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Feb 28, 2011

Speakers' circuit specials: $1m buys you Tony Blair, $5k gets Tania Zaetta

Away from the international glitz and glamour instilled by former leaders, the local speakers circuit remains solid, writes Andrew Crook.


Twelve years ago at the height of the tech boom, Mikhail Gorbachev famously joined “Stormin'” Norman Schwarzkopf, Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap, Kevin Trudeau, Rene Rivkin and Brad Cooper in Australian stadiums for the “world masters of business” speaker series. Each rapturous event, dubbed rock concerts for accountants, saw the stars and promoters walk away with millions in cash and stellar reputations.

But the fun didn’t last. Rivkin soon had the word “disgraced” attached to his name, Cooper was jailed for tax fraud, Dunlap was charged by US regulators with arranging a “massive financial fraud” and infomercial king Trudeau was banned from US TV.

Bill Clinton and Cherie Blair saddled up for similar tours in subsequent years, reaping hundreds of thousands for promoters and themselves. But storm clouds were gathering — an ostentatious 2008 Donald Trump tour, that planned to net the arch Republican $7 million, was cancelled after the organiser went bankrupt.

As the GFC swirled, the common refrain was “never again”. Now it seems the global elite are again champing at the bit to dispense their pearls from local podiums. And the accountants are lapping it up.

This July, Tony Blair — who probably should be trying to bring peace to Libya — and promoter Max “30%” Markson will walk away with the lion’s share of an estimated $3.3 million for five mass-attendance speaking events in Australia and New Zealand.

Other major tours by Bob Geldof, naturalist David Attenborough and management guru Stephen Covey are also planned, with each inspiring orator billing between $50,000 and $100,000 for their time. For a one-hour speech, that’s about $1500 a minute.

The former British PM will deliver the Visy-sponsored treatises on “leadership, negotiation and innovation” in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Auckland. Tickets cost around $1000 with premium attendees encouraged to shell out a further $500 for front-row seats and a very private meet-and-greet session.

Markson, who brought out Cherie six years ago, has eschewed any distastefulness, shamelessly trumpeting that this time round the junket is “for profit” (in Cherie’s case, the emphasis was placed on minuscule charity donations following a media storm).

Away from the international glitz and glamour instilled by former dignitaries and world leaders, the domestic speaker scene is also booming.

Veteran agent Barry Markoff, of ICMI Speakers and Entertainers, who brought out Schwarzkopf et al and still dominates the local industry alongside Saxton Business Speakers and Ovations!, told Crikey demand was strong:

“It’s going well, especially in the burgeoning areas of corporate speaking and personal training for CEOs…every company is doing it and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Winston Broadbent, managing director at Saxtons, agreed that the current market was “extremely good … we monitor all our activity and we’ve been returning to pre-GFC conditions. The market’s strong for quality people.”

However, Broadbent said it was important to draw a distinction between the big wig seminars and the everyday corporate advice circuit, which orbits at a somewhat lower altitude.

The undisputed reigning champion of besuited advice, respected KPMG demographer Bernard Salt, dispenses a massive 120 gigs a year for at least $10,000 a pop (plus expenses) to adoring audiences. Salt, who was on the way to a media appearance when Crikey called, also employs a personal research team to provide him with continually updated and unique data for each address.

“I really enjoy what I do and work really hard for every event to make sure we’re up to date … I wouldn’t be successful if there wasn’t a market for it”.

Another leading light in the gee-up game is IBIS World futurist Phil Ruthven, for whom a week rarely goes by without some kind of podium appearance. Ruthven’s fees are believed to be on par with Salt’s. And for other regulars such as psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, sales specialist John Lees and motivational speakers Ian Stevens and Barry Urquhart, the returns are smaller but the frequency remains the same.

So for those thinking of joining the party, what’s the going rate for a one-hour address (or even 45 minutes plus questions)? According to Markoff, the burgeoning Australian circuit can be roughly divided into five brackets:

TIER 1: Donald Trump and Richard Branson are in a league of their own, pulling in an estimated $1 million and $500,000 a speech respectively for exporting their mantras Down Under.

TIER 2: One rung below are the Clintons, Blairs, Schwarzeneggers and Giulianis of the world, who can expect between $100,000-$150,000, while mid-range international talent such as Michael Parkinson and Bob Geldof might net $50,000 to $100,000.

