Bieber & Springsteen presenters
Andrew Klein, professional MC and presentation skills speaker and director of SPIKE Presentations, presents his front line observations on conferences in a regular feature in BEN.
AS SOMEONE who spends a great deal of time sitting inside conference rooms, I am often asked by my clients “Who are the hot, new speakers on the conference scene?” It is a fair question. Most conference organisers are looking for the next big thing, someone fresh, young, current and different that their conference delegates will not yet have experienced.
And there are always awesome new speakers killing it on the circuit that everyone is keen to book. I call them the Bieber Speakers. They are youngish, some a little edgy, but they are excellent and talented and worth seeing.
But my view has always been “Don’t forget the old guard”the speakers who have been on the circuit for 20 to 30 years plus and have become masters (and I use that term to mean masters and mistresses) of their trade. The speakers who have done Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000+ hours. The speakers who have been around so long that your Gen Y and Z audience may never have seen or heard of them - many of these speakers remain at the top of their game.
They are the real masters – the always changing “Springsteens” who are so good that they adapt and update – every time you hear them you will witness something different. They change, tailor and contemporise their presentation, new stories, based on a new world. Always talking about the here and now and using the past as a comparison. They may have been on the circuit for years but their material is fresh and your conference audience have not experienced this presentation.
Here’s the key - they are just as fresh and as new and relevant as the Bieber speakers.
There are so many of these timeless and utterly contemporary speakers – have you heard the wonderful Amanda Gore recently or Robyn Moore, Keith Abraham, Ita Buttrose, Cathryn De Vrye or Colin James? These are the masters of the speaking universe and you must expose them and their wisdom to your conference audiences.
Your audience may never have heard their presentation before and even if they have many years back, these speakers’ presentations are always fresh and different, with perhaps a few greatest hits thrown in.
So next time you phone up a speaker’s bureau or google “conference speakers” why not ask ‘who is old?’’ as well as ‘who is new?’
If you are looking for an MC for your next conference or a speaker/trainer on presentation skills or pitching skills, email email@example.com or visit his website at www.andrewklein.com.au.