Choosing the correct speaker for your conference can make or break your event. The wrong candidate will affect guest attendance, competitor rankings and the popularity of your event. Whether you are investing in a celebrity appearance or finding undiscovered talent; there are many factors to consider.
By using the below guide, we will help you find your perfect speaker.
DO THEY ENHANCE YOUR EVENT?
First and foremost, will they enhance your event? Only say yes if they can offer a meaningful contribution to your objectives.
Think of the overarching aim for your event. Increasing attendance and repeat business will need a very different character compared to educating your audience. If you want to boost the profile of your event, then a well-known figure will do the trick. Alternatively, if your event is about guest enrichment, find an expert on the topic you are looking to cover.
As well as the aim of the event, it is always integral to keep the theme of the conference in mind. Don’t stray from your topic of focus just to fill the event with speakers. The only exception to the rule is with workshops or breakout activities. Here, feel free to offer unique subject topics including wellbeing or skill-based workshops.
DO YOUR ATTENDEES WANT TO HEAR FROM THEM?
Ultimately, the only people you need to impress are your audience. Hiring a speaker who your audience cannot wait to hear from will prove to be an irresistible offer. Ask yourself, are they relevant to your demographic? If not, it will be hard to form a connection.
The only way to get an accurate response is to ask them. Send out polls or open up the discussion across social media to let your attendees have their say. Listen to their preferences and try to provide as close to these suggestions as possible.
WHAT’S THEIR PERFORMANCE STYLE?
It takes immense skill and training to be a talented speaker. Their delivery should be inspirational, easy to digest as well as entertaining.
They also need to fill the stage and they certainly need to know how to work an audience. If you could listen to the talk on a podcast or across a live stream and still have the same impact, something is missing. Your guests need to feel as if they are getting a unique experience, that can only be felt by being present in the room. A speech this powerful will result in a memorable event.
DO THEY GO THE EXTRA MILE?
It’s all well and good having a charismatic speaker, but what else do they have to offer? There are many speakers in the market who will go above and beyond for their clients.
Will they truly make a determined effort with the attendees? Will they assist in marketing the event beforehand? Most speakers are extremely collaborative so ensure that you find someone who cares as much about the event as you do.
WHAT’S THE FLOW OF THE EVENT
It is worthwhile planning the number of speakers you will need, what topics they will cover and in what order they will be appearing. This will narrow down your search efforts for starters and will focus your attention on getting the right fit for the job.
The headline speaker needs to provide the biggest impact as they are the star of the event, with the rest of the event building up to it. Consider how the various acts will fit and work together. They should always complement each other, each adding a unique take to the event’s theme.
USE FORUMS TO NARROW DOWN YOUR SEARCH
Once you have pulled together your perfect speaker profile, you will need to find someone to fit the bill. With endless professionals out there, there’s plenty of choice. Avoid wasting time by using search engines and dedicated sites to quickly find your ideal match.
A great place to start is on blogs, academic forums, LinkedIn discussion groups and Reddit columns. If they are participating in these discussions it demonstrates two things; 1. that they are passionate and knowledgeable about a subject, 2. that people want to hear what they have to say.
Further your research by looking into their delivery style, reviews, previous work and accomplishments. YouTube is a fantastic way to see them perform and gage their personality. For many up-and-coming speakers who will be useful to fill certain slots in the event calendar, will feature heavily on this channel as they will be trying to get their profile raised through vlogs.
For more event planning advice, speak to our events team now.