At Bigspeak, we get asked if Elon Musk will speak at every event—from private school fundraisers to huge tech conventions. The answer 99.8% of the time is no. In fact, we’ve been in the industry for 22 years and every time we’ve reached out to him the answer has never been yes. This goes for Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and all the other sitting CEOs of the biggest companies in the world.
There are a few reasons why.
***The following are blanket statements, and although they almost always apply, there are always exceptions to the rule.***
- They’re busy.
To put it simply, they’re too busy running their companies to speak at events. Even if they could somehow manage to travel to an event, they wouldn’t be able to give their audiences the attention they deserve.
If you’re spending big dough to bring a speaker to your event, you want a keynote customized to your business. These CEOs don’t have the time to research your company, solve your problems, answer your staling questions, or package it up in a 30-minute personalized keynote. This is a lot of homework to pile on top of changing the world or making flame-throwers for the zombie apocalypse.
The best you’ll get from one of these CEOs is a story about their experience, a pitch for their latest company/innovation/product, or a mad-lib keynote where they fill in your company name on the dotted line to “personalize it.”
- They don’t need the money.
These are some of the richest people in the world. Money is not a driving factor for them as it is for career keynote speakers. These CEOs generally don’t even look at offers south of $100,000 and if they ever accept an offer, it’s probably because they care about the cause or are doing a favor for a buddy or business partner.
- Their hands are tied by law.
Most sitting CEOs can’t receive payment due to legal obligations and stipulations imposed by the company they work for. The money gets tied up in legal fees and turns into a headache they’d rather avoid altogether.
Companies also place restrictions on what their CEOs can discuss. A big appeal of hiring a sitting CEO is the fascination with the company. You want Elon Musk to talk about the latest Tesla or SpaceX developments, but their legal teams probably won’t allow his public keynote speech to go any deeper than surface level.
At BigSpeak, we have points of contact for everyone you see on our site, including Musk the Myth. However, our consultants are here to guide you and help you make the right decision for your event. When a sitting CEO is unable to give you the time and dedication you deserve our consultant will be frank with you and help you find someone who will.
Whatever your theme or point of focus is for your event, our strategic consultants will be able to match you with a speaker who has expertise in the field. Oftentimes, that means former CEOs who have more clarity because they’ve had time to reflect and pull key lessons from their experience.
We know everyone wants to meet Elon Musk, but if he’s not the best fit, you may be wasting your time and money. Let our consultants co-create an experience with you that will be unforgettable without Musk entering on a spaceship, flamethrowers blasting in each hand.
The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.