Jamil Qureshi

Working with Speaker Bureaus  

How do I remember my first meeting with Maria? Snappy, short tempered, snarling are the first words to come to mind regarding our first encounter. You see, it was Keaton, her Coton de Tulear, trusty companion, life-long protector, and loyal canine friend who popped round the door first.

Once I’d navigated the gatekeeper (by stepping over him, he’s tiny), I found Maria to be the opposite. Friendly, engaging, and personable. Even with her many positive qualities, the meeting was a disaster. I’d just started my speaking career and had become busy quickly. I needed representation and wanted to capitalise on my early success.

Maria told me she wasn’t interested and sent me packing – in a friendly, engaging and personable way. I can’t remember the reasons why, but I do remember three things that I thought about as I peeled the parking ticket off my car in the rain.

Firstly, Maria made sense; she really knew her stuff. Secondly, she told it how it was; her thoughts were not sugar coated, and thirdly, bring some dog treats if I ever want to go back.

Time passed, and I won’t bother you with how eventually we decided to work together, but we did. My speaking career and business went from doing ok, to being a seven-figure business quicker than you can say “You’re on mute”.

Quite simply, Maria is the most respected sage in the business. (To call her an agent or booker would be less accurate). I realised that fact during our first meeting, and she proved it solidly at our next.

More specifically, her advice and guidance on how to work with a bureau, how to understand a brief and work with clients, and how to construct great content was an invaluable accelerant to my career.

Generous with her knowledge and incisive with her judgement, I was able to navigate the opportunities and pitfalls that the world of paid speaking offers.

With my speaking business, Maria has become its trusty companion, life-long protector, and loyal friend. I am very lucky. I hope you will be too.

Thank you, Santa Maria, Patron Saint of Speakers.

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Learn more about Jamil here.