Guest biography

Maria Franzoni

Maria Franzoni

MFL (Maria Franzoni Ltd) was formed by Maria Franzoni after years of working in both business and Speaker Bureaux with the support and encouragement of Tom Kenyon Slaney and Brendan O’Connor (Founders of the London Speaker Bureau).

MFL is a group of very experienced people who really want to make a difference to an organisation and go beyond the speaker booking to create real change and continued momentum for clients. MFL is not in the B2B business but in the H2H business; human to human. More than just a Speaker Bureau, we are Agents of Change.

So Maria Franzoni – What Did You Want To Be As A Child?
Independent! My strongest memory as a child was being desperate to be old enough to drive. I didn’t really think beyond that, or where I was going to drive to!

Advice To Your Teenage Self?
Use sunscreen every day, your 50-year self will love you for it!

Karaoke Tune Of Choice?
Cry me a River, bound to clear the room at the high notes.

Career Plan B?
There was never a plan A ☺

Who Would Play You In A Movie Of Your Life?
Sarah Jessica Parker

Secret To A Happy Relationship?
Communication – and it helps if you fancy each other lots

Cat Or Dog?
Dog – please refer to our Head of Security – Keaton – my baby

Style Icon?
I’m terrible at keeping up with fashion, I don’t really have a style or style icon. I have been accused of choosing comfort over form on more than one occasion ☺

Your Coffee Order?
I prefer tea, good old English Breakfast – My favourist is Yorkshire Tea.

Number One On Your Bucket List?
Discover how to have a work/life balance

Secret Skill?
I am the voice of Agent Tag in the real-time, class-based strategy game Satellite Reign ( set in an open-world cyberpunk city! How cool am I ???!

Dream Dinner Date?
My boyfriend

What Was Your Big Break?
Answering a very cryptic job advert that brought me into working for a Speaker Bureau. I haven’t looked back

Where Is Home?
I am living in my dream home, a gorgeous converted barn in a Surrey village with my dream man and our four fur babies.

Favourite Villain?
I don’t have a favourite villain but I have a favourite Super Hero – Batman. In fact I named my dog after my favourite batman actor – Michael Keaton

Book That Changed Your Life?
There have been quite a few – but most recently David Price’s book: OPEN – How we will work live and learn in the future. Made me really rethink my business.

First Ever Record?
Roxanne by The Police

When You Look In The Mirror You See..?
Someone who desperately needs a sun tan!

On A Night Off We Would Find You?
In a nice restaurant

What Is Your Favourite Meal?
I love Thai food

Signature Dance Move?
Hand jive

Who Do You Most Admire And Why?
Being surrounded by amazing speakers there are so many I can name, I couldn’t choose one person (the others would get jealous). But I do admire people who know who they are, where they are going and are making the world a better place along the way.

Motto You Live By?
Do what you say you are going to do, or keep quiet!




Angela Oguntala

Angela speaks on Impacts of Emerging Technology, Futures Thinking, The Future of Work, Designing for the Future, Understanding and Shaping Culture, Propelling Organisational Innovation and Creativity.

Angela Oguntala is a futurist and a director at Greyspace – a design and futures consultancy that partners with organisations to think, plan and design for the future. She has worked in education, healthcare, finance, fashion, sustainability and in a range of other spaces across culture and technology. Selected clients of hers include IKEA, Hermès, Microsoft, Philips, and various media groups. She has also been an advisor for policy organisations and large-scale city planning projects in Northern Europe.

Angela is a Salzburg Global Fellow, and has been named a Future Innovator by The United Nations ICT / Ars Electronica for her thinking and work. In 2017, she was also named a leading creative entrepreneur by Kinfolk and featured as part of their best-selling book series The Kinfolk Entrepreneur.

She previously served as the head of the Innovation Lab at EH Design, a group focused on designing and experimenting around emerging technologies.

Dr Beau Lotto

Beau speaks on Innovation and creativity, Risk/Uncertainty, Change, Branding, Data, Perception, Education and a new culture of learning, The 5 principles that enable individuals and organisations to thrive the edge of chaos.

