Having the right person to deliver the keynote speech is one of the most important elements in an event. There may be a need for an event manager to hire an outside speaker to fill the role. This may be through a Speaker’s bureau or you can contact a professional speaker directly. It is always helpful to plan and look for the right person at least six months before the event.
Here are five tips to land that perfect keynote speaker that you’re looking for.
1. Speaker’s Bureau. These bureaus have access to lots of potential speakers. They also know their candidates’ reputations and capabilities. You must be specific about the type of speaker you are looking for to save you hours of looking at demos and materials. Although there may be those who have an exclusive contract with certain clients, you can still check out their list of top speakers who are not yet bound by any agreement.
2. Audience. Does your event require having a corporate speaker, or would it work better if you have an inspirational or motivational speaker? Aside from knowing what you are looking for in a keynote speaker, you must also take the audience into consideration. You need to determine what type of content will be effective for your audience. You also need someone who can hold everyone’s attention during the event.
3. Budget. Speakers may charge you a lot in professional fees. Be transparent about what the event is for and what it’s about. There are those that suit specific events best. Keep in mind that you can’t expect an excellent speaker with a very low budget. Not everyone has the ability to tell a story and make it captivating. Consider upgrading your speaker so you can also get the most out it since you are spending money for the event anyway.
4. Background check. When checking on a possible speaker, it will save you time if you try to do your usual tasks while the video or material plays in the background. A great speaker will catch your attention and stop you from whatever you are doing. If he or she succeeds in that, it could mean that he or she will hold the attention of your audience, too. You will know the speaker’s tone, pace, and energy by doing this.
5. Send information to your short-listed speakers. When you’ve shortlisted your possible speakers for the event, send them information about what the event and the audience that they will be presenting to. You can ask them to write why they will be fit for the occasion. There will be speakers who will opt not to respond. There is a possibility that a speaker who is too busy to write may not engage your audience with enthusiasm. Someone who is interested and sincere about presenting will respond to you and provide he or she can bring to the gathering.
Once you’ve got your eye on the speaker that you think will fit your event best, you can do a follow-up call to talk about it in depth. Making the phone call will determine if he or she is, indeed, the right person. This is also the time to discuss the schedule and other important things in advance. Doing this will help save you time in discussing technical details later on. It will also filter out those who are not available or do not agree with your event’s objective.
Choosing the keynote speaker will make your event empowering and successful. This is why it is important to make sure you get the right person. As an event manager, you must be careful and critical in choosing the right one. You want your attendees to leave your venue feeling inspired, not bored.