Speaking is a combination of content and personaliy — Talk Marketing 73 — Mary Gardner

Martin Henley
4 min readSep 27, 2022
Speaking is a combination of content and personaliy — Talk Marketing 73 — Mary Gardner

Today is Talk Marketing and today’s guest is a communications and political science graduate who has been working in the public speaking industry since 1986, when she was a celebrity booking agent. Since then, she has worked as a publicist and PR expert, founded the Coaches Certification Institute Lifestyle Communication, Inc.. So that’s founded the Coaches Certification Institute and the Lifestyle Communication Inc. and been the radio host of Star Causes for CBS Sports. She is currently running her business Mary Gardner Communications, is an executive coach, professional speaker, TV host, reporter and as a spokesperson has appeared on CNN, Fox, CBS, etc. and is a contributor to the Orlando Business Journal.

She has worked with Mark Kelly, the astronaut, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, among a host of others, and presented at more than 100 universities. What you might not know about today’s guest is that she healed her son off of the autism spectrum and wrote a book about it. There are several books. There are several programs, too many to mention. We will talk about those. Today’s guest was introduced to us by the wonderful Tim S Marshall. Today’s guest is Mary Gardner. Good morning, Mary Gardner.

00:00 Introductions.

15:14 What is your book called?

19:20 How are you qualified to talk about developing and presenting keynote speeches?

27:28 Marketing is performative.

37:33 Who do you work with and how do you add value to their lives? And are speakers born or can they be made?

47:02 Can presentation carry the presentation on its own?

1:07:26 What effect is TEDx and TED Talks had on the industry?

1:13:41 What is your recommendation for people who wants to get better developing and presenting keynotes?

1:15:16 What should people read?

1:19:41 Who can you introduce us to who might enjoy to be a part of the Talk Marketing series?

Martin Henley [00:19:20] So, how are you Mary qualified to talk to us about this thing, developing and presenting keynote speeches.

Mary Gardner [00:19:30] Yeah. Yeah. So I started off my career. I always I guess I never was really that popular in high school. When I was in seventh grade, I was sitting in my drama class and this gal Tracy popped her head in the door and said, Hi Mrs. Long, and Mrs. Long our drama teacher turned around and said, Hi Tracy. Then everybody in the entire class was like looking at her. And Mrs. Long said, you know, there’s only some people that when people walk in the door, everybody looks and Tracy is one of those kind of people. It was that point of time I was like, I want to be one of those kind of people where you’re noticed and people have a good feeling about you. So I started kind of studying popularity and how to get it and how do you get to that influential state. So I started studying it and I think by college I had mastered that by getting to know people, by joining the right groups, and by being a part of successful groups and participating and volunteering. As a leader, I started doing speaking and also on my Catholic retreats and things like that I started speaking. So I had a real interest in it personally, and I majored in communication in college. Then I decided, where do I want to go? So I went to Capitol Hill to make my money, you know, and to make my millions. Well, I realised quickly that working on Capitol Hill was a bunch of 25 year olds running the country. It’s a lot of young people who are very self-important and very intelligent.

Mary Gardner [00:21:08] I didn’t love that but then I landed as an agent at Kepler’s Speakers. It’s one of the top countries speaker bureaus. I started, for seven years I got to watch the top speakers in our nation go out and speak and entertain audiences. As an agent, I was meeting university presidents and students across the United States and meeting people who had the hunger to impress people and to to influence people. So back in the day, I was booking and working with like Robert F Kennedy Jr, who was talking all about the environment at that point. I was working with and representing Sarah Weddington, the attorney that argued Roe versus Wade. I put her in debates against Phyllis Schlafly, the Eagle Forum, right wing woman. So I would have these huge debates. Some of the other agents would just book the event and it would be over but I said, No, you got to go to the liberals and you tell them that the other side is going to bring posters, but no posters are allowed inside the auditorium. You tell both sides that, hey, the other side is bringing posters, but you cannot bring them in the auditorium. They’re like what, they’re going to have posters, they’re going to have picketing. Oh, my gosh. So I would help them create a riot outside their school. Of course, the media would show up and it would be this big thing. I know that I helped educate lots of people around the United States for many years on these two issues, on the issue of pro-life, pro-choice.



Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, and enthusiasm.