requests, they can end up disappointing clients if expectations aren’t properly managed upfront. When it comes to bringing big name, revolutionary thinkers—such as Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, Elon Musk, Larry Page, or Meg Whitman—to speak at your event, there are many moving pieces involved in the process and important logistical nuances that need to be considered. With that in mind, here is what you need to know and what you can expect if you want to book a big name speaker or celebrity speaker. 

The truth is that the vast majority of current sitting CEOs have very limited time and even less incentive to accept paid speaking opportunities. These prominent personalities are focused on growing the organization that is paying them millions of dollars a year and changing the world around them, rather than collecting a speaking fee, which in most cases, they can’t keep due to various regulations and restrictions imposed by many large organizations and corporations. In the rare instance that one of these highly-recognizable public figures does accept a paid speaking engagement, they seldom have the adequate time to properly prepare a customized presentation tailored to the the specific interests, needs, and concerns of the audience, so they tend to spend most of their time promoting the latest developments and accomplishments happening within their own organization. This leaves the audience wanting more of a customized feel, more of a personalized presentation, and more time to interact and engage with the speaker during a Q&A-style sessions, which in most cases is not included in the program due to timing restrictions and other constraints.

“But they are on another bureau’s website!”, you say. We see those advertisements, too. Unfortunately, it’s usually just click bait. Credible speakers bureaus only promote speakers they have a pre-existing relationship with and approval from the speaker to promote them on their public-facing website.

If you see a speakers bureau or agency claiming they can help you book famous keynote speakers like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, I would advise you to be very suspect at best and proceed with caution. What you will find is it’s usually a bait-and-switch. Unethical speakers bureaus will put these speakers on their website in order to lead you on a path towards another speaker they have a stake in promoting and booking.

“But I saw them speak at an event I attended!”, you say. Yes, sometimes these big name speakers will do a pro-bono talk for an influential friend or a charity they are associated with.

This is the exception, not the rule. They are almost never paid for these appearances but are doing them as a result of a request from a friend or because the event’s cause is near and dear to them.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker with a big name and recognizable face to "Wow" your audience, of course there are many great options available to you and our team has had a lot of experience booking well-known celebrity speakers for our clients in the past so we can help source a similar speaker for your event, as well. However, Leading Authorities, Inc. is committed to upholding our core values of integrity, transparency, and a service-oriented attitude in each and every client interaction and our program consultants will never waste your time and mislead you by feeding you false or incomplete information about speakers in an effort to make a profit.

Many former CEOs and C-Suite executives from big brands speak, as do many of the Shark Tank entrepreneurs, media personalities, TV hosts, and innovators spanning across every industry and sector. As mentioned above, there are occasionally exceptions to every rule and we want to help you find the ideal speaker for your next event based on all of your specific needs and wants. 

For more information about booking a big name speaker, a famous television personality, or even a highly-renowned former CEOs to speak at an upcoming event, contact our team. To connect with a member of our team, you can either email contact@lauthorities.com, call 1-800-SPEAKER, or live chat with a member of our team on our website right now. 

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