06 Apr 2021

Barry Markoff: Speakers and Entertainers – What’s Hot?


The Speaking Industry like any other industry is continually changing. However, one thing that never changes is the continual request for motivational and inspirational speakers who can help lift the spirit of a company and ensure that their people have more drive to succeed and are more engaged as a team.


Here are some emerging trends:

1. Thinking outside the comfort zone – CEO & Entrepreneur speakers

Within the vast range of our Business speakers, there are business leaders proving that capitalism with a conscience pays just as well, if not better, than putting business goals first. Australia is looking to reward companies that prioritise being a good corporate citizen by doing good for the community’s less fortunate. Along the way, businesses that champion these ideals make excellent profits for shareholders through ethical means.

Founder of Who Gives a Crap Simon Griffiths donates 50% of his company’s profits to provide toilets for people around the world who were previously unable to access clean sanitation. Last year he donated $5.8M to this cause which was a great win both for those in need and Who gives a Crap’s stakeholders.

Thankyou co-founder Daniel Flynn has similarly made some exceptionally bold business decisions prioritising third-world impact in the social-enterprise’s latest campaign ‘Thankyou to the world’. Thankyou has proven time and time again that it is willing to go to the end of the earth to make sure their donations are having the best possible impact on the developing world, which is why it is one of Australia’s most-loved businesses.

Jonathan Holloway is a titan of leadership, with over 10 years CEO experience under his belt. He has transformed organisations like the London National Theatre & Melbourne International Arts Festival and repeatedly harnesses innovation, persuasion and entertainment to create unmissable, unexpected and unforgettable experiences for audiences of all sizes.

More CEO & Entrepreneur speakers


2. The ingredients for success – Sales & Marketing speakers

Good brands have raving fans, and there is no message more trusted than that carried by word of mouth. From dinner parties to chats around the coffee machine and into the realm of online user-generated content, finding an expert well-placed to drum up fanatic excitement about your brand can be difficult.

However, marketing guru, author of The Honeycomb Effect & regular panellist on The Gruen Transfer Carolyn Miller is one such expert. Her business was set up to assist medium to large organisations with strategic marketing and brand development by identifying business goals and developing the strong foundations to realise them. Carolyn aims to reignite a culture of innovation and bring great ideas to life through the workshops she runs, which focus on marketing, business strategy consulting, diversity & inclusion and communication.

Other honourable mentions include fellow Gruen panellist Dan Gregory and personal branding expert Jane Anderson.

More Sales & Marketing speakers


3. Psychological safety in the workplace – Health, lifestyle and wellbeing speakers

Psychological Safety allows employees to be themselves at work without being judged, condescended or belittled. When this happens, workplaces become a much more vibrant and confident setting resulting in a boost in morale and long-term profits. A culture of safety is as important as it gets.

Mental health,  fitness, wellbeing and nutrition are finally being recognised by organisations large and small as perhaps the highest priority to ensuring productivity & job satisfaction among employees. We’re ecstatic to have wellbeing experts that use science-backed methods to give their audiences the tools and resources they need to start a journey towards holistic health. Clare Desira is a recent addition and founder of Top Five Movement, a business which aims to bring productive positivity into the lives of audiences around Australia. Dr Ali Walker is a genuine, charming human connection expert and social scientist specialising in helping teams thrive through shaping cognitive drives in those she works with. Other brilliant speakers in psychological safety include the brilliant Wayne Herbert shattering stereotypes around what those with disabilities can achieve, Wayne Schwass and Gus Worland for their work in changing how we look at and maintain our ‘mental fitness’ toward suicide prevention, and co-founder of ‘R U OK?’ day Graeme Cowan.

Make no mistake – Wellness speakers are essential across all industries, and trade is no exception. Occupational Health & Safety speakers like Craig Hamilton and Theo Venter have been preaching the importance of looking after yourself and your colleagues, both from a physical safety and mental wellbeing perspective.

More Health, lifestyle and wellbeing speakers


4. Future trends – Where are we heading? – Future of Work Speakers

What will future jobs entail? What will future shared workplaces look like? What about meetings, conferences, organisational structures, traditional jobs and unemployment? Staying on top of trends can be the make-or-break for some businesses, and COVID-19 has proven that forward thinking yields monumental business rewards. Have a think about what areas of your business need future proofing, and consult an expert in organizational change.

Andrea Clarke, Michael McQueen & Heather McGowan are all widely recognised leading experts in the field of the Future of Work, and draw on large wells of research to position employees and organisations to be well ahead of the curb.

Dr Richard Hames & Bernard Salt AM both have an uncanny record for predicting change all over the globe, and have been some of the brightest minds helping launch businesses into their future for decades.

If it’s energy, efficiency and bold disruption you’re looking at, former executive director and CTO of Lonely Planet Gus Balbontin or ‘the mind plumber’ Jason Clarke are both vital assets your organisation needs up it’s sleeve.

More Future of Work Speakers


5. Practical solutions to the problems we’re facing: Technology, Future & Innovation Speakers

Is your organisation truly future proof? What factors have you put in place to protect yourselves from unforeseen circumstances? A super cyber-attack? A new slick competitor? Have you looked at every potential disruptive threat to your business? And how will you respond? Are there potential opportunities as a result?

Whether you’re #1 across the board or you’re in need of a Rebound, tech-hacker & entrepreneur Steve Sammartino is Australia’s leading futurist who has been giving businesses the tools and insights they need to stay competitive or topple titans around them.

Organisational transformation coach Anna Lee draws on work from the fields of neuroscience, psychology and behavioural economics to uncover some pretty nifty ways to help her clients upgrade their resilience, protect their attention and change for the better.

More Technology, Future & Innovation Speakers


6. Intergenerational influence – Social Media & Networking Speakers

Communication is the core foundation of any successful business, and it is vital to know how to treat different generations when doing business. A Baby Boomer may be more interested in communicating over the phone or in person, whereas a Gen Y person may gravitate towards texts, Teams, Slack, or Linkedin. Knowing the thought processes of Baby Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z is vital when doing business with these different age groups.

One communications genius specialising in intergenerational influence is Jordana Borensztajn. A consummate communicator and a master of the art of personal connection, Jordana channels her multitalented background as a journalist, comedian and lion tamer in Africa to craft a uniquely comedic perspective on absolutely everything in life that matters, particularly how different generations connect.

Simon Kuestenmacher takes a slightly different approach by bringing the sum of your business (it’s people) together to learn skillsets vital for thriving through upcoming industry shifts. In under a decade our largest companies and top government positions will be almost exclusively in the hand of Gen X and Gen Y. Simon takes the hands of organisations and leads an exploration into what these generations value and how they will shape the near future (5-10 years) of Australia.


Barry Markoff is the founder and CEO of ICMI. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in the Speakers and Entertainers industry, after a career as a sports psychologist which took him to the USA.
Get in contact with Barry

Back to Articles