How to Find the Right Keynote Speaker

In Conferences, Keynote Speaker by Contributor0 Comments

Key elements in finding an engaging speaker for your conference or event.

1. Start  Early

Start planning well in advance of your event.

The locations should be secured close to a year in advance. Speakers, like Daniel Blakeslee, often get booked well in advance. The more popular a speaker is the more difficult it can be to book them at short notice. Daniel is probably more flexible than most, but he still needs to time to plan travel and work out his schedule. Not only do you face the possibility that good speakers are not available but they could also be booked to speak on the day before or after the day you want them in a location that prevents them traveling to your venue.

2. Have A Focus

Knowing what your goal is in having the event in the first place will help you zero in on what topics are the most relevant. Daniel’s talks focus on leadership and leader development as well as leadership in the home and family.

3. Know Your Audience

The better you know your audience the more effective you are going to be in making the right choice when it comes to choosing speakers and topics.

4. What Topic do you want the speaker to address?

Determine whether you want a speaker on leadership, customer service, marketing or another topic. Be as specific as possible. Is the topic you have chosen best suited to an opening or closing keynote, luncheon presentation or breakout session? You could also consider a keynote address with a breakout session offered to those participants who want to learn more about that particular subject.

5. Determine the Budget for your Conference Speaker

Are the speaker’s fees and travel expenses paid out of the same budget?

Finding speakers who are located in the same town where you are holding your meeting could save money, but limit your choices. When speakers do not have to get on a plane to travel to a venue they often offer “local fees” and there are either no, or low travel expenses.

Most speakers not only want to give an effective presentation that is memorable and has substance but they want to give value or can provide value-added services.

In order to keep a cap on the associated travel expenses you can also request an estimate of the travel expenses i.e. round trip airfare, ground transportation and per diem and then either have the separate amounts for each one of these written into the contract or come up with a total amount i.e. $750.00 that covers all associated travel expenses.

6. Request Promotional Videos and DVD’s

Viewing speaker videos will give you an idea of a speaker’s presentation style and delivery and help to determine whether they have a style that fits well with your audience and the tone of your meeting. Daniel’s talks always contain humor and are entertaining as well as educational – this is not a fit for every event.

7. Ask for references

If you are interested in a speaker who does not have a promotional video or DVD ask for 3 or 4 references from people they have spoken for in the past twelve months.