WHAT IS THE PITTSBURGH SPEAKERS SERIES?
The Pittsburgh Speakers Series is a series of seven different lectures, on seven Wednesday evenings, at Heinz Hall from October through April.
Our distinguished speakers share with the audience their unique experiences and perspectives on a wide variety of topics – from world affairs & politics, to history & the environment, to books & authors, to business & economics and the Arts. And for those who wish to ask the speaker questions, an exciting question and answer session follows each lecture.
WHY IS THE SPEAKERS SERIES SO POPULAR?
The Speakers Series is so popular because it is a “real” live, in person experience. Just imagine the wonderful experience of hearing famous people — such as Walter Cronkite, Ken Burns, Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mario Cuomo — and hear them tell anecdotal, “behind the scenes” stories about their experiences. When one hears and sees a famous personality speak for an hour, and hears them answer questions from the audience, one can assess and develop their own opinion about a speaker.
The Speakers Series is popular because it is a wonderful way to learn more about a variety of subjects: history, international affairs, foreign and domestic politics, current events, etc. The Pittsburgh Speakers Series also gives our subscribers the rare opportunity to be one of the few people who get to see and hear these distinguished people in person. Just think, how many people in the world actually have an opportunity to see and hear, in person, all these famous people? Only a handful.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON THE NIGHT OF A LECTURE?
Each lecture opens with the moderator making a few welcoming remarks and then introducing the evening’s speaker. The speaker then delivers his or her comments until approximately 9pm. Quietly during the lecture, at 8:25pm and again at 8:35pm, ushers walk down the aisles to collect questions from the audience, written on question cards that are available in the evening’s program. When the speaker is done, the moderator returns to the stage and asks as many of the audience’s questions as possible. The evening concludes at approximately 9:30pm.
WHAT IF I DON’T AGREE WITH A SPEAKER’S VIEWS?
It is often the speaker whose views we don’t agree with, or a speaker who we think we won’t enjoy, who is the speaker that our subscribers end up enjoying the most. It is often these speakers who challenge our views and opinions and intellectually stimulate our subscribers.
In addition, while one may not agree with the view of a particular speaker, that is not the issue; the whole point of a Speakers Series is to bring to the community distinguished people who are renowned authorities on a particular subject. Moreover, if one does not agree with a speaker, it is a perfect opportunity to try to ask the speaker a question and challenge him or her on their views!
IS THE SPEAKERS SERIES ONLY FOR ADULTS? NO!
The Speakers Series is a unique opportunity to share something informative and inspirational with high school and college age students. It provides a wonderful opportunity for family dialogue on important issues, such as international affairs, American politics, current events, books and authors.
WHY IS IT SOLD AS A SERIES?
We are frequently asked why tickets are only sold as a series and why individual lecture tickets are not available. There are several reasons. First and foremost, selling it as a series allows us to advertise the Speakers Series at one time and reduces the overall cost of the Series. If we had to advertise and market each individual lecture (seven times), the cost for the Series and the ticket prices would be substantially higher (at least double). In addition, if tickets for individual lectures were sold, then it no longer would be a “Speakers Series.”