Warning on Speakers Bureaus

Top speakers often circulate among them the names of speakers bureaus which act unethically, don’t pay, renege on promises, and so on. One of the worst offenders is someone named Thom Lisk. I want to warn anyone who speaks professionally, especially new people, to steer clear of him. Here is a typical piece of his spam sent to me today, although I’ve asked to be removed from all mailings and he’s repeatedly promised to do so. Note the lie that begins the piece, “I was reading about you today.” I think it’s a tremendous service in any community to prevent members of that community from wasting precious time and resources, and I despise the people who give professionals such a bad name. Stay away from this guy and his “bureau.”

Dear Speaker,

Today I was reading about you while doing a cross reference check for great speakers for our client needs.

We book lots of speakers as you can see by our bureau website–link below.

Your information sent to this email would be of great interest to us as we have a couple of clients right NOW that we would like to consider offering you to.

We work for speakers on a straight commission when we book speakers quoting you at whatever fee you give us, of course. Our President has successfully booked terrific speakers for 32 years and is the author of the top book in America about the business of how to be a success as a Professional Speaker.

I hope to hear from you ASAP.

Also, I hope you do not mind that I added you to a list today of speaker friends whom we send news to once in awhile… therefore, we may forward you a monthly newsletter sent to a few others earlier this week. Please do read it and complete the survey when you have time, okay? Thanks.

For now however please know we have excellent references booking pro speakers to the Fortune 500, local elementary schools, and every other type organization you could mention at one time or another.

Do send us specific Word Docs or PDF files, etc. about yourself and a link to your website even if you have never worked with “TOP QUALITY PRO SPEAKERS BUREAU” like ours before, we welcome your information. Learn about us via our website–link below. If you want to talk before sending materials call us during regular business hours M-F eastern standard time.

This is a confidential request for you only.

Forgive me please… if you have sent us info in the past I do not have that handy… we would like updated info. If you have a demo tape we would welcome that, if not that is okay too.

Thank you.

Respectfully yours, in service, for your success,

Emily Bright, Customer Service/Administration

Professional Speakers Bureau Int’l

20 thoughts on “Warning on Speakers Bureaus

  1. I totally agree with you Alan. He must be on a marketing campaign because I received the identical letter. He is a big time scam artist who was kicked out of NSA quite a few years ago.

    I am flattered to be in good company with you Alan!!

    He has zero integrity. I want to unsubcribe, but I am sure he will never unsubscribe me so he will be listed as spam, if I can figure out how to do that. Regards pat

  2. Ah yes. He’s been spamming AZ, too. I asked him to Remove me from his list. I got another rambling email back. I sent a second one with it in larger type. He sent back a snarky email “Gee… are you with the Jewish mafia also? See further below…” He uses different “employee” names. Sigh. Sent him to spam assassin. Recommend we all do. Thanks for publishing this, Alan.

  3. Thanks Alan. This guy is now trolling linked in looking for suspects. Each time I see an entry I’ve sent a msg to the person Lisk is posting too. This guy has the WORST reputation in the industry. A real jerk.

  4. I’m not aware of this marketer or the ethics involved – if he is sending this letter by email you may have success by reporting spam to the vendor who manages the email delivery (aweber, constant contact, infusionsoft, etc) as they must have an unsubscribe option. If they are continuing to email then the vendor may block or cancel their broadcasts.

    Of course if I just didn’t want to see them anymore I would also filter my email to recognize as spam and send an automated response requesting cancellation. And possibly reporting to BBB with each offense 🙂

    If these are coming by mail I don’t know how much you can do to report it and avoid future mailings other than continue to spread the word. The internet is making the world smaller and if you do not work and live in integrity then your reputation and business will suffer accordingly.

    • I think you miss the point. I’m warning you about low ethics among some people purporting to run speakers bureaus and how amateurish they are. I am aware of how I can block email.

  5. As you point your finger at me, you may have three fingers back at yourself or someone else. “you who are without sin cast the first stone…” so said Jesus.

    If I have offended someone I ask forgiveness and for that person to contact me direct so I can make things right with that person. If truly I did sin it was never as some kind of scam that is certainly NOT true, it was inadvertent and/or as a defense to the offensive acts of other speakers who were misguided. We all have our excuses…

    For someone to post their feelings about anyone including me on-line or here without really knowing the true FACTS is wrong and sinful then of that person. It is like the worse kind of gossip, and can be character assination.

    In the speaking business, unfortunately, many speakers try to get ahead like with a teeter-tooter type approach, put me down and that puts you up… is that your approach? Yes. STOP IT…

    Contact me direct for the facts… my phone is 614-841-1776. Or send me an email @… thomlisk@TerrificSpeakers.com but do NOT allow others to influence YOU in a negative way about me. They did that with Jesus, persecuted him for no good reason, killed Him… Alan should be ashamed of himself! He should know better.

    God protects me from (your) evil. I pray God restore me from all evil and misunderstandings about me… “Greater is He who is in me then he (demons) who are in the world (causing some people to wrongfully hurt me).”

    It is the Spirit of the Law that we must pursue, no one can keep all the Laws perfectly. And, for anyone to say or write they are not sinners is wrong, the sin of pride the root of all sin. God forgive us all… we are called to LOVE one another!!!

    In the love of God…

    dr. thom a. lisk, CSE
    Award winning speaker and speakers bureau owner.
    Phone: 614-841-1776
    Email: thomlisk@TerrificSpeakers.com

    C: Attorney, Better Business Bureau, etc.

  6. You have consistently lied and misrepresented, claimed to represent me and others when you don’t, been tossed out of NSA for ethics violations. I find that those who quote God the most are usually the worst transgressors.

  7. ‘…Alan should be ashamed of himself! He should know better.’

    Evidently he does!

    Thom, I find your religious shielding reprehensible and cringeworthy. Any negative feelings I have about you stem purely from your post in which you deflect the original concerns directed at your ethics with quotes from the bible.

    A simple apology and a promise to reform your practices would serve yourself and everyone you ‘love’ better.
    Aaaargh, I had to get that off my chest!

  8. I have had the same experiences with Thom Lisk that you all have. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. He definitely needs to leave the speaking profession because working with people is obviously not his strength.

  9. Thank you! He just contacted me via a LinkedIn group. I went to his Website, and it’s so old school, I immediately questioned legitimacy. Then I Googled and found your post. I hope he doesn’t add me to that email list!

  10. He’s back! Sadly, he never left. I got a voice mail from him this afternoon. He has a great deal for me … I’m warning my chapter since this is his MO. He calls chapters with an “opportunity” which us usually is not a gig at all. It’s a showcase he wants to put on and have unsuspecting speakers pay big bucks to buy in promising all sorts of things. Audience full of meeting planners, a tape of your speech and his advice on your career. Stay away from this guy. He is a scam artist. Thanks Alan for spreading the word about this guy.

    • That’s an insult to algae everywhere!
      Algae serves a valid biological purpose.

      I think you should apologise young man.


  11. I did administrative assistant work for him during the mid to late 90’s. He had posted fliers for a part time assistant around my college. We worked in his dank, dusty, unorganized basement with a number of things that should have been thrown away (some had rodent bites and roach feces on them). He constantly paid me late, and when he finally stopped paying me all together, I refused to continue showing up for work, and told him I would return his materials (promotional packets) once I was paid for assembling them. He then proceeded to constantly call my home, had family…including his wife and 90 year old mother leave messages. This culminated with him, his wife, and his mother coming to my home, the police being called, and him being forced to write me a check (which bounced) in order to receive his materials.

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