GREAT SPEAKERS ON POLITICS WITHOUT RISK
Politics is polarizing. Now there’s an understatement!
While the 2016 U.S. presidential election is a hot topic for business meetings, event planners eager to hire great speakers on politics are also mighty fearful. They worry about choosing a keynote speaker whose political views might upset and alienate members of the audience. Valuable relationships are in the room. Being sensitive to the potential dangers just makes sense.
ONE STRATEGY – TWO VOICES
Everyone wants to know about the candidates’ positions and how things might turn out if they get elected. One strategy savvy event planners have used is to hire two speakers with opposing views on politics. Generally they’re former political leaders (senators, congressmen, governors, etc.) or editorial journalists (anyone who delivers opinions on vs. reporting the political news). Most often conference planners put these political speakers on the same stage – a point-counterpoint approach because it offers balance and can be entertaining and engaging while minimizing the potential risks. Including a moderator and turning it into a conversation also offers more control to avoid “something happening.”
JOURNALISTS ARE IDEAL BUT HARD TO FIND
In terms of minimizing risk, pure broadcast/print journalists are safest speaker choices as well as great speakers on politics. They report the news — they don’t take sides. They don’t have a political axe to grind – and they come to the stage with the credibility that comes with their position. Unfortunately though, most cannot speak for corporate and most association groups due to employer restrictions.
POLITICS WITHOUT WORRY – TWO GREAT SOLUTIONS
Let me offer up two great speakers on politics for anxious event planners.
Legendary political investigative journalist BOB WOODWARD has spent a career reporting on Washington behind the headlines – revealing the cloaked truths in the administrations of both Democratic and Republican presidents. He has a reputation for being fair. He has 18 bestselling books – 12 which reached #1 – more than any other contemporary non-fiction author. Enormously respected, Bob is a regular on all the political news shows – commenting on current politics in Washington and what the choice for president in 2016 means. Bob Schieffer of CBS News said recently “Bob Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.” Bob is certainly one of the great speakers on politics.
KATTY KAY is the BBC World News America Washington anchor who broadcasts weeknights in the U.S. and has a global viewing audience larger than CNN. As a foreign journalist living in America Katty also offers a unique perspective on American politics and global affairs. Her point of view is refreshing – delivered with warmth and a classic British wit. Here are two BBC pieces that Katty posted recently – this one about the State of the Union address and this report about Iran’s capture and release of U.S. Navy sailors.
POLITICS WITHOUT POLARIZATION
Over the years Bob and Katty have been really “safe” choices for meeting planners looking to plan informative programs in a politically charged environment. They are great speakers on politics and perfect solutions for your event professionals who want to tread lightly when it comes to political waters.