Travels from Illinois, USA
Laura Schwartz's speaking fee falls
within range: $25,000 to $30,000
Laura Schwartz is a dynamic professional speaker, emcee and internationally recognized television commentator. But when she arrived at the White House in January of 1993, she was just a 19-year-old student with no political connections and no way of knowing what was about to come next. She landed a volunteer position answering phones in the press office, but that was just the beginning. She climbed her way up the ranks of the Clinton Administration, as the Midwest Press Secretary, Director of Television and, ultimately, Director of Events, where she produced the President’s events on the world stage.
Laura is the author of Eat, Drink & Succeed, which focuses on powerful, positive and productive networking secrets not only to her success but that of Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and more. Laura relates these powerful techniques to every reader and audience regardless of industry or location in the world.
Throughout every presentation, Laura shares secrets to leadership and success while revealing essential tools that will increase sales, productivity, elevate you to the table or propel you to the next level in business and beyond. As she often remarks, “You never know when the next conversation will be thee conversation to change your life or that of someone else!”
Laura has been taking her empowering presentations to stages across the world since 2001 and is well known for her keynotes and as a mistress of ceremonies and on stage interviewer for multi-day conferences and events. Whether addressing an intimate gathering of 30 or a crowd of 30,000, Laura captivates attendees with her positive energy, expertise and enthusiasm.
Professional Speaker, Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed and Television Commentator
Laura Schwartz, the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration, created and executed more than 1,000 White House events including State arrival ceremonies and dinners, America’s Millennium Celebration, NATO’s 50th Anniversary, the Concert of the Century and many others.While producing the President’s events on the world stage, Laura demonstrated the Presidency’s ability to inspire a nation and the world through powerful events. She arrived at the White House at just 19 years old with no political connections and volunteered answering phones in the press office. Proving her value immediately Laura climbed her way up the ranks as a Staff Assistant, the Midwest Press Secretary, the Director of Television and ultimately the White House Director of Events. Following the Administration, Laura traveled the world with Former President Clinton for his Foundation and Global Initiative.
In her first book, Eat, Drink & Succeed! Climb Your Way to the Top Using the Networking Power of Social Events, Laura shares the secrets to building powerful, effective partnerships in our companies, communities and beyond, adding color with personal anecdotes from her life and White House years. As a professional speaker she takes those same details to stages, boardrooms, classrooms and ballrooms around the world in her acclaimed speaking series to empower, motivate and inspire each audience to Eat, Drink & Succeed!
Laura appears regularly as an international television commentator speaking about leadership, networking, domestic and foreign affairs, pop culture and special events. She covered the 2008 presidential campaign for the CBS Early Show, was the on-air political contributor for Fox News Channel from 2004 to 2007, and was the special correspondent to Larry King Live and CNN for the 2008 presidential primaries. Laura appears on the BBC World News, BBC Wales and has also appeared on Sir David Frost’s Frost Over the World. Laura’s non-partisan commentary is well respected both domestically and internationally.
Laura is a well-known mistress of ceremonies for multi-day conferences and events including charity galas, sporting events, panel discussions and fashion shows. Whether addressing an intimate gathering of 30 or an audience of 30,000, Laura captivates audiences with her positive energy, expertise and enthusiasm. Laura is the annual emcee for several prominent charitable events and organizations, including the American Heart Association’s HeartWalk in Chicago’s Grant Park, the YWCA annual Leader Luncheon,which honors women and mentors for outstanding achievement in their chosen career fields.
Laura has been named one of the Best Keynote Speakers by Meetings and Conventions Magazine and is a member of the National Speakers Association serving on the boards of the American Heart Association, the Clean the World Foundation, Common Threads and Event Solutions magazine. She was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago” by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine and named one of Chicago’s “Most Bold and Beautiful” by Chicago magazine. In 2009, the prestigious Oxford Union in England invited Laura to speak on the Foreign Policy Legacy of the United States and the role of Women in the World.
Laura is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, where she founded White House Strategies in 2001. As Laura’s career transformed into predominantly live appearances—from keynotes and panel discussions to television and book signings—Laura Schwartz Live was established, a brand that truly reflects her core services.
Laura travels extensively both domestically and internationally to work with Fortune’s Top 50 and 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, motivating people from all over the world to EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED!
Laura Schwartz shares her secret for concentrating on the present, a technique she learned from her boss at the time, former President Bill Clinton. She explains that whenever they were about to begin an event she’d ask the president if he were ready to which he’d respond, “Laura, it’s show time.” “He wasn’t saying, ‘It’s show time’ to be funny,” she attests. “He was saying ‘it’s show time’ to get into focus, to effectively communicate his message at hand for the next twenty minutes, the next hour, the next two hours.”
