Speakers List

If you are a member of a garden club or horticultural society looking for a speaker to give a talk to your members, then look no further than our list of members of The Garden Media Guild who are speakers.

All the members of The Garden Media Guild are either well-known writers, authors, photographers or radio or TV presenters.
Below are their details, a summary of the more popular talks they give and their contact details.

Please note

This is a service for gardening clubs and societies. The Garden Media Guild is not responsible for the speakers and cannot enter into any conversations with the clubs, societies and speakers concerning bookings or any other matter or any dispute that may arise from any subsequent bookings.

Richard Barnes

Writer, photographer, lecturer
Home town: Morpeth, Northumberland
Distance willing to travel: Within 100 miles of home, but greater distances by negotiation
Fees: Negotiable, plus travel expenses if necessary
The Winter Garden
Plants From the Ends of the Earth
Unnatural Landscapes
It’s Not All About Plants
Plant and Garden Photography
Contact: [email protected]

Jackie Bennett

Garden writer, author
Home town: Cambridge/Norwich
Distance willing to travel: Throughout East Anglia, and further by negotiation
Fees: £150-£250 (+ mileage and accommodation as necessary)
The Writer’s Garden
The Artist’s Garden
Jane Austen’s Gardens – Real and Imagined
Shakespeare’s Gardens
Island Gardens – Journeys around the British Isles

Contact: [email protected]

Nigel Colborn

Writer, author, photographer, broadcaster, flower show judge, raconteur, RHS Vice Chairman
Home town: Haconby, Lincolnshire
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: Consult agents: Limelight Management, 33 Newman Street, London W13 3PD; 020 7637 2529
Each event is tailored specifically for the client/society/club. Topics of speciality include: sustainable gardening, creative planting, the world’s flora in British gardens and elsewhere, humour in the garden, biodiversity and good gardening, gardening in public places.
Contact: [email protected]

Sally Cunninngham

Writer, lifetime professional gardener, ecologist
Home town: Leicester
Distance willing to travel: Winter 30 miles (or more if venue is close to railway station), summer 50 miles
Fees: £50 (plus something towards travel)
Love your bugs – basic guide to garden creepy-crawlies
Organic gardening
Know and grow unusual vegetables
Know and grow unusual fruit
Know, grow and cook Asian fruits and vegetables
Medicinal herbs
Culinary herbs
Plants from the past
Plants for their place
Small scale polytunnel growing
Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

Margaret Easter

Author, photographer, National Plant Collection Holder Thymus (Scientific Status)
Home town: Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Distance willing to travel: Any. For distances above 65 miles, overnight accommodation please
Fees: From £100 plus train and underground travel as appropriate
The Garden in Autumn and Winter
Plants for the Summer Border
Bulbs Through the Year
Grasses for the Small Garden
Herbs in the Garden
Thymes for the Garden
Thymus Species and Cultivars
Thyme in the Wild
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.thymus.co.uk

Fay Edwards

Garden writer
Home town: Worcestershire
Distance willing to travel: UK wide
Fees: £275 + travel expenses
Plastic-free Gardening
The Truth about Peat
Should You Go Organic?
Contact: [email protected]

Martin Fish

Writer, author, TV & radio presenter, garden advisor
Home town: Near Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: £100-£150 plus travelling expenses
My life in gardening so far…
Getting started with fruit & vegetables
From Plot to Pot (With my wife Jill who does the cooking!)
Creating a garden in North Yorkshire
Propagation and pruning
Wildlife-friendly gardening
Gardening Q&A and practical demonstrations
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.martinfish.com

Sue Fisher

Writer, broadcaster
Home town: Yelverton, Devon
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: Negotiable
Spectacular Containers for Year-round Colour
Making the Most of a Small Garden
Fast plants – How to Create a Garden in a Hurry
Planting a Dry Garden
Creating an Exotic Garden
Contact: [email protected]

David Fitton MBE

Garden adviser, lecturer, radio broadcaster, garden tour leader
Home town: Newhaven, East Sussex
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable
Fees: £50-£200 plus travel expenses; overnight accommodation if appropriate
A garden for all seasons
Discover the exotic
Conservatory and patio gardening
The plant doctor
The winter garden
Grow your own
Additional topics by arrangement
Available to host garden tours at home and abroad
Contact: [email protected]

Patricia Fox

Garden designer, writer, blogger, TV presenter
Home town: Hatfield Heath, Hertfordshire
Distance willing to travel: Happy to travel to far-flung places or close by
Fees: Negotiable. Mileage at 50p per mile plus overnight accommodation if needed
Garden Design (Contemporary & Traditional)
Small Gardens – what NOT to do!
RHS Chelsea Flower Show – The Trials & Tribulations of a Show Garden – Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow
Designing Contemporary Roof Terraces
Outdoor Entertaining – How to make the most of your garden space for entertaining
How to create structure & drama in the garden
Designing contemporary planting schemes
Please ask if there is a specific topic that you would like me to talk on. I’m always happy to introduce new talks.
Contact: [email protected]

