How the Millennial Bottleneck Can Cost You Business

Posted by Vince Poscente on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 04:31 PM

In the motivational keynote speaker world we often wonder why our quality keynote speaker videos are not getting so-much-as-a first-look. Our well-thought-out speaker submission is not getting through. They "chose a different keynote speaker" or "went a different direction." Does this sound familiar in your business?

What are we missing? It's a recent phenomenon we call the Millennial Bottleneck.

A few factors are at play. In particular, it's human nature to follow the crowd. 70% of buyers seek other's opinions before buying. BUT, get this... the percentage jumps to 82% with Millennials seeking social proof.

Like you, we're not new to our industry, yet a bottleneck that USED to be focused strictly on quality is now turning it's eyeballs to social evidence first. And those "eyeballs" (at the 'gate-keeper' phase), we're finding, are predominantly owned by Millennials.

To get a 30,000 foot view, here is what the our speaker bureau agents' booking sequence generally looks like today:

Millennial bottleneck.jpg

What can you do to get more business?

#1: Beef Up Your Social Media Image (especially LinkedIn and whatever appears on the first page when they search you). When you Google your name and company are you looking at the first page from the eyes of a Millennial?

#2: A Killer 1st Impression. Be sure your product or service (in our case, a business keynote) you suggested has equally good social proof. Click here for and example of what we do. 

#3: Send Your Client Social Proof. Give Millennials what they want to get past the bottleneck and into the hands of the committee. (By the way, the committee wants both social proof AND quality motivational keynote speaker suggestions.)

45 sec video eg. Popular with our clients.

Video Banner for Testimonial .jpg
Look through the Millennial lens and reduce the amount of business you lose.

Tags: Sales, Business Leadership

5 Qualities of a Heroic Leader

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 @ 03:12 AM

Have you noticed people are increasingly uncertain about the future? This visceral doubt sparks fear. Here's the antidote to this pervasive type of fear:

The Heroic Leader

Hero.jpgIf you are in a leadership position, simply stating your vision of the future is not enough. (psst... if your lips are moving, you're in a position of leadership ;-)

There are five, essential character traits that will make your words resonate and generate much-needed optimism.

These same traits are abundant in everyday heroes.

Heroic Leaders are:

  1. Compassionate - They have a level of empathy that supersedes ego. Leaders without ego can see past themselves to the people they serve. Not convinced? Imagine a leader without compassion. Imagine a leader with attributes of hate, meanness, callousness or ruthlessness. Be compassionate!
  2. FearlessIt is impossible for us mere mortals to have zero fear. But, a hero finds a way to fear less. Leaders who understand fear is not a long term motivator can engage sustained loyalty. How? Better than comments that instill fear, point out the dysfunction followed by a loving solution (see compassion). Fear less!
  3. Humble - There is a magnetism to humility. Heroes in our world never self-identify as heroes. They simply acted our of an ego-less, natural instinct. "It was the right thing to do." True, magnetic leaders don't DO humble. They ARE humble. Their innate mantra is, "It's not about me. It's about the people I serve." Be humble!
  4. Selfless - Heroes who fear less, are compassionate and humble are naturally selfless. Leaders who are self indulgent or selfish can find themselves alone on the front line. Think more about others. In turn, they will join you. Be selfless!
  5. Persistent - Heroes never give up. Persistent leaders will gather an army of believers. Persist, persist, persist!

Each of us embody some of these heroic character traits, but we can always improve in all of them. Challenge yourself to be more compassionate, fearless, humble, selfless and persistent.

Do this and fear will dissipate while a clear, bright future will unfold.



About the Author:

Vince Poscente helps audiences overcome obstacles and sustain resiliency.

In 2017 he's among the 10 Highest Rated Inspirational Speakers for Business.

