Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, there's been a sea change in people's priorities: They're seeking a more even balance between work and their personal lives. At the same time, people have begun to look ahead, to get on with their lives, to get “back to business,” and perhaps most important, to laugh again. So when medical meeting planners look to book speakers for their organizations' events, they'd be well-advised to consider those who can inspire the audience to look ahead as well as reflect — and who can prompt a smile or chuckle at the same time.
“What's occurred over the past months has had an impact on people in terms of the balance between life and work,” says Diane Goodman, president of the Goodman Speakers Bureau, Windsor, Conn. “Yes, the nation is back to business, but people have a clearer awareness of family and friends, and so they're looking for speakers who can address this life-balance issue. We're allowed to laugh again now, so speakers who can talk about these issues in a light, entertaining way are in high demand.”
Andrea Gold, president of Gold Stars Speakers Bureau, Tucson, Ariz., adds that medical meeting planners are also requesting speakers who can talk about what lies ahead as well as reflect upon the recent past.
“Some popular speakers we have seen requested forlately talk about political issues, management-related topics such as leadership, or they are economists,” Gold says. “We are seeing a request for light, feel-good-type speakers, perhaps as a reaction to 9/11 — keeping it light for meetings planned for later in 2002 as the 9/11 anniversary approaches. The requests for speakers on politics and economics may reflect the need for current information about changes in business and concerns about economics.”
Donna Davis, president of Look Who's Talking Speakers Bureau in Chandler, Ariz., and Ruth Levine, founder of San Diego-based Speak Inc., identified other significant trends. “There is a big desire for speakers who can provide comfort — those who can help heal our wounds and comfort us in these difficult times,” Davis says. Medical meeting planners are also looking for speakers who are themselves leaders or heroes, Levine says.
MM has selected four personalities who meet these criteria. Though all four are represented by Gold Stars Speakers Bureau, the other bureaus listed in the sidebar opposite also represent speakers in high demand for medical meetings.
Carl Hammerschlag, MD
Aspeaker, writer, and physician, Hammerschlag is described by Gold as “a passionate, wise, and caring healer who uses his own life experiences to show audiences how they can restore balance in their lives.” Hammerschlag is a recipient of the Council of Peers Award of Excellence from the National Speakers Association, presented to only five speakers each year. He has addressed such groups as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Fee: $10,000
Gore has worked as a physiotherapist specializing in sports injuries and for the past decade has been a full-time professionalaveraging 150 presentations a year. Her main topics are stress, change, and lifestyle; relationships and male/female differences in communication; and advanced communication and presentation skills. Says Gold Stars' Andrea Gold, “She's very lively, has that great Australian accent, and is engaging, motivational, and funny.” Fee: $12,000
A medical economist, Kleinke is a health-care business columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a member of the editorial board of the policy journal, Health Affairs. He is the author of Bleeding Edge: The Business of Health Care in the New Century and Oxymorons: The Myth of a U.S. Health Care System. Kleinke limits his appearances to medical organizations. His speeches are built around one of the most important debates in the history of the U.S. health-care system: the promises and pitfalls of market-driven reform. Fee: $5,000-$7,000
Gold describes Morrison as “a futurist who specializes in long-term forecasting and planning, with emphasis on health care and societal change.” The author of Healthcare in the New Millennium: Vision, Values and Leadership and The Second Curve: Managing the Velocity of Change, Morrison also is a founding partner of Strategic Health Perspectives (a joint venture with Harris Interactive and Harvard University) and a senior fellow at the Institute for the Future. Gold says his speeches focus on forecasting strategies and health care topics for physicians, hospitals, industries, and nonprofit agencies. Fee: $17,500 to $20,000
All four speakers can be reached through Gold Stars Speakers Bureau (see contact information below).
Your Speaker Rolodex
Gold Stars Speakers Bureau — Tucson, Ariz. (520) 742-4384 www.goldstars.com
Speak Inc. — San Diego (800) 677-3324, www.speakinc.com
The Goodman Speakers Bureau — Windsor, Conn. (800) 875-2893 www.goodmanspeakersbureau.com
Look Who's Talking Speakers Bureau — Chandler, Ariz. (480) 722-2525, www.lookwho.com
Washington Speakers Bureau — Alexandria, Va. (703) 684-0555 www.washingtonspeakers.com
International Speakers Bureau — Dallas (214) 744-3885 www.internationalspeakers.com
Leading Authorities Inc. — Washington, D.C. (202) 783-0300 www.leadingauthorities.com
Key Speakers Bureau — Corona del Mar, Calif. (949) 675-7856, www.keyspeakers.com
American Speakers Bureau — Orlando (407) 826-4248 www.speakersbureau.com
Keppler Associates Inc. — Arlington, Va. (703) 516-4000 www.kepplerassociates.com
Nationwide Speakers Bureau — Beverly Hills, Calif. (310) 273-8807 www.nationwidespeakers.com
The Lavin Agency — Toronto (800) 265-4870 www.thelavinagency.com
Premiere Speakers Bureau — Nashville, Tenn. (615) 261-4000 www.premierespeakers.com
Speaker Resource Center Inc. — Chicago (312) 641-6362 www.speakerresource.com
Speaker Services — Los Angeles (877) 773-2800 or (310) 822-4922 www.speakerservices.com