As a speakers and consultants agency owner my number one priority is to ensure that the talent we recommend to our clients is: professional and able to deliver a desired result. Using our original 18 category vetting system on a regular basis each time that we interact with professional speakers and consultants helps us to do this. It’s important to note that: what makes a speaking or consultant talent top notch isn’t as simple as one might think. If it were we wouldn’t have amazing organizations like NSA (https://www.nsaspeaker.org) that cater to the education of said talent. Professional speaking is part art and part science and everyone isn’t great at it.
My greatest gift as a talent broker is not merely the ability to sell but rather two simpler and more profound gifts: the gift of observation and listening. A part of my job is to notice what others may overlook and to hear what others may not hear at all or ignore. Traveling to go and see speakers and consultants LIVE is certainly an enjoyable part of the job. With that said there is clearly an ecosystem in place within the meetings industry and some of the key players in that ecosystem are: speaker managers or speaker management companies.
NEXT UP Speaker Management is an example of a management company that synchronizes quite well with my needs as a bureau owner. Frankly stated this management company has impressed my socks off. I really mean that. You see- all management companies are not the same. Each one has its own business model and its own style of support that it offers to both it’s talent and bureaus.
What I appreciate about the Founder of NEXT UP Speaker Management: Mike Humphrey and his company is how much he overdelivers when it comes to value in each and every phone call I’ve had with him since connecting with him. As a manager who wants to get his talent booked- he is ready at all times to give me a qualitative earful about the ins and outs of his talent and why each of them is great for a specific engagement. Whether I agree with what he says is an altogether different story but the point remains: he is excellent at what he does. There are some managers who don’t do that. Some management companies only take care of logistics and paperwork for example. Some management companies don’t have much to say. Objectively speaking these attributes aren’t bad or good. Subjectively speaking- I certainly have a preference for what kind of management company I prefer to deal with.
Why does this matter?
A manager like Mike Humphrey has done more than his homework on each of his speakers. He has done what he needed to do to ensure that his speakers are packaged properly in terms of professionalism and presentation ultimately ensuring that they are equipped and ready to overdeliver. A great manager like Mike is a strong tower of a resource for both speakers and bureaus alike enabling and affording me something that helps me to adjudicate properly on behalf of clients: a semblance of equidistance…a power tool in this business.