Dr Beau Lotto is the Founder and CEO of Lab of Misfits, the world’s first neuro-design studio. Uncertainty and the brain’s need to resolve it is essential for thinking about not only branding and business, but design, leadership and innovation. Misfits is a team of scientists, designers and producers who discover the essential questions about the nature of uncertainty. Their work provides a deeper, scientific basis for an organisations DNA & Strategy, creates content that expands PR & marketing potential, and strengthens its internal and external relationships. By focusing on how the perceptual brain resolves the fundamental challenge of uncertainty, The Lab of Misfits gives audiences and clients the opportunity to create … and more than this … to embody innovation. Their results inform and transform. They have worked with the Edelman Group and TJ Max, Golin and L’Oreal, and are currently working Cirque du Soleil.

Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand why we see what we do, much less how. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and its perceptions, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing, how uncertainty and the brain’s need to resolve it is essential for thinking about not only branding and business, but specifically design, leadership and innovation.Dr Beau Lotto is the Founder and CEO of Lab of Misfits, the world’s first neuro-design studio. Uncertainty and the brain’s need to resolve it is essential for thinking about not only branding and business, but design, leadership and innovation. Misfits is a team of scientists, designers and producers who discover the essential questions about the nature of uncertainty. Their work provides a deeper, scientific basis for an organisations DNA & Strategy, creates content that expands PR & marketing potential, and strengthens its internal and external relationships. By focusing on how the perceptual brain resolves the fundamental challenge of uncertainty, The Lab of Misfits gives audiences and clients the opportunity to create … and more than this … to embody innovation. Their results inform and transform. They have worked with the Edelman Group and TJ Max, Golin and L’Oreal, and are currently working Cirque du Soleil.

Beau is one of the few speakers to have given two TED talks, which have amassed over 5 million views combined. He has also spoken at Google’s Zeitgest Minds, Wired, G8 and made significant programme contributions to BBC’s Horizon, National Geographic Channel and PBS in the US.

Caspar Craven

Caspar speaks on Agile leadership in turbulent times, Leadership vs Followership and Collaboration, Create a business that can run without you, Resilience, Thrive, what business can learn from family, Family motivation.

Caspar Craven believes in challenging conventional thinking on how leaders and teams become truly effective and create extraordinary results.

He has 30 years’ experience in building teams to make things happen. Starting as an entrepreneur at the age of 14, he has built and led teams in global corporations, start-up businesses, struggling businesses and high growth businesses. He has built a team on a trophy-winning world racing yacht. But his toughest challenge by far was building his family team to sail around the world: with his wife and three children aged 9, 7 and 2.

Caspar Craven has built three separate successful million dollar businesses from scratch and sold one whilst sailing the Pacific Ocean.

Caspar’s experience also covers 10 plus years in Professional services including 5 years at KPMG Corporate Finance working in lead advisory on M&A deals, 3 years at Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants and several stints as a CFO, latterly selling technology company Bighand to Lloyds Development Capital.

He is also very keen at looking at the way our education system works and seeing if he can help engineer a better way of learning for the 21st century.

In his Keynotes, Workshops and After Dinner Talks, Caspar takes the audience through the key steps he’s developed to create and build winning, high-performance teams in business, sport and family environments. These steps are told through the story of his latest adventure, sailing around the world with his family. He weaves in stories from his experiences leading a team on the world’s toughest yacht race, building three separate successful million dollar businesses, and building teams within global corporates.

Caspar Craven delivers a truly memorable message with energy, with humility and humour so that you come away inspired with fresh ideas and energy to have the biggest impact on those that you work and spend time with.  Each session is tailored to meet the exact needs of your organisation.


Speaker Bureau trade associations


Episode transcript

Three Blind MICE.

Randle Stonier:
Hello oh, special one. And that’s you, dear listener. Welcome to Three Blind MICE and Radio.Events. I’m your host, the honorary doc and the MICE maister in cheese.