Karen Gimson

BBC Radio leicester gardening expert. Writer for Garden News. Blogs at bramblegarden.com.
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable, but mostly around the East Midlands area
Fees: Negotiable. All fees donated to Rainbows Hospice for Children.
My life as a garden designer
Creating a show garden for Rainbows Hospice for children
356 days of colour in the garden
Creating a cut flower garden
Flower arranging day courses also available, with fees for charity.
Contact: [email protected]

Dr Richard Gulliver FLS

Author, lecturer, botanist ecologist, photographer, director of Plant Particulars Limited
Home town: Shrewsbury
Distance willing to travel: 200miles; above 70 miles overnight accommodation in addition to fee
Fees: £85 if under 70 miles, above 70 miles, please get in touch.
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin – our part in a global success – botanicals and garden allies
Introduction to Garden Wildlife
Our Life in the Hebrides – Plants, Landscapes and Anecdotes
The Joy of Wild Orchids in Britain
Jack Badcock, Leicestershire Author, Naturalist and Recorder of a Bygone Age

Contact: [email protected] and copy in [email protected]

Nick Hamilton

Writer, author and co-owner of Barnsdale Gardens
Home town: Oakham, Rutland
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: £500 plus 60p per mile travel
A history of Barnsdale (1979 to present day)
Barnsdale – the television years
Barnsdale after Geoff (1996-present day)
Organic gardening
Penstemon – varieties, growing techniques and aftercare
Gardening in shade
Drought-tolerant plants
How to have vegetables all year round
Vegetative plant propagation – softwood, semi-ripe, hardwood and root cuttings
Must-have summer perennials
Plus many more, which are listed on the website.
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.barnsdalegardens.co.uk

Charles Hawes

Photographer, gardener and joint (with writer Anne Wareham) garden owner of Veddw House Garden
Home town: Chepstow, Monmouthshire
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: £100-£200 plus travelling expenses
Design inspirations from Chaumont (annual Garden Design Festival)
Contact: [email protected]

Geoff Hodge

Writer, editor, author, TV and radio presenter
Home town: Peterborough
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: £105-£150 plus 37p per mile travel (depending on petrol prices at the time)
The Life & Times of a Gardening Editor
Propagation – Plants for Free
Plants for Situations (choose from: shade, clay, chalk, drought etc.)
Weeds & the Weed-Free Garden
Pest & Disease Control
Pruning – Making it Simple!
Houseplants – the Indoor Jungle
Luscious Lawns
All Muck & Magic? The Answer Lies In The Soil!
Colour All Year Round
Plus more, which are listed on his website.
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.gardenforumhorticulture.co.uk

Caroline Holmes

Writer, journalist, TV and radio presenter, lecturer
Home town: Bury St. Edmunds
Distance willing to travel: Any distance (subject to negotiation)
Fees: From £300 (including travel)
Permission to Poison, the Alnwick Garden
Landscaping England – Mr Brown who saw Capabilities
Monet at Giverny
Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener
Sheer folly – weird and wonderful garden buildings
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.caroline-holmes.com for full list

Michael Howes

Home town: Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
Distance willing to travel: All requests considered, but I am unable to do medium to long distance evening appointments.
Fees: By negotiation
Secrets of Garden Photography
Camera Basics (workshop for beginners)
Garden Shows (short presentation)
Basic, intermediate and advanced talks can be tailored to meet the needs of individual clubs
Contact: [email protected]

Andrea Jones

Photographer, author
Home town: Barr, Near Girvan, South Ayrshire
Distance willing to travel: Anywhere in the world
Fees: Negotiable
Picture Your Garden – Tips and techniques using today’s photographic devices to capture your garden at its magical best
The Garden Source – Gardens that Andrea has visited that inspire and trigger ideas for your own or your clients
Remarkable Gardens – A visual tour of some 30 special and sometimes quirky gardens Andrea has documented around the world
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.andreajones.co.uk

Maureen Little

Author, lecturer, designer, local radio contributor
Home town: Preston, Lancashire
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable
Fees: Negotiable, but not less than £150 plus expenses
Keep Your Garden Buzzing (bee-friendly gardening)
Designing a Bee-friendly Border
The Best Bee-friendly Perennials
To Scarborough Fair – And Beyond! (Culinary herbs)
Gardens in Impressionist Art
Full-day workshops available
Contact: [email protected]

Peter May

Writer, author, photographer, landscaper and garden designer dealing mainly with water gardens and associated features
Home town: Blagdon, near Bristol
Distance willing to travel: Any distance, but above 15miles, 40p per mile
Fees: £300
Water garden style and the history of water gardens
Water garden plants
The Perfect Pond Recipe: Building a water garden and how to choose the right materials
Bog gardens
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.watergardenermagazine.com

Jonathan Moseley

International florist & flower arranger, demonstrator and speaker. TV and radio broadcaster, writer, lecturer
Home town: Coal Aston, Derbyshire
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: Presentations from £150. Full floristry/flower arranging demonstrations available by negotiation
Seasonal demonstrations of traditional and contemporary floristry/flower arranging
Wedding Flowers
Flowers in History
Dressing the Home for Christmas
A Cut Flower Garden
Grow, Cut, Arrange!
Florabundance at Chatsworth
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.jonathan-moseley.com