TIER 3: Local luminaries such as Peter Costello, Peter Cosgrove and Jeff Kennett snare about $20,000-25,000 a speech, while former prime ministers John Howard and Paul Keating attract a $10,000-15,000 Kirribilli loading on top of that.

TIER 4: The local footy club can be expect to shell out between $5000 and $10,000 for sportsman night speakers such as Max Walker, Kevin Sheedy, Leigh Matthews and Mick Malthouse. The laconic Paul Roos, popular with Sydney’s high-flying finance sector, apparently charges up to $12,000. For $10,000-$15,000 expect reasonably prominent commercial TV talent such as Gretel Killeen, Peter Helliar, Dave Hughes and Magda Szubanski.

Below the premium tiers lie a bevy of has-beens, nearly-beens and stalwarts of the Australian entertainment and sports industries.

Phillip Adams and Jackie O get between $5000 and $10,000 as does Tottie Goldsmith (subject to review following her recent escapades) and ex-Henderson Kids starlet Marieke Hardy. At the bottom of the barrel — between $3500 and $5000 — lies Sydney talk radio ranter Ben Fordham, TV fringe-dweller Sofie Formica and suburban jokester Dave O’Neil.

Even journalists can command between $1000 and $10,000 a speech with Business Spectator columnist Robert Gottliebsen understood to be pulling down $50,000-$100,000 a year and Fairfax scribe Michael Pascoe reaping a similar amount. Alan Kohler invoices for $7500 and Crikey founder Stephen Mayne says he earns a modest $20,000 a year for 30 speeches, with an extra 30% shunted to ICMI in agency fees.

Recent Crikey recruit Paul Barry says his fee is between $4000 and $5000 and comic Catherine Deveny, who is booked solid until November and is urging panels to hire more women through her website nochicksnoexcuses, invoices for $5000 but will slash that if it’s a struggling community group. Established commercial TV journos such as David Koch and George Negus demand at least twice that.

Mayne sounded a note of caution in an industry that sees some journalists accepting paid speaking gigs while simultaneously writing on the industries they lecture:

“From a journalistic integrity point of view, the whole area of paid speaking gigs is poorly regulated, poorly disclosed and ripe for abuse. For instance, it would be inappropriate for a particular AFL club to directly pay an influential sports journalist who covers them, but this sort of thing happens regularly.”

“Similarly, business commentators need to tread very carefully through this area. You’d never know if the likes of Bolt and McCrann are being hired by big polluters to speak whilst simultaneously prosecuting a campaign against putting a price on carbon.”

Mayne’s message may have already percolated with business journalism legend Stephen Bartholomeusz refusing any fee for his half-a-dozen gabfests each year, in stark contrast to commercial radio shock jocks like Neil Mitchell and Alan Jones.

Meanwhile, ICMI’s Markoff has some further advice for those at the bottom: go it alone and risk getting roped in to shoddy work at embarrassing non-events like children’s birthday parties. “It’s horses for courses if you don’t get independent advice,” he said.

But there remain some prominent below-the-radar success stories. Veteran comedian Elliot Goblet, whose website markets him as “the safe corporate entertainer”, continues to do 21sts and weddings in addition to business functions. While maintaining a somewhat lower profile from the his mid-’90s Hey Hey it’s Saturday heyday, the deadpan specialist keeps a $5000-$10,000 foothold, partly due to prominent ads positioned above the male urinals at the nation’s domestic airports.

*Click on the “read the full story on the website” link below to view the full lists in all their glory

List by price category, based on industry estimates and listings on the Ovations! website: (all corrections, comments and additions to boss@crikey.com.au).