Welcome to Radio Events and the Three Blind MICE podcast. Thanks for tuning in. We bring you what’s hip and happening behind the scenes of meetings, incentives, conferences and events. Three Blind MICE, the little pod with a cast of thousands from Radio.Events

Randle Stonier:
A big welcome back to part two of Speaking Talent with Maria Franzoni and guests. Without further ado, let’s crack on with the show. So what are the big (speaker) themes today? What are the topics that our various industries are shouting for or very much the emergent trends and topics. I’m also going to push you to give me a few examples. I know that’s something that any speaker bureau loathes because all of their talents are wonderful. But help me bring it to life with a few names and maybe we can get some clips of them as well.

Maria Franzoni:
Okay. Alright. So the topic everyone is talking about is AI and the effects of it – the good, the bad and the ugly of that. People are talking about Cyber, people are talking about Future, they’re always talking about Future and it’s even more important now because it’s so uncertain and within Future you’ve also got Economy and Change. But the evergreen topic that is always there, is all things People, anything relating to people, to Team, Engagement, Leadership, Motivation, Performance. That topic is always, always, always there.

Randle Stonier:
Go on then, Bring a few examples to life for us.

Maria Franzoni:
Okay, I get it. I’m going to give you three names and we’ll put some links and then I’m going to have to go and hide for the rest of the year when I get the other speakers saying, why did you not include me? I’m going to start with a lady and her name is Angela Oguntala and she’s a futurist and she looks at future scenarios. And the reason I’ve included Angela is because she is very good at taking a brief and making something totally tailored to the client and really looking at what could their future scenarios be, which is wonderful. So I think that’s important in a speaker, that a speaker will take a brief and adapt to it.

Randle Stonier:
Great. Let’s listen to a few clips of Angela in action

Angela Oguntala:
‘Time is money’. And when I said that, this gentleman looked at me and said, you know what Angela, who says that? Who is this ‘they’? And then he said, I think that we will all realize soon enough that time is much more than money. And I walked away from that conversation thinking about why I even said that in the first place. Time is money. When we think about some of these things that we have heard all of our lives, this isn’t just a saying or some catchphrase. To many people this is a deep guiding belief. This is a grounding principle for how they live their lives. Time is money. This idea sits at the bottom of some of our decision making and helps to shape our world. We certainly see it in business, especially in startup culture and we see it in our everyday lives from things like fast food to fast fashion. There is also just a wide, a wide, wide, wide assortment of things and services that look to offer solutions predicated on the belief that time is money and many of these solutions are for problems that do not exist. There’s a website called ‘we put a chip in it’ and this website makes fun of the many things that have been pushed out into the world in the name of technological convenience from diapers that can tweet to a baby’s mother when a baby wets itself. So tweeting diapers is that little square up there. From that to a bathroom mirrors where you can. You can take selfies and you can get SMS messages through your bathroom mirror to everything from wine bottles and bras connected to the Internet. I mean even our dating practices are now based on swiping left or right on your phone. We have truly built our technologies to be convenient, partly driven by the underlying myth that time is money and a myth like this is so big that sometimes it is hard to see how it has manifested itself in our everyday lives and part of what makes it difficult to see the roots of things bubbling underneath this because we do live in a world with an absurd amount of information available to us and what this absurd amount of information that is always present and always updating. We tend to have the strong belief that we are now better informed than ever before. But if that were the case, how is it that so many people across the world misread and misunderstood so gravely the way our world could change just over these past couple of years, politically and culturally. How are so many people shocked and blindsided? And I believe part of the answer does have to do with how we take in information.

Randle Stonier:
I love that Angela can immerse herself in the client’s industry and then provide a much more tailored talk to the specifics of the client and its possible future landscape. Okay, Maria, one speaker ticked off. Two more to go.

Maria Franzoni:
Then another one I’m going to mention is Beau Lotto. Beau is a neuroscientist and he absolutely, I’ve been working with for years now. He completely blows my mind every time I talk to him. The man is just a genius. You will know less than you did before you started. I phrased that badly, you will know less at the end of the speech than you did before. Because Beau teaches you to start asking better questions. He’s a neuroscientist who is a specialist in perception. He’s about to do his third TED talk on the main stage that doesn’t happen very often, so that tells you how good he is. And he has a wonderful book out called Deviate which is all about innovation and creativity. So he’s another one that I would highly recommend.

Randle Stonier:
Thank you. Let’s have a little listen to Beau Lotto in action.