Tags: Goals, Team Building, Business Leadership, Changing Times

Top 5 Most Stressful Jobs? Event Planners Make the List

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Mar 09, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

 For a motivational keynote speaker of 20 years, there is very little stress associated with that one hour on stage. But for event coordinators, the mismanaged stress can be all consuming. Persistent, on-the-job stress can manifest into a cadre physical and mental issues. Event planners, you earned every gray hair on your stress-for-success head.


"What stress? They hired pros." Madison Advisors 2016 CCM Roundtable Event Organizers - Kelly Dittrich & Patricia Kilgore

Each of us can readily empathize how serving in the military, police force, fighting fires or flying a plane can be stressful, but you don't truly know how stressful planning an event can be until you've walked a mile of convention center corridors in their shoes.

How hard could it be? Fourteen years ago, the echoes of the stress organizing a surprise birthday party still linger in the dark shadows of my psyche.

The surprise? A fake funeral as my wife's 40th birthday party. The idea (admittedly, not a great one) involved:

  • Invitations sent out as a replica of an obituary in the newspaper.
  • The guest of honor, Michelle, enters and is immediately ushered down the aisle atop a chaise lounge; carried by 6 pallbearers.
  • The event would be hosted by a Professional MC.
  • The eulogies would be given by friends and relatives based on a specific agenda.
  • Between each eulogy, video messages would play from people who couldn't make the Dallas event.
  • A mixer would conclude the event with food and drink.

After just one event, I swore I would:

  1. Appreciate every single event planner I ever met in my keynote speaking career.
  2. Never, ever plan another event unless I hired professionals.
  3. Did I mention, never plan an event without professionals?

The professional MC, Dale Irvin, did a masterful job. He was funny, on point, did a hysterical opening, moved the eulogists along and rolled with any issue that came up. Outside of that, there were PLENTY of issues. The eight guest presenters did a fine job, but organizing them, covering for those who didn't show up as promised, shifting the schedule around for others who wanted to speak at a different time, nudging the amateur-hour-going-long, adding last minute audio/visual handed to me minutes before they were to speak.... Then there was the technology! Making sure the videos played with the right sound and timing. NEVER AGAIN... without professionals.

Event Planners - you have chosen a profession where perfection seems to be your client's minimum expectation. Anything that goes wrong, gets noticed. And in today's world where someone has to take the fall. Tag, you're it. 

If you know, or work with an event coordinator - be kind to them. Give them hugs. Buy them each a massage following the meeting. 

If you are an event planner - be kind to yourself, go get hugs from your adoring fans, get that massage after your event. You picked a rewarding profession with the prospect of a thorny path. 

Oh, and as for organizing a funeral for your wife (in place of a real birthday party...), let's just say, Michelle has a sense of humor but I'll never do that again either.  

Tags: Business Leadership

Is Technology Messing with Your Integrity?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Are you having to endure an increase in canceled phone calls, lunch meetings and appointments? Is society's level of integrity (keeping one's word) devolving into a quagmire of "Something came up and it's more important than you," or is there a mechanism triggering an unsettling trend of cancellations and rescheduling?

It is happening multiple times a week. Clients, suppliers, prospects, friends and colleagues are canceling our set 'appointment' at a disturbing rate. Regarding appointments, there is distinct shift from, "My word is my bond" to "My word is a approximation of a bond I may or may not honor due to unforeseen circumstances."

Excuses are on the uptick as well. These excuses have no set pattern. Our morning meeting ran long. My client called with an emergency and we had to address that first. There was a last minute trip to Chicago to meet a prospect. I didn't expect the vehicle inspection to take two hours.

To understand Cancelmageddon, let's start at the end and work backwards.

4th - When a person cancels or asks to reschedule he basically sends the clear, yet unspoken, message, "Something more important than you came up."

3rd - That person was forced to choose between his appointment and something unexpected.

2nd - The unexpected is often precipitated by either:

  • An overly optimistic sequence of appointments
  • A lack of contingency
  • Unfettered access to each of us through mobile technology

1st - That person plugged appointments in a calendar turning a blind-eye' to the fallout from 2nd, 3rd or 4th above.

