by Tom Isler | May 01, 2006

When it comes to finding someone to man the lectern and inspire the troops, speaker bureau representatives from across the country say the following five personalities are among the most popular at the moment.

Lance Armstrong


* Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor. Topics: building a winning team, overcoming obstacles, making every second count. Bureau: Nonexclusive. Base fee: More than $100,000




* John Battelle, author and co-founder of Wired magazine. Topics: marketing and consumer trends, technology and strategic development. Bureau: Keppler Speakers, (703) 516-4000; Base fee: $20,000-$25,000


Marcus Buckingham


* Marcus Buckingham, author, co-founder of, to help employees identify and measure their skills. Topics: maximizing productivity, leadership. Bureau: nonexclusive. Base fee: $55,000



Paula Deen


* Paula Deen, chef, star of The Food Network’s Paula’s Home Cooking. Topics: women in business, entrepreneurship. Bureau: nonexclusive. Base fee: $30,000-$50,000



Steven D. Levitt


* Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics (HarperCollins). Topics: counterintuitive drivers of economics, how to achieve goals in a competitive world. Bureau: Harry Walker Agency, (646) 227-4900; Base fee: $60,000