$500,000-$1 million





  • Debbie Allen
  • Janine Allis
  • Wil Anderson
  • David Batstone
  • Layne Beachley
  • John Bertrand
  • Glen Boss
  • James Brayshaw
  • Julian Jones
  • Brendon Julian
  • Peter Kaye
  • Graham Keating
  • Graham Kelleher
  • Morgan Kent
  • Wayne Scott Kermond
  • Mohamed Khadra
  • Christine Kininmonth
  • Chris Kirby
  • Andrew Klein
  • Deborah Knight
  • John Konrads
  • Daniel Kowalski
  • Leigh Matthews
  • Mick Malthouse
  • Matt Church
  • Donald Cooper
  • Li Cunxin
  • Robbie Deans
  • Stuart Ellis-Myers
  • Warren Evans
  • Sophie Falkiner
  • Sean Fitzpatrick
  • Peter FitzSimons
  • Tim Flannery
  • Olivia Fox Cabane
  • Nicolas Frances
  • Dawn Fraser
  • Ron Kaufman
  • Tania Kernaghan
  • Gretel Killeen
  • Robert Kirby
  • Michael Klim
  • David Koch
  • Dennis Lillee
  • Sonia Kruger
  • Andrew G
  • Tim Gard
  • Yossi Ghingsberg
  • Sam Glenn
  • Dan Gregory
  • Dorinda Hafner
  • Richard Hawk
  • David Helfgott
  • Peter Helliar
  • Philip Hesketh
  • Gill Hicks
  • Dave Hughes
  • Jules Lund
  • Stephen Lund
  • Warren MacDonald
  • John Maclean
  • Robert Mansfield
  • Alistair Mant
  • James Mathison
  • Paul McDermott
  • Todd McKenney
  • Mick Molloy
  • James Morrison
  • Susie O’Neill
  • Eva Orner
  • Toni Pearen
  • Allan Pease
  • Nova Peris-Kneebone
  • Kieren Perkins
  • Stephanie Rice
  • Craig Rispin
  • Ruby Rose
  • Justine Schofield
  • Peter Sheahan
  • Ann Sherry
  • Sam Silverstein
  • Joe Simpson
  • Adam Spencer
  • Sandra Sully
  • Magda Szubanski
  • Mark Taylor
  • Libby Trickett
  • Kevin Sheedy
  • Suzie Wilks


