Looking for the surprise and delight afforded by the likes of America’s Got Talent magician, actor Mat Franco? When you need to pull a wow moment out of the hat. To get everyone talking, you might consider:

man holding up hands to camera, wearing black bowtie, dark grey sport coat and white dress shirtRobert Strong

Profile: A performing member of the world-famous Magic Castle, twice voted San Francisco’s ‘Best Magician’ and ‘Best Comedian’ by the Bay Guardian, 10-year Artist in Residence at the Smithsonian, TEDx San Francisco’s Resident Magician, Google’s unofficial CMO… Chief Magic Officer

Topics: Executive presence, creating a culture people love, making magical moments for customers

Agency: Self

One thing you hope attendees take away from your time on stage?

“Magic” is a feeling people get when the “magician” does more work preparing than what any person would see as reasonable, truly understands the audience’s perspective, expectations and hopes, connects deeply through personalizing, customizing and humor—and overdelivers. Anyone can learn the art of “razzle dazzle;” it just takes a little magical thinking and a bit of showmanship. The one thing people take away from my time on stage is that they, too, can create that magic feeling for others.

How did Covid change your approach to connecting with audiences?

Leveraged a degree in television and filmmaking and built an in-home, three-camera production studio. Often presented to Fortune 500 companies by day and to Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Australia in the middle of the night, London, Dublin and NYC first thing in the morning, and then a few for local Bay Area tech companies in the afternoon. Sometimes, all on the same day. When not doing live talks, I was creating personalized and humorous content to run as interstitials during virtual conferences. I even designed team-building workshops around storytelling to teach a couple magic tricks and have the team write work-related stories and perform them for their teammates (the best part was watching the team’s reactions when they were amazed and delighted by their co-workers).

What do you want meeting planners to know about working with you? I have been a professional magician for almost 40 years and have the experience and expertise to personalize every presentation. I have no ego and am always doing what is best for the guest’s experience. I can handle any situation with poise and grace. I have performed in all 50 states, in over 50 countries, and twice at the White House. Google (100+ appearances), LinkedIn (50+ appearances) , Cisco (20+ appearances), Salesforce (20+ appearances), Oracle (20+ appearances), Adobe (10+ appearances), Facebook (50+ appearances), AWS (20+ appearances), HPE (10+ appearances), Dell EMC (10+ appearances), Samsung (10+ appearances), and more have trusted me with their teams and their customers by bringing me back again and again.

man wearing red sport coat and white dress shirt

Rich Bracken

Profile: An entertainer, media personality, national touring DJ and former event planner with a passion for servant leadership

Topics: Emotional intelligence, leadership/motivation, corporate culture, mental health/mindset, sales performance/kickoffs

Agency: Self-represented (Richbracken.com); multiple bureau partners

One thing you hope attendees take away from your time on stage?

“Empowerment through edutainment” is my mantra before every single presentation. Every time I step in front of an audience, from 10 to 100,000, I do all I can to empower everyone to understand that no matter where they are struggling in life, there’s a way to get through it and they control of the solution.

That’s why I love blending data and research with storytelling. Through both, you can show proof that improvement is possible; no matter if you’re a top performer trying to get better or if you’re just trying to stay focused because you have so much on your mind. I’ve been at both ends and in-between, so I can empathize with anyone.

“Edutainment” comes from blending the proof with a bit of a party. I want the audience to thoroughly enjoy themselves throughout my conversation with them, which made it so fun to add a musical performance element to my keynotes to differentiate myself. It is a responsibility I claim with a huge smile and a ton of energy. I have spent the vast majority of my life entertaining crowds and I want to make sure that you leave our time together feeling stronger and happier.

How did Covid change your approach to connecting with audiences?

Covid changed one thing and massively enhanced another for me. The heightened use of virtual presentations allowed me to leverage my television experience to create broadcast-style presentations virtually to audiences around the world. To be able to make my presentations fancier vs. a typical Zoom was such a fun adjustment for me to discover and the feedback from clients has been phenomenal.

The element it enhanced is my ability to leverage my empathy to anyone in any industry as the conversations around mental health, mindset and emotional intelligence took off. I truly care about my clients and their audiences and to bring that sincere connection to my crowds has allowed them to feel heard, seen and truly cared for.

That emotional connection is what it’s all about at the end of the day for me. I want to leave people better than I found them and that has come in the form of everything from how music can help emotional intelligence to having some vulnerable interactions with my audiences.

At the end of the day, we’re all people just trying to figure life out. I just want to help all I can in that discovery.

What do you want meeting planners to know about working with you?

 As a former event planner myself, I promise you I’ll be the most low-maintenance speaker you’ll ever work with. I have been in your shoes and have all the respect in the world for what you do.

Second, I love being able to provide a variety of services and do them all exceptionally well. From serving as a keynote speaker, an emcee, or a DJ (some clients want all three!) I promise a one-stop shop for your event.

Third, I go over and above for all my planners. From pre-event calls, to support during the event, to post event engagement with customized materials, I want your event to be as successful just as much as you do. Anything and everything I can do to support you in the process, and have fun while we go, is game.

Lastly, it’s never about me, I just want to help as many people as I can and I want your audience to feel genuinely cared for. I’m there to serve you, your audience, and your stakeholders. I appreciate the trust and resources that go into bringing me into your event and I don’t take that lightly. Now, let’s have fun!

Back to Smart Speakers homepage.