Lecture Series

Written by Will Baum
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A lecture series is only as good as the speakers included. A badly thrown-together lecture series is like a long series of meals with the bore in your family--same old jokes, same old wisdom. Like the song says, "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything."

Sometimes it only takes one great speaker to hold together a series. A lecture series about political journalism that features an appearance by Bob Woodward is going to be a good one, almost no matter how underwhelming the rest of the speakers are. Woodward is the prolific author of "Plan of Attack," "Bush at War," and a dazzling number of other tomes, going back to "All The President's Men," which he co-authored with Carl Bernstein. Woodward has access to the corridors of power. What he reports often changes the way that power operates.

A dull line-up of numbers crunchers talking about teamwork can't help but be enlivened by the insertion of a figure from the world of sports. Who better to talk about working together under pressure? There are great speakers who are regulars on the lecture circuit representing just about every sport imaginable. Thinking baseball? Perhaps Johnny Bench or Steve Garvey will do. Thinking football? The long list of speakers is available includes luminaries from John Elway to Marcus Allen to Don Shula.

A Lecture Series Depends Upon Great Speakers

Sometimes it's good to mix things up. Add a politician to a lecture series about sales; throw a boxer into an academic series about the nature of war; ask a man to speak about menopause. Expertise often overlaps in interesting ways. When booking a lecture series, try to remain open-minded. Variety, they say, is the spice of life.


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