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How to Choose a Speaker for Your Event

You’ve got an event coming up and time has come to start finding speakers. As part of this process you’re probably also looking to see who you might engage as a keynote speaker to headline your event.  Regardless of whether they’re the main attraction of the speaking side of your event, or just leading smaller breakout sessions, here’s three key pillars to consider when adding speakers to your event’s program – Engagement, Adaptability and Influence:  

  1. Engagement

Will this speaker be providing your attendees with an experience they won’t forget?  A lot of speakers now have videos of entire presentations on YouTube, so you need to ask whether these speakers are charismatic, knowledgeable and personable enough to offer attendees enough of an incentive to come and see them live.   Authenticity is key to a great speaker; one who is able to share real knowledge and experience (including failures and successes) that ties into the themes and goals of your event.

  1. Adaptability

Are speakers able to tailor their existing presentations to your event’s themes and goals?  Will they research your audience beforehand?  Are they on the cutting edge of technology and/or trends in your industry?  Speaking of technology, what are their technology needs when it comes to their presentation?  Do they provide your with a ridiculous list of demands as part of their speaker’s rider?  Are they likely to cancel on you, leaving you in the lurch to find a replacement at the eleventh hour? These are a lot of points to ponder, but if the answers to each of these questions aren’t positive, you may want to reconsider engaging them.   

  1. Influence

Even for well known speakers, name recognition isn’t always enough to guarantee attendees, so don’t choose speakers purely based on fame.  Find out prior to booking a speaker whether they’re prepared to promote your event via their own social media networks. Try to gage if they’re willing and available to speak with attendees and answer questions following the end of their presentations, or are they likely to make a quick dash for the door once their presentation is over?    

We’d love to hear your successes, and even lessons learnt from negative experiences with event speakers.  Tell us about them here