Laura emphasizes the significance of this for someone who had as much on his plate as Clinton, deciding that if “it’s show time” worked for him, it could work for her, too. She tried the technique out for herself and compared her experience to past events that she had run. “I took all of those thoughts, all of those worries, all of those items, and I put them aside for that next hour, and even though the event went well the day before, this event was even better,” she observes. “I enjoyed it more. I gave more. I got back more. I learned from it. It made me better.”
Laura Schwartz demonstrates the power of networking with a true story about how Newark mayor Cory Booker almost missed an influential connection by keeping to himself. She narrates that after a long packed day at a conference, Booker just wanted some downtime, so he retired to his hotel room, deciding to skip the optional nighttime dinner that the conference was holding. His quiet evening came to an end when the event planner called him asking where he was; reluctantly Booker headed down to the dinner where he happened to share a table with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
“About three months later Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make a splash,” Laura tells. “But what was he to do? What was he associated with? What would make the most sense? And he struggled with that until he thought back to that dinner in Sun Valley and how great that mayor was. He really enjoyed the conversation with this man and how he heard of the great struggles they were having in the public school system and he said, ‘I’m giving $100 million to the Newark public schools.’ Thank goodness Mayor Booker went to that optional dinner.”
Laura Schwartz, named one of the Best Keynote Speakers by Meetings and Conventions magazine, is an unforgettable, high-energy speaker who delivers customized keynotes packed with powerful ways to propel your audience to the next level in business and beyond. Drawing on her experience as the White House Director of Events under the Clinton Administration and the guiding principles of her book, Eat, Drink & Succeed, Laura tailors each presentation to the audience at hand—providing concrete tools to unlock the networking power of every meeting and event that attendees can immediately put to work in their professional and personal lives.
Working closely with speaker bureaus and the client, Laura designs a unique program to meet the specific goals and needs for the audience. Whether she is speaking to a room full of entrepreneurs, sales executives, consultants, women business owners or Fortune 500 CEO’s, Laura motivates her audience to turn relationships into partnerships and ideas into realities. From sharing relatable situations, encouraging stories and historical anecdotes from the White House to incorporating pop culture references and positive humor, Laura motivates, empowers and inspires each audience to apply the tools and techniques needed to Eat, Drink and Succeed!
In addition to keynoting, Laura also emcees conferences and events large and small, conducts interviews on stage with CEO's and organization leaders and moderates expert panel discussions.
Laura is the preeminent emcee for conferences and events as she engages the audience and works to create an environment — whether high energy or contemplative – that will further the objective of her client. Laura uses her extensive television experience to bring a level of ease and expertise to on-stage and on-camera interviews with CEOs, experts, celebrities and organizational leaders as well as moderated panel discussions. When Laura emcees your event she is proud to become a full-time Brand Ambassador of your company, its culture, product and message. It is a guarantee that she will keep the audience involved and a conference on track, on message and on time.
EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED!
The Power of Positive, Productive Networking
Laura’s keynote grabs its audience’s attention. It’s motivational, humorous and engaging, but that’s not what makes it powerful. What makes it powerful is that it’s immediately actionable. For the audience, the new networking knowledge can be applied instantly to the conference or event at hand as well as carried back to their offices, shared with their colleagues, team members, clients, partners and put to work in their professional and personal communities.
What’s unique about Eat, Drink & Succeed is that it is more than a series of anecdotes; it’s a compelling story that’s packed with networking tools and command of partnerships. Laura’s behind the scenes stories of the White House, DreamWorks, Oprah and beyond illustrate just how useful these skills are for the savvy professional, regardless of background, industry or career path.
One key technique Laura employs is flipping the definition of networking around, empowering your audience to continue growing their networks and opportunities by adopting the mantra, “What can I do for you?” instead of the sometimes more negative mentality that asks, “What can you do for me?” She explains how positive, powerful networking involves mentoring and leading both inside and outside of the office, resulting in beneficial outcomes for all parties involved. She shares her techniques – including insider tips about the effective powers of preparation, introductions and engaging conversations with a message and follow-up among others. She provides attendees with the means to turn a brief meeting, break room conversation, power lunch or “optional” social occasion into a valuable opportunity for themselves, their company or industry association.
Eat, Drink & Succeed motivates, engages, and most importantly, it drives action.
