Ventriloquist Fator Wins, Raises Volumes on Booming Speaking Industry

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In addition to receiving a one million dollar prize on NBC Tuesday night, SpeakerMatch listed speaker Terry Fator escalated the asking price for his speaking career, even if he's not the one doing all the talking.

With the help of his differing sidekicks along the way, ventriloquist Terry Fator won the country's popular vote and claimed the top spot in the season finale of NBC's America's Got Talent.

In addition to the first place prize, Fator has earned the right to perform in Las Vegas. Austin's Bryan Caplovitz knows that Fator's act won't be limited to stages in Nevada.

Caplovitz founded SpeakerMatch, http://www.speakermatch.com/talent, in 2001 and has since grown his database to include hundreds of speakers across the country. Speakers who subscribe to Caplovitz's service are booked by meeting planners using SpeakerMatch's web-based technology.

"The meetings industry is benefiting from an increasing pool of extremely talented and diverse acts," Caplovitz, said. "They're able to deliver motivating messages in a variety of settings from small corporate conferences to large trade-association conventions."

One motivational speaker has received 20 notifications in the last 14 days and has access to a pool of more than 140 speaking engagements that match his area of expertise on the SpeakerMatch website.

"I'm really excited about the direction which my speaking business is heading," he said. "I just booked my first paid engagement through SpeakerMatch and I look forward to building on this success."

Fator finds himself among SpeakerMatch's pool of professional and emerging professional speakers, but sets himself apart with his unmatched talent mimicking stars like Garth Brooks, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and Elvis, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

"Meeting planners who used to have to choose from traditional motivational speakers, are now able to use entertainers who incorporate a positive message into their acts," Caplovitz said. "These talented performers are being hired by meeting planners who are looking to re-energize their events."

Meeting Planners International's (MPI) Future Watch 2006 reports that the global meetings industry will grow for the third consecutive year in what is already 122.3 billion dollar business. SpeakerMatch allows speakers to list their areas of expertise while meeting planners submit their speaker requests which range from no-fee engagements to $10,000 events.

"I talk to speakers every day who are at different places along the path, but they all share a common desire to tell their unique story," Caplovitz said. "Terry (Fator) is a great example of what happens when you continue the pursuit of your dream."

A humble Fator had nothing to say. The Muppets could not be reached for comment.

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Paul Ellul
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