I’m taking a break this week from my work on the principles of public speaking to post a couple of Q and As that I’ve done recently. Enjoy!
Lee Richter has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top 100 Business Leaders for 2013-2016. She’s a strategy whiz, and has launched many businesses over a 30-year career. As the CEO of Richter Communications, she helps companies find success through innovative marketing campaigns. In short, she knows her way around the communications world today. As such, when I heard that she was thinking about starting a speaker bureau, I wanted to chat with her to find out what was happening.
Nick: Starting a speaker bureau is a gutsy play! Many have closed their doors since the Internet made it possible for meeting planners and speakers to get together directly online. What’s your angle — what do you see as the need?
Lee: We’re creating a unique speaker bureau, which will be invitation only. Speakers will be personally invited and vetted for their ability to impact the businesses and the community we work with.
Our model is not your typical transactional speakers bureau where a speaker shows up, gives their speech and leaves. Too often speakers lack the ability to customize their content specifically to the audience they are speaking to. Our unique approach allows us to match the needs of the business by bringing in the ideal speaker or coach or set of speakers. We have found that companies, whether Fortune 100 or successful startups, want to shorten their learning curve by leveraging precise knowledge and experiences, which we can offer.
The meeting planners will also have the ability to have ongoing coaching and other meetings with these speakers – a big plus.
We already have commitments from New York Times Best-Selling authors and business leaders who have created $200M businesses from scratch. We’re excited to create a disruption in the industry and help businesses prosper.
Nick: What are meeting planners looking for from a speaker in 2017?
Lee: Meeting planners are looking for speakers that can transform audiences through engaging but most importantly relevant information. This allows the audience to not only be wowed by the speaker’s ability to present, but to truly have amazing takeaways that will impact their business and their life.
Meeting planners don’t want speakers doing the same speech over and over again. They want the ability to know that the speakers understand their challenges and their business, so it’s unique to them. That allows audiences to take action right away. In short, meeting planners want speakers whose content is going to be customized for their specific audience.
Nick: What are speaker bureaus looking for from a speaker in 2017?
Lee: Speaking bureaus are looking for speakers who can inspire the audience toward a positive change; that’s really what it comes down to.
Our speaker bureau is looking for the best speakers who have the following qualities:
- Motivational and action-driven speeches
- Speakers with quality content
- Genuine caring about offering the best value possible
- Experts in their respective industries
It’s important to have a speaker who has a process for creating better teamwork – someone who can help teams be more efficient. Plus, a speaker who can share a process for bringing a product to market and a speaker who understands the impact that technology can have on their business. It’s important to have a speaker who can help the audience grow to that next level.
In addition, speaker bureaus are looking for speakers who have been directly in those same shoes as the event attendees. After all, people want to be able to relate to someone who’s gone through the same challenges.
Nick: What should a speaker expect from a speaker bureau?
Lee: It’s beneficial for a speaker to be matched with an event where the audience is already looking for the information the speaker is going to offer. We give special attention to this approach by booking a speaker that the audience can relate to during the event. And, of course, the speaker has to be an expert in his/her industry.
Speakers also need to speak in front of their ideal audience – we will proactively pitch them to the appropriate audiences. We are doing the research and matching them with the the right places to speak.
Our number one goal is satisfaction for the entire experience. We know the speeches beforehand and that’s how we are able to determine who is right for a particular audience. We may also offer insight and recommendations of ways to adjust a speech in order to cater to the audience’s needs. We do enough research to make sure speakers are fully prepared. We follow up with speakers as well and offer any assistance needed. This approach prevents the speakers from going into the event blind.
Nick: Tell us more about Lee.
Lee: As the CEO of Richter Communications, I’m passionate about designing and launching marketing campaigns and products for companies that we can get excited about. We’ve worked with companies like Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Autodesk, Stanford Research Institute, Edmunds.com, The Pet Concierge and Del Webb among others. Richter Communications is the parent company of 7 brands: Montclair Veterinary Hospital, Holistic Veterinary Clinic, The Pet Concierge, The Pet & Wildlife Fund, Event Planner’s Association, Share Happiness Now and Go Ask Lee.
So you can see that my life would not be complete without family, friends, dogs, cats and community! I helped my husband, Dr. Gary Richter achieve his dream of becoming a small animal and wildlife veterinarian; we own a veterinary hospital and a holistic veterinary care in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Nick: Thanks, Lee!