Dr Beau Lotto:
In order to understand the process of Creativity, we actually have to ask what is at the heart of Creativity? It isn’t mysterious. It isn’t serendipitous. What’s at the heart of creativity is the ability to see differently. If you can’t see differently, then there’s no way you’re going to be able to do anything differently. And which means that perception is fundamental to creativity. In fact, perception is fundamental to everything the brain does from what we know, from what we think, believe, the clothes we wear, the people we fall in love with. Everything begins with perception. Which means that if we are to understand creativity, we have to understand how the brain makes meaning. How does it make sense of the world? How does it make sense of itself around? It does two things. First, it finds patterns in the womb. Those patterns are inherently meaningless. There’s nothing inherently valuable in these relationships that we discover in the world. But first we have to discover those relationships. That’s the first thing we do. The second thing we then have to add meaning to those relationships. That meaning is grounded in our history of what that stuff meant before. What we know from neuroscience is that this means when we open our eyes, we never see the world as it is. We never see the information that falls on to our eyes because that would be meaningless. We never in fact see pattern, what we see as the meeting of pattern. And that meaning is inherently grounded in our history. So we’re only ever seeing what was useful to see in the past. That creates a huge problem because if creativity requires seeing differently. How on earth can we see differently if everything I do now, see now is grounded in the history of what I’ve done before? Creativity….in fact, any new perception begins in the same way. And that’s about asking a question. It always begins with asking a question. It doesn’t begin with an answer, it begins with a question. So fundamental to creativity is a good question. The problem with that is in asking questions, is that we hate uncertainty. It’s an inherently scary thing. Your brain evolved to take what was uncertain and make it certain. If you’re not sure there’s a Predator next to you, it’s too late. In fact, seasickness is a consequence of uncertainty. You go down below in a boat, your ears are telling you you’re moving, your eyes are telling you you’re standing still because you’re moving in register with the boat. Your brain can’t deal with that so it gets ill. So we hate uncertainty. The irony is that the only way we can ever do anything new is in stepping into that space. What’s more is that the best questions, the ones that really enable paradigm shifts are the ones who also create the biggest uncertainty and those are the ones that questioned what we think to be true already. If we ask a question about how life began or what’s at the edge of the universe? That creates uncertainty, but we’re aware that we don’t know the answers, but to ask a question about something you think to be true already that creates the greatest level of uncertainty, but it also creates the greatest potential for doing something completely innovative. So why and how can we ask questions? How can we ask questions if it’s such a scary thing to do? Well, fortunately Nature has given us a solution to that and it’s a very surprising solution, but there’s only one human endeavour in which uncertainty is celebrated and that’s the process of Play. It’s one of the only human endeavours where not only uncertainty is celebrated, but it encourages diversity, it’s open to possibility, it’s cooperative, in fact, it’s also intrinsically motivated, which means that we play in order to play. It’s its own reward. So in order to foster creativity, it’s essential to create what we call the ecology of creativity, which is create that space that enables people to take a risk and to step into uncertainty. So why is it that asking questions is the central process in fostering creativity and it’s because it shifts the space of possibility. Whenever we have a decision to make, normally what we do is grounded in what we’ve done before, which means it’s already anticipated what’s going to happen. What the brain does is it brings together all the different possibilities that are consistent with what it’s done before in that context, but as soon as you ask a question, what literally happens is that shift, that space of possibilities shifts and things that were actually quite disparate now have the possibility of coming together. Because the brain is more likely to associate things that are together as being meaningful, it then increases the possibility those things at once far apart now together now become associated in your decision. So it’s a very straightforward, logical process of asking questions, shifting spaces of possibility and the brain instinctively putting teams together that actually are juxtaposed in space and time and that is the way that we are creative. So the point is then that what we really need to do in order to be creative is undergo an actual logical process of asking questions, stepping into uncertainty, using metaphor to explore this new space and most fundamentally challenging what we think to be true already, to have an awareness of what our assumptions are.

Randle Stonier:
Maria, is the third one going to have a name like John Smith or Jane Jones or something? It’s important to mention here that these names and the links and so on and so forth, and little biogs etc. will all be on the Radio.Events website just in case you didn’t catch it for this time around and you keep going, Rewind, Play, Rewind, Play… I still haven’t got it!