John Negus

Writer, photographer
Home town: Farnham
Distance willing to travel: Just about any distance
Fees: Around £50-£70 including travel
Twelve Months of Colour
Winning Water Gardens
Shrubs of Distinction
An Eye for Design
Gardening with Flair
British Wild Flowers
Contact: [email protected]

Sally Nex

Writer, journalist, lecturer
Home town: Taunton, Somerset
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: £75 plus travel expenses at 45p per mile
Behind the Scenes at Chelsea
Growing veg in small spaces
A beginner’s guide to self-sufficiency
Year-round veg growing
…or suggest a topic!
Contact: [email protected]

Adam Pasco

Gardening journalist, editor, photographer, presenter, broadcaster and horticultural consultant
Home Town: Peterborough
Distance willing to travel: Any distance considered
Fees: From £180 plus 45p per mile travelling expenses
Easy Ways to Better Gardening
The Golden Rules of Gardening
Grow the Best Glorious Plants
Gardening the Natural Way
And many more or suggested topics can be considered
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.adampascomedia.com

Janine Pattison

Garden and landscape designer, garden writer, horticulturist
Home town: Bournemouth, Dorset
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: From £100 plus 40p per mile travel
Plants for Free – a practical guide to propagation
Low-maintenance gardens – fact or fiction
Fabulous foliage
Right plant, right place
Getting more colour into your garden
Designing a new border
Your new garden – where to start
Full-day workshops available
CPD training for architects
Contact: [email protected]

Amanda Patton

Garden designer, illustrator, writer and photographer
Home town: Pulborough, West Sussex
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: Negotiable
Designing with water
Plant partners, designing with plants
Colour in the garden
Garden design
Contact: [email protected]

Jane Perrone

Host of houseplant podcast On The Ledge, garden writer
Home town: Bedfordshire
Distance willing to travel: Home counties
Fees: Negotiable
Edible Ornamentals
Small Space Edibles
Foraging in the Garden
Contact: [email protected]

Alan Sargent

Writer, landscaper
Home town: Petworth, West Sussex
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable
Fees: From £100 (evening) or £300 (all day) plus 15p per mile
Confessions of a Gardener (humorous)
Positive Imaging – Selling Your Skills (for all would-be Landscapers & Designers)
Job Interviews (serious and humorous!)
Dealing With Difficult Sites – Planning Your Garden Project
Getting the Best from Your Garden (Appreciating your assets)
Starting Your Own Garden Business Venture
Contact: [email protected]

Steffie Shields

Photographer, writer, garden historian
Home town: Grantham
Distance willing to travel: Unlimited in England
Fees: Negotiable, not less than £100
‘Capability’ Brown and the Gift of Landscape
Bloomin’ Lovely
Impressions of Lincolnshire
Have Garden – Will Travel
The Artist in the Garden
Was ‘Capability’ Brown a Golfer
‘Capability’ Brown – The Lincolnshire Connection
A Ducal landscape
Mr Brown Engineer
My Green Studio
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.steffie-shields.co.uk

Lucy Summers

Writer, author, broadcaster
Home town: Surrey
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: By negotiation
Talks can be tailored to the event. Topics include:
Drought-tolerant Gardening
Getting the Best from your Gardening
Love Chelsea
Planting for Bees and Wildlife
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.lucysummersgardendesign.co.uk or through management agency www.knightayton.co.uk

Ian Thwaites

Writer, photographer, plant hunter
Home town: Malvern
Distance willing to travel: Please ask
Fees: Please enquire plus travel and overnight accommodation if a long way
All cacti and succulent based
Cacti and Succulents – An introduction (talk with plants)
Plant Hunting in South Africa (a general introduction)
South Africa – the Western Cape
South Africa – The Karoos
Namibia – The Land of Giants and Minatures
Madagascar – The Red Island – Part One
Madagascar – The Red Island – Part Two
Mexico – The threatened Cacti of Mexico
Contact: [email protected]

Mike Warren

Home town: Ipswich
Distance willing to travel: Any distance
Fees: By negotiation
International Escapades
Climbers, Creepers and Crawlers
The Passionate Gardener
Autumn and Winter Colour
Flowers in the City
Gardeners’ Delight
Through the Year with a Horticultural Photographer
Scents of the Garden
Irish Gardens
Gardens of Belgium & Holland
Contact: [email protected]

Susie White

Writer, author, photographer
Home town: Hexham, Northumberland
Distance willing to travel: North of England and Southern Scotland, possibly further afield
Fees: £120, expenses negotiable depending on distance
The Natural Garden (planting aesthetically for greater wildlife diversity)
A Blank Canvas: making a garden from scratch
Herbs in the ornamental garden
Organic and biodynamic gardening
Wild herbs: food, healing and folklore
Wildflower Gardening
Antique Flowers: cottage garden heritage plants
Gardens of Northumberland and the Borders (based on Susie’s book)
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.susie-white.co.uk

Tamsin Westhorpe

Host of Candide podcasts, previous editor of The English Garden magazine, garden writer, RHS Judge, experienced speaker at home and abroad and director of Stockton Bury Gardens
Home town: Herefordshire
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable
Fees: Please visit www.tamsinwesthorpe.co.uk for fees
Life as a garden writer
Reinvent your garden
Plus a range of seasonal gardening talks
Contact: [email protected]

