How to choose a public speaker for your next event

If it’s time to choose the speakers for your next event, the pressure is on you to find the right presenter. Ranging from motivation, inspirational and educational speakers, there’s so many to choose from that offer a wide range of benefits.

So, how to do you go about finding the right speaker for your event? There are two key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose of your event?

Now let’s explore this a little deeper.

Speakers come from all walks of life, with a range of expertise and experience. Each individual will offer different messages and lessons, which means no speaker will ever be the same. Your speaker should never be chosen on the basis that they are just there to fill a slot but in fact, should be planned around the aim of your event. Your guest can then be chosen in align directly to this, instead of being randomly picked from a hat to tick a box.

Your event will go through different stages and the energy will often fluctuate during the day. By identifying the flow of your event and a specific speaking style to match, it will help to ensure that you are choosing the right speaker. Here are three examples of what you should be considering:

  • To start with, a speaker needs to set the tone and goals for the day.
  • After lunch, a speaker needs to have the energy to reignite people post-food.
  • The closing speaker needs to be able to pull together all the different messages from throughout the day. Their content must be the most flexible as they need to reflect and report to the delegates.

Your audience will have high expectations when it comes to speakers and when selecting the right one, there are three stakeholders in the decisions process – the event organiser (you), the budget holder and the audience. These expectations can be hard to identify but if you get it spot on, your speaker selection will achieve great success. Remember, you need the ‘wow factor’.

You need to also consider the return on investment. Can you measure ROI on your event and speaker? The answer should be yes, of course. It might not be in the form of financial revenues but could constitute as success and will therefore naturally work as a return on investment. If you make sure your speaker is aware of this too, you can work together to achieve ROI. Make sure you take advantage of social media and post questionnaires to receive feedback.

Make sure your speaker is completely aware of the costings, too. The fee quoted is entirely theirs but you should be aware of specific requirements that they may need, such as travel and expenses too. Clarify all the costs up front and that way there are no hidden surprises.

Last but certainly not least, don’t compromise. Be clear about what you want from the start, and make sure your speaker can deliver all your requirements. Suggest a meet and greet session beforehand to discuss your aims to make sure you meet all your objectives. If your chosen speaker is unable to meet these requirements, understand why, try to shift your aims to a more realistic level or look for an alternative speaker who can deliver what you are aspiring to achieve.

Picking the right speaker for your event isn’t as simple as just selecting a well-known name, there is a strategy process to go through to ensure you get the correct person. If you follow the process above then you such consistently choose a great speaker who will have a positive impact on your audience, sales and retention rates.

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