Maria Franzoni:
This one’s easy

Randle Stonier:

Maria Franzoni:
Caspar Craven.

Randle Stonier:
Marvelous, well done Caspar.

Maria Franzoni:
Caspar is all things People… Leadership and Adventure and Resilience. Caspar has an amazing story. He, as well as having been an entrepreneur and successful businessman, he took his family around the world, sailing and his family were very young. You could either say it’s very courageous and brave and brilliant, or you can say he’s a total madman, but the lessons that have come from that related to business, are brilliant, wonderfully illustrated, and Caspar is just one of the nicest people you’ll meet.

Randle Stonier:
So let’s have a little listen to the entrepreneur, businessman and around the world yachtsman, not that I’m jealous, Caspar Craven.

Caspar Craven:
Step one, it’s all about setting a clear direction. We all know this, right? We all know we’ve got to have a clear direction of where we want to go. Our idea started in 2009. Specifically, it was the 13th of June, 2009. I know this because it was my sister’s 40th birthday party and I’m there with my wife and back then we had two children and my brother in law told us about this family who sailed around the world and then went on to say what a ridiculous idea that was, but that was the seed of the imagination. That was the seed of the idea that caught the imagination of both my wife and myself. It was Napoleon who said ‘imagination rules the world’, and he was absolutely right because every single thing, every single business, everything that was ever created all started with an idea in your imagination. So we took that seed of an idea in our imagination, and this is my wife, by the way, Nicola and we’re sitting here. She’s sitting here at our kitchen table at home and for six months after that, for the rest of the 2009, we talked about what do we truly want for our lives, for our family. Up until that point, I’d been utterly focused on building businesses. At this point we said, why didn’t we put family first and decide what’s truly important to us and our families, and we sat down and you can see on the screen there, there’s a piece of paper that we started to sketch out a vision statement of what we wanted life to look like. This is the actual piece of paper here, so it took six months to craft this and it had on there a date when we said we were going to set sail… the 1st of August, 2014. It had a certain amount of money that we needed to create. We didn’t have the money. I’ll come onto that story in a moment because lots of people assume they say, your name’s Caspar. You sound like a rich English guy. You’ve got Floppy Grant. You look a bit like Hugh Grant. You must have loads of money. The truth was very, very different. We didn’t have loads of money, but we’ll come on to that. So we created this picture of how we wanted our lives to be different and we put it on the kitchen wall and we started to tell people what we were going to go and do. Now, back then, my family, this is my daughter, Bluebell, she was aged four back then and my son, Columbus, he was aged two. I know I couldn’t have chosen a better name for someone to sail around the world. I get it. So when my wife and I said we’re going to go sail around the world, what do you suppose everybody did? That’s right. Everybody laughed. Everybody told us all the reasons why we shouldn’t go and do it. And to be honest, there was some truth to some of those reasons because the one thing we had in our favour was this, that I had sailed around the world before, so I had some experience on the water, but there were a whole stack of reasons why not and everyone was very kindly, kind enough to point them all out. So we didn’t have the money. My business, it was a small consultancy business. We had sales of about half a million dollars and we were losing money. The idea of buying a boat was completely ridiculous. My wife Nicola, she’d been sailing twice at this point and she’d been seasick both times. You can see it wasn’t sort of in the stars at this point and perhaps most of all, we didn’t have a boat. So it’s kind of an obvious thing I know. So that’s the dock there where it would have been lovely to have a boat. But here’s what we did have back in 2009. We had a committed decision. We gave ourselves five years. We said this is going to happen. We had time and we had energy and I think when you have those raw ingredients, you can make anything happen. Bringing it back to your businesses, which is what I had to do. I always ask, when you sit down with your business team, do you have a clear vision of where you want to go? Do people understand that? Do they understand why you’re doing that? So the purpose is super, super important. So for us, we spent a lot of time talking about why this mattered so much to us and we came up with a language. This was all about creating magical life-changing experiences for us and our family. That was our reason why, because we knew on that five year journey just to get to the start line, the lots of things would not go in our favour and we’d have lots of uphill struggles and the reason why is the thing when you’ve been knocked down, that’s what gets you back up again. So we had a really clear vision and we had a really clear purpose. It’s exactly the same things that you need in your businesses in order to be able to engage your team and to grow your business. So very simply, step one is spending time getting clear on the idea, what’s the destination? Where is your business going on and why does it matter?

