It’s no overstatement, choosing the right speakers can make or break any event.
Whether you’re doing a smaller retreat with one main stage speaker or a multi-day conference with many different people getting up on stage, it’s essential to pick just the right person to align with your audience and deliver your conference’s message.
While there is certainly a lot of pressure in ensuring that the people you bring on for your event are right for you, you can make the process streamlined and organized by:
- Learning how to work smarter,
- Getting clear on what you’re looking for from your speakers,
- Understanding the experience you want your attendees to have, and
- Knowing your available budget.
Let’s take a look at these easy ways to tell if a speaker is the right fit for you, one by one.
Work smarter from the start
Finding speakers for your event isn’t the first major task you’ll need to do when you start planning your event.
By the time you’re choosing your speakers, you’ve most likely already decided on your conference theme, outlined your budget, organized your ‘day of flow’ to know how many speakers you’ll need, and you maybe even have decided on your venue.
And this means that you can use all of this information to help you get organized and decide on exactly who you’ll need for your specific event.
When it comes to working smarter to choose your speakers, you’ll want to set yourself up right from the start.
Then, interview more speakers than you actually need to have the day of the event.
For example, if you’re looking for just the right person to do a Main Stage talk for two days at your conference, don’t court one speaker. Find several speakers that could work well for your event, go through the steps below to check them out, interview them and meet with them.
Keep your options open and look at several different people until you narrow down on just the right one for you.
Watch videos or review online materials to make sure they fit within your goals
Once you have a few speakers that you’re choosing between, you’ll need to get clear on what you’re looking for from them.
Are you running a corporate event where your speakers need to be very formal? Or can they be more fun and casual?
What are the values of your event’s brand, how does it present itself?
Once you know what you’re looking for, Make sure that the presenters on your shortlist have a speaking style that’s right for you. Click To Tweet
The good news is that most event speakers will have likely participated in other events, which means they should have past recordings of them speaking or other materials online that you can watch and get a good feel for how they are onstage.
Don’t skip this part. Doing this research is vitally important to find out if a speaker is right for your event.
Look at the way they interact with the audience while they speak. Look at the tone they use, the words they use, and their mannerisms.
Make sure these represent the values and feeling of your event’s brand.
As you watch their videos, take notes. Then, when you speak with your potential speakers you can clearly address your expectations or any concerns, and see if they’re able to make adjustments to align with your message.
What do your attendees want?
The next most important part of choosing a speaker for your event is making sure you know what your attendees want.
If your speaker is too casual or is using language that doesn’t fit with your event’s ideal customer, you could miss the mark on reaching your audience members and leave your whole event feeling unaligned.
There is no better way to see if someone is right for your event than to meet with them face to face. If you’re doing an out of town event or looking at speakers nationally you can always opt to do these calls over the phone or Skype.
Either way, this will give you a great chance to learn more about them, get a feel for their personality, find out more about their speaking experience, and see if they’re a good fit for your audience.
Speakers need to be affordable, make sure they fit within your budget
Finally, as always, your event budget is going to be by far one of the largest considerations that will come into play when deciding if a presenter is right for your event, especially if you want someone very well-known or famous.
Speaking fees can be in the thousands of dollars, So when it comes to finding a presenter for your event, letting your budget lead is always the best place to start. Click To Tweet
For example, if your conference only has one speaker for a single day event, your speaking budget will need to be drastically different than it would be to have 10 speakers in a three-day event.
So having a crystal clear expectation of what you’re willing to pay, and filtering for speakers that align with that budget is key.
Of course, if you’re running a smaller event, it can be easier to find people who are eager to present their information in front of a new audience for trades. So, if you’re trying to have multiple speakers and your budget doesn’t allow it, try to offer free tickets, hotel stay, and videos of their talk in exchange for their participation.
Choosing the right speaker for your event is one of the most important jobs you will have as an event planner. Not only are speakers a huge opportunity to leverage a new audience for your marketing material, but they can also be a major incentive for your attendees to buy tickets.
While it may never be simple, staying on budget and getting crystal clear about your expectations and what you’re looking for BEFORE you start your search will always be to your advantage.
And, when it comes to determining if someone is right for your event, come back to your values, and your brand and ensure they align with what you want to put out there for your audience. This is your best chance to reach your audience with a message that is important to you, so, make sure the people you choose to deliver that message do so in a way that feels right.