Paul Williams

Writer, author, broadcaster
Home town: Shipston on Stour
Distance willing to travel: Negotiable
Fees: Negotiable, plus 35p per mile travel
Digging Deeper – a lively and entertaining look at plant and garden science
Winter Containers
Ornamental Container Gardening
Peppers, Potatoes, Petunias and Poisons – a look at Solanaceae, the deadly nightshade family
All talks are practical demonstrations and no slides are used, therefore no talks in the dormant season.
Contact: [email protected]
Website: pw-horticulture.com

Angela Youngman

Writer, author, consultant
Home town: Norwich
Distance willing to travel: Negotiaible within Norfolk/Suffolk
Fees: £50 plus 20p per mile travelling expenses
The Perils of Product Trialling for Tried & Tested Features
Green Gardening
Grey water & reducing water useage
Sensory Gardens for Less-abled Gardeners
Children’s Gardening
Recycling in the Garden
Contact: [email protected]

Fee: negotiable. All fees donated to Rainbows Hospice for children

Travel: negotiable, but mostly around the East Midlands area Talks available:

My life as a garden designer

Creating a show garden for Rainbows Hospice for children

356 days of colour in the garden

Creating a cut flower garden

Flower arranging day courses also available, with fees for charity.

07930 246974

@kgimson on twitter

Karengimson1 on instagram

Great Garden Speakers – Coming To Your Town?

Magazines, books and blogs are great ways to learn about gardening. But there’s something far more intimate and immediate about sitting in a dimly lit room, oohing and aahing over luscious images, and being carried away by a captivating speaker sharing her passion.

Whatever your gardening interest—succulents, edibles, native plants, sustainability, ecology, photography (sorry if I left yours out)—there’s someone out there ready to teach and entertain you for an hour or two.

GreatGardenSpeakers.com is a brand new website helping garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, bookstores, botanical institutions, nature centers, garden shops, and flower shows find informed and inspiring speakers for their programs, and pack the house.

At the easy-to-navigate GGS website, visitors browse a growing roster of talented communicators ranging from nationally published, award-winning photographers and authors, to designers and world travelers, promising to light a spark in someone’s imagination.

The GGS website provides various ways to find a speaker. Visitors can search by name for someone they’ve heard and want to bring to their hometown.

Don’t know any speakers by name? It’s easy to window shop, scrolling through mini-profiles where you’ll find each speaker’s top topics and contact information. Click on someone who interests you to check out their bio, peruse a gallery of images, and get to know them better.

There’s even a feature for checking who’s going to be in your region. If they’re already in the ‘hood, there can be significant savings from reduced travel costs.

GreatGardenSpeakers.com is the brainchild of five very talented and dedicated communicators. Scott Calhoun, Mary Ann Newcomer, Debra Prinzing, Nan Sterman, and Amy Stewart—Amy’s been doing a lot of the heavy lifting getting this project up to speed—are top-of-their-game, in-demand speakers. Despite their own successful careers, they saw the need to help other speakers who have fewer resources to promote themselves.

Full disclosure: I’m a founding member of GreatGardenSpeakers.com and will be offering my own offbeat brand of designer-meets-comic talks on the speaking trail soon. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m am waaaaay behind getting my own profile up to speed, but that shouldn’t stop you from clicking over to the site and poking around.

If you belong to an organization, institution, or have a business that would benefit from a top-notch attraction, spend a few minutes at greatgardenspeakers.com. Someone is out there waiting to expand your horizons.

Find them at greatgardenspeakers.com


C.L. Fornari

” Garden Design (75)
” Organic, Sustainable (70)
” Ornamentals (54)
” Program Packages (15)
” Vegetables, Fruit, Herbs (61)


P.O. Box 355 02655

C.L. Fornari speaks to people with all levels of gardening experience, from beginning to avid gardeners, professional landscapers or garden center employees, and even those who say that they have black thumbs.

w: GardenLady.com

w: WholeLifeGardening.com

e: view email [email protected]

Additional Information

Click here to see another photo of C.L. Fornari answering audience questions.


Not Just Talking About Slides…

The following are a few recommendations I’ve received from people who’ve heard me speak.

“Across the board, Master Gardeners loved our keynote speaker, C.L. Fornari. Comments included: “Keynote speaker was awesome!” “Fornari ­ excellent”. “Fornari ­ Great!”. I was especially impressed by C.L.’s interest in learning about our local soil, weeds and pest conditions in advance of her visit to Oklahoma . We would highly recommend C.L. for speaking engagements. Her insight as a master gardener and her likeable nature made for a great fit at our conference.”

Merry Steinley, 
Master Gardeners Association of Rogers County, Oklahoma

“I wanted to let you know how much I truly enjoyed your two lectures at Landscape Ontario. You were absolutely fantastic – engaging, informative, practical and with such a delightful sense of humour and slides/examples that really highlighted your points. I also have to say that it was a delight to listen to someone with so much passion about our industry…”

Brian Beattie, Professional Landscaper

“C.L. Fornari presented her program, “Your Garden Shouldn’t Make You Crazy” at one of our monthly meetings. Her presentation skills, quick wit and knowledge of the world of horticulture mesmerized us all. She far exceeded the rest of the speakers we had that year. For any organization that wants a well-satisfied audience, Lexington Field and Garden Club would highly recommend C.L. Fornari.”

