How To Pick The Right Speakers For Your Events
Event planners know that the “make it or break it” point of planning any corporate event is the speakers. The venue, AV production, and meals are all important to the event’s success, but the most crucial part of the entire event is why the attendees are there: to get valuable information from the speakers. But how do you find the right speakers for your event?
When you decide on the speakers for your corporate event, they need to be credible, increase your attendance, provide a valid perspective, inspire, and foster a sense of community. Your attendees trust that you will have speakers that will make it worth attending your event. It’s up to you to keep that trust because once it’s gone, it’s very difficult to earn back that trust for future events.
Here are some questions to consider when hiring speakers for your next event:
What is the purpose of your event? Why are you hiring a speaker?
The first step is to take the time to define the goals of WHY you are hiring a speaker. You’re not hiring a speaker for the fun of it — you need to find a speaker that aligns with the event’s goals and to educate, engage and connect with your attendees.
You should ask yourself: what speakers have been successful in the past at events like this one? Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to do it again. If the speaker meets your corporate event goals, ask them to come back again! Also, look at similar conferences and events and see who is speaking at those events. Would those speakers be a good match for your event? If so, reach out to them.
What type of speaker is best for your attendees?
Think like an attendee! What do YOU want to see from the speakers at your event? The type of speakers and presentations they give makes all the difference in what your attendees will find valuable at the end of the day. Between industry experts, celebrities, and motivational speakers, the presentations that speakers give can be quite different. There are four types of speakers to consider:
– Motivational: These types of speakers are also called inspirational speakers. These speaking professionals build and share their messages to inspire their audience. They speak eloquently with a message that is impactful. Their message encourages the audience to get up and take action! They are excellent at increasing awareness and engaging interest in a topic, belief, or business.
– Informative: Speakers who present their message as an informative speech are driven by goals and are often industry experts. They are working to enhance the understanding of the audience. They work hard to maintain the interest of the audience because sometimes the topic is not the most exciting. Of course, informative speakers want to communicate their message clearly and in a powerful way so the audience remembers the speech and can put their message to use.
– Instructive: Instructive speakers are those who give demonstrations or “how-to” speeches to their audience. The ultimate purpose of the speaker’s presentation is to show them how to complete a task or process through a plan, series of steps, or by incorporating new skills or tools. If you have a topic that needs to be addressed or have a certain skill that your attendees must learn by attending your event, an instructive speaker may be what you are looking for.
– Entertaining: According to the professionals at Toastmasters International, entertaining speakers are always in demand. Entertaining speakers are perfect for connecting groups of people. They deliver an exciting speech, complete with fun stories and great anecdotes with humor, drama, and passion that resonates with the audience and relates back to the message they are sharing.
What is the cost vs. value of your corporate speaker?
There are pros and cons to hiring any professional speaker. The biggest question is: what is it going to cost to hire a speaker for your event? Is it valuable to spend the money to have a big name celebrity to get a larger number in attendance? Or does it make more sense to have a local professor attend and speak to your attendees about a topic that they can really learn a lot from?
There are also many external factors, like the cost per attendee to covering the basic expenses of the event itself, like the venue, food, advertising, etc., that may dictate your budget. If you have flexibility in your budget, make sure you consider all your options to get the most value out of the time you have your hired speakers for.
Another thing to consider is getting FREE speakers to present at your event. Why would anyone want to speak for free? Well, many people who are experts in their industry speak at events and conferences to build up their reputation and use it for promoting themselves. In exchange for having them speak, you could give them a free pass to your event and offer to pay for their airfare and food expenses. In the end that will be a lot less expenses than paying a speaker’s fee AND expenses.
What time of day is your event? Choose and schedule your speakers accordingly.
Consider the time of day your speaker’s session will be held. If you have a speaker with plenty of enthusiasm (or caffeine in their system!) to energize and interact with your attendees, you might want to schedule them first thing in the morning or right after lunch to get your attendees excited about what they’re hearing. If you’re interested in keeping your crowd more focused in a formal setting, schedule a speaker that has a more natural personality and strong communication skills to engage your attendees for an hour or more.
Choosing the right speakers for your event can be tricky. You want a good balance of entertaining and informative. Remember to think of the goals of your event, what you want your attendees to learn and with all of that in mind you can confidently go out and search for speakers for your event.