But on the list of names that might not be familiar to most Americans are a few that, after this week, could be big news. By virtue of who they are, what they stand for and/or how talented they are, we believe these five speakers could make a splash on convention stage -- starting with three of them on Monday night alone.
(If you're interested in the entire speakers list, it can be found here.)
David Clarke: Leading anti-Black Lives Matter voice
Issues of race and police are front and center in many Americans minds right now due to Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas. And perhaps nobody has been as vocal in defending the police as the longtime Black Lives Matter critic and Milwaukee County sheriff. You needn't look far to see Clarke taking to cable news and delivering a forceful defense of his fellow officers and full-throated denunciation of Black Lives Matter.
In fact, you only need to look to Sunday night, when he mixed it up with CNN's Don Lemon:
"This anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called Black Lives Matter has fueled this rage against the American police officer," Clarke said, adding: "This anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the American police officer."
The question from here is, how does Clarke handle his allotted time on Monday? Republicans have be loath to engage on Black Lives Matter too directly, but given the events of the past week and Clarke's past comments, it would be shocking if he speech didn't make news on that front -- and provide a rallying cry for Republicans critical of Black Lives Matter.
It's a recipe for a very big moment.
Pat Smith: 'Obama murdered my son'
Another convention speaker who has been a passionate presence on cable news, Smith is the mother of one of four Americans kill in Benghazi, Libya. In the five years since that tragedy, she has accused Hillary Clinton of lying to her about the events that night and said there is "a special place in hell for people like" Clinton. She has also said that President Obama "murdered my son."
As with Clarke, Smith's perspective on and personal connection to a major, polarizing political issue has the potential to make her Monday speech something we'll be talking about -- as does her willingness to make accusations like these without mincing words.
Smith is one of a number of speakers Monday who appear likely to prosecute the case against Clinton's time as secretary of state -- particularly when it comes to Benghazi.
Joni Ernst: The rare bona fide rising star (and hog castration expert)
The freshman Iowa senator got some buzz as a potential vice presidential pick for Donald Trump. She didn't get that (or perhaps she didn't want it?), but her speech Monday night will introduce a rising Republican star to a national audience.
Ernst's 2014 win was perhaps the most-heralded of all the GOP's Senate victories -- you might remember the thing about castrating hogs -- but she remains little-known nationally. A Monmouth poll a month ago showed 8 in 10 Americans couldn't say how Ernst's selection as Trump's vice president would effect their vote. The 22 percent of people who had an opinion of her made her tied for the most anonymous of the 12 Republicans and Democrats tested.
But in a GOP convention that is notably short on rising Republican stars, Ernst could truly stand out.
Peter Thiel: Billionaire Gawker lawsuit benefactor
If this name is familiar to you, it's because it's been in the news this year -- a lot. Thiel is the venture capitalist and Paypal founder who was revealed in May to be the man secretly funding Hulk Hogan's successful lawsuit against Gawker.
A former Ron Paul backer, Thiel has been a prominent Trump supporter and is even a delegate for him in California. He also happens to be only the third openly gay speaker at a Republican National Convention, according to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein. (His outing by Gawker eventually led him to fund Hogan's lawsuit.)
Whether Thiel gets into his views on suing the media -- something Trump agrees with him on -- or on gay rights, his Thursday speech could introduce another billionaire who is threatening to be a major political and cultural player in the years ahead. Consider him, alongside Clarke and Smith, among the speakers who might not have spoken at a GOP convention were it not for the man at the top of the party's ticket.
Ivanka Trump: The political heir?
We've said that Donald Trump's daughter "would make a terrific politician. And, yes, a better one than her dad." We've only half-jokingly suggested she would be a good pick for his vice president.
On Thursday night, the American people get to see what the fuss is all about -- and whether Ivanka Trump lives up to the hype (or more accurately, our hype).
And who knows: Maybe you're bearing witness to the launching of a new political career.