C. Nijenberg, Lexington Garden Club, Lexington, MA

“C.L. is not only knowledgeable, but very down to earth. Her presentations are a joy! She presents facts along with a dose of humor that makes them appealing to gardeners of all ages. Your group is in store for a wonderful seminar when she presents in her own inimitable fashion.”

Stephanie Cohen, Lecturer, Garden Writer, author “The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer”

“I guess you know that your talk yesterday for the Nauset Garden Club meeting was a HUGE success! We all loved it because: 1) Your delivery is flawless, 2) you are so knowledgeable, and 3) you have a great sense of humor! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us and for giving us so much useful information.”

Dinny Goodwin, Orleans, MA

C.L Fornari is the best garden club speaker that I have heard – and there have been many! Her talk delighted everyone in our club and many shared my view of it as being the best. CL is a gifted speaker who makes you laugh, ponder gardening on a spiritual level and fills the mind with really useful gardening information. The hour flew by! We will definitely have her back next year.

Sheila Steele, Amherst, NH

“I like to think of C.L. as my female alter-ego, except that she is smarter, funnier, and way better looking. I have been a professional gardener on Cape Cod for 20 years, and I still learn something new every time I open one of C.L.’s books. Her advice is always spot-on because she truly ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to gardening.”

Will Clarke, Perennial Solutions – Falmouth, MA


Garden Lectures suitable for Garden Clubs, Horticultural Societies, Flower Shows and Neighborhood Associations

Myths, Lies, and All the Latest Dirt

Yes, sometimes the information that’s passed from gardener to gardener is rock solid wisdom, but occasionally some commonly held beliefs about plants and gardens are misleading or out and out false, or new research contradicts traditional gardening practices. This down-and-dirty talk helps gardeners sort through the folklore and hype surrounding plants, practices and products.

The Top Twenty-five

This talk is part practical gardening, part garden philosophy, and part plants – the top 25 plants that I love (adjusted for the zone where I’m speaking) and the 25 most interesting/amusing/useful bits of gardening information I have learned in over 25 years of gardening.

Your Garden Shouldn’t Make You Crazy

From planting to pruning; from dirt to design, this talk is an informative and entertaining potpourri of garden advice, suitable for gardeners of all levels of experience.

The Wow! Factor – Moving From Inspiration to Installation

We are inspired when we visit beautiful gardens or see photos of lovely landscapes, but how can we go beyond our feelings of envy and admiration, and apply what we see in our own landscapes? This talk is about analyzing why we are inspired, and how to use that information in your own garden.

Perennial Bed Maintenance

Pruning Demystified!

Be a barber, not a butcher…from holly to hydrangeas, learn the proper way to prune your shrubs and trees.

In The Garden: FYI

What is happening in the garden this month: talk of plants, products and good landscaping practices, illustrated with give-away items that your group members takes home.

Cultivating Kids

Encouraging children to become involved in the garden: what adults can do to create future gardeners. Children’s gardens, fun projects, engaging plants and other simple ways we can get kids growing.

If Plants Could Talk

What would your landscape be telling you? Garden practices from a plant’s point of view.

Saving Summer

Those flowering annuals, tropical plants and tender perennials look so good at the end of the summer, that you want to know how to keep them over the winter. This talk explains how to keep the tropical, the tender, the tricky and the tried and true.

Talks For Landscapers, Garden Retailers, Green Industry Trade Shows/Conferences and Horticultural Professionals.

Guidance to Go: Consultation Services as Profit Centers

Does your garden center or landscaping business make house calls? This talk explains how on-site consultation services can build customer loyalty, boost sales, and position your business as the local go-to source for all landscaping needs.

Making It Personal Going Beyond Social Media to Connect With Your Customers

How do independent garden centers distinguish themselves from box stores? By cultivating personal connections. This talk explores some of the ways your business can create and nurture those links…and I promise that this talk is not about using facebook! 

Instant Coffee, Color Sells, and Polka-Dot Plantings Garden Design Bloopers

This talk looks at design mistakes that are commonly made by landscapers and home-gardeners alike. I explain the reasons why some garden designs look better than others, and how to provide plantings that please your customers on the day the job is finished, and for years afterwards.


Sell The Excitement! Communications Skills For the Green Industry

Whether you are the owner of a horticultural business, a volunteer Master Gardener, or an employee of a garden center, you need to be a good communicator. This presentation will teach you the various means of effectively connecting with the public. Writing effective newsletters and handouts, being a dynamic speaker, and using the local media are a few of the topics that will help you to assist the public and position yourself as the local gardening authority. Learn how your communications work to create enthusiastic, loyal customers.

Gardening With A Purpose A needed reminder of what you already know

One of the buzz-phrases of 21st century gardening is “Gardening with a purpose” and I have to admit that when I first heard this phrase, I thought, Well duh! We all have reasons for being in this business and our customers have their reasons for coming to us for plants, products and advise. But sometimes it’s easy to lose track of this purpose, or to forget how important our business truly is. This presentation is appropriate for garden center employees, professional landscapers, master gardeners and home garden geeks: we are all involved in one of the most life-affirming activities there is.

