Founders Story

Established in 2001 by Sylvia Tidy-Harris, The Speakers Agency is now a leading UK based speakers bureau. The agency's friendly, professional and knowledgeable staff spend each day booking speakers, presenters and award hosts for clients large and small. We genuinely welcome every inquiry what ever the budget and requirement. With impressive industry knowledge and having established strong relationships with many of our 1000's of clients, our agents offer informed and impartial advice, and they ensure their recommendations match each and every client's brief perfectly. No inquiry is too small or too large and we pride ourselves in welcoming companies and organizations of all sizes from the large corporate clients to the local WI's because every client matters. The Speakers Agency champions the way with the very best speakers, hosts, event presenters and after dinner entertainment.

Meet the Team

Sylvia Tidy-Harris - CEO and Talent Agent

Managing Director Sylvia Tidy-Harris grew up wanting to be an actress but her father and client the cartoonist Bill Tidy MBE wouldn’t hear of it so she decided she would become an air stewardess, an ambition she fulfilled at the age of 18.  After five glorious years of flying she left to become her father’s manager for six years then worked in the USA for a while before returning to the UK and becoming a tour director for seven years. She set up The Speakers Agency in 2001.

Some of the highlights of her life so far include writing a bi weekly business column for the Daily Telegraph for 18 months between 2005 and 2007, getting married; celebrating her 50th birthday with a party at Twycross Zoo and watching her business grow.  Sylvia is incredibly proud of and her team too.  An avid reader, she loves writing, notching up new places around the globe, spending time with her family, having dinner with her friends and growing vegetables on the allotment with husband Fred.


5 Fun Facts

  • I’ve flown a B757 and a B737 in the air (not in a simulator)
  • I have seen a Tornado forming in Alabama
  • I have been in three powerful earth tremors (Tokyo, LA and Naples)
  • I saw Charlie Chaplin at the bar in Fortnum & Mason’s when I was a kid
  • I tried to leave home at 3 years old.

Fred Harris - Finance Director

Born and bred in Leicestershire Director Fred grew up wanting to be a poacher - well that was what he told the schools career officer when he was 13.

Bonkers about footy Fred runs three times a week, likes to hit the dance floor and is nuts about Family Guy. Widowed with three children gorgeous grandchild Fred met and married The Speakers Agency MD in 1998 and is now the finance director.


5 Fun Facts

  • I've climbed The Three Peaks
  • I am addicted to cheese
  • I learned to cook a tasty Rabbit Stew by the time I was 6 years old
  • I love running
  • I hate having a haircut

Laura Thompson - Senior Agent

Laura is currently on maternity leave having just given birth to twins Zion and Tilly on June 30th 2016.  She hopes to be back in her agent's seat in April/May 2017.

Married to her childhood sweetheart Adam, Laura is a born organiser, extremely neat and passionate about her job. She has been with The Speakers Agency for five years and attracts much repeat business with her bubbly personality and professionalism. She loves to laugh, likes standing up to type and is mad about her Cabochon who she has named Talulah. Laura loves 80's power ballads and knows the words to every Only Fools and Horses episode. Passionate about sport and keeping fit, senior speaker agent Laura played hockey for Leicestershire until a knee injury forced her to retire.

5 Fun Facts

  • I cycled 450 miles across Kenya for Charity, raising a combined 1.6 million for women's cancers
  • I've made the cover of Horse and Hound Magazine
  • I was Deputy Head Girl, pipped to the post by my best friend
  • I entered an escargot eating competition whilst on a school trip in France, I managed 52. I won!
  • I gave birth to fraternal twins on 30th June 2016


Melissa Smith - Agent

Mel joined the agency in Feb 2016 to train as a speaker agent and to cover Laura's maternity leave. Born in Manchester she grew up in the East Midlands and after becoming disillusioned with hairdressing decided to seek a more demanding job. She is already a valued member of the team and is enjoying getting to know all the clients and speaker bookers..


5 Fun Facts

  • Mel trained as a hairdresser
  • She misses her Jackawawa Joey
  • Loves flying with her father who is a commercial pilot
  • Likes to sparkle so doesn't say no to a bit bling
  • She loves the sunshine and fake tan when it isn't sunny 

Jennie Storr - Agent

Luncheon Club speakers booking agent Jennie was born in Tunbridge Wells but grew up all around the world thanks to her father's US military career and she lived in Japan, Turkey, France, America and England.

She settled in the UK in 1966 when she married her childhood sweetheart who she calls the Englishman of her dreams and have been in the UK ever since. Part of her degree course was Public Speaking in Business, Media and Social Situations and to date she has given well over 1,400 talks to various groups and she says there is nothing better than hearing a room full of people laughing. Jennie joined The Speakers Agency as a speaker just after they launched in October 2001 and took on the role of luncheon club agent in 2004.

A fabulous listener Jennie adores her job and loves maintaining great relationships with her clients. Much of Jennie's spare time is taken up with playing with her grandchildren and playing tennis a couple of times a week.

5 Fun Facts

  • I have taken over a £1million worth of bookings for our luncheon club speakers in 10 years
  • I once played tennis for Lincolnshire because they were desperate
  • From the age of 2 to 21, I moved 28 times
  • I get enormous fun being with my Grandchildren
  • I am trying to give up sugar

Christine Agar - Accounts

Accountant Christine was brought up on a farm in North Wales and now lives in North West Leicestershire with her husband and three children.

5 Fun Facts

  • 1   I once walked 55 miles non-stop for charity.
  • 2   I love mushrooms and hate broad beans.
  • 3   Favourite holiday destination is New York.
  • 4   I enjoy doing maths.
  • 5   Ideal dinner guest would be David Attenborough.