Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poet, Author & Millennial Advocate Azure Antoinette Visits the APB Office

Yesterday the talented, funny and extremely creative Azure Antoinette came to visit the APB office! She shared with the team information about her Spring 2014 Speaking Engagement tour as well as her involvement in exciting projects to come. The meeting ended with Antoinette reading an energetic, inspiring poem she wrote especially for a client.

Antoinette is in high demand as a poet, arts education consultant, speaker and workshop facilitator. She has been commissioned to write for Maria Shriver, The Gap, Johnson & Johnson, Beats By Dr. Dre, Girl Scouts of America, The Documentary Group, California Arts Council, American Cancer Society's benefit Art 4 Life and more. She is also an official partner of TD Ameritrade, seeking to bridge the worlds of finance and art, as well as an official Clean & Clear Ambassador for their “See the Real Me” campaign.


In 2014, Antoinette and her work was the focus of a short film produced by The Gap Foundation for their “One Stitch Closer” campaign. As a part of the campaign, Gap released a limited edition shirt featuring a quote from Antoinette and the message “Inspire Change” for International Women’s Day, which sold out online and at stores around the country.

Called "the Maya Angelou of the Millennial generation,” Antoinette is a published poet and the author of three titles: BitterSweet, Commissioned, Commissioned: the Back Story and a yet to be named publication. A nationally touring public speaker, Azure Antoinette uses her love for words to inspire others, addressing such topics as women, diversity and humanity.

Learn more about how you can have Antoinette write and read a special poem for your next event!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Geoffrey Canada, Mary Robinson & Peter Diamandis Named to Fortune’s List of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”

What does it take to be a “World Leader?”

We are proud to say we have three speakers who qualify for this title, according to Fortune’s list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

The renowned leaders chosen have been recognized for their ability to educate, uplift and motivate others to make the world a better place.

Learn how our “World Leaders” are inspiring audiences with their thought-provoking APB programs:


Geoffrey Canada is included on the list for his innovative experiment in the mid 1990s, called the Harlem Children's Zone, in an effort to reach all the kids in a 24-block zone of NYC. The groundbreaking concept was incredibly successful, providing students with education, social and medical help starting at birth. In his vibrant, hands-on presentations, he explains how the zone went from an idea to now covering over 100 blocks and serving more than 12,000 children, with 95% of high school seniors going off to college. Although Canada plans to step down as CEO this year, his leadership and passion will endure.

A woman who has broken many barriers, Mary Robinson is a distinguished “World’s Greatest Leader,” including being the first female president of Ireland. As a long-serving UN high commissioner for human rights, Robinson passionately educates audiences on how climate change is affecting the poorest of the poor. A member of the Elders, a group of world leaders, she provides others with wisdom, leadership and integrity to tackle society’s toughest problems with the goal of making the world a better place.

The CEO of X Prize Foundation, Peter Diamandis is recognized for designing and launching his innovative company, which hosts $10 million competitions to solve global problems. Diamandis inspires and moves audiences to action with his message that as long as you have a clear objective goal, know what you are measuring and incentivize the right community, you can overcome anything. Using personal and uplifting stories, Diamandis has been called "one of the best speakers ever" by numerous CEO-level audiences.

Learn more about APB’s influential leadership speakers by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ron Suskind Releases Life, Animated, a New Book from the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and APB Speaker

Today, Ron Suskind releases one of the most anticipated books of the year, Life, Animated. Before the release, he penned a revealing essay for The New York Times that went viral just a month ago. Both the book and the article share the unique story of how Disney movies helped Suskind’s autistic son Owen effectively communicate after years of silence, stirring hearts and minds nationwide. As the keynote speaker at World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, hosted by the United Nations, he will be sharing this fascinating story.

WATCH: Ron Suskind Discusses Life, Animated


In his newly released book, Suskind delves deep into his family’s experience with the neurological disorder, offering an unprecedented account of self-discovery and human redemption. A natural storyteller known for his engaging speaking style, Suskind is bringing this extraordinary story to the podium.

He offers an electrifying keynote that leads listeners on a journey filled with hope and fascination. His uplifting message will help change the way you see yourself, urging us all to better identify with those among us who possess untapped potential and uncommon grace. Sharing his experiences both as a father and a caregiver, Suskind leads attendees on an eye-opening twenty-year journey filled with the latest in medical research and therapies, fascination and, ultimately, self-discovery.

Book Mr. Suskind now to ensure his availability for your upcoming event. Contact us today to be among the first to hear the author discuss his inspiring new book and groundbreaking work on autism.

Monday, March 24, 2014

David Epstein Amazes Audiences with his Revolutionary Sports Science Talk at TED 2014

The reaction to APB speaker David Epstein’s talk at TED 2014 was unprecedented! The topic he discussed was seemingly complex to most, but the way he presented his findings on sports science, genetics and athleticism was remarkable.