  • Keith Abraham
  • Phillip Adams
  • Yvonne Adele
  • Faustina Agolley
  • Peter Alexander
  • Waleed Aly
  • Marcos Ambrose,
  • John Anderson
  • Duncan Armstrong
  • Bettina Arndt
  • Tim Bailey
  • Eric Bailey
  • Peter Baines
  • Ron Barassi
  • Greg Barnes
  • Natalie Barr
  • Chris Bath
  • Natasha Belling
  • Nikki Bennett
  • Frank Bennett
  • Wayne Bennett
  • Mark Beretta
  • David Berman
  • Peter Berner
  • Ian Berry
  • Wayne Berry
  • Peter Blasina
  • James Blundell
  • Colin Bockman
  • Ngahihi Bidois
  • Carla ‘Biggzy’ Bignasca
  • Lloyd Bond
  • Gina Boon
  • Shane Bourne
  • Steven Bradbury
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Charles Brass
  • Dermott Brereton
  • Angela Brewer
  • Paul Briggs
  • Torah Bright
  • Jim Bright
  • Trisha Broadbridge
  • Joan Brock
  • Ian Brooks
  • Chris Brown
  • Andrew Bryant
  • John Buchanan
  • Colin Buchanan
  • Nicky Buckley
  • Matthew Burke
  • Penny Burke
  • Ronnie Burns
  • Lauren Burns
  • Gregory Burns
  • Dale Burridge
  • Don Burrows
  • Julian Burton
  • David Campese
  • Alisa Camplin
  • Glenn Capelli
  • Liesl Capper
  • Mike Carlton
  • Arthur Carmazzi
  • Alan Cartwright
  • Pat Cash
  • Angela Catterns
  • David Chalke
  • Richmond Champion
  • Richard Charlesworth
  • Paul Clitheroe
  • Roger Collins
  • Comic Roasts
  • Natalie Cook
  • Glenn Cooper
  • Sarah Cornally
  • Kay Cottee
  • Bruce Cotterill
  • Mary Coustas
  • Shelley Craft
  • Vernon Cresswell
  • Dan Crowley
  • Laura Csortan
  • Max Cullen
  • Lisa Curry-Kenny
  • Andrew Daddo
  • Lochie Daddo
  • Laurie Daley
  • Bryan Dawe
  • Ross Dawson
  • Charlottle Dawson
  • Robert de Castella
  • Tommy Dean
  • Liz Deep-Jones
  • Tara Dennis
  • Catherine DeVrye
  • Steven Di Pietro
  • Michael Diamond
  • Ernie Dingo
  • Anh Do
  • Khoa Do
  • Geraldine Doogue
  • Brennon Dowrick
  • Kirsty Dunphey
  • Bob Dwyer
  • Bianca Dye
  • Gary Eck
  • Benny Elias
  • Mark Ella
  • Liz Ellis
  • Larry Emdur
  • Saul Eslake
  • Ellen Fanning
  • Pat Farmer
  • Leigh Farnell
  • Nick Farr-Jones
  • Kurt Fearnley
  • Paul Featherstone
  • Tim Ferguson
  • Richard Fidler
  • John Fitzgerald
  • Kitty Flanagan
  • Damien Fleming
  • Jane Flemming
  • Lisa Forrest
  • Graham Foster
  • Nicolas Frances
  • Adam Fraser
  • Mia Freedman
  • Luke Fryer
  • Anne Fulwood
  • Wayne Gardner
  • Anna Gare
  • Julie Garland McLellan
  • Gabriel Gate
  • Andrew Gaze
  • Angus Geddes
  • Frank Gelber
  • Emma George
  • Nick Giannopoulos
  • Corrine Gibbons
  • Russell Gilbert
  • Kylie Gillies
  • Rebecca Gilling
  • Drew Ginn
  • Tom Gleeson
  • Elliot Goblet
  • Tottie Goldsmith
  • Evone Goolagong Cawley
  • Brian Goorjian
  • Amanda Gore
  • Libbi Gorr
  • Robert Gottliebsen
  • Wayne Grady
  • Elka Graham
  • Corrine Grant
  • Nick Green
  • Jeff Green
  • Ross Greenwood
  • Marcia Griffin
  • Tracy Grimshaw
  • Sara Groen
  • Natalie Gruzlewski
  • Bruce Haddon
  • Jane Hall
  • Lincoln Hall
  • Daryl Halligan
  • Ed Halmagyi
  • Chris Handy
  • Paul Hannan
  • Matthew Hardy
  • Marieke Hardy
  • Ian Harper
  • Michael Harrison
  • Molly Harriss Olson
  • Rechelle Hawkes
  • Terry Hawkins
  • Troy Hazard
  • Ian Healy
  • Chris Helder
  • Robyn Henderson
  • Michael Henderson
  • Avril Henry
  • Justin Herald
  • Peter Hillary
  • Jason Hodges
  • Steve Hooker
  • Tim Horan
  • Denis Horgen
  • Ian Hutchinson
  • Deane Hutton
  • Amantha Imber
  • Peter Irvine
  • Jabba
  • Dare Jennings
  • Gael Jennings
  • Matthew Johns
  • Andrew Johns
  • Leisel Jones
  • Tony Jones
  • Alan Jones
  • Eddie Jones
  • Maureen Jordon
  • Jodie Joy
  • Kristina Karlsson
  • Phil Kearns
  • Amanda Keller
  • Ian Kennedy
  • Kerri-Anne Kennerley
  • Fenella Kernebone
  • Mike Kerry
  • Ian Kiernan
  • Rosie King
  • Jean Kittson
  • Alan Kohler
  • Roger Konopasek
  • Neer Korn
  • Mary Kostakidis
  • Anthony Koutoufides
  • Charles Kovess