How is this happening more today, than ever before? Technology has allowed us to fit more into a day. Efficacy has run amok.

To spell this out in the simplest yet broadest terms, let's use the following Before & After Surge in Technological Innovation scenario as an example:

Get more done in a day, at a cost.

What took an hour to do in the past, now takes minutes. Instead of enjoying all the discretionary time, we fit more in. Why, because we each LOVE to get more done. Instead of one thing accomplished in an hour, let's say we have six things we can now accomplish. In days gone by, one task had a chance of unexpected consequences. Now, we have six tasks with unforeseen results. The shift from 1x to 6x raises the odds of an unpredicted choice by 600%. We are only human. Plans change. Odds are, with technology doing what it is supposed to do, each of us is facing an unfortunate message we are receiving and sending, 

"Something came up and it is more important than you."

Is technology messing with your integrity? Yes... but... don't blame technology, use it.

Start at the end and work your way backwards. Use technology and your intention to:

  1. Send a Clear Message - "You are the most important person" (Especially at 2 pm on Wednesday.)
  2. Eliminate the Chance of Choice - Communicate early and often about the commitments you have made. You always have a choice. People will respect you more when you keep your word.
  3. Always Build-In Contingencies - As a guideline, put a half an hour buffer between calls. One hour on either side of meetings and at least two hours surrounding uncertain activities. Put non-appointment activities (emails, tasks, flexible activities) in the buffer zones.
  4. Direct Your Attention to Possible Fall-Out. For each appointment, quickly imagine three scenarios which could mess with your plans. In turn, plan accordingly for fall-out.

Use technology to your advantage. Turn the tides of (perceived) disintegrating integrity.

Your word is your reputation. 

Tags: Self Development, Motivational, Business Leadership

What if Uber and Walmart had a Baby?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

"What if Uber and Walmart had a baby?"

Now that's a subject line that would entice you to read an email (see below for the answer).

But what if your subject line reads like this:

"Follow up to our conversation"

eeechhh, blahhh, grrrrgh, bleeeesch.

What does it take to write a good subject line? Simple. Your noggin.

By putting some of your creative brain-power into your subject lines, you will have more impact and influence. Here are 5 Must Do's for Email Subject Lines:

1st. STOP putting Features before Benefits. If you send a regular/weekly email - stop making the first few words the feature "Weekly Report," for example. Start with the benefit:

  • ie. 3 Mistakes New Moms Make (then insert the feature): Weekly Report.
  • If you are sending a 'one-off' email. The same rule applies. Put a benefit into the subject line.
  • Instead of "Next meeting," consider putting, "You're going to love our next meeting." 

2nd. START with a Domino. You want the subject line to domino into the next domino (being the body of the email).

  • The first line of the body should 'domino' into the next line. And so on. 

3rd SUMMARIZE your Message (when possible). If you're emailing to set up a meeting, then put the summary in the subject line.

  • "Leaders meet 10.01.16 @ 3 pm Boardroom" is more efficient and effective than...
  • "meeting conversation"
  • Be a hero and save your recipients time.

4th CHANGE the Forwarded Subject Lines. You can be the light in the dark abyss of the emails. Use discretion for work flow purposes, of course. BUT, the fearless subject-line-changer is to be revered.  

  • "Meeting is 01.25.16 @ 9 am Starbucks on Alpha" = good.
  • "Fwd. Fwd. idea" = bad.

5th HAVE FUN with your Subject Line. Inspiration can come from:

  • A play on words. eg. Announcement in our Bored Room.  
  • A counter intuitive statement. eg. If at first you don't fail...
  • A exaggerated benefit eg. Even Martians like our product launch

What does the subject line of this 70 Second eBrief mean in this email?

