Expert insights

8 tips on choosing the perfect speaker for your event

14 June 2017

The right speaker is crucial to an event’s success. We share tips on choosing the right one for a memorable event. 

Plan ahead.

The lead time for events can be quite short so make the speaker an early point on your ‘to do’ list. You need to plan three months – more where possible - in advance. This will give you time to make the right choice, and the speaker time to prepare.

What’s the goal?

Decide what kind of speaker you need, based on your event objectives. You need someone with a proven ability to captivate an audience with their storytelling but what’s the message? Do you need a motivational speaker to inspire your team into action? Does your event message need reinforcing to ensure maximum return on investment?  Or do you want someone to educate and / or entertain?  

Who will they talk to?

If your speaker doesn’t hit a tone that resonates with your audience, you’ve failed your goal. Think carefully about who your delegates are and what you are wanting them to gain from the event.

Your due diligence.

Do your research. If you can, watch your prospective speakers perform. Most will have examples of their work, failing that, see if they have testimonials from previous customers.

The speaker’s due diligence

Every speaker will have their own way of delivering a message. But this time, it’s your audience they are serving it up to. So make sure you choose someone who does their own research on your industry, sector and event message so they can tailor their delivery effectively to your audience. 

Be clear on what you want

Be clear when you give out your brief to prospective speakers. Do you want someone who can handle a Q&A session, or someone who simply delivers a powerful keynote speech? Write a briefing that communicates your goal, audience, expectations, and the format you have in mind.

Preparation is everything

Once you’ve made you choice, be prepared to spend time personally briefing your speaker. It will be far more effective than just sending your written brief. It will help the speaker with their own research, which I’ve already said is a success factor. Explaining all you can about your company, brand, event messaging and audience will help them understand their part of your event and its success.   

What’s your budget?

If you’re considering a high profile celebrity speaker who is always in demand, the price tag will reflect their popularity. So if your budget is tight, be flexible with your expectations but keep your objectives in sight - there will be a speaker out there to meet your needs, regardless of £££s.

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