  • Karl K. Kruszelnicki
  • Roger La Salle
  • Kate Langbroek
  • Justin Langer
  • Kerry Larkan
  • Vinny Lauwers
  • Laurie Lawrence
  • Josh Lawson
  • Ian Leslie
  • Wally Lewis
  • Dylan Lewis
  • Hayley Lewis
  • Steve Liebmann
  • David Lim
  • Catherine Lim
  • Jason Little
  • Nicole Livingstone
  • Tony Lockett
  • Judith Lucy
  • Susan Luke
  • Sami Lukis
  • Barton Lynch
  • Jonathon Lyons
  • Stuart MacGill
  • David Malek
  • Charles Marcus
  • Trevor Marmalade
  • Winston Marsh
  • Nigel Marsh
  • Jesse Martin
  • Glenn Maton
  • Leigh Matthews
  • Andrew Matthews
  • Chloe Maxwell
  • Andrew May
  • Rupert McCall
  • Wendy McCarthy
  • Mark McCrindle
  • Julie McCrossin
  • Lindsay McDougall
  • Lisa McInnes-Smith
  • Tom McKaskill
  • Mike McKay
  • Kim McKay
  • Peter McKeon
  • Mark McKeon
  • Ron ‘Rowdy’ McLean
  • Jeff McMullen
  • Michael McQueen
  • Don Meij
  • Paul Mercurio
  • Glenn Milne
  • Michael Milton
  • Morris Miselowski
  • Matthew Mitcham
  • John Mitchell
  • Alicia Molik
  • Steve Moneghetti
  • Lawrie Montague
  • Robyn Moore
  • Michael Morgan
  • Julia Morris
  • Rhett Morris
  • Peter Morrissey
  • Stirling Mortlock
  • Rhys Muldoon
  • Tom Mulholland
  • Anthony Mundine
  • Thomas Murrell
  • Indira Naidoo
  • Zoe Naylor
  • George Negus
  • Richard Neville
  • Luke Nguyen
  • Glynn Nicholas
  • Brendan Nichols
  • Neville Norman
  • Jackie O
  • Laurie Oakes
  • Rachael Oakes-Ash
  • Mark Occhilupo
  • Simon O’Donnell
  • James O’Loghlin
  • Fiona O’Loughlin
  • Tom O’Toole
  • Elli Overton
  • Peter Overton
  • Catherine Palin-Brinkworth
  • Scott Pape
  • Allan Parker
  • Michael Pascoe
  • Allen Pathmarajah
  • Robyn Pearce
  • David Penglase
  • Jim Penman
  • Larry Perkins
  • Symantha Perkins
  • Mark Pesce
  • Tim Pethick
  • Kerryn Phelps
  • Charlie Pickering
  • Michael Podolinsky
  • Shannan Ponton
  • Pot-Pourri (music group)
  • Tom Potter
  • Kerri Pottharst
  • Steve Pratt
  • Janella Purcell
  • Tobie Puttock
  • Stephen Quartermain
  • Scott Rankin
  • Michelle Ray
  • Elena Reed
  • David Reyne
  • Simon Reynolds
  • Chris Richardson
  • Glenn Ridge
  • Samantha Riley
  • Peter Ritchie
  • Mikey Robins
  • Edward Robinson
  • Naomi Robson
  • Julia Ross
  • William J. Rothwell
  • Jessica Rowe
  • Jane Rowe
  • Ronald Rowland AM
  • Peter Rowsthorn
  • Craig Ruecassel
  • David Rumbens
  • Eric Rush
  • Todd Sampson
  • Kamal Sarma
  • Richard Sauerman
  • Louise Sauvage
  • Jane Saville
  • Leo Schofield
  • Ian Schubach
  • Guy Sebastian
  • Peter Senior
  • John Shackleton
  • Timothy Sharp
  • Janine Shepherd
  • Michael Sherlock
  • Matt Shirvington
  • Alvah Simon
  • Stephen Simpson
  • Jack Sims
  • Mark Skaife
  • Michael Slater
  • Warren Smith
  • Allan Snyder
  • Anders Sorman-Nilsson
  • Dale Spender
  • Tracey Spicer
  • Kirsty Spraggon
  • Tony Squires
  • Jo Stanley
  • Karl Stefanovic
  • Zali Steggall
  • Tom Stephens
  • Peter Sterling
  • Ricky Stuart
  • Richard Stubbs
  • Bruce Sullivan
  • Ken Sutcliffe
  • Cath Sutherland
  • Norman Swan
  • Peter Switzer
  • Tahir
  • Don Talbot
  • Shelley Taylor-Smith
  • Petria Thomas
  • Deborah Thomas
  • David Thomas
  • Josh Thomas
  • Peter Thompson
  • Margaret Throsby
  • Dominic Thurbon
  • Peter Thurin
  • John Tickell
  • Matt Tilley
  • Paul Tolton
  • James Tomkins
  • Monica Trapaga
  • Simon Treselyan
  • Ben Tune
  • Simon Tupman
  • Candy Tymson
  • Camille Valvo
  • Karen Van Druten
  • Nils Vesk
  • Michael Voss
  • Ross Walker
  • Max Walker
  • Brian Walker
  • Max Walsh
  • Mike Walsh
  • Gai Waterhouse
  • Kate Waterhouse
  • Kim Watkins
  • Richard Watson
  • Shane Watson
  • Mark Waugh
  • Tim Webster
  • Jonathon Welch
  • Helen Wellings
  • Glenn Wheatley
  • Bill Wheeler
  • Mike Whitney
  • Sorrel Wilby
  • Richard Wilkins
  • Lisa Wilkinson
  • Ric Willmot
  • Rebecca Wilson
  • Stu Wilson
  • Andrew Winter
  • Todd Woodbridge