What if Uber and Walmart had a baby? Put it this way:

Uber is, "We're there when your friends aren't"  


Walmart is, "People-Watch while you Save money. Live better."

For you, this is what our weekly, motivational 70 second eBrief is meant to be:

  • Save money (and time).
  • Live better (feel better, have more fun, think better).
  • Be a friend to get you where you want to go. (People watching optional)

Tags: Sales, Motivational, Business Leadership

From Self Doubt to Greatness - Fast

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

No matter how much we invest in ourselves, we always have some measure of self-doubt. How does one say goodbye to the negative voice sitting on our right shoulder? Well, we couldn’t think of anyone better to guide us, than Vince Poscente, the internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, founder of The Goal Acceleration Institute, and author of two of our favorite books: The Ant and the Elephant and The Age of Speed. His specialty? Helping people achieve big goals in less time.

We would like to share with you an interview between getAbstract and Vince Poscente.

gA: How would you describe the two books of yours that we’ve created summaries of for getAbstract?

VP: Well, The Ant and the Elephant is a personal development book, told in parable format; the ant being the metaphor for the conscious mind, and the elephant for the subconscious. The theory is that when you align your ant and your elephant then things get easier and more fun; in other words, it's less arduous to get to where you want to go. And then The Age of Speed is more of a concept book about the world we live in, and how we can thrive in a fast-paced world without feeling like we're overwhelmed.

gA: Thanks! OK, so tell us, how do we conquer that little voice of doubt? The naysayer that sits on our shoulder?

VP: First off, give him or her an identity – for me he's short and green – and then accept that the voice of doubt is completely natural and there must be a reason why the subconscious mind serves it to us. Simply acknowledge that the voice of doubt is there, and to talk back to it. Say “Thank you for your opinion but that's not part of my vision. My vision is [insert your elephant (i.e. emotional) buzz here] because that’s what will get me to the endpoint I desire.”

Want to help your employees move past self-doubt and on to greatness? Please let me know and I will customize the flyer below containing Vince’s titles in addition to a selection our getAbstract’s most popular motivational summaries.

(Above was value add sent by getAbstract to their individual clients. Should you wish to save time and stay current on the latest business books, check out




Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Business Leadership

Stay Engaged with Raised Hands

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Chances are, you've never heard of Amanda Palmer. But she has 7 million views of her TED talk. She may not be on your musical radar but she has hundreds of thousands anticipating every new, uniquely AFP, release. You may be following business icons while you never noticed her record setting crowd-funding initiative - where she became the first musician to raise more one million dollars on Kickstarter. Her book, The Art of Asking, leapt onto the New York Times bestselling list with a limited promotion and marketing muscle. Who is this person and what can we learn from her on the topic of customer engagement?


Recently, sporting a baby bump, performing to a sold-out crowd at The Granada Theater, Amanda Palmer played a couple songs then asked to bring the house lights up. "What do you want to hear? But I won't pick you if you yell it out. Please let me ask you directly for your request" Enthusiastic hands flew up in the air. The raucous crowd turned politely silent and let her choose her contributor. She wrote down "Vegemite (The Black Death), Ukulele Anthem, I Want You, But I Don't Need You." Then she sang about Vegemite, Ukeleles, relationships and insecurity. 1,000 fans in the sold out crowd sang every word. 

If you read Palmer's book, you learn she started her performing life as a statuesque figure of a white bride. On the unforgiving streets of New York, she would hold a handful of flowers. Should a passerby pull out a bill and put it in her bucket, she would break her frozen stance, make eye contact, and add to the connection with the gift of a flower. She would suffer people yelling out, "Get a job." But these echoes would vanish with the next poignant connection. Amanda learned a unique art form of asking and connecting with those she touched. 

In music she became a zealot for building an AFP community. No opportunity was missed when an email address and a Twitter fan was in her crosshairs. She will tweet an invitation for am impromptu pre-gig concert. Haters accuse her of using musicians and not paying them. The optics of her asking for others to join looked like using. But all the while she just wanted to build a community.

