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Five tips for booking the right guest speaker for your event

03 Apr 2018

Illustrated woman speaking to a crowd

Nick Gold is the MD of Speakers Corner, which recommends and books keynote speakers, motivational speakers, awards hosts, entrepreneurs, conference facilitators, thought leaders and comedians for over 1000 events a year from a stable of over 6,500 orators.

Here Nick reveals five tips for finding the right speaker who will not only keep an audience entertained but will also help to ensure that event is a success...

  1. What are the Aims of the Event
  2. A common trend we see here at Speakers Corner is clients asking us for the name of an individual who they would like to speak at their event. However, when we question exactly why they would like that person, or what the aims of the event are, often the said individual’s content does not marry up with the goals of the conference.

    When considering an external speaker for your conference or event, it is best to start at the place of understanding what the objectives of the event are and then match the right person to this.  Even if one of the aims is to secure the ‘draw name’, it is important to still consider what you want the attendees to achieve on the day of the actual event, so the speech will offer lasting value to the audience.

  3. Extracting Value from the Speaker
  4. The schedule of the day has been set with the keynote speaker delivering a 45-minute speech, followed by a Q&A session. But, have you considered how you can extract maximum value from that speaker? Why not see if the speaker can join for a lunch or dinner with some key members of the company? This could offer an opportunity to explore some of the ideas addressed in the keynote further.

    It is worth seeing also if they are willing to do a book signing. This type of added extra really leaves a lasting memory with delegates, making your event that extra bit special. But, whatever your request is, make sure it is thought about up front and discussed as part of the initial agreement, so there are no surprises down the line.

  5. Building Momentum
  6. For any event organiser, the build-up to the event is a critical aspect in both driving expectations and attendees. Using the speaker’s expertise will help the event organiser to tease out content and ensure the event goals are achieved.

    Be clear about what you are looking for from the speaker in the run-up to the event and understand that their role is not to endorse the brand, or necessarily promote the event, but to discuss their content.

    They can, of course, share their excitement for joining the event through a teaser video or a few tweets for example, but again, these finer details will always need to be checked in advance.

  7. Deliver the Environment for the Speaker to Perform at their best
  8. When booking a speaker, not only do you make a financial investment, but an emotional one too, in that the speaker will be delivering their opinions and thoughts on a subject which will hopefully get the attendees thinking. It is one part of the conference which the organiser does not have control of.

    They should be briefing the speaker before about the vision for the event, the structure, the attendees and content but the actual performance on the day is the speakers’ own thoughts and words

    So, make sure the environment is right for the speaker to deliver. This will happen in a few different ways; it is helpful to ensure the logistics leading up to the event are as smooth as possible for everyone, that the staging and tech requirements are all in order and that the speaker is perfectly set up to deliver something truly memorable.

  9. The Aftermath
  10. The event or the conference should remain in the memories of everyone who attended and it should have a lasting impact that motivates and inspires the delegates. It should leave them with thoughts, feelings and ideas about what they can be doing differently, or better, to improve themselves and their company.

    One of the critical aspects that will aid this is the message, or messages, from the keynote speaker. An understanding that impact should be long lasting and change isn’t immediate starts the thought-process of how we can ensure the content is kept fresh in people’s minds. Think carefully about how to achieve pro-active event follow up which will reinforce the messages of the day and make certain that impact is sustained.

    Ensuring the aftermath is not restricted to just the ‘feel good’ momentum the attendees have as they leave the conference will focus the organiser as well as the keynote speaker to ensure they are delivering sustained value to everyone in attendance.

To find out more about Speakers Corner, click here

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