Garden Center Essentials: The top five things every garden center employee needs to know.

How management can cultivate a knowledgeable staff. This presentation focuses on employee training and recognition: how to grow them and keep them.

Perennial Plant Maintenance Educating Customers And Employees

If we want our customers and clients to keep coming back for more plants or continued maintenance, they need to remain happy about their gardens long after the plants have been placed in the ground. Garden center customers and landscape crews need to know the strategies for keeping their perennials looking good all season. And green-industry professionals need to know how to convey this information to their customers.

This talk is about demystifying and simplifying perennial plant maintenance for your clients, customers and crew. Covering basic maintenance, simple strategies, commonsense reminders, and educational aides.

Talks for Bridal Fairs and Event Planners

A Garden Wedding Preparing your landscape for a special event

All about getting your landscape ready for a wedding, rehearsal dinner or large party. From advance planning to last-minute repairs and after-the-ball cleanup, learn how to create an enchanting environment for your big day.

Home Grown Wedding Flowers

All about growing your own ingredients for bouquets and arrangements, or using garden flowers to supplement store bought blooms. Hear about which flowers to grow, how to handle the harvesst and the pleasures and pit-falls of using your landscape to supply party or wedding decor.

Talks Suitable for Women’s Groups & General Audiences Including Meetings and Conventions

Roots, Flowers & Wings – Still Growing After 55

You’ve seen a lot of life in your time. After nurturing careers, participating in volunteer activities, raising a family, helping elderly parents, contributing to your community and dealing with assorted physical problems, you can truthfully say, “Been there, done that.” But are you still growing?

Whether you’re retired or still working, moving full steam ahead or slowing down, your roots are, for better or worse, firmly in place…now it’s time to think about flowers and wings. This talk is for women age 55 and older, and explores how we can cultivate growth for the rest of our lives.

The Eight rules for Successful Gardening… no matter what is being grown.

A humorous and upbeat talk suitable for general audiences, alumni groups, corporate meetings and conventions. Whether the members of your organization are nurturing a business, working toward personal goals or growing a garden, this talk will entertain, inform and inspire.

A Well-Landscaped Life 

Lessons on living from your own backyard

Whether your thumbs are green or black, when it comes to evaluating our lives we don’t need to look any further than our own yards and gardens. Our landscapes provide an excellent model for focusing on what is valuable and how to better cultivate a meaningful, pleasureable life. This talk is particularly good for women’s groups and spiritual/lifestyle conferences.

The Low-Maintenance Garden, The Easy Life, and The Quiet Mind.

Is it possible to create a garden that requires no work, a life without effort, and a perpetual feeling of calm? Are these attainable or even desirable?

For more information about any of these presentations, or to discuss a customized talk for your group, please contact me by email or phone.


Northeast USA

SpeakerNet is your index to great UK public speakers

Speakernet provides a wonderfully efficient service within the public speaking community. For those of us who like the sound of our own voice, the system is so easy.We are in control of our own input; adding, amending and deleting whenever necessary. Speakernet is my shop window and has helped me to raise serious money for Rotary charities. A wonderful resource which is constantly expanding and updating. When people ask for a list of my talks, I just direct them to Speakernet.co.uk. Malcolm Darroch

A big thank you to SpeakerNet. What a great service for speakers. I always recommend this website to speaker secretaries when I give talks around the country. If my fellow speakers do the same, it will be in all our interests. I can’t thank SpeakerNet enough. A brilliant service! Graham George Short

If you are looking for a Speaker then this is the Website for you. With self explanatory Tags and easily navigable pages it is simplicity itself to make the right choice of speaker for your function. As a speaker myself I have had a lot of enquiries from the website and would recommend other speakers list their talks here Graham Douglas Hayes

The last two enquiries has led to two confirmed talks bookings for next year. Once again, thank you, for your splendid site. The talks I give have been very successful with many repeat bookings. The research for the talks takes me to all sorts of places and the people I meet there plus the audience members at my presentations certainly enrich my life. Mrs Frances Raftery

What a great resource the SpeakerNet website is for both speakers and speaker finders. As a speaker I have had some really interesting engagements via the site. I would certainly recommend it as a place to be listed. Sandy Leong

Nashville Cable invites you to submit a proposal for upcoming programs to be held throughout the next year in Nashville, TN. Cable offers innovative and timely programming via monthly membership luncheons, periodic networking events and special event workshops presented by knowledgeable speakers. These educational programs cover an array of topics to meet the broad needs of our diverse membership. This is your opportunity to share your expertise and tap your creativity by developing an original program for presentation. Proposals specifically tailored to meet the needs of our membership of women business leaders and entrepreneurs are strongly preferred.

Audiences at Cable programs are diverse in experience, professions and industries and are eager to be engaged by the speaker and leave with a relevant take-away. Cable members appreciate challenging topics and they are noted for their high expectations. Like all adult learners, Cable members are eager to interact with those presenting information and especially appreciate educational programs that offer concrete ideas that can be adapted for and implemented in their organizations.