Her community grows with each release, whether it is The Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn or her solo work. Her community expands when her TED talk hits a viral nerve. Her book amplifies the question, "What is it about Amanda F... Palmer?"

Here's what we can learn from her lead.

1. She is Fearless. Fearlessness is a marketable, appealing, engaging, romantic, enticing and magnetic quality. Examples? Comedians like Will Ferrell or Eddie Izzard (heck most any successful comedian). How about Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Lady Gaga, MIss Piggy, Muhammad Ali, Elvis, that dude standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Fearlessness means you have, at least partially, tamed the raw, caustic power of ego. Being fearless means you have a passion that supersedes insecurity. You are fearless.

2. She is Empathetic. What appears to be performance or self serving forays are actually her way of reaching into another person's heart and holding on to that connection. Empathy is a well spring of connectivity. Making your talent about others. Being of service. Chasing answers for the better good of others. You are empathetic.

3. She is Vulnerable. There is a photo in her book. It is difficult to comprehend. She is naked with her fans who are signing her body. Those with limited information would call it a publicity stunt. Those who can take anecdotal information and turn it into a universal fact would call her audacious, irreverent, lacking a moral compass. Look deeper and you see someone obsessed about new frontiers of transparency.  You are vulnerable. 

Fearlessness, empathy and vulnerability - not exactly the tag line for a celebrated force of commerce in our midst but she is making it work because her community comes first. The money will follow - or not - but the community is still paramount. 

Build your community. Fearlessly, empathetically, vulnerably keep asking for what THEY want. Follow your passion. How? Stay engaged with those who raise their hands. 

Tags: Business Leadership

US CEOs intend on making their company smarter

Posted by Vince Poscente on Thu, Jun 04, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

PwC surveyed 1,322 business leaders across 77 countries between September 25 and December 9 in 2014, including 103 CEOs in the US, for insights on how businesses are setting a course for growth. PwC also sat down with 28 US CEOs to gain greater context.

US CEOs intend on making their company smarter

They are seeking to move their organization up the learning curve in distinct ways. This year, the interviews and responses reveal:

  • CEOs are innovating and accelerating the impact of technology for their customers. CEOs say they are seeing real payoffs from these investments. They expect to take risks to operate within diverse and fluid networks.
  • Yet as CEOs spiral up to better performance with a new set of technology capabilities, tensions are surfacing inside the organizations that are acute and are not going to get better. Activist investors and competitors are pressuring businesses to find new ways to extract value now. Half of US CEOs (50%) believe a significant competitor is emerging or could emerge from technology sector versus 32% of CEOs globally.
  • Much within their own portfolios are under review—hard assets as well as capabilities. Over half of US CEOs (54%) say they expect to complete a domestic acquisition this year, up from 39% a year ago. This year, 23% plan to divest a majority stake or exit a business, up from 15% a year ago.
  • But it’s not all about buying (or selling) assets. US CEOs are widening their use of alliances to secure new technology and speed up innovation. They are significantly more willing than peers globally to consider partnering with competitors or customers. Traditional industry boundaries are blurring, and CEOs expect cross-industry competition to accelerate. Over a fifth (24%) say their business entered or considered entering the tech sector within the past three years.
  • Businesses are recruiting for a wider range of skills and looking for the right fit in more places. They want to better reflect the increasingly global and dynamic customer sets of their organizations as well as meet growing technology demands within their organizations. Over half (59%) expect to expand headcount this year.



For the full article...


Tags: Business Leadership

When Enthusiasm and Opportunity Intersect

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Sometimes enthusiastic people and opportunity intersect. Here's an example:

Kevin Harrington and Global Leaders Organization

Sometimes enthusiastic people and compelling opportunity intersect. Here's an example:

Kevin Harrington and Global Leaders Organization

You may remember Kevin as:
  • The original Shark on Shark Tank, or
  • Founder of As Seen on TV, or
  • Inventor of the infomercial. Remember the Ginsu Knife?
He has been involved in over 500 product launches that resulted in sales of over $4 billion with 20 products reaching $100 million in revenues. Crossing paths with him recently, it's clear he's not done yet!

