A great speaker isn’t just the person who shows up on the day and wows your audience – they are also often the people commenting in the media on breaking news in their field. After all we live in a 24 hour society and quick, incisive commentary can be extremely useful, both to the press who are likely to report it and to the intended audience who can use it.

Marketing, sales and PR expert David Meerman Scott is king of timely commentary – in fact he has developed a whole practice around the subject called “newsjacking” which you can read more about here.

Being the go-to authority on a subject also means that a speaker is already known to the public and has started to build a relationship of trust with their potential audience. In recent weeks branding expert and marketing guru Jonathan Gabay was the go-to expert for comment on the terrible accident at theme park Alton Towers which left several teenagers injured. Here he appears on the BBC discussing the branding issues raised by the crisis, for Merlin Entertainment.

Warwick business school’s Professor of Strategic Management Christian Stadler – also an excellent speaker – made himself available to comment on the Shell buy out of BG group a few weeks ago and found himself covered in a staggering 1465 news outlets! This certainly goes a long way towards cementing public opinion about his expertise and helps audiences to recognise him in the future.

Sometimes news is controversial and people are reluctant to get involved in debates which might cause offense – but Professor Brian Cox steered an expert path when he was asked to comment on the story about eminent scientist Sir Tim Hunt and his controversial opinions on working with women in the lab.

A sensitive tweet saw Brian Cox wrestling with the issues in a way which could only enhance his reputation for thoughtfulness and fair dealing.

Brian Cox ‏@ProfBrianCox  Jun 16

Tim Hunt issue is vexing me! Institutional sexism in science set against trial by media / use of inappropriate language in public life.


Most subjects are not so tricky to deal with and are lapped up by papers and news outlets of all types – take Futurism - a perennial favourite! Our speakers are frequently asked to contribute to articles on what the future will look like and the call is often answered by Rohit Talwar – see his piece in the Daily Mirror on Our Lives in 2025

So whether you are a speaker looking to build credibility or a conference organiser wanting to book a name people can trust – it always pays to give good comment.

You can book all the speakers named in the blog through Speakers Associates – visit our website or call us  on 01628 636600 and we would be happy to help.

Jun 22, 2015 By Lucy Thorpe