LAI Exclusive Speaker Resources

Welcome to Leading Authorities, Inc.! We're excited to be working with you. Below, you can find answers to what to expect during your first few weeks, frequently asked questions, and much more.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Onboarding Financial FAQs Speaking Increasing Visibility Key Contacts Feedback & Coaching Why Work With LAI




  • Speaker Profile Form ​​​​​​​We want to know as much as possible about you, your traveling preferences, and even your food allergies to make each booking a smooth experience
  • W9 Form ​​​​​​​Before we can pay you for your first speaking engagement, the W9 Form needs to be filled out and returned to us
  • Bio
  • Speaking topic descriptions (if available)
  • Video of you speaking and links to TV hits (if available)
  • Headshot and any other materials we could use for marketing efforts​​​​​​​


  • Prepare your at-home setup – If you're struggling with your at-home setup for virtual events, check out our 4 step guide to shooting videos at home
  • Connect with content manger on crafting materials for our site and marketing promotions
  • Schedule meeting with Sales and Marketing teams as well as book agents
  • Meet with your Event Coordinator  You will be introduced to your event coordinator during your visit to LAI. Your event coordinator will handle the logistics of your speaking engagements (including booking travel for in-person events, content prep, tech prep for virtual events, and any logistical concerns). You can also forward any incoming speaking inquiries you receive to your EC who will pass them along to the appropriate person on our team to reach out. 
  • Approve draft page
  • Webpage will go live​​​​​​​

Financial FAQs


  • Will I need to fill out a W9?
    Yes, you can find the W9 Form here
  • Is a speaker taxed on LAI's commission?
    No, a speaker is only taxed on the amount they are paid
  • Will I be receiving a 1099?
    Yes, we will send you a 1099 form to the email that we have on file for payment communications. You should receive this by January 31st of each year
    • ​​​​​If you're located outside of the U.S., you will receive a W8 Form which can be accessed here​​​​​​​


  • Is liability insurance necessary?
    ​​​​​​​Insurance of any sort is not required but it is up to the speaker to decide whether or not they would like to purchase liability insurance


  • Visit With Our Team
    The goal of this meeting is for our sales and marketing teams (approx. 30 people), to better understand how to market and sell you effectively. At the end of it, we want them to be able to describe topics you are passionate about, get a feel for your style, and genuinely get to know you. To do this effectively, we suggest you give a highlights version of your talk, apx. 20-25 minutes, use visuals if you intend to use them in a speech, tell us your best story, funniest jokes, and treat the meeting much like you would a paid opportunity. Following your presentation, we will do 5 – 10 minutes of Q&A. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Feeback & Coaching

Speakers often ask to receive audience and team feedback in order to improve their presentations and garner more business. LAI will attend some of your early speeches and provide you with feedback. In addition, our video editors and producers from LAI Video and LAI Live are available to assist you with any graphic or virtual event support you may require.

Additionally, if you would like more tips on how to improve your virtual stage presence, Sekou Andrews has a great guide on digital stage training.​​​​​​​

Speaking Samples

Nadja West Speaker Visit

Jonah Berger Speaker Visit

Lisa Sun: FICP 2020

Sekou Andrews - Cisco Webinar 2020

General Stanley McChrystal: PGM

Erik Weihenmayer on Overcoming Adversity

Ben Saunders: PMI '19

Think2Perform: Susan O'Malley - Oct 2020

Carla Harris Keynote

Increasing Visibility

  • Book Deals
    • LAI Literary is Leading Authorities’ resource for talent seeking to write and publish works of non-fiction. A collaboration between Leading Authorities, Inc. and Washington, DC-based literary agency, Ross Yoon, LAI Literary fields proposals and assists clients in conceiving, developing, and licensing future best-selling books. Schedule a meeting with our sales and marketing team to learn more.
  • Help Us Help You
    • Rephrasing the famous words of Jerry McGuire, "Help us help you!" Now that we are working together, we want to ensure that you are getting the best exposure through us and you! 

Key Contacts at LAI

  • Matt JonesPresident & CEO
    Matt is your best resource for questions relating to your business, fees, and general speaking questions.
    Direct: (202) 721-7655 | Mobile: (202) 286-0510
  • Katherine Bentley, Vice President Client Relations
    Katherine manages our speaker recruitment process. She is a great resource for any questions you might have.
    Direct: (202) 721-7665 | Mobile: (202) 288-2550
  • Haley Rauch, Chief of Staff
    Haley works closely with Matt; she is a great resource if you have a question or issue and are not sure who to direct it to.
    Direct: (202) 416-4656 | Mobile: (703) 967-8513​​​​​​​
  • Kevin Williams, Marketing Content Manager
    Kevin will be working on drafting all of your materials (bio and speaking topics) as well as website content and marketing emails. He is also a great resource for aligning our marketing efforts with yours and figuring out who on our team can support your web team on building out your site.
    Direct: (202) 721-7663

Why Work With LAI

Leading Authorities, Inc. is not just a speakers bureau. We also have two other lines of business - LAI Video and LAI Live - which essentially saved us during the onset of the pandemic, proving that we were innovative and allowing us to broaden our client base.

LAI has an intricate member base that is connected to many speakers across all different sectors of business. We encourage you to connect and collaborate with this built in network as often as you can.

Additionally, as your speaking agents, we are often able to help our talent negotiate other deals that may arise or gracefully decline on your behalf. Our partnerships and relationships extend beyond the meeting planning industry and we can also refer you to other people that you believe could help broaden your success within the speaking industry and beyond.

Keys to a Successful Speaker Visit
Help Us Help You