The major agencies are a “cottage industry” of former cruise ship staff. Many were founded by skilled Cruise Directors and on-board staff. They just get it tired of always being away from the USA. They know what the cruise lines want. A big part of their job is to “vet” candidates to find good speakers. There is an application process that must be completed. In addition to references, testimonials, bio, and talk titles, candidates need to submit a YouTube of them speaking. Agencies used to accept VHS tapes, then DVD’s, but now YouTube is very easy for all involved.
The YouTube will show the agent just how the speaker does in front of an audience. They will not trust that you have given 30 presentations over the year. Ideally, your video should be you in front of an audience, doing your talk. This is not always possible to do. Often the agent will only watch a few minutes to see if you have poise, good presentation skills and are worth their time to submit you to a cruise line.
They are hanging their reputation on you. If you do not deliver, the agent will lose points with the lines. Agents will charge anywhere from $30 to $65 per day for their value add. This is well worth it considering you are getting a cruise worth many thousands dollars just for working about 5 hours.
At SpeakOnCruises, we specialize in getting our clients ready to apply for speaking assignments. We can even film, produce and edit your YouTube. We know the agencies and can fast track GOOD speakers.