During his talk on TED’s big stage, Epstein investigated what make athletes faster, better and stronger. Perhaps you think this has to do with evolution or a person’s race or even the amount of time someone trains for a sport. What if we said those guesses are all off?

David Epstein TED 2014
David Epstein TED 2014
Epstein provided mind blowing statistics – such as 17 American men in history have run a marathon in under 2:10, but 32 Kenyan runners from the Kalenjin tribe did so last October. Or if you know a man over 7′, there is a 17% chance he is in the NBA right now – and that the success of an athlete’s abilities comes down to three factors: changing technology, changing genes and changing mindsets. Inspiring the audience to think outside the box, Epstein demonstrated how to identify and foster the unique strengths of every individual to achieve peak performance, enhance productivity and spark innovation.

In all of his speeches, he explains the research from his bestselling book, The Sports Gene, in language that both athletes and non-athletes can fully comprehend. Epstein tackles the great athletic nature vs. nurture debate through a groundbreaking exploration into sports science, specifically looking at the relationship between biological abilities and training environments and how they influence athletic achievements. In addition to his humorous, light-hearted speaking style, Epstein uses Prezi – premium presentation software – which will leave audiences astonished with its stunning graphics!

Click here to learn more about David Epstein’s topics.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Are Your Managers Making or Breaking Your Organization?

Confused.
Disorganized.
Fragmented.

If any of these words describe your organization, then it's time to get to work. Your organization is missing something. It could be that your employees are unmotivated or unqualified, or it could be that, despite your best efforts, management hasn't been able to address the complexity of your organization and the market it lives in.

Fortunately, you are not alone - many managers face the very same issue, and often turn to professional management speakers to help maximize managerial efficiency and boost the bottom line.

This begs the question, "with so many speakers on management sharing insights, how do I know which one to pick?" You should start by trying to identify the underlying issues. Is your workforce unmotivated? Is there a lack of inter-departmental communication? Do your employees live the ideals found in your mission statement?

Once you figure out what you want to fix, you should get in touch with your friendly neighborhood speakers bureau. At bureaus like APB, a dedicated agent will work with you to help select a management speaker who will be able to directly address the individual issues facing your organization.

How Can A Management Speaker Help My Organization?

The myriad of issues that managers face have a myriad of answers associated with them. Given that there are hundreds of management speakers available, you can start here with this small sample of some of APB's most frequently booked speakers on management.

View Management Speaker Mike Abrashoff's Speaker Profile
Mike Abrashoff
Former Commander, USS Benfold & Author, It's Your Ship
Former Navy commander Mike Abrashoff is the author of It's Your Ship, an inspiring story of innovative leadership and organizational transformation that details how Abrashoff took command of the worst-performing ship in the fleet and made it #1 by changing his leadership style and the culture - not the crew.
Learn More About Speaker Mike Abrashoff >

View Management Speaker Ralph Jacobson's Speaker Profile
Ralph Jacobson
Leadership Coach & Author
Leadership coach and author Ralph Jacobson has received numerous awards for his innovation in the field of leadership. His book, Leading for a Change, provides the specific knowledge leaders need to build organizations that adapt and thrive in uncertain times.
Learn More About Speaker Ralph Jacobson >

View Management Speaker Dick Parson's Speaker Profile
Dick Parsons
Former Chairman of Citigroup
Called "a master in the art of the relationship" by Bloomberg Businessweek, Dick Parsons has been lauded for his ability to steer organizations to success - even amidst troubled times - by leveraging connections and building relationships.
Learn More About Speaker Dick Parsons >

Thursday, June 20, 2013

LGBT Pride Month

Many of you already know, but June marks LGBT pride month. Commemorative months (LGBT Pride Month, Black History Month, etc.) always put me in a reflective mood. I was curious to see what my thoughts were on the state of LGBT issues last year, so I took a look at a June post that I wrote in 2012 and was happy to see the advances that have been made within just one year!

Looking back at 2012-13

  • Gay marriage is now legal in 12 states. Granted, 12 out of 50 leave LOTS of room for improvement, but just one year ago only six states had legalized gay marriage.
  • We have a president who openly endorses same-sex marriage. While this might not have a direct impact on policy, it definitely shows a culture shift within US politics. Same-sex marriage isn't a gay issue, it's a human rights issue, and the nation's leadership is finally recognizing and supporting that fact.
  • Wisconsin elected the nation's first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin.
  • Prop. 8 was deemed unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California stating the law "operates with no apparent purpose but to impose on gays and lesbians, through the public law, private disapproval of them and their relationships."
  • Some republicans are starting to see gay rights as a human rights issue. In February of 2013, more than 100 Republicans backed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to rule that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
  • In another great cultural shift, Washington Wizards player Jason Collins told the world he's gay in a Sports Illustrated essay, making him the first openly gay athlete in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB.
It's been a year of progress, but there is obviously a long way to go before true equality is reached. We're still waiting for the Supreme Court to announce its ruling on gay marriage (due out any day now). Their ruling will have an incredible impact on the fight for equality, and with any luck I will be able to add a new bullet to this list saying: "Proposition 8 and DOMA were declared unconstitutional by the country's highest court."

