President & CEO of American Program Bureau (APB Speakers), Robert P. Walker, was recently interviewed by Cindy Atoji Keene for the Boston Globe.
Walker, who in 1966 coined the term infotainment, is still spearheading a business that was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records (1970-1980) as the “world’s largest speaking agency”.
“I just turned 80, and my life has been like a living history book” Walker reflects “I started APB in the 1960s, when people like Abbie Hoffman, Betty Friedan, Jane Fonda, and Ralph Nader didn’t have a way to get their message out”. Through his commitment to giving people a platform to be heard, Robert Walker worked alongside the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Ali, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronald Reagan. Nowadays, APB Speakers boasts more than 50 agents who book speakers daily for varying fees. Walker, who remains knowledgeable of the industry, attests “it’s the trend lately that businesses bring in speakers from disparate fields to entertain and enlighten attendees, keeping energy high at meetings.”
After 50 plus years of experience as a true industry leader, Robert P. Walker shares a lesson he has learned along the way: “There’s no doubt that a good speaker can motivate, empower, and inspire, and even change lives. Many speakers tell me that if they can just influence one person, it’s always well worth the engagement.”
Walker’s own influence through APB Speakers has been powerful and his legacy will continue to impact the future of the lecture business.