great business speakers

D'Amelio Network Blog

Get the latest insight on event management, leadership and the top issues affecting business leaders from D'Amelio Network's influential thought leaders.

Tony D'Amelio

Tony has spent his career putting talented people and audiences together, first in the music business and later representing the world's leading speakers. After concluding 27 years as Executive Vice President of the Washington Speakers Bureau, Tony launched D'Amelio Network, a boutique firm that manages the speaking activities of a select group of experts on business, management, politics and current events. Clients include: Mike Abrashoff, Geoff Colvin, Katty Kay, Polly LaBarre, Nicole Malachowski, David Meerman Scott, Bill Taylor, Bill Walton, and Bob Woodward.

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Speaking Industry

Corporate Event Planners FAQ: How the Speaking Industry Works

By: Tony D'Amelio
August 1st, 2017

As anyone who has been booking speakers for events can readily attest, the speaking industry can be one very confusing space to navigate to the outsider. Those of us on the inside are used to it, but if you only step into this world a few times a year, making sense of how things work can be a daunting prospect. As someone who’s been involved in bringing talent and audiences together for my entire career, I thought I’d offer up a few essential insights that would be useful to corporate event planners - both novice and veterans alike.

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Event Ideas | Speaking Industry

Event Planning Checklist (Pt 3): On-site Event Tips from Top Speakers

By: Tony D'Amelio
July 25th, 2017

This is the last in my series on avoiding disaster when booking event speakers. The idea is for top speakers to talk about their onsite experiences in a way that provides some useful lessons and reminders. Ideally, their insights will find their way into your event planning checklist.

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Tips for booking the right speakers ebook

Event Planning Advice from Industry Professionals

Discover the dos and don'ts of booking speakers. Learn best practices for achieving success with speakers with this expert insight.

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Event Ideas | Speaking Industry

Transform Your Event: Top Panel Moderator Creates Engaging Panel Discussions

By: Tony D'Amelio
July 18th, 2017

TAKE CONTROL OF THE CONTENT/MESSAGE How can you generate maximum impact from the outside speakers at your next meeting or conference? How can you make sure the speakers’ insights are relevant and focused on what matters most to your audience? In my years helping event planners wrestle with that challenge, I have found there is sometimes no substitute for adding an experienced interviewer, discussion leader, or panel moderator. The difference it can make to the quality of the content delivery can be sizable.

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Motivation | Leadership

Bill Walton: Learning to Lace My Shoes  was a John Wooden Success Lesson

By: Tony D'Amelio
July 11th, 2017

SUCCESS STARTS WITH THE FOUNDATION Basketball legend and top sports motivational speaker BILL WALTON will never forget his first practice under the legendary UCLA Bruins coach John Wooden.  Walton and the other star recruits, plus famous seniors and members of national championship UCLA teams, were anxious to get started.  But first, John Wooden says, “Men, this is how you put your shoes and socks on.”  Some of the returning players had been through this before; no matter - they were going to learn it again.   Walton, the country's top-recruited player that year, thought “WHAT!!!???!!!  We're top players!  We don't need this!" But learning to tie shoes properly was vital to Wooden.  It meant star players would never get a blister which would keep them from playing.  The team can’t be its best unless everyone’s able to play.    John Wooden is arguably the greatest coach of all-time, regardless of sport yet he never talked about winning.  Wooden taught his players to focus on doing their best; which meant practicing the fundamentals well.  Like the proper way to lace up shoes.  It was a John Wooden success lesson.   No matter what we do, the brilliant execution of the fundamentals is essential. Bill Walton credits the lessons he learned from Coach John Wooden for creating the foundation for his success on the court and in life.  A top sports motivational speaker, Bill draws on the wisdom of John Wooden and brings that message to audiences, as he does in this video:

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Leadership

My All-Time Favorite Leadership Speaker is a Musician Keynote Speaker

By: Tony D'Amelio
June 20th, 2017

THE POPULARITY OF LEADERSHIP SPEAKERS As a group, leadership speakers are quite possibly the most popular category of speakers. In a world that’s moving too fast, leadership is the ingredient that helps to focus resources, manage risk, and spot new opportunities. And of all the roles, leadership helps focus the organization's most important asset – its people – on the hard work of doing big change. In short, leadership skills are treasured. With that in mind: this column.

