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Local Keynote Speakers In Chicago, Illinois

Looking for a speaker for your event in or around Chicago, Illinois? Chicago is a popular destination for conferences and events, and speakers from the area are likely to have greater flexibility in their schedule and be available at an affordable, local rate. You don't have to go far to find a high-caliber keynote speaker in the Chicago area. From professors and CEOs to military leaders and media personalities, Chicago is home to some of the world’s most innovative minds and inspirational figures. 

Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau represents many great speakers from the Chicago, Illinois area, on topics ranging from inspiration and motivation to business and leadership. Take a look at our top local Chicago speakers below.

Let us know if you are interested in one of our speakers for your event.

Former CEO of McDonald’s and Executive Chairman Walgreen Boots Alliance
Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
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As McDonald’s Corporation’s legendary vice chairman and CEO, Jim Skinner led a turnaround at the world’s largest food service company, leaving the chain with the best financial performance in its history. One of the architects of McDonald’s worldwide “Plan to Win” revitalization plan launched in 2003, he managed a successful shift in strategy that led to increased sales, reinvented menus, modernized restaurants, and innovative new offerings. Repeatedly hailed by media as the “CEO of the Year, Skinner addresses business strategy, turnaround stories, leadership, and managing change.
Topics & Types
LeadershipRetailGrowthDecision MakingTurnaroundBusiness Leaders From Major BrandsCEOs
Grant Thornton, Chief Economist and Managing Director
Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*
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As one of the most sought-after and most-quoted economists in the world, Diane Swonk has more than 30 years of experience in financial services. She is the Founder and CEO of DS Economics and, for 11 years, the senior managing director and chief economist for Mesirow Financial. She has sat on advisory committees to high-level governmental banking authorities, and has also earned many awards over her career, including being listed as one of the “Top Forecasters in the Country” by The Wall Street Journal. She addresses trade issues, regulation, taxes, policy and the markets, and many other issues affecting business and the economy.
Topics & Types
Economic OutlookFinance Policy & RegulationFemale Speakers
Former President and CEO of Walgreens
Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
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Greg Wasson is the former CEO of Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the U.S. He transformed an iconic company and helped change an entire industry. Known for his willingness to take risks, he spearheaded a string of deals that moved the company into new markets, including the acquisition of Duane Reade and Alliance Boots – creating the world’s first global health and wellness company. He also delivered returns exceeding the S&P 500 and generated more free cash flow than the previous 98 combined. Wasson discusses leading a global business and healthcare.
Topics & Types
BrandingHealthcareLeadershipRetailBusiness StrategyGrowthDisruptionDecision MakingTurnaroundBusiness Leaders From Major BrandsCEOs
Thomas Bevan
Co-Founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics
Fees
  • Local: Under $10,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $10,001 - $20,000*
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Tom Bevan is the co-founder and executive editor of RealClearPolitics. A political junkie, he writes regular features for the site and other top-tier publications and is frequently featured as a political analyst on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, the BBC, and is the co-author of The RealClearPolitics Political Download: Election 2012. In his presentations, he addresses politics and elections and offers the historical context of today’s political events.
Topics & Types
PoliticsMediaPolitical AnalystsPollsters & Public Opinion Experts
Olympic Silver Medalist and Entrepreneur
Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
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John brings an unusual and diverse perspective to individual achievement and organizational potential. His first career consisted of 12 years as an Olympic athlete, representing the U.S. in 10 world championships and winning a silver medal in the Winter Olympics. After “retirement,” John moved into strategy consulting during the heady dot-com era, helping clients like Goldman Sachs, AOL/Time Warner and Enron innovate new business models. As a result of this experience, unlocking human potential in service of driving growth has become John’s “why” and led to his current role, helping organizations to develop a culture of innovation.
Topics & Types
InnovationPeak PerformanceDisruptionAthletes & Commentators
NFL Studio Analyst for ESPN
Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
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Mike Ditka is a former American football player, coach, and television commentator. He was previously the coach of the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears and is currently an analyst for NBC. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win an NFL title as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach. Ditka is also the only individual in modern NFL history to win a championship with the same team as a player and a head coach.
Topics & Types
Inspiration & MotivationAthletes & Commentators
Expert on Business and Personal Finance and the Economy, Author of The...
Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*
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Terry Savage is a nationally recognized financial authority and television personality who has devoted her career to helping organizations and individuals better understand the economic policies coming out of Washington, and better plan for the future.
Topics & Types
Economic OutlookFinance Policy & RegulationMediaFemale Speakers
Chief Scientist, Obama for America
Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
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Co-Founder, Edgeflip Computation Institute & Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago Rayid Ghani, the chief scientist at Obama for America, played a groundbreaking role in the 2012 campaign. Focusing on analytics, technology, and data, he used tools to motivate people’s offline actions. Data-driven insights were used to galvanize the campaign and predict voters’ views. Before that, Ghani worked at Accenture Technology Labs for 10 years as a research scientist and the director of analytics research. One of the leading experts in this field, he addresses how data, analytics, and communications advances can be used to influence and change consumer behavior.
Topics & Types
TechnologyAI, Machine Learning, & Big DataConsumer Behavior
Inspiration for the Film, The Pursuit of Happyness
Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
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Chris Gardner is the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and inspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. He is great for groups looking for a speaker who has “walked the walk” and accomplished things that no one else thought they would be able to do. He is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations and discusses commitment and fatherhood.
Topics & Types
Diversity & InclusionInspiration & MotivationOvercoming AdversityRisk-TakersBusiness Leaders From Major BrandsAfrican American Speakers

bringing the best Motivational & leadership speakers to your chicago stage

Whether you want McDonald’s former CEO to share business insights or would like to have your audience energized by the man who inspired the highly-acclaimed film, The Pursuit of Happyness—our team of experts will work with you from start to finish to help you find the ideal keynote speaker and make sure all your needs are fully met throughout the process. We'll do research for you, talk with you about trending topics, make tailored speaker recommendations to fit your event and company, hunt down hard-to-find talent, quote fees, and handle travel and logistics so you can focus on the big picture.

Read through our extensive roster of keynote speakers in the Chicago, Illinois area above and click into the individual speaker pages for more details on each speaker.
You can also call us at 1-800-SPEAKER or live chat with a member of our team now, if you have a question or would like more information about our speakers.

If you are looking for a specific speaker not listed above, please contact our team as we specialize in placing hard-to-find and in-demand keynote speakers from Chicago, Illinois, and across the globe, which may not be listed on our website.
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