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.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

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.

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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.

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