What you need to know when booking a keynote conference speaker
Making the decision to hire a professional speaker has become far more complex with the advent of the internet. For speakers, the notion of running their businesses without a website would be foolhardy to say the least. The #1 resource for finding a speaker is on-line. For meeting planners, wading through thousands of speaker websites is an overwhelming proposition. How do you know if the speaker is good? Is it enough for people to walk away from a conference feeling excited about the message they just heard? Should you invest in a speaker, celebrity or entertainer? Or, do you utilize the services of an “in-house” expert as a cost-saving option? If you are an association, do you invest in the conference location as a destination event in order to attract your members? Can you afford to do it all? Can you afford not to? So many questions…How can one make the optimum decision for their organization?
Consider these top ten tips when booking a speaker:
- Audiences expect more than hype…They want to hear a meaningful message that is easily digested with real-life applicability.
- Audiences are savvy. There is a difference between a motivational speaker and a thought –leader.
- Although it is not obvious at first, audiences want to make an emotional connection with the speaker. Then they will make the logical, intellectual connection in order to “buy-in” to the message.
- Audiences appreciate a speaker that does their homework and personalizes their presentation.
- Audiences want to enjoy their conference experience overall.
- Audiences expect that the meeting planner has anticipated their needs by booking someone with TALENT. i.e. The speaker will either be a celebrity, (sport, politics, the arts) an author, a humourist, (not necessarily a comedian) an industry expert who is renowned as a “thought leader” in their field, an academic, an individual who has overcome a challenge or life-threatening illness to deliver a profound message, or they may be a content-rich expert who can “infotain” as well as “entertain” and quickly engage.
- Audiences will remember a negative speaker experience.
- Audiences are happy when they leave with at least one or two ideas they can use.
- The seasoned meeting planner cares more about the VALUE the speaker brings to the meeting. They recognize the difference between investment and cost.
- Unless the speaker is famous (although there are some exceptions) and no matter how good a speaker may be, chances are high that the audience won’t remember the speaker’s name one year after the event. However, they will likely remember their story-telling ability, as well as an actual story told by the speaker, long after the engagement ends.