Breadth and Range of Topics Sought
Cable seeks a broad range of topical presentations for its monthly membership luncheons, periodic networking events and special event workshops supporting the mission of Cable. Cable also seeks suggestions from local speakers who could be called upon with short notice in the unlikely event of a last-minute cancellation by the planned speaker.

Proposal Selection Criteria
The Programs Committee will review each proposal based on the following criteria:

  • Extent to which the proposal targets and is relevant to Cable members
  • Experience/expertise of presenters/speakers
  • Definition and focus of the topic
  • Practical application of material
  • Timeliness and importance of topic
  • Overall program quality

Proposals should illustrate that the speakers will make every effort to present a balanced point of view in each program. When developing a panel presentation, speakers from multiple organizations and perspectives should be chosen.

In addition, each program proposal should:

  • Encourage active learning (indicate in the proposal what active learning strategies you will use to engage the audience in the session instead of having them passively listen to information; some possibilities include case study exercises, role playing, small group discussion, facilitated brainstorming, action plans, quick quizzes, etc.);
  • Demonstrate innovative thinking;
  • Present ideas, best practices, and/or relevant research for positioning attendees as leaders within their organizations;
  • Present strategies for effective implementation of information learned once attendees are back at their offices;
  • Include presenters who have significant expertise in the topic area and can speak successfully in front of large groups.

The proposal application form will ask you for a program description, learning objectives, and instructional methods. In providing this information, please provide enough detail so the planning committee can understand how the session will be structured and what key issues will be covered. Proposals from Cable members and non-members will be given equal consideration.

Timelines and Terms

The selected Speaker will be subject to the following provisions:

  1. Agreement to Perform Speaking Services. The date, timelines, and terms of the speaking engagement will be outlined and confirmed in writing by the Cable Programs Committee to selected speaker after proposals are selected.
  2. Non-­­solicitation. Marketing and sales to attendees may only be conducted in a designated, pre-planned Vendor Exhibition area. Speaker presentations must not be used as a platform to promote products or services. Opportunities for sponsorships are also available.
  3. Discrimination prohibited. The selected speaker will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, sex, age, disability or national origin, unless required as a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operations of the selected speaker.
  4. Presentations at the monthly networking luncheons are limited to 40 minutes including Q&A. Presentations at other networking events may be more or less than 40 minutes. Special Workshop Events are generally half-day events, 2-4 hours in length.

Cable reserves the right to cancel the engagement with the speaker at any time with or without cause and with or without notice, and in the event of any such cancellation; Cable shall have no liability to the speaker because of the cancellation.

Please complete the Speaker Proposal Form below.

There are so many incredible experts out there. If you need to find a speaker for events, there are all sorts of business professionals, social media gurus, cyber security professionals, and other people who can provide information and advice for your members.

But their expertise might be a bigger investment than most chambers have budgeted for. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have a healthy budget but it’s the end of the year and you’re running low.

How do you find a speaker for an event? Here’s where to start:

Even if you can find a low-cost speaker, you don’t want low quality. So you might be concerned about who you’re getting if you are lucky enough to find someone who’s affordable.

But don’t worry.

If you need a speaker and you don’t have much to go on financially, we have some budget-friendly tips for you.

First, before you start it’s important to make a few decisions that will help you decide what type of speaker is best.

  1. Do your research on what problems your audience needs assistance in solving. Align your programming with those challenges.
  2. Decide if those challenges are extremely complicated and thus require an expert or if your audience needs to learn basics before you bring in any level of complication.
  3. Think about your local resources and members. You may be sitting on a gold mine of speaker wealth. More about that in the next section.

15 Tips for Finding a Great Speaker on a Small Budget

The number one rule you need to keep in mind if you’re looking for a good speaker on a small budget is there is a big difference between affordable and free. Affordable means you’re paying them something for their time even if it’s not what they make when speaking to corporate audiences or their clients. Affordable also means you’re likely doing some sort of negotiation or they’re offering to give the chamber a deep discount. Make sure you communicate your appreciation for that.

On the other hand, if you’re going to ask someone to give of their time with absolutely no compensation, avoid telling them you can give them “exposure.” While that may be true, it might not be a lot or the right kind of exposure. Plus, it can be offensive and may cause them to think “I can’t pay my mortgage with exposure.”

Keep in mind people are even paying interns these days. Very few individuals outside of volunteers work for nothing. When you ask someone to speak to your members for free, it’s not just the presentation.

When you ask them to speak for free, you’re not compensating them for:

  • Years of building expertise
  • Time spent on prepping for or researching your group
  • Customizing or building the PowerPoint presentation
  • Travel (even if it’s just time in the car across town)
  • The time they actually spend giving the presentation and talking to your members afterwards

If it’s an hour presentation, they’re missing out on an couple of hours of billable time plus some.

Not that you should feel shy about asking someone to donate their time. As a chamber professional, that’s common practice. But there’s a good way and a bad way to do it.

How to Ask Someone to Speak for Free

If you’re going to approach someone to speak for free, think about how you talk to a potential sponsor. You don’t go to them and ask them to give up whatever cost, service, or item they’re going to donate without giving them value in return. Instead, you present them with information that helps them consider the potential return on investment.