About APB's LGBT Speakers

American Program Bureau was founded during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Our founder and CEO Robert Walker sought out crusaders for equality to share their messages with audiences across the nation.
That ideal holds true today. APB is fortunate enough to represent several passionate LGBT speakers who continue to move the country forward to a more equal future.

Popular LGBT Speakers

View LGBT Speaker Julian Bond's Speaker Profile
Julian Bond
Former Chairman of the NAACP
For over 40 years, Julian Bond has been active in the Civil Rights and Economic Justice Movements. He views gay rights as one of today's largest human rights issues.
Learn more about speaker Julian Bond

View LGBT Speaker Augusten Burroughs' Speaker Profile
Augusten Burroughs
New York Times Best-Selling Author
In his deeply personal speech titled Bent: On Not Being Straight, Burroughs discusses his turbulent childhood during which his sexuality was the least of his concerns, and how that inadvertently made him quite comfortable with his sexual orientation. He states: "It's like being right handed. I'm not proud of being gay because I haven't achieved anything. But I wouldn't change my sexual orientation for anything."
Learn more about speaker Augusten Burroughs

View LGBT Speaker Jennifer Finney Boylan's Speaker Profile
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Author of National Bestseller 'She's Not There'
Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of She's Not There, the first best-selling book by a transgender American.She shares her life story and the complexities that come with growing up in a body that doesn't feel like your own.
Learn more about speaker Jennifer Finney Boylan

View More of APB's LGBT Speakers


Friday, May 17, 2013

Bring Your Team to Peak Performance with a Sales Speaker

Let's be honest, sales organizations have it rough. They're synonymous with the beleaguered groan echoed when the phone rings during dinner. I think it's time to dispel the myth of the nagging and pushy salesperson, and show the truth behind so many sales organizations – they are companies that help people fulfill a need.

Unfortunately, the negative image of a salesman is held by many employees of sales companies. How do you shake this persistent persona? How do you show your workforce that they are more than the caricature that so many believe they are? Clearly, there are several answers to these questions – from corporate structure to employee appreciation days and everything in between – but for the purposes of this conversation, I'd like to focus on a great way to rally your troops and show them their innate value, a motivational sales speaker.

Have you noticed your team becoming lethargic? Take some tips from speaker Anthony "AB" Bourke. Bourke is a former F-16 fighter pilot who has flown tactical missions across the globe. He translates his tactical experience into actionable items for both management and sales forces to help them achieve a better bottom line.

One way sales speaker Anthony "AB" Bourke teaches organizations to optimize performance is through "The Art of the Debrief" – one of his most popular speeches. As a United States Air Force fighter pilot, speaker Anthony "AB" Bourke learned early in his career that the key to keeping individuals and organizations on target and flying in formation is a constant communication system where team members receive honest feedback on a regular basis in a format that they expect. For fighter pilots, this process is called "debrief." Debrief is a systematic ritual that occurs after every mission a fighter pilot flies. In a hierarchical organization like the military, debrief is also a sacred learning environment where pilots of all ranks and experience levels meet as equals with the sole purpose of improving themselves and their squadron.

Not all corporate sales speakers take the militaristic tact. Many don't even go for analogies and just go straight to the issues your sales force experiences on a daily basis. Speaker Jeffrey Gitomer gets straight to the point in his very upfront and impactful presentations. His provocatively titled "Customer Satisfaction is Worthless: Customer Loyalty is Priceless" outlines how sales people have to go above what is expected to make an impact on their customers.

He will teach your group :
  • The difference between satisfaction and loyalty
  • His 12.5 principles of customer service success
  • How to stop talking "stupid" to customers
  • Mistakes and angry customers are loyalty opportunities


View some of APB's other Sales Speakers

Keith Ferrazzi
Topics: Relationships for Leadership Success & High-Performance Teams; Relationships for Career Success; Breaking Down Silos; From Pushback to Buy In

Scott McKain
Topics: What Customers Really Want; ALL Business Is Show Business; The Collapse of Distinction

Steve Van Aperen
Topics: Closing the Trust Gap: The Key to Better Business; More Than Face Value: Explore How to Read People in Any Situation; Building Trust: The Five Behaviors that Lead to Distrust & How to Avoid Them