Laura Schwartz

Former White House Director of Events, Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed
Illinois, USA

What Laura is Passionate About


How to use the positive power of networking to your advantage, based on Laura’s book of the same name

Laura’s keynote grabs its audience’s attention. It’s humorous and engaging, but that’s not what makes it powerful. What makes it powerful is that it’s immediately actionable. For the attendee, the new networking knowledge can be applied instantly to the conference at hand. This presentation outlines purposeful skills that inspire leadership and drive performance. It becomes the centerpiece for a truly productive conference.

Eat, Drink, & Succeed is more than a series of anecdotes; it’s a compelling story that’s packed with networking tools and knowledge. Laura’s behind the scenes stories of the White House, DreamWorks, Oprah and beyond illustrate just how useful these skills are for the savvy professional, regardless of industry or career path.

One key technique Laura employs is flipping the definition of networking, empowering her audience to continue growing their networks and opportunities by adopting the mantra, “What can I do for you?” instead of the more typical mentality that asks, “What can you do for me?” She explains how positive, powerful networking involves mentoring and leading both inside and outside of the office, resulting in beneficial outcomes for all sides. She shares her techniques – including insider tips about effective follow-ups and how to leverage the powers of preparation, introductions and engaging conversations, among others – and provides attendees with the means to turn a brief meeting, break room conversation, lunch or “optional” social occasion into a valuable opportunity.

Eat, Drink & Succeed motivates, engages, and most importantly, it drives action.


A conference kickoff

This vivacious, presentation energizes audiences for the conference ahead, while also sharing valuable tips about how to maximize their time there. Based on Laura’s philosophy that every social and planned interaction is an opportunity for career development, Laura shows conference attendees proven tips they can immediately put to work to build partnerships and excel both during and in-between conference events.

Whether approaching registration, attending a class, walking the exhibit hall, or enjoying conference Happy Hours and evening socials, attendees will feel empowered to take every facet of the conference and make it work to their full advantage. Laura provides the tools and techniques that motivate attendees to capitalize on all social and business interactions at the conference so that they, too, can turn relationships into partnerships and ideas into realities. This keynote sets the tone for a successful conference.


A unique and dynamic approach to leadership, using inspiring stories from presidential history

This keynote presents a unique and dynamic approach to leadership, incorporating over 200 years of U.S. presidents, first ladies and their stories.

As a witness on the front lines of climatic celebrations as well as moments of great gravity, determination and leadership, Laura achieved a rare perspective on the private and public moments of first families and global leaders. In this unforgettable program, Laura reveals the behind-the-scenes lessons learned in action at the White House. Using inspiring stories and visuals, she shares valuable takeaways from the earliest White House inhabitants, along with first-hand accounts of defining moments during the Clinton Administration to illustrate real lessons in leadership we all can put to use in our daily lives as we work with our customers and colleagues.

This presentation is often adapted for women’s groups and corporate leadership teams.


The road to R.O.E.

Return on Investment (ROI) may be the traditional way to measure value in a company or project, but the Return on Experience (R.O.E.) is an encompassing approach to how we can increase the value and quality of our experiences. This motivating keynote is based on Laura’s 2013 TED Talk, “Invented Here: The Present,” and it investigates the importance of being present in life, work, play and our communities rather than simply going through the motions. It outlines an executable approach to staying in the moment, that helps its audience become more valuable to their companies, customers, organizations, families, relationships and own selves.

Laura will inspire you to turn the ‘optional’ into ‘opportunity’ and achieve your goals as she provides specific tools to maximize day-to-day R.O.E. at your conference, in your offices and at home.


Exploring the lives of courageous women, to inspire the women of today and tomorrow

What can you accomplish? For inspiration, look to what the greats have done in the past. This keynote covers “bars” set by female leaders who have changed history and forged the professional community landscape that women excel in today.

Laura takes the audience on a journey that explores the lives of notable women from around the world and across a variety of fields – such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey – to better understand how women today are shaped by the skills, strength and struggles of those who came before them. By also looking at those individuals who set the bar for these famous women, Laura shows the audience how they, too – as women who are leaders, mothers, spouses, sisters and friends – set the bar for themselves, their families and other women every day, whether or not they realize it.

The message resonates with women of all ages in every stage of their careers and lives. Whether it is a corporation, industry association or nonprofit, Laura will ensure her message relates to your audience. Laura can develop an even stronger connection with the audience by incorporating your organization’s own founders, leaders or other strong women your audience identifies with to demonstrate how they “set the bar.”


