Here at Speaker Sponsor we want speakers to have every opportunity possible to get out and get paid to speak, whether you’re getting a paycheck from a meeting planner or getting paid by a sponsor for a free speaking engagement. Another big part of your speaking career will be your relationship with a speakers bureau. Between the Speaker Sponsor podcast and this blog, we’re interviewing speakers bureaus from around the world. We want to learn how each one operates and how they like to work with speakers.

Here is an interview with Nick Gold, MD of Speakers Corner and Chairman of the EASB (European Association of Speaker Bureaux)

1. Can you give us some info on your background?
 I have been working at Speakers Corner since my path crossed with our founder Cheryl Goldhill, just as I was looking for an opportunity to grow my own company and create something new. Coming from a corporate background, I found the challenge of serving the corporate sector exciting, and the prospect of meeting inspirational people every day was something I relished.

2. How is the speaking industry different in Europe than the U.S.? 
 There are many differences in the speaking industry between the US and the UK, primarily the fees paid to speakers are far higher in the US, but on a more interesting note, the really traditional motivational speakers are more popular in the States, whilst European audiences have historically been more interested in booking speakers with high profile brands behind them and tangible business experience.

3. When should a speaker start approaching speaker’s bureaus and how would you like to be approached? 
 We love meeting speakers at any stage of their careers, whether they are established speakers looking to branch out and meet new clients, or whether they are embarking on their speaking career and are just at the beginning of the road, and we can mentor and nurture them in the best methods of preparation, marketing etc.

4. What is the one thing you wish speakers should know about working with a speaker’s bureau? That we are their best advocates and that as a speaker bureau, we are working with their best interests at the heart of what we do, and will only place them in a job or brief that fits their area and skills – and that we know best what those jobs are!

5. Who is your perfect speaker client? Our most exciting challenges come when clients don’t know who they want and we are tasked with finding them the perfect speaker, at which time we can start selling amazing people who are not household names but have inspiring and unique stories and messages to share.

6. Is there one book you would recommend all speakers read? Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, by Nancy Duarte

7. What do you see changing for speakers, meeting planners and speaker’s bureaus and how would you use innovation to improve the speaking industry?
 At Speakers Corner we value complete honesty and transparency above all else. As soon as the industry cracks down on undercutting, and all bureaux begin to work together, the marketplace will become a venerated industry, and will move forward in a way that will benefit clients, speakers, bureaux and audiences.

Nick, thanks for your time and for your industry insight! Speakers Corner speaker’s bureau has a skilled team with over 40 years of industry experience and an expansive knowledge of the best international motivational speakers, after dinner speakers, conference facilitators, keynote speakers and awards hosts.

8 Responses to “Interview With a Speakers Bureau – Speakers Corner”

  1. Julie Austin says:

    Olivia, it looks like your topics would be a good fit for crowd funding.

  2. Olivia Weber says:

    I would like to know more about Speaker Sponsor and get paid for my services.

  3. Petra Laranjo says:

    Hi Julie (and other speakers). I’m based in South Africa and curious as to how our speaking industry resonates or is different to Europe and the U.S.
    Hadn’t thought of that before.

  4. Julie Austin says:

    Hi Petra, I don’t know how all speaker’s bureaus around the world operate, but am doing a series of interviews with international bureaus to find out. Though Speaker Sponsor is mostly in the US now, hopefully it will grow to include international sponsors. My first big small business sponsor was from Europe wanting to get their brand in the US, so it’s definitely possible.

  5. Melanie Tondo Jean says:

    Hi Julie
    First, I want to say that I love the article. After reading it, I was wondering how do I, as an amateur speaker, become apart of Speaker Sponsor? Are there certain criteria to meet?

  6. Julie Austin says:

    Hi Melanie, these days there really is a small business sponsor for just about everyone. It’s much easier to do that with small business sponsorship as opposed to sponsorship with large corporations.

  7. Lois Creamer says:

    Interesting interview! I’ve been in the speaking industry 16 years and have never, never heard a bureau reach out to speakers just getting started.

  8. Julie Austin says:

    Thanks, Lois. The beginners of today will be the stars of tomorrow!

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