  • Anthony Ackroyd
  • Jennifer Adams
  • Dianne Adamson
  • James Adonis
  • Phil Anderson
  • Ann Andrews
  • Bob Ansett
  • Samantha Armytage
  • Geoffrey Atherden
  • Tony Backhouse
  • Lisa Backhouse
  • Sam Bailey
  • Tony Barber
  • Cheryl Bart
  • Ross Baxter
  • Francine Bell
  • Tony Bilson
  • Angela Bishop
  • Christopher Bisset
  • John Blackman
  • B. Blaine Whittaker Trio
  • Rachel Bermingham
  • Brad Blaze
  • Dean Blomson
  • Ray Bigger
  • Allan Bolton
  • Frano Botiga
  • Anna-Louise Bouvier
  • Brett Bower
  • Graeme Bowman
  • Michael Boyd
  • Raelene Boyle
  • Damian Brown
  • John Brown
  • Sally Browne
  • Barry Bull
  • Tanya Bulmer
  • Mark Bunn
  • Cathy Burke
  • Susie Burrell
  • Amos Bush
  • Matthew Byrne
  • David Callan
  • Paul Calleja
  • Ewan Campbell
  • Jacqueline Campbell
  • Rob Carlton
  • Michael Carr-Gregg
  • Garth Castle
  • Sam Cawthorn
  • Lyn Champion
  • Tony Christiansen
  • Philip Clark
  • Ross Clarke-Jones
  • Nigel Collin
  • Leonie Collins
  • Alyssa-Jane Cook
  • Anna Coren
  • Chris Cormack
  • John Coutis
  • Annabel Crabb
  • Perry Cross
  • David Cummings
  • Grant Davies
  • Michael Dayes
  • Nola Diamantopoulos
  • Shannon Dolan
  • Geraldine Doyle
  • Rodney Eade
  • Will Elrick
  • Elliot Epstein
  • Amy Erbacher
  • Frank Farina
  • Lee Featherby
  • Allan Fels
  • Peter Fenton
  • Michelle Ferris
  • Nic Feteris
  • Marty Fields
  • Neil Flanagan
  • Elton Flatley
  • David Fordham
  • Ben Fordham
  • Sofie Formica
  • David Foster
  • Chris Fydler
  • Nathy Gaffney
  • Gerry Gannon
  • Roma Gaster
  • Richard Gee
  • Leon Gettler
  • Sharyn Ghidella
  • John Gill
  • Wayne Goldsmith
  • Amanda Gome
  • Prue Goward
  • Billy Graham
  • Belinda Green
  • Tatiana Grigorieva
  • Pauline Grogan
  • Michael Groom
  • Guy Grossi
  • Steve Haddan
  • Peter Hadfield
  • Richard Hadlee
  • Ray Hadley
  • Wil Hagon
  • Martin Hall
  • Rob Hamill
  • Craig Hamilton
  • Justin Hamilton
  • Brooke Hanson
  • Sir James Hardy
  • Craig Harper
  • Bill Harrigan
  • Virginia Haussegger
  • Trevor Hendy
  • Michael Hewitt Gleeson
  • Clinton Hill
  • Max Hitchins
  • Paul Hockey
  • Mark Holden
  • Jim Hopkins
  • Andrew Hoy
  • Ken Hudson
  • Monte Huebsch
  • Peter Hughes
  • Craig Hutchison
  • Timothy Hyde
  • Patria D. Jafferies
  • Linda Jaivin
  • Al James
  • Nik Janev
  • Jason Jay
  • Belinda Jeffreys
  • Paul Jennings
  • Julian Jones
  • Brendon Julian
  • Peter Kaye
  • Graham Keating
  • Graham Kelleher
  • Morgan Kent
  • Wayne Scott Kermond
  • Mohamed Khadra
  • Christine Kininmonth
  • Chris Kirby
  • Andrew Klein
  • Deborah Knight
  • John Konrads
  • Daniel Kowalski
  • Samantha Lane
  • Andrew Larkey
  • David Lawrence