When used as a keynote as a part of a conference Laura incorporates the conference agenda, teaching the attendees how to maximize every moment from registration to the sessions, breaks, expo, early morning wellness activities and even the “seemingly” social events. And she doesn’t stop there, Laura incorporates your company or association’s year-round engagements as well, so the attendee continues to maximize and identify that there is no such thing as “optional,” but only opportunity—both at your conference and throughout the year back home!
A unique & dynamic presentation on leadership in times of success, turbulence and change.
Laura’s “Lead First” Presentation addresses leadership in successful, turbulent and changing times for companies and associations. This presentation is unique and empowering as it incorporates more than 200 years of U.S. Presidents, First Ladies and their stories which have rarely, if ever, been shared before from deep behind the scenes of The White House. All anecdotes are non-partisan, interesting, relevant and relatable to your company or association and are accompanied by tips that attendees can immediately put into action in their personal or professional lives.
As a witness on the front lines of climatic celebrations as well as moments of great gravity, determination and leadership, Laura achieved a rare perspective on the private and public moments of first families and global leaders.
Laura shares valuable takeaways in this unforgettable program using inspiring stories and visuals from the earliest White House inhabitants, along with first-hand accounts of defining moments during the Clinton administration and today. She illustrates real solutions from the successes and failures in leadership that we all can use in our daily lives as we work with our customers and colleagues and share within our communities and families.
SETTING THE BAR
Exploring the lives of courageous women to inspire the women of today and tomorrow
This keynote covers the “bars” set by female leaders who have changed history and forged the professional community landscape that women excel in today. Laura takes the audience on a journey that explores the lives of notable women and those who “set their bars” around the world and across a variety of fields – such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey and others – to better understand how women today are shaped by the skills, strength and struggles of those who came before them.
Laura allows the audience to recognize how they, too – as women who are leaders, mothers, spouses, sisters and friends – set the bar for themselves, their families and other women every day, whether or not they realize it.
The message resonates with women of all ages in every stage of their careers and lives. Whether it is a corporation, industry association or non-profit, Laura will ensure her message relates to your audience. She can develop an even stronger connection with the audience by incorporating your organization’s own founders, leaders or other strong women your audience identifies with to demonstrate how they “set the bar.”
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SERVICE
A motivating address that shows how giving back plays a key role in the foundation for the success of an industry, organization or individual.
The 19th century French social scientist Alexis de Tocqueville once stated that the defining characteristic of America is its commitment to service. In this moving keynote address, Laura puts a modern-day twist on de Tocqueville’s statement, showing how giving back today can make a difference in our world and in your organization.
Regardless of their role in your company or association, Laura will empower attendees to strengthen their commitment to your objective whether that means working harder, becoming more involved or giving greater.
Your audience members will leave knowing that their service not only affects the lives of those they help directly, products they launch and colleagues they sit next to; but also their own personal and professional communities. Laura communicates the power of service using colorful examples and entertaining anecdotes from her work in the White House and beyond while traveling around the world with the Clinton Global Initiative and as a professional speaker since 2001.
Laura tailors this keynote address based on the client’s objectives and the audience in order to create a completely unique presentation that is appealing, engaging and, most importantly, effective.
The Power of the Presidential Inauguration
A rare look behind the scenes at an event so powerful it only happens once every four years! Laura captures all the ceremony, significance and power behind presidential inaugurations as she offers a look inside what it takes to make it all happen. From the first nail hammered into the U. S. Capitol platform, months before the election is even decided, to the last formal ball in the wee hours of the President’s first night in office, Laura takes you there. This keynote gives a behind-the-scenes look at how 15 entities collaborate over 7 months to seamlessly make it all happen.
It explores the excitement, drama and even the occasional gaffes going on in the background that hopefully no one notices! This presentation is intriguing and delivers inside tips and techniques to make your next conference, event or meeting reach a presidential level.
“Behind the scenes at the White House, Laura saw firsthand that we can best ‘achieve ourselves’ by helping others, but that doing so requires us to go beyond our good intentions with a determination not to be distracted and a commitment to building partnerships with those who share our goals.”
President Bill Clinton
“Laura is an outstanding communicator as I know from her sparkling appearances on Frost Over The World. I’m sure that her book will be an equal success. As she says ‘Your career isn’t 9-5, it’s 24-7’, and she’s living proof of just how well that works.”
Sir David Frost
“Laura’s talent and command of the audience, as well as a well-presented keynote address made the show for all in attendance. I would highly recommend Laura as a keynote and emcee. I am proud to have worked with her and will leverage the fact that I know her in every circle I can!”
Kevin Johnston, Director of Events, Collinson Media and Events
“Laura Schwartz was my favorite speaker for her research into who we were and building that into her presentation.”