First, a bit of background... When Kevin was 15, he started his first business. By the age of 23, he founded The Small Business Center, a one-stop shop for all sorts of businesses; accounting, advertising and financing. This company launched his career as a serial entrepreneur and small business owner.
His passion for connecting business and people lead to founding the ERA (Electronic Retailers Association - now in 45 countries) and a founding board member of Young Entrepreneur’s Association (now EO), which boasts combined member sales of over $500 billion dollars.

This his busy brain gave birth to an extraordinary idea...

It revolves around how small business owners and CEO’s can leverage technology to do more business together, raise their visibility with decision makers and efficiently go public with their products/services without wasting time and money.

"So we created an exclusive platform for leaders of businesses doing over $1 million in annual revenue," Here are some details about the Global Leaders Organization (GLO):

  • Members Only ($299 annual membership, or as Kevin gushed in his ultra-enthusiastic way, "Vince, that's 82 cents per day!")
  • Marketplace - Showcase your company’s products and services with the option to offer 'Specials' to members. 
  • The Deal Network - Provide GLO members new avenues for advancing key business transactions such as: raising capital, investing or acquiring companies, licensing, selling one's business or finding the right strategic partner.
  • Peer to Peer Discussion Hub
  • Lessons in Leadership - A webcast and podcast event series featuring today’s most relevant newsmakers and thought leaders.
  • Main Street Leader - (My favorite feature by the way.) A personalized digital library curated daily from 100’s of leading publications so members save time, stay on top of topics preselected topics, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Knowledge Capital™ for participating there are GLO Points, a rewards system to cash in benefits such as: dinner with a NY Times bestselling author, one-on-one coaching sessions by a thought leader, custom tailored suits, luxury getaways, backstage entertainment passes and access to high-profile events (i.e. TED Summit and Clinton Global Initiative).

"BOOM," he said throwing his hands in the air. "Where do business leaders get that kind of value on one platform for 82 cents per day?"

When someone like Kevin Harrington and GLO show up, pay attention.

Question, how do you react when enthusiasm and opportunity intersect?

Learn More Here

Here are three notes Kevin asked us to forward to you: 

  1. Permanently lock-in this introductory rate by being one of the first 100 people in your city to join at $29.99 per month, or $299 if paid annually. Advertise your business and showcase your brand to peers you want to do business with daily plus enjoy all the benefits of GLO for same low price forever. Lock-in here.
  2. Receive a 10% rebate by referring a friend. Both of you will receive the rebate on your initial membership once they join. Just click here. This represents a $72 total annual savings you share.
  3. Give the gift of knowledge to an employee, student, friend or emerging entrepreneur. Provide two subscriptions to The Main Street Leader for a full year absolutely free. Just let us know whose day you’ll make with this gift. This represents a $144 value based on the single subscriber annual subscription price. Click here to take advantage.

Tags: Business Leadership

Test Your Speakers Bureau Knowledge (True or False)

Posted by Vince Poscente on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Let's test your knowledge regarding speakers bureaus of today.


1. Bureau agents push certain speakers to get a higher commissions. FALSE. Speakers bureau agents are passionate about a long-term relationship with their clients. Yes, commissions are an incentive, but repeat commissions are a higher motivator. Bureau agents are entirely motivated by a happy client first and getting their commission from the speaker's fee second. (Note: Booking a speaker direct or through a speakers bureau is the same speaker fee.) 

2. Bureau agents are influenced by speaker promotions. FALSE. During every holiday period, Speaker Bureaus are flooded with cookies and treats from speakers. When a speaker's calendar is slow, a speakers bureau gets a promotional present. None of these typical promotional tactics work. The worst advertising a bureau can make is the wrong fit for their clients. A bureau agent will always drive towards the best fit, with our without the delicious cookies.