  • Geoff Lawson
  • Rick Ledingham
  • David Lennie
  • Patrick Lindsay
  • Wendy Little
  • Darryl Lovegrove
  • Lizzie Lovette
  • Bruno Lucia
  • Ian Luff
  • Charlie Lynn
  • Stephen Mayne
  • Tim Macartney-Snape
  • Hugh Macfarlane
  • Donald Mackee
  • John Maguire
  • Ryan Maloney
  • Brad Manuel
  • Paul Martell
  • Paul Martin
  • Karen Matthews
  • Debbie Mayo-Smith
  • Blair McDonough
  • Georgina McEncroe
  • Sue-Maree McEnearney
  • Matt McFadyen
  • Don McIntyre
  • Leila McKinnon
  • Derrick McManus
  • Danny McMaster
  • Lyndey Milan
  • Peter Miller
  • Alice Mills
  • Sheryle Moon
  • Allie Mooney
  • Anthony Morgan
  • Tony Mowbray
  • William Mulholland
  • Lori Munz
  • Michael Neaylon
  • Nadine Neumann
  • Lauren Newton
  • Tawera Nikau
  • Shelley Oates-Wilding
  • Cyndi O’Meara
  • Dave O’Neil
  • Junie Ong
  • Joshua Owen
  • Joel Ozborn
  • Clint Paddison
  • Rob Palmer
  • Cindy Pan
  • Kevin Panozza
  • Michael Pascoe
  • Glen Pattison
  • Wayne Pearce
  • Jo Pearson
  • Hayley Pearson
  • Rex Pemberton
  • Emanuel Perdis
  • Amber Petty
  • Ryan Phelan
  • Eric Philips
  • Graeme Keith Philipson
  • Ed Phillips
  • Rachael Pickworth
  • Darryl Pike
  • Alistair Ping
  • Bill Potter
  • David Price
  • Ben Price
  • Steven Price
  • Terri Psiakis
  • Rod Quantock
  • Emma Race
  • Shane Radbone
  • Brook Ramage
  • Andy Raymond
  • Chris Reason
  • Chris Rewell
  • Nick Rheinberger
  • Jason Roberts
  • Clint Robinson
  • Ajay Rochester
  • Justin Roff-Marsh
  • Matt Rolfe
  • Jeremy Rolleston
  • Gillian Rolton
  • Anna Rose
  • Peter Rowe
  • Adam Rozenbachs
  • Kathy Rozmeta
  • Brett Rutledge
  • Susan Ryan
  • Jason Ryder
  • Robert Salisbury
  • Joel Salom
  • Anne Sargeant
  • Julian Schiller
  • Michael Schoettler
  • Ray Scicluna
  • Denise Scott
  • Jaynie Seal
  • Melissa Seymour
  • Sekai Shand
  • Emily Simpson
  • Ian Skippen
  • Kate Slatter
  • George Smilovici
  • James Smith
  • Don Smith
  • Jim Soorley
  • Julie Stafford
  • Carolyn Stafford
  • David Staughton
  • Jason Stevens
  • Simon Stokes
  • Sherry Strong
  • Jim Stynes
  • Marty Switzer
  • Henri Szeps
  • John Taylor
  • Richard Telford
  • Peter Thorpe
  • John Townsend
  • Toby Travanner
  • Angus Trumble
  • Heather Turland
  • Terry Underwood
  • Barry Urquhart
  • James Valentine
  • Subby Valentine
  • Andrew Voss
  • Jim Wallace
  • Doug Walters
  • Imogen Wareing
  • Jeff Watson
  • Ian Watson
  • Debbie Watson
  • Tim Watson
  • Katrina Webb
  • Liz Weekes
  • Matt Welsh
  • Caroline West
  • Susanne Wilder
  • Robyn Williams
  • David Williams
  • Sally Williams
  • Vicki Wilson
  • Noel Winterburn
  • Moureen Wong
  • Hayden Wood
  • Tania Zaetta
  • Stuart Zadel


