A snapshot into the lives of the people who hire us
How to Hit Pay Dirt
In the aftermath of natural and
man-made disasters, the restoration and disaster clean-up
industry provides a wide range
of invaluable services to communities when they are most
fragile by safely removing waste, debris
and hazardous materials. At right, Ed
Rigsbee, CSP, and Bruce Quinn, former operations manager for Servpro®
Industries, Inc., an industry giant with
1,500 franchisees nationwide, kicked
back with a couple of stogies while discussing how speakers can clean up with
speaking engagements in this business.
2. The speaker can keep attendees on
the edge of their seats.
3. Fee is always a consideration.
What do speakers do that drives you
crazy and/or makes you not want to
work with them again?
How about the speaker who cited our
company’s name incorrectly several
times? We won’t invite him back again.
Or the speaker who presented some
ideas that were diametrically opposed
to the direction we had been moving
corporately. We probably won’t bring
that person back either. He should have
read our company literature before giving the speech.
How much lead time do you have to
search for a speaker?
About nine months.
What’s the best way for a speaker to get
past the clutter and into the final four?
Make sure your Web site is up-to-date
with high-quality video—and in front
of a crowd, not just in the studio. We
generally search out and review speak-
ers online before we con-
tact them. You might never
know that we looked at
you. We frequently contact
people who offer testimo-
nials for speakers to deter-
mine just how good they
Ed Rigsbee: How long have you been
hiring speakers for SPI, and what did you
do before that? “The Web plays a huge role in
Bruce Quinn: I’ve been planning events speaker selection. We do keyword
and hiring speakers since 2000. Before
that, I had an exciting and storied life searches for our meeting topics,
in naval aviation, including time work- review speaker bureau Web sites,
ing with government contracts around
the world. and do most of the legwork online.”
What memorable speakers have you
hired to speak at your events?
The most memorable speakers are Nido
R. Qubein, CSP, CPAE, Larry Winget,
Mark Victor Hansen, CSP, and Mike
Is there a fee below which you don’t look
at speakers, feeling that you get what
you pay for?
Not really; we’re more focused on presentation style and content.
What are the top three considerations
that sway you to hire one speaker over
1. The speaker has a dynamic, authentic
and engaging personality.
What do speakers do that makes you
want to hire them again?
Engage us! When we have 2,000
attendees sitting in silence, wanting
and waiting to hear the next words the
speaker has to offer—that’s the speaker
we’ll invite back.
Please rate the following attributes
of an “excellent speaker” in order of
importance: original content, new ideas,
audience involvement, entertainment,
presentation skills, contrarianism,
humor, political correctness and fee.
Presentation is most important, followed by entertainment, audience
involvement and new ideas. The rest
are not quite as important to us.
Tell me about your online research.
The Web plays a huge role in speaker
selection. We do keyword searches for
our meeting topics, review speakers’
bureau Web sites, and do most of the
legwork online. Sometimes we find an
excellent speaker who does not exactly
match our search, so we will change the
meeting focus so we can use that particular speaker.
At what point do you want to actually
talk with the speaker?
We’ll contact a speaker only after
reviewing a sample of his or her work.
That’s the first cut before a live inter-
view. If a speaker does not have great
online video, he or she will not get