If you have ever had to hire a keynote speaker, you know how important it is to hire the right speaker for the occasion. Here are some points to consider. |
The date and time of your event
Obviously, speakers may have previously booked speaking engagements, particularly those in high demand. If you have a particular speaker in mind, then you may be able to plan your event around that speaker’s commitments. Conversely, if you have a firm date to be adhered to, you will need to consider speakers who are available on that date.
The type and purpose of the presentation
There are various reasons for hiring a keynote speaker, including education and workshops, promoting an organization or a cause, in recognition of an event or achievement, motivational, fund-raising, or entertainment. If you want to educate your audience, then you will be looking for a speaker with knowledge and expertise in that field and maybe special qualifications. Promotion may require a high profile speaker who will attract listeners and press and industry coverage. Recognizing an event or achievement usually requires a speaker with credibility and relevant experience, someone who recognizes the importance of the achievement and who will make the occasion special.
Motivational speakers need not to come from a particular industry, but must be skilled in engaging audiences and inspiring them to participate in the required change or activity. Fund-raising requires a high profile speaker who will attract the largest possible audience and with enough credibility and persuasive skills to inspire audience members to donate to the cause. An entertaining speaker needs not to be well-known, but will need to be vetted carefully to ensure that the type of entertainment (humor, narrating experiences, and demonstrating skills) is suited to the audience and the occasion.
The facilities and technology available at the venue will need to suit the speaker. Does the speaker require Powerpoint facilities? Screens? Microphone? Stand or table for materials? Disabled access? Particular setup for workshops?
Consider the demographics of your audience. Are they predominantly women? Foreign speakers? Do you need a speaker who will appeal to a wide audience (as in fund-raising) or to an industry niche (as in an educational presentation)? Does he/she need to relate to senior citizens or teenagers?
The budget available is a vital consideration. Most professional speakers will charge a fee, unless for an exceptional occasion or cause, where they may be willing to donate their services. However, there are often excellent speakers available, particularly in local communities, who may be just right for the occasion and who may be glad about the opportunity to share experiences or expertise for little or no fee.
Where will you source your speaker?
Recommendations from colleagues and others who have organized similar events and presentations are the most valuable way to narrow down your search for the right speaker. Failing that, there are a number of professional agencies and consultants who supply speakers and who are only too willing to provide you with suggestions and references.
Hiring the right speaker can make or break your event, so choose wisely.
Regie Ruben Macalam is an internet marketing specialist working for Patrick Meyer – an expert mobile innovation keynote speaker, who compiles his tech and innovation discussions at Patrick TV.
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