A motivating address that shows how giving back can play a key role in the foundation of success for an industry, organization and an individual

The 19th century French social scientist Alexis de Tocqueville once stated that the defining characteristic of America is its commitment to service. In this moving keynote address, Laura puts a modern-day twist on de Tocqueville’s statement, showing how giving back today can make a difference in your world and in your organization. Regardless of their role in organization, Laura will empower the audience members to strengthen their commitment, whether that means working harder, becoming more involved or giving greater. As Laura explains, volunteer associations and service organizations are instrumental in our society because they can often do things more effectively than our own government. She communicates the power of service using colorful examples and entertaining anecdotes from her work both in the White House and afterward traveling around the world with the Clinton Global Initiative. Audience members will feel empowered to give and continue to give back through the sponsoring organization because they’ll see that their service not only affects the lives of those they help directly, but also their own personal and professional communities.

Laura tailors this keynote address based on the association’s objectives and the audience in order to create a completely unique presentation that is appealing, engaging and, most importantly, effective. This presentation has been successfully used to inspire organizations for their annual conference, to motivate donors and raise funds for new non-profit initiatives, and to kick-start membership drives and raise awareness in the community. Corporations have also used this keynote as a way to motivate their employees for their internal campaigns and company-wide philanthropy. Laura has presented customized versions of this address to organizations such as the United Way, YWCA, American Heart Association, Illinois Governor’s Conference, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Emergency Nurses Association and the Junior League of Chicago. Each organization has reported stronger results with this keynote than in previous years.

Why You Need Laura

Laura Schwartz is a dynamic professional speaker and internationally recognized television commentator. But when she arrived at the White House in January of 1993, she was just a 19-year-old student with no political connections and no way of knowing what was about to come next. She quickly landed a volunteer position answering phones in the press office, but that was just the beginning. She climbed her way up the ranks of the Clinton Administration, as the Midwest Press Secretary, Director of Television and, ultimately, Director of Events, where she produced the President’s events on the world stage. In this book, and in her internationally acclaimed Eat, Drink and Succeed lecture series, Laura shares her secrets to success, revealing essential networking tools that will increase sales, productivity and leadership, and propel you to the next level in business and beyond.

Laura is widely recognized for her civic, philanthropic and professional leadership and has won numerous awards and accolades. In 2015, Laura was the first American woman to be featured as the cover story of The SME Advisor, the UAE’s leading entrepreneurial magazine and appeared as a featured contributing writer to Fast Company Magazine. She has been named one of the Best Keynote Speakers by Meetings and Conventions Magazine as well as Successful Meetings Magazine, and is also a member of the National Speakers Association. She serves on the boards of the American Heart Association, the Clean the World Foundation, Common Threads and Event Solutions Magazine. She was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago” by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine and named one of Chicago’s “Most Bold and Beautiful” by Chicago Magazine for her community involvement. In 2009, the prestigious Oxford Union in England invited Laura to speak on the Foreign Policy Legacy of the United States and the role of Women in the World.

Laura travels extensively both domestically and internationally to work with Fortune 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, motivating people from all over the world to reach their fullest potential!

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Why You Will Love Laura

“You were the highlight of our annual conference. There has never been a speaker that has made such an impact on all our attendees. You and your message are relevant, positive, interesting and motivating! Thank you for “Knocking the Lights out at the Conference!” We will be talking about it for years I’m sure!”

Toni Reed
Wisconsin Bankers Association

“I came away from your presentation inspired to network in new ways that I am putting to work for me immediately! Thanks for being a wonderful role model for the modern working woman!”

Lana Lewandowski
Northern Trust Women’s Leadership Council

“Your presentation was wonderful, as always, and our team was fully engaged. We received much positive feedback about you as a speaker and the absolute relevance of the subject for our team. As always, you were a big hit!”

Loretta Abrams
Senior Vice President HSBC

“Laura is an outstanding communicator as I know from her sparkling appearances on Frost Over The World. I’m sure that her book will be an equal success. As she says ‘Your career isn’t 9-5, it’s 24-7’ and she’s living proof of just how well that works.”
Sir David Frost

“Laura Schwartz is one of seven keynoters who surpasses expectations…having worked with the President of the United States, she understands the value of creating better business partnership opportunities.”

Successful Meetings Magazine

“Behind the scenes at the White House, Laura saw firsthand that we can best ‘achieve ourselves’ by helping others, but that doing so requires us to go beyond our good intentions with a determination not to be distracted and a commitment to building partnerships with those who share our goals.”

President Bill Clinton


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