Maria Franzoni:
Those are my three and I’m going to go and hide.

Randle Stonier:
Brilliant. Thank you very much for that Maria. I appreciate that very much indeed. I’m sure our listeners will as well, but do go to the Radio.Events website and drill down on those three examples. Before I lose you, the Good, Bad, and the Ugly. We always like a little bit of gossip, a little bit of anecdotal…people who’ve really nailed it and heaven forbid we always need to learn from those mistakes. So when it gets badly screwed up, go on give me, give me a few examples.

Maria Franzoni:
So people who have really nailed it and I’m not going to name names.

Randle Stonier:
We have to talk in general terms. uh,

Maria Franzoni:
Okay. So when, when people nail it, you know. That person, that speaker gets booked immediately again, either by somebody in the audience who is not from the same organisation or by that organisation is going to more so that for me is the barometer of nailing it. You know, straight away they’re absolutely, absolutely brilliant. And also the kinds of emails that they get afterwards where we’d get some incredible emails from people that they’ve really seen change and personal change themselves. That’s when they nail it. When did they screw it up? I’ll tell you how it screwed up. You screwed up in what we call the scoping, which we’ve been talking a lot about – the bit at the beginning where that’s not been done, right. And uh, where somebody, and that’s normally when somebody has come to you and said we want this person and you’re trying to understand why, but they want that person. There’s no moving from it. Okay, you want that person, we will get you that person. And what’s happened is the person’s been booked from the point of view, maybe the CEO or a senior director who is a huge fan, wants to meet them, has been studying their work, but that has no relevance to that audience. So that’s when it screws up. If you’re, if you’re booking somebody that is not right for your audience, but it’s because it’s a vanity thing and you want to say you’ve had them on your stage and you as the CEO perhaps want to have dinner with them or a director wants to have dinner with them. That doesn’t happen very often because we do talk them down. Yeah. Because I don’t ever want to have bad feedback for any speaker ever. So, you know, I’d rather not do the booking and risk losing it then didn’t actually say yes, you can have that person. In the early days when I was inexperienced, it did happen to me in my first year and that’s why that happened.

Randle Stonier:
And again, thinking outside of using speaker bureaus, perhaps when I know of one or two examples where people have sort of, ‘I’ve found this person on Youtube and I’ve dug out the email and I think I’ve contacted them and I’ve spoken to them and they’re up for it and then it turns out to be not be the person that they saw on Youtube. I know of one example where that happened just because they went and tried to source it themselves and got it horribly wrong. And of course somebody was quite happy to turn up…. similar names, just not quite in the same space of excellence. And the sort of reputation management issue that can arise from it, let’s say ‘buyer beware’, I suppose is key there, isn’t it?

Maria Franzoni:
Yeah. I know absolutely. Yes. It’s a difficult one if you know exactly who who you want because you’ve seen them or because you’ve used them before and you’ve just changed jobs and you’ve worked with them before and you know how to get them to say yes, you don’t need a bureau, absolutely not.

Randle Stonier:
When it comes to budgeting, we’ve talked about the sort of spread bet of prices potentially. Is it better for clients to turn around and say, look, I’m ideally looking for somebody in the five to 10 spectrum versus 10 to 20, or is it frustrating when they send you off with a brief of looking five to 10 and then turn around and go, well, none of them are really rocking it. Maybe we can find a bit more money. You don’t necessarily want to spend the money from the outset, but what’s a better way of clients approaching that?

