Virtual Keynote Speaker

How to Choose a Virtual Keynote Speaker

The World’s Top Virtual Conference and Webinar Speakers Reviewed

The world is in flux. Our healthcare systems, economies, and societies face unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, people are seeking the expert insights professional speakers can deliver. But hosting a conference in the Covid-19 era is fraught with problems.

Therefore, the solution lies in virtual conferences and webinars. Unfortunately, hosting a virtual conference brings up difficulties of its own. How can you avoid the event feeling like a workaround? How do you make it engaging, memorable, and unique? And how do you attract an audience in the first place?

Hiring a world-class virtual keynote speaker will ensure that your virtual conference stands level with its ‘real-life’ counterparts. That’s because the best virtual speakers and webinar speakers are adept at holding their audience’s attention – even when that audience is in another state, country, or continent.

Our 5 Top Virtual Speakers

At Aurum Speakers Bureau, we represent many distinguished experts, with varied and diverse specialisms. If you require a top virtual keynote speaker, then this guide was written with you in mind. Naturally, the professional speakers below can also serve as guest speakers, to supplement the appeal of your virtual conference or webinar.

Let’s begin with the man who we rate as the world’s best virtual keynote speaker…

1.Nassim Taleb

Black swan is an expression we’ve been hearing a lot recently. In fact, according to the best-selling author who brought the term to popular attention, it’s become a cliché.

That author is Nassim Taleb – a former derivatives trader; now widely considered the world’s foremost authority on improbable risks. Taleb has penned several influential books which shed light on this niche subject: ‘Black Swan’, ‘Antifragile’, and ‘Skin in the Game’ among them.

However, Taleb controversially argues that the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t even qualify as a black swan. He classes it instead as a grey, or even white swan event that might have been anticipated. Indeed, the probability expert has been arguing for over a decade that increased connectivity exposes modern societies to increased risk.

Taleb’s primary focus is on financial risk – and he also correctly anticipated the 2008 financial crisis. But much of his thinking is societal, and concerns the human impact of major events. Refreshingly, the author proposes as many solutions as problems. His best-seller ‘Antifragile’ carries the full title ‘Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder’. The work highlights the ways in which businesses can become robust and thrive in the face of black swan events.

Moreover, Dr Taleb advises Universa hedge fund, which grew by an incredible 3,600% in the bleak month of March 2020. With his unique perspectives on topical events, it’s little wonder that we rate him as the world’s top virtual speaker.

Learn more about Dr Nassim Taleb.

2. Jared Diamond

Dr Jared Diamond comes a very close second on our list of the best virtual keynote speakers. Diamond is a geographer, anthropologist, and historian. Few professional speakers can match his understanding of human societies – both ancient and modern.

Above all Diamond is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 book, ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’. The work explores the way that agrarian societies from Eurasia and North Africa came to dominate the world. Diamond emphasizes the Western introduction of unfamiliar germs to native people. Additionally, the author also touches on the means of disease transmission between livestock and humans – a topical point in these times.

Consequently, in 2005, the publications ‘Prospect’ and ‘Foreign Policy’ ranked Diamond ninth among the world’s leading 100 public intellectuals. Recent events have made his expertise more poignant than ever. In March 2020, Dr Jared Diamond co-authored an influential Washington Post op-ed – How We Can Stop the Next New Virus. Together with virologist Nathan Wolfe, Diamond argues that societies must adapt to mitigate the effects of future pandemics.

Learn more about leading virtual keynote speaker Dr Jared Diamond.

3. Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna is among the world’s top geo-strategists, with special expertise in the growth of Asian economies. This erudite professional speaker has also penned a series of influential books, articles, and opinion pieces, including ‘The Future is Asian’.

In April 2020, Khanna co-authored a comprehensive article for, exploring six possible effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the article, Khanna explores a series of potential changes, among them:

  • A long-lasting, ‘W’-shaped recession, with an initial rebound curtailed by slow global trade and increased sovereign debt.
  • A second migrant crisis, as populations flee the worst-hit regions.
  • Deep societal changes, including a rise in nationalism.

Khanna has also prepared a new talk for these times. ‘Global Supply Chains and the World Post Covid-19’ explores how the pandemic will alter China’s position on the world stage. The talk also looks at how the New Silk Road will be affected by the crisis.

Learn more about Parag Khanna.

4. Alexandra Cousteau

Cousteau. The name will be familiar to anyone with an interest in marine exploration. Jacques Cousteau co-created the Aqua Lung (the first commercially successful SCUBA equipment) and pioneered marine conservation. His son, Philippe Cousteau, deepened the family’s involvement in environmentalism and film-making, before dying tragically young, aged just 38.

Alexandra Cousteau – Philippe’s daughter – is the third generation to embrace the call of the ocean. Far from simply trading on her family’s legacy, she has defined her own role as an environmental advocate. We’re proud to say that Cousteau can be booked exclusively through Aurum Speakers Bureau, and is our most popular sustainability speaker.

In a time of much darkness, Alexandra Cousteau is keen to highlight a silver lining. The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing societies to pause, and Cousteau is hopeful that this period of reflection will not be wasted. Like many environmental campaigners, Cousteau is both alarmed by and optimistic about the state of our planet. Her optimism stems from her belief that if we act now, we can pull back from the brink.

Alexandra Cousteau continues to share this inspiring message throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and is currently developing a home studio from which to deliver professional virtual speeches. In addition to being a superb virtual keynote speaker, Cousteau also offers a range of free ‘add-ons’. These include a VIP virtual meet-and-greet session, breakout sessions for smaller groups, or pre-event virtual calls to thank sponsors. The entire package is designed to elevate virtual conferences and webinars to new heights!

Learn more about our top-ranked female virtual keynote speaker, Alexandra Cousteau.

5. Joseph Stiglitz

Many professional speakers have a single claim to fame that sets them apart; Joseph Stiglitz has several. This Nobel Prize-winning economist is a highly acclaimed author, a former World Bank chief economist, and has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Stiglitz also served as an advisor during the Clinton administration, as well as co-authoring multiple reports on economic reform and the 2008 financial crisis. For anyone seeking a world-class virtual keynote speaker, there can be few better choices!

Joseph Stiglitz delivers keynote speeches on a range of issues. These include:

  • Globalization
  • The root causes of the 2008 financial crisis
  • US economic policy

In addition, Stiglitz offers timely perspectives on the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. As one of the world’s leading neo-Keynesian economists, he has strong views on the political response, relief packages, and the likely course of the global recovery.

Learn more about Joseph Stiglitz, or explore our other Nobel Prize speakers.

Work with a Distinguished Virtual Speakers Bureau

The speakers we’ve profiled here are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg! As a distinguished virtual speakers bureau, we have a proven track record of providing top-tier keynote speakers for events both physical and virtual.

But we also understand that choice can sometimes be a curse. That’s why we have experts on hand, ready to advise you as you select the best virtual keynote speaker, guest speaker, or webinar speaker. Simply contact our team today and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

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