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Innovation | Organizational Culture

New Paths to Organizational Control: Polly LaBarre, Top Innovation Speaker

By: Tony D'Amelio
June 13th, 2017

The natural reaction to the Wells Fargo debacle, perhaps within that company and by leaders at other companies looking to prevent similar behavior, is to clamp down and exert more rules and regulations; tighten organizational control.   But Management Lab partner POLLY LaBARRE cautions that approach runs the risk of stifling the very innovation and employee engagement that organizations covet.   Polly has been a top innovation speaker since her early days at Fast Company magazine; someone whose approach to organizational control was centered around the idea of unleashing the full power and creativity of the people within it by demolishing bureaucracy.  Polly's strategies look to make organizations as human as the people who comprise them.   I asked Polly to write about the tug between controlling, regulating, and making rules vs. the ideal of setting workers free to find new ways to drive innovation.   I hope you enjoy her thoughts here on a fresh approach to organizational control.  --------------------------------------------------------- Control by Other Means - The Benefits of Bureaucracy Without All the Costs by Polly LaBarre It was one of the most breathtakingly egregious cases of institutional overreach in recent memory: the widespread fraud uncovered at Wells Fargo last fall. Under bruising pressure to meet wildly aggressive sales targets, thousands of bankers created as many as 2 million accounts for customers without their consent—and kept the racket alive for years with a web of shady practices and tacit executive support.

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Innovation | Managing/Leading Change

Leading Innovation & Successful Change Management: Q&A w/ Bill Taylor

By: Tony D'Amelio
June 6th, 2017

"DON’T LET WHAT YOU KNOW LIMIT WHAT YOU CAN IMAGINE" – FAST COMPANY CO-FOUNDER BILL TAYLOR Co-founder of Fast Company magazine Bill Taylor has had a front row seat at the very beginning of a revolution in management and competition driven by technology. While there he watched and profiled the mavericks and rule breakers who have achieved outsize success by taking a different path.

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productivity

Event planners: too busy to cook? Easy cooking tip: Instant Pot.

By: Tony D'Amelio
June 1st, 2017

This blog has nothing to do with the speaking industry – but then again, it kind of does.   The reaction was so positive for my blog about the stand-up desk a few months ago, I thought I'd share something else that's been really useful for me.   The events business is pretty demanding.  Event planners I know have long hours and uncertain schedules that sometimes make it hard to find the time/motivation to make dinner.   I like to cook.  I find the whole process – washing, chopping, sautéing, etc. – relaxing.  And the smells can be fabulous and help ease the pressures of the day.  But finding the time can be an issue. 

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HR Focus | Organizational Culture

Organizational Transformation: IBM Cuts Teleworking to Boost Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

By: Tony D'Amelio
May 30th, 2017

THE FUTURE OF WORK AT IBM When I read the news about IBM's decision to have most teleworkers return to their offices I knew it was something Fortune magazine's GEOFF COLVIN would be following closely.  His last book, Humans are Underrated, focused on where humans fit in and add value in a workplace culture that is increasingly dominated by robots and smart technology of every sort.  What did IBM's move mean for the future of work?  Will this organizational transformation really increase effective collaboration in the workplace as IBM hopes?  Geoff's concise essay on IBM's decision is below.  He will be following it closely and will weigh in down the road with the impact this change makes for the company and the ramifications more broadly in the workplace.  What do YOU think?  Feel free to comment at the end of this article. 

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Motivation | Speaking Industry

Public Speaking: Top Keynote Speakers’ Rule for Great Speech Delivery

By: Tony D'Amelio
May 23rd, 2017

In my previous life as a speakers’ agent for top keynote speakers, I worked with a well-known non-fiction author whose name you would know; someone really well respected.  That author did a lot of speaking on the strength of impressive book sales; multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers.  The author was a good speaker. I say “good” because rarely was the sponsoring organization disappointed with the speech – but the author never got an emphatic, “That was great!” reaction from the event planner. When I would go to see this author speak, I loved the content but would come away a bit disappointed because the speech was read…word for word…while looking up occasionally. 

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