Attendee of Executive Secretary LIVE Conference, London
“You did a tremendous job emceeing! I have read the book from cover to cover. I especially enjoyed your Power Point reiteration in the back!”
Candi Gilar, Sr. Manager, Business Development, American Express
“Thank you for a phenomenal presentation at the EmCare Annual Kick-off.Your presentation will help move us to the next level. I received comments such as, ‘Thank you for an amazing meeting.’ ‘It is a terrific vision for the company.’ ‘Best meeting I’ve ever attended.’ ‘I’m pumped.’ ‘Wow!’ ‘We are changing healthcare.’ ‘There is no limit to where we can take this company.'”
Jay Taylor, Executive Vice President, Emergency Medicine Services Corporation
“Laura, I can still you see materializing in front of us last Friday to close this very successful EUMA Conference in London. Getting to the podium, you passed by me and brushed my shoulder with your hand, making eye contact. You are very gifted and contagious in your energy, and that, is remarkable to witness. I feel privileged to have been in that room and to have the opportunity to read your very interesting book about networking and how to make sense out of it!”
Angeliki Kallianou, European Commission in Brussels
“Your presentation was wonderful, as always, and our team was fully engaged. We received much positive feedback about you as a speaker and the absolute relevance of the subject for our team. As always, you were a big hit!”
Loretta Abrams, Senior Vice President HSBC
“Laura, you were just terrific at our meeting and we received nothing but rave reviews back from our attending members! I can’t remember a time when one of our speakers received such all around praise from this many attendees. Great job and thank you for making us look so smart by booking you for the event!”
Jason Carroll, Director of Events The Florida Aquarium, President Tampa Bay Meeting Planners International
“Before attending Secretary LIVE, I wouldn’t know how to strike up a conversation at an event or dinner on an unfamiliar subject. Laura Schwartz was extremely inspirational and provided some really useful tips.”
Attendee of Executive Secretary LIVE Conference, London
“Laura’s enthusiasm as she presented each and every award kept the audience on their toes. What could have been a lengthy, uneventful program became a true celebration of everyone’s work to bring United Way’s mission to life. She was flawless! Attendees raved that this￼year’s program was by far their favorite due in large part to Laura’s energy.”
Sarah Frick, Communications Director, United Way
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Eat, Drink and Succeed
Communications wunderkind Laura Schwartz networked her way from answering phones for President Clinton’s press office at age 19 to producing more than 1,000 events as the White House Director of Events. In her first book, Eat, Drink & Succeed, Schwartz, now a national television commentator and public speaker, shares the secrets that skyrocketed her onto the world stage. Taking a cue from show biz, she presents her strategy in fun and easy-to-follow steps: Setting the Scene, Casting Call, Dress Rehearsal, Showtime and Encore! Eat, Drink & Succeed is an entertaining and enlightening read, appropriate for boardroom or beachside.
There’s something to be said for being in the right place at the right time, but if you don’t capitalize on the moment, all you’ve got is a missed opportunity.
Laura Schwartz understands the power of seizing the moment better than anyone. As a 19-year-old college student, she turned a volunteer position in the White House into the opportunity of a lifetime. Using her persuasive and engaging social skills, she went from answering phones to serving as President Bill Clinton’s Midwest Press Secretary, Director of Television and, ultimately, Director of Events, where she oversaw 12 state dinners, America’s Millennium Celebration and countless other high-profile events.
Laura learned plenty while producing the President’s events on the world stage, but one lesson stuck with her: No matter how social an event appears, it’s business. She watched huge deals unfold over cocktails at state dinners, but she also watched many White House guests squander chances to turn these seemingly social events into life-changing opportunities. When the Clinton Administration ended, Laura began to realize this lesson extended far beyond the Rose Garden. Whether it’s a cocktail party, a Little League game or a casual conversation on the treadmill at the gym, there are powerful possibilities lurking in social situations everywhere we turn.
Through her acclaimed lecture series, “The Networking Power of Social Events,” Laura has brought her unique perspective on everyday situations to audiences around the world. Now, with her new book Eat, Drink & Succeed: Climb Your Way to the Top Using the Networking Power of Social Events, her message is readily accessible to the masses.
In Eat, Drink & Succeed, Laura shares how she used the power of her own social scenes in every phase of her life: from her days growing up in Plymouth, Wis., to her time at the White House and in her ongoing role as a television commentator for various outlets including CNN, the CBS Early Show, BBC, Fox News Channel and Sir David Frost’s Frost Over the World. In a simple, straightforward style, the book shows readers how to apply those skills to their own lives. In Eat, Drink & Succeed, Laura explains how to:
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