Tell a potential (free) speaker:

  • Who your demographic is with as many details as you can. You likely don’t know every aspect of the speaker’s business. Giving them demographic information may make the opportunity much more appealing to them if their business does business with your chamber’s demo.
  • Any additional benefits you can offer them such as a free membership, exclusive opportunity, advertising, etc.
  • What amount of selling they can do. Can they pitch a book at the end, hand out business cards, invite your audience to download something or attend an event at their business? Be clear what is acceptable and what isn’t. You don’t want someone coming for free assuming this is a live commercial for their business. That will turn your audience off quickly and anger the speaker who’s giving up their time.

Now that you know how to approach someone to volunteer their professional services, it’s time to know where you can find low-cost or free speakers. Remember, creative is the name of the game here. Professional, full-time speakers who only speak for a living are generally less about to work with more “creative” solutions, but not always. Still, this article is about finding creative solutions for speakers when you have a small, or nonexistent, budget.

Ready to start to find a speaker for your chamber?

Of course, you are!

  1. Your Local University. There are tons of experts there. Don’t stop at professors. There are grad students, assistant profs, deans, technology experts, and a host of others. Some profs may have expertise or interests in other areas outside of what they teach. A hobbyist (even a professor hobbyist) may be less expensive than a professional.
  2. LinkedIn. Peruse your contacts. First, look for professional speakers. See if there’s anyone in your contacts that speaks on a topic your members are interested in. Next, do a keyword search based on subject areas of interest. For instance, if you’re looking for information on cybersecurity for small business, search on cybersecurity. You may have many contacts who know about that subject but aren’t listing themselves as professional speakers. Approach them about it. If they lack the confidence to present, consider hosting a panel discussion among several cybersecurity professionals or add someone with knowledge on a complementary topic to the discussion.
  3. Pitch Request. Ask them to pitch you. Tell the audience what you’re looking for and invite the community to approach you with their ideas. If there’s no fee in the budget, state that upfront but again, give them the demographic information that would help them decide if it’s worth their time to volunteer to speak.
  4. Toastmasters. Toastmasters teaches people how to address a room and communicate effectively so it’s the perfect place to look for willing speakers.
  5. Professional Associations. If you have a subject of interest, there is probably an association for that. If you’re lucky, there’s a local chapter with members who are willing to talk about your subject area of interest.
  6. Local Bloggers. Contact local bloggers. You never know when they’re ready to get out from behind the screen.
  7. Facebook Groups. Search Facebook groups and see if there’s a group around your subject area of interest. You can also take a quick peek at groups on LinkedIn.
  8. MeetUp. MeetUp is an online platform that brings people of similar interests together by advertising local activities and clubs around those interests. Search Meetup.com to find a group that talks about your subject matter of interest and contact the organizer.
  9. Member Database. Check out your member database and see if anyone works in your area of interest.
  10. Nonprofits. Local nonprofits may be skilled in your area of interest, especially if you think in a broad context. For example, maybe you want to host a lunch and learn about how hosting events can improve business. Instead of looking for a marketer or an event planner, you could look for a company or nonprofit that recently hosted a successful event and ask them to talk about their experience and what they learned.
  11. Speakers Bureaus. This is often going to be your biggest investment option (yet efficient) route. There are plenty of speaker organizations that can help match you and your budget with the right talent. These agencies often receive a cut of the speaker fee so many speakers charge higher rates when commissioned through one.
  12. Member Referrals. Ask your member who they want to hear from. Maybe they can make the introduction.
  13. Library Events. Check out activities at your library or local community centers. They may be able to put you in touch with people who are doing presentations for them. Often you’ll find authors, historians, and service providers hosting special talks.
  14. Chamber Pros. Talk to other chamber pros. You can call them up and introduce yourself or contact them directly through the Chamber Professionals Community/Facebook Group. As of this writing, there are over 7,000 people in this active Facebook Group with at least one thing in common–they love to help.
  15. Quora. If you’ve never checked out the question and answer forum Quora, you need to run there NOW. Go to Quora.com and you’ll find everything you never knew you wanted to know. But set a timer. You could spend a lot of time down that rabbit hole. Look for nearby people talking about subjects you’re interested in. Reach out to them to see if they would be willing to share their expertise.

A Few Final Tips for Saving Money on Speakers

  • Contact a professional speaker directly. Going through an agency may limit their ability to discount their services.
  • Ask around to see if anyone has a personal connection with the type of speaker you’re looking for. Friends often do friends favors.
  • Some speakers may not fit into your budget. But you might be able to talk them into sending a personalized, recorded video presentation (the greeting/intro would be personalized, the presentation will likely be something they already have).
  • If you want a speaker who’s far away but you don’t have a travel budget, try to piggyback off of a session they’re already doing in town. For instance, if the speaker is coming in to talk to a local business see if they have time to speak with your audience. The other business is covering travel expenses and you and your members are benefitting.

Just because you have a limited budget, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on learning and finding good speakers. Use these ideas to find inexpensive or volunteer presenters. Just know that if you’re asking them to volunteer their services, you want to look for ways to help them in return. But that shouldn’t be hard. Building mutually beneficial relationships is what chambers do best.

By: Christina R. Green

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