News Room

  • After some 250 gigs, Larry Bergnach retiring from the free speech circuit – Daily Southtown

    October 15, 2018

    Larry BergnachLarry Bergnach was giving a presentation about Riverview Park, the old Chicago amusement destination that closed in the 1960s, when an elderly man in the audience chimed in with his own memories of Riverview.

    The talk was at an elder care facility, and Bergnach later learned the man was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease and had not spoken at that length “on any topic for four years,” Bergnach said.

    Those kinds of experiences were why Bergnach, of Oak Lawn, worked the pro bono speakers circuit.

    “After I would do a speech, the people were so appreciative,” he said. (more…)

  • Pro bono public speaking is an effective marketing tool – Business Ledger

    October 12, 2016

    Daily Herald Business LedgerWhether you love it or dread it, public speaking is a fabulous marketing tool for your business, product or service. The post-talk objective is to have a line of people waiting to shake your hand and ask for a business card or two (or three).

    Many people find that public speaking yields wonderful advantages both personally and professionally. First, it’s a great form of networking; second, it’s terrific public relations; and third, if it’s a pro bono presentation, it’s goodwill and community service. (more…)

  • Free speaker’s bureau celebrates 20 years of growth – Suburban Life

    March 11, 2016

    Suburban Life LogoTo celebrate two decades of service to the community, Free Speech Speaker’s Bureau has undergone a major update – a new name, logo and many more opportunities for both speakers and the hundreds of groups who use speakers. Free Speech is now FreeSpeakers.org – A Pro Bono Speakers Bureau.

    “All speakers present programs at no cost – nada, nothing, zip,” said Andy Richardson of Naperville, director of FreeSpeakers.org. “There is no charge to any group. Ever. Not from the speaker and not from the bureau.” (more…)

  • Talk is not cheap, it’s free, with Hinsdale speaker service – Chicago Tribune – Doings

    February 15, 2016

    Hinsdale DoingsJan Blum was looking for a topic to present to para-professionals at Hinsdale High School District 86 when she stumbled across FreeSpeakers.org.

    “I think I hit the jackpot,” said Blum, an administrative assistant at Hinsdale South High School. “They had such a variety of speakers and topics. And I found out they are right here in Hinsdale.”

    What she found was a pro bono service which has linked public speakers with organizations and businesses for 20 years. (more…)

  • Not much in life free, but speakers bureau has been for 20 years – Naperville Sun

    January 31, 2016

    Naperville Sun LogoWhen Gayle Heldmann searched for a guest speaker to address her church support group, it was no easy task. With meetings every week – and no budget – it quickly became a daunting task.

    “Our group was always looking for local speakers to come in and talk to us about a variety of topics,” said Heldmann, of Naperville. “It was always very difficult to find someone who was willing to do it for a nominal fee or for no fee at all, and we didn’t have funds for it,” she said.

    Heldmann started searching online, and found a website touting professional speakers that were willing to donate their time and talents. It seemed “too good to be true.” (more…)