“There is a movement toward speakers at all levels managing their speaking work themselves or via their in-house staff. To date, there has been limited information on how to do this in a world-class manner. I am here to help.”
The School for independent Speakers
I offer tools and services distilled from what I’ve learned from more than three decades in the events business as an ‘outsider.’ I have never worked for a speakers bureau or speakers agency – yet I have insider access to the paid speaking world. I’ve spent nearly a decade as a conference producer who hired well-known speakers, and more than two decades as the personal, in-house speaker’s agent for notable personalities such as:
- Apple Co-Founder, Steve Wozniak (Alumnus, 13.5 years with New Leaf),
- Hacker turned security consultant and best-selling author, Kevin Mitnick (Alumnus, 15 years with New Leaf),
- TED All-Star, Actor, Paralympian, Model and Advocate, Aimée Mullins (Current Client, 13 years with New Leaf), and
- Conscious Capitalism early adopter and Founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie (Current Client, 5 years with New Leaf).
My clients opted out of the traditional forms of representation for speaking and brought that work in-house with New Leaf. My current, public-facing client list is here. Back in 2001, the internet was still in its infancy, and social media was pretty much limited to a budding Facebook. There was no agreed terminology for the role I played in my clients’ work. I was an agent, for sure, but I didn’t feel like New Leaf was a speakers bureau or a speakers agency. I’ve ultimately come to realize that all the work I’ve done can be categorized as ‘in-house’ speaking agent work. An agent with no bureau or agency affiliation. A free agent, if you will. My top priority has always been my speakers’ best interests. In my work, I answer all direct inquiries and the ones from bureaus and agencies. Through these efforts, my skills as a professional, in-house speaker’s agent developed – totally independent of any speakers bureau or speakers agency.
I know what challenges you face as a fully independent speaker, or someone who supports one, because I face the same challenges. I work with an intentionally small roster of speakers who don’t have someone on their internal team that can do this work. My primary goal is education, tool & service creation — not to expand my roster of in-house clients. I continue to serve as the in-house, personal speaker’s agent for a handful of notable folks because not everyone who speaks wants to manage or fund an in-house team, and doing the work myself helps keep my ‘saw sharp.’
I build the tools, services, and community I wish I had when I began this work back in 2001.
The school will offer you more:
- community and connection with other independent speakers and their staff. Independence is a mind-set vs. a reflection of how someone manages their speaking work — they may be self-represented, managed, or exclusively represented by a single bureau or agency.
- control over the process of managing your speaking opportunities,
- protection over your positive personal brand,
- transparency on financials, and
- money through increased speaking fees and reduced commissions.
Together, we’ll create a way to manage speaking that fits into busy lives and brings joy. All while preserving the freedom to handle your speaking your way and consider offers from all sources.
I’m distilling my 30+ years of experience into content that promotes education and empowerment. The checklists, tips, downloadable templates, articles, and in-person learning will be based on the lessons I’ve learned from working directly with ‘category of one’ speakers and handling thousands of negotiations with event hosts, speaker bureaus, production companies, and meeting planners.
I’ll share the good, the bad, and the constructive. I plan to share my knowledge generously and transparently so that independent speakers, and those who support them, can learn from my school of hard knocks and leap the learning curve by many years.
- those just getting started with speaking,
- those who are in the process of re-evaluating how they handle their speaking work, and
- those who have managed their speaking ‘in-house’ for years, and wonder if they are structuring it in the best manner possible.
This content is for everyone who wants to handle their speaking in a modern, personal, productive, and rewarding manner. I hope you’ll join me.
“I found Amy via my friend, Jesse Itzler, and I’m so glad he connected us. Amy’s passion and kindness for helping speakers is obvious – from her initial reply to her deep well of knowledge that she so generously shares.
Amy’s advice led me to take a giant leap of faith and begin a new and exciting way of handling my speaking work.
I feel empowered that I can excel in this industry.
If you can book time with her: DO IT.”
“You generously offered advice that helped me refine how I handled my paid speaking and easily shaved two+ years off my learning curve. The confidence boost enabled me to continue representing myself into a successful speaking career. Your insights are spot-on and delivered like a trusted friend.
I can’t wait to see what The School for Independent Speakers will offer.”
“Thanks so much for your tenacity to stand up for what’s right. You set the standard for integrity in the speaking industry. I’m very grateful to work with each an awesome company.”
Professor of Management, Rice University, Author of Joy at Work with Marie Kondo, Author of STRETCH: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined
“Hollywood producer and close friend, Cary Woods, referred me to New Leaf. I’m so glad he did. New Leaf has a rare approach to paid speaking that offers incredible service, a wealth of speaker bureau connections, ironclad integrity, full transparency and a deep well of industry experience.
In addition, when I saw ‘kindness’ emphasized as one of New Leaf’s core values, I thought “This is different. I like this.”
If you have the opportunity to learn from or be managed by Amy and her team, take it. You’ll gain a wise mentor, a savvy negotiator and a staunch advocate who makes your priorities, New Leaf’s priorities. I’m grateful to be part of the New Leaf team.”
Chief Diversity Officer, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Writer & Speaker