3. Meeting planners who directly book a keynote speaker can get a lower fee than a bureau agent. FALSE. Speakers know they are likely to only speak for a client once but can work with a bureau agent multiples of times. A speaker will go where his or her incentive is the highest. Bureau agents are much better negotiators with speakers than a single meeting planner.

4. If I know of the keynote speaker I want to work with, it is faster to go direct to the speaker. TRUE. Sure, if you know exactly whom you want, then a quick Google search can land you that speaker's contact information. But, beware! Every speaker bureau agent on the planet has dozens of stories regarding clients who didn't listen to them. In these examples, the speaker selection turned out to be a disaster for one reason or another. If you are 100% comfortable making a speaker selection without a professional opinion, then go for it.

5. My time is limited; page one of Google is as far as I have time to search for a speaker. This is good enough. FALSE. Page one is where the best marketing people land, not necessarily the best speakers. Over time you will learn this the hard way. Check out each of their videos and you will eventually learn that good SEO abilities do not equal a quality keynote speaker. This can be a huge time waster. Use your favorite speakers bureau to save time, money and stress.

6. Speakers bureaus push their favorite speakers. TRUE. They recommend whom they know will represent you and their bureau the best way possible. If there is a perfect-fit keynote speaker they have not heard of before, the agent will go to great lengths to vet that speaker. Zero speaker bureau agents want to have a bad speaker fit. 

7. Speakers bureaus compete with search engines like Google and Bing. TRUE. Pre-Internet, speaker bureaus used to be necessary booking agencies for speakers and meeting planners. Today, bureaus compete against the Internet for mind share of people who book speakers. Speakers bureaus have responded by adding more value with solution selling, niche or speakers rosters and personal, boutique style services. The Internet is to scissors, what speakers bureaus are to a free hair salon. Sure you can cut your own hair but wouldn't it be better for you to have a true professional do it at no charge?

8. It is easier to contact the speaker direct than going through a speakers bureau. FALSE. First, the bureau agent not only has a relationship with the speaker but also the gatekeeper. Second, there is cloud-based software, such as eSpeakers, which helps a bureau agent instantly know available dates or key information. Third, if you are loyal to your speakers bureau, you will get the loyalty back in spades. If a bureau agent does all sorts of work for you and you call the speaker direct, the agent will basically move on (hurt feelings and all) and spend time on clients who stay faithful.

9. The size of a speakers bureau is directly proportionate to the quality of the speaker selection. TRUE and FALSE. TRUE if you are working with a fairly new speaker bureau agent. When a meeting planner calls a newbie, the rookie agent will brainstorm with more experienced agents in the larger office. FALSE because size does not matter with an experienced agent. A seasoned bureau agent with years of experience has all the tools necessary to find you the perfect keynote speaker for your needs.

10. This article was written by a biased speakers bureau agent. FALSE. In fact, I'm a speaker. Like any other keynote speaker, it is nice to get paid more from direct bookings over paying the bureau fee. But the bureau agent has a broader perspective on the speaker talent pool and knows the best fit for you. In the end, I've never been the wrong fit for an event, and I wouldn't want yours to be the first. Excellent speakers partner with bureaus to serve clients.

If you have a speakers bureau agent you love working with, none of the above will be a huge surprise to you. If you are looking for speakers bureau who will meet your needs, a good place to start are referrals from fellow meeting professionals, production companies and speakers or check out the International Association of Speakers Bureaus and Agents for a vetted and trusted list.

About the Author: Vince Poscente is the CEO of the Big Goals Fast Institute, NY Times bestselling author and Olympian with 20 years experience as a keynote speaker representing dozens of speakers bureaus and over 1,200 organizations worldwide. 

Tags: Goals, Team Building, Business Leadership