Pick a Speaker Who Will Make, Not Break Your Event
Whether it’s a national conference, a group training or intimate workshop, it’s important to choose the right speaker for your event who can deliver high-quality content that’s relevant to your audience and can keep the attention and energy of the room — upbeat and alive.
If the pressure is on, and you have to pick the right speaker lineup for your next event, don’t stress. Use the key pointers below, and you’ll get the best person for the job.
- Choose a subject matter expert
Pick a speaker who is a recognized expert in their topic and industry. You can search online, attend conferences, read experts’ books and blogs, or ask other event managers or speakers for referrals. Choose a few candidates who are established, have an excellent reputation, and will pique the interest of your audience. Do your homework and make sure there’s a fit between the speaker and his/her knowledge and what your participants want to learn.
- Look for an engaging presenter
Want to captivate the crowd? Look for someone who’s both a storyteller and is known for their expertise. Hire a speaker who can address a few of the group’s challenges, offer a new perspective or a key insight that will motivate the audience to take action or think differently. Check out YouTube or ask for a demo video to see how your presenter works a room, and make time to schedule at least a phone interview. You’ll want to get a sense of their personality.
- Customization is key
Some speakers have set talks or standard trainings, which may or may not work for your audience. It’s good practice to hire a speaker who will customize presentations and workshops based on current challenges and important goals outlined from the beginning. As you look for a speaker, see if they’re quick on their feet, don’t fluster easily, and are comfortable on the giving and receiving end of the hot seat. Confidence and composure come from experience.
- Everyone loves a good story
Look for a presenter who tells relatable stories, as if the speaker has been in the groups’ shoes at least some point in their life. You want someone who’s authentic – not just a friend giving advice, but an expert sharing straight advice from the trenches. A speaker should take the time to get to know your audience and where they’re coming from, so they can communicate in a way everyone understands.
- Share key event goals
Your speaker’s presentation should be aligned with your event goals and what you’d like your group to learn. Essentially, you’re hiring an advocate for your company, an expert to train, inspire, motivate, and engage with your audience. An experienced speaker will provide key takeaways that align with your overall purpose and the message you want to deliver married with subject matter expertise. As part of the pre-planning stage, expect questions too about the venue, food service, and other deliverables you may not have thought of.
- Availability and accessibility
I offer pre-event and post-event Q&A sessions, webinars, office hours, workshops, VIP sessions, checklists or cheat sheets, and more. A real expert will do the same and usually offer contact information, a complimentary consultation, or an opportunity for future help. “Follow me on Instagram.” “Sign up for my weekly marketing tips to stay up on trends.” “Email me your questions.” Accessibility is important. Hopefully your audience is hungry for more education, and your expert should be willing to teach them more.
Your event is going to be great, and you’re going to choose the best speaker or trainer for your needs. Hopefully, these simple guidelines help.
Do you need a marketing and PR expert to speak at your next event? Does your staff need some training on social media in the workplace? Let’s chat to see how I can help. Contact me through my website or schedule a call on my calendar.