Maria Franzoni:
I don’t mind if they put the budget up. I have no problem with that. My problem is is when they reduce it, when they say, I’ve got five to 10, you come back to them with all of these ideas. They said that’s the guy I want. Okay. His fee is 5,…oh yeah, but I’ve only got 3. That’s when I’ve got a problem and actually I would rather somebody say to me, listen, I’ve got this budget, but we will be flexible and would go up if you’ve got a name that you think is slightly above, but if there is a name that is a better fit and it’s slightly above, I would put that person in and say, look, if there’s a way I can negotiate, if there’s something that we can do that for some reason they would do it for you cheaper, let’s have a go and if not, just consider them and see what you think.

Randle Stonier:
When we look at the general world of speaker engagement and events and the use of speaker bureaus, have you observed changing expectations and demands, say over the last….you said you’d been working for about three years now. Uh, the last three years of, of your working life or slightly longer?

Maria Franzoni:
Do you know? It has changed dramatically. It’s changed around. I mean, first of all when I started, we were using Telex machines. And we did our Contracts by fax, you know, so it’s changed dramatically. And also when I started 20 years ago, there were very few speakers and you actually going out trying to get speakers. Now everybody is a speaker, everyone is a speaker. Have you noticed that? There are speakers, training speakers and the speakers and speakers and speakers and speakers and they’re everywhere. Also, the Internet has changed everything in the way people can look for speakers and they can find information. And more often than not, the clients coming to you incredibly well informed before they’re even speaking to you. And sometimes you know, fantastically well informed. So it has changed dramatically. The expectations have changed, everybody’s wanting more value. And with that goes the demands in terms of things they demand that the speaker does. The budgets have got tighter in the majority…in the 80 percent of cases. And then you’ve got the 20 percent of clients who have got huge, huge budgets because of the nature of the business that they’re in and the industries that they’re in. Huge competition, especially in the uk. Uh, there’s so many bureaus now. It’s incredible. So there’s a lot of competition. So yes, it’s changed drastically.

Randle Stonier:
So going from that change that has already taken place, are you going to crystal ball anything different, what do you think the future looks like Maria?

Maria Franzoni:
Oh, I’ve seen the future and it works. That’s a reference to the first Batman movie, so again, showing my age. So yes, I think the future is really exciting actually. I used to think, oh my goodness, you know, the future of the agent, the bureau, because clients can go direct. It’s over, it’s done, we don’t have a role anymore, but actually the fact that there are more and more and more and more speakers out there, we have a bigger role because we can really use our advice, use our consultancy, use our council because I think our role is much more important now. I also think that the future is really exciting in that our clients are realising I can get a lot more out of my expert. I don’t have to have my expert just come in and deliver a speech. I can have them do an awful lot more for us. I can have them write an article, do a masterclass. I can have them do a workshop and I can have them come and sit on it on my executive board. I can have them mentor me, so you can do so much more with these experts. and you’ve got a global reach now so you don’t have to fish just in your local pond. So if you’ve got a board of directors and you’ve got an issue with project management, you can get the top guy in the world to come and help you. So I think the future is really exciting going on.

Randle Stonier:
It’s a great place to end. You realise there’s so much more that you can get, but you’ve clearly you need to be working with a speaker bureau. Now what was the name of the one? Maria Franzoni Limited wasn’t it? That was the one that you need to be working with. I love it. Maria, thank you for joining us here on Three Blind MICE today, it is much appreciated and I hope everybody found it of great value. Maria, have a great day.

Maria Franzoni:
Thank you very much. Thank you. That was really kind. Thank you.

Randle Stonier:
A big thank you to my guest, Maria Franzoni from the speaker bureau. If you’re looking for inspiration for possible speakers, do get in touch with Maria directly. The links to Maria, and to learn more about the specific speakers we’ve discussed, that’s Angela Oguntala, Beau Lotto and Caspar Craven as well as the transcript from this podcast can also be found down the Mousehole on this episode’s page at our website, Radio.Events. Thank you to everyone for getting in touch with suggestions for future topics. Do please keep the suggestions coming. Anyway for now. Thank you for listening today and until next time, keep smiling.

Three Blind MICE is edited and mixed by Sam Williams. That’s – Right Royal Audio – be heard, loud and clear.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Three Blind MICE here on Radio.Events. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends. Do head over to iTunes, give us a rating and leave a review and don’t forget you can send us a voice message directly through our voice pipe at Radio.Events. Until next time.

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