  • Stephen Bartholomeusz
Stephen Lund


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18 thoughts on “Speakers’ circuit specials: $1m buys you Tony Blair, $5k gets Tania Zaetta

  1. bally

    So if I had a million crackers, I could spend 200 hours with Tania Zaetta, or for the same price I would have to spend a whole hour listening to Tony Blair? Tony would be on that plane to Tripoli before he could say “WMD”! Tania’s still the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met.

  2. dsf

    I attended a corporate event a few years ago (can’t remember exactly when), where Peter Cosgrove gave an address. He might be a great bloke and a superb organiser (a point he made several times during the address), but he is a terrible writer/speaker (I assume he wrote his own speech)

    He told a number of anecdotes about his experiences, most of them to do with leadership and management (as was appropriate, we weren’t really expecting a gung-ho adventure story), but at the end of each one the audience, or at least the ones I spoke to, were expecting some kind of “and that’s when I learnt…” or “that taught me …” even if it was only implied. However each one seemed just to end, with no point to them (except for pointing out what a great bloke he is)

    This was shortly after he left command, so perhaps now he is worth his asking fee.

  3. Meski

    Some of them, you’d like to put in stocks, and bring ripe fruit… Hmmm.

  4. baal

    Extraordinary to think anyone would pay anything at all to hear Tony Blair indulge in an hour of self-justification. What can any of these scam artist SAY that hasn’t already been WRITTEN? We are witnessing the emergence of celebrity as a secular religion where even ugly people are worshipped.

  5. Son of foro

    You seem to have listed every person currently living in Australia. Is paying each other to speack the latest pyramid scheme now that real estate is tanking?

  6. zut alors

    Having run my eye down the long list there are perhaps half a dozen who would be of interest. Funnily enough, the ones in the top tiers are the least attractive with the exception of Paul Keating who is renowned for his speechmaking and a natural adeptness for ad libs.

    Actually, the majority of names on the list are a mystery to me – probably TV soapie actors or sportspeople.

  7. nicolino

    Blair should be in Tripoli right now justifying his reputation or lack of..
    Who, in their right mind, would pay to hear this w*nker.

  8. fitter

    Ben Fordham? Someone would actually pay to hear this d*ckhead from ACA speak? I can tune in and watch his wobbling head each morning on sunrise for free, and its bad enough.

  9. Syd Walker

    The idea of Tony Bliar trying to bring ‘peace’ to Libya (or anywhere else for that matter) might appeal to Rip Van Winkle – but surely not to anyone who’s been awake the last ten years?

    Bliar – like other arch-deceivers of his era – should be facing a war crimes tribunal and confiscation of his ill-gotten assets.

  10. paddy

    Any company that actually paid *money* to Elliot Goblet to address a corporate function…….Should be reported to authorities for crimes against comedy.

  11. Meski

    @Paddy: Corporate functions deserve him.

  12. baal

    Aside from the claptrap that the more expensive performers provide live, stand-up comedy has become industrialised – as in mass produced. I love a larf (I’ve heard it releases serotonin which can be only good and obviates the need for fiercer less natural and more expensive narcotics) and although I know some audiences can be difficult, most prefer to become hysterical, to join in the fun and respond like kiddies at a birthday party. It’s been a cheap way for broadcasters (esp the ABC) to hire ‘talent’ familiar with microphones and undeterred by the challenges that might come from more awkward customers (the ABC very deftly screens its talk back callers to excise more direct critics). The model has provided a hiring template for radio and TV – think Andrew Denton, James O’Loghlin, Will Anderson and many others who migrated from standup (and theatre sports) without needing to be trained they can busk their way through anything and move on to the next bit of smartassery’. The broadcasters have adapted to their limitations very willingly. Thus we have the cheap and cheerful Spicks and Specks front-and-centre as the most ‘popular’ show on ABC TV. Most of the hard work probably goes on before the show is recorded warming the audience (and panel) into a state of feverish enthusiasm in which everything is hilarious and nobody can resist the opportunity to whoop and holler along for an hour of harmless distraction. Funny?

  13. Barry 09

    They pay to listen to these tossers ???????????????????????????? Didn’t see Mr. Abbot ‘s name on the list ? Shit happens.

  14. Liamj

    I think people go to see these speakers to try and discover the missing ingredient that made these nobodies into somebodies, not realising that what many successful people ‘have’ is really what they’ve lost – ethics, honour, humility… Blair & Al Dunlap could teach nothing but how to excuse evil, isn’t it nice that business can learn their talents and deduct it from their tax too.

  15. Frank Campbell

    “Tony Blair — who probably should be trying to bring peace to Libya —”

    You jest. Blair should be in The Hague. Permanently.

  16. znotty Grunt

    I paid $150 to see Iron Maiden last week but i wouldn’t give two bob to hear any of that lot listed.

  17. Bob the builder

    Strange that in our supposedly IT-connected world that people would pay such extraordinary money for the mystical experience of seeing these characters in the flesh. But they wouldn’t give a cent of tax they didn’t have to or be willing to attach a value to carbon.

  18. abarker

    I’ll do it for a carton of beer and cab fare.


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