10 Questions to Consider When Selecting a Speaker for Your Next Event

Finding the next great speaker for your conference or event is not an exact science. In fact, it is part science and part art. It takes time, and establishing a direct dialogue with the speaker. One starting point is to know the event/conference/meeting theme and define a mindset for it. Then consider these important questions for selecting a speaker:

 

  1. Is the speaker accredited, certified, or experienced in the proposed topic? Great speakers invest serious time to isolate and sharpen their skills.  Institutional and organizational credential is a solid indicator of additional credibility.
  2. Has the speaker been recommended or referred to you? First-hand recommendations are generally the best way to find a great speaker. Credible reviews and testimonials, and video footage is a way to view a speaker in action if you have not seen them in person.
  3. How often does the speaker present? How long have they been presenting? It is important to find out how often they speak and for how long they have been speaking relative to the price they are charging. A speaker with strong credentials and a long history of speaking might charge more, but bring an additional gravity to the presentation.
  4. Have they delivered presentations to an audience similar to yours? How well does the speaker know your industry? Great speakers can and will tailor their message to your audience. Targeted, personalized messages can be more effective and memorable.
  5. Does the speaker have anything relevant to say? And is this information relevant to your audience? Great speakers understand that in today’s world you need to combine powerful content with excellent delivery. It is important to find out if the speaker has proactive ideas and timely materials. Many have written books or whitepapers, published articles, been interviewed, are on the news, etc.
  6. Is the presentation actionable? What will you do the following Monday morning based on the material from the presentation? Great speakers first help change the mindset of the audience, to persuade them of something that they either hadn’t known or believed before. After inspiring your audience to change, they must show them how. Post-event materials will help support the ‘how?” and provide them a path towards implementation.
  7. What props, slides, videos, music, a/v equipment does the speaker use? A great speaker creates an interaction between themselves and the audience. The speaker should incorporate the appropriate tools for the audience and venue. The more you know upfront, the better you can work with the speaker on what will and won’t work.
  8. What is the perfect length of time for the speaker’s presentation? We are big believers in having this conversation upfront and early on. If a speaker’s best presentation is 60 minutes long, try to book the entire hour instead of a shortened version. Great speakers, on the other hand, are adaptable and can deliver a presentation based on the time available. If you need a 45-minute presentation, they should condense the presentation for maximum effectiveness.
  9. How accessible is the speaker to you? Great speakers always spend the time to ensure you get to know them and they get to know you and your event. The best testimonials we receive are the ones that say the speaker spent the time upfront getting to know the client and gaining a deep understanding of the goals.
  10. Will the speaker do the additional little things pre-, during and post-conference? Speakers who want to make a difference are not just great speakers; they are great people as well. They will graciously do the little things that add up to the overall experience. They stay after their presentation and mingle with the audience. They will do a post-event debrief. They have a mentality of service.
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