In many corporate events, attendees choose to come because of who is speaking or providing a lecture. This is why it is important, even crucial, that you select the perfect person delivering the keynote and then devise a program of activities that support and enhance this main feature. Book the wrong speaker and you will likely struggle to sell tickets or be looking at a sea of empty seats.
So what should you consider when selecting the speaker for your event? It’s not always about who’s popular; it’s also about who will provide the best value for the people’s money and/or time. Here are four tips that will help you land the right individual.
1. Set your objectives.
When you know what you want to achieve out of the event, it will be easier to find the perfect person to speak to your crowd. Simply saying you need motivational speaker is not enough. Every resource person has a different background and level of expertise so the message and the takeaways from the talk can vary. Check your candidate’s background and, if available, watch videos of him or her speaking online so you have a gauge of the tone and environment that is created during the sessions.
2. Lay out the flow of activities.
Understand that your audience’s energy and attention will not remain consistent throughout the event. This is why you should lay out a series of activities that will both perk them up and offer fun breaks. Typically, speakers are classified according to when they are being inserted into the program. A kickoff speaker opens the event and lays the groundwork, the after-lunch speaker is the one who brings the audience back to life, while the closing speaker pulls the important points together.
3. Don’t forget your audience.
The “wow” factor of the keynote speaker is important and is often why people sign up for or buy tickets to an event. However, make sure this is followed through. What does your audience want? Do they respond better to somebody who injects plenty of humor to speeches? Do they prefer someone who is more serious and technical?
4. Your speaker and your ROI.
Return on investment is not always in the form of money. When it comes to your guest speaker for the event, you can say that you have hit ROI when your audience has fully grasped the objectives of the activity and continue to be engaged long after, whether via email, social media, or advanced sign ups for other future events. Your speaker should be aware of this goal, so he or she can adjust their talk or provide suggestions on how to enhance the experience.
Overall, deciding on the right keynote speaker is not as simple as banking on popularity. This person will have to add value to the goals of your event and ensure that you meet your objectives (and achieve an ROI faster). Remember that mounting an event costs money, so your speaker should have a positive effect not just on your attendees, but on your retention rates and sales, as well.