When hiring a speaker for your next event consider these six best practices.
- Know The Why?:
What corporate message do you want to promote?
Let’s say that you are seeking a Keynote Speaker for a Workplace Safety event. You should know one of the key reasons why workplace safety is important to the organization (HINT: ROI). Workplace safely is directly linked to personal responsibility and self-leadership as safety issues should be identified then reported to management by all staff. Workplace Safety is directly liked to Personal Leadership because, in order for safety to be a priority, it requires that each person be fully empowered to lead and is confident in reporting safety issues.
THE WHY? Safety = Greater ROI: The ROI on workplace safety is significant; organizations that have a strong history of workplace safety typically enjoy high productivity, greater profit due to lower costs, have strong company morale, and pride of craftsmanship. Thus, when hiring a Keynote Speaker for a workplace safety event a best practice would be to select one who can speak to the importance of self-leadership and link it to safety and productivity.
- Hire A Socially Comfortable and Engaging Speaker:
The perfect speaker is one who is fully equipped to mingle with your executes, top prospects, and or clients. Many speakers are willing to expand their speaking role to include social engagements and most will do this with no extra fees. Hire a speaker who can talk Bordeaux wines with your Board Members, mountaineering with your CEO, skeet shooting with your top prospects, and foreign travel with your best customers. Your speaker should be an interesting and charismatic leader, who can hold a conversation and lighten the mood with a few jokes.
- Hire A Total Pro:
Murphy Laws dictates that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. This is true in the speaking world. The AV system will go down, the air conditioning will fail, and there will be a surprise fire alarm test
(2:00 minutes into Josh Mantz’s speech the fire alarm sounds and would not shut off. Handled like a pro!)
These issues are no problem for a Pro. The perfect speaker is one who is prepared for everything with a backup plan; No PowerPoint? No problem, the show will go on. Hiring a Professional Speaker gives you the peace of mind to know that every problem that comes up will be handled.
- Do the Right Math:
Let’s say you’re the event planner and you have 600 executives attending your event. They want to be inspired by your speaker. Together, six hundred highly influential and successful people are giving you their most valuable possession; thier time. If you booked a Keynote Speaker for $20,000 that had the audience on the edge of their seats, laughing, crying, standing and cheering at the end, then you are a hero! However, if you booked a $500 speaker and people are playing with their phones and waiting for the talk to be over then you may not get another opportunity. The point is to always hire a speaker that will deliver, inspire and empower. Do the right math or the cost may be reputation.
- Watch The Speaker’s Videos but also Conduct A Video Call:
Speaking videos are helpful when hiring a speaker; however, it’s important to always do a video call(s). A speaker’s video(s) gives you an idea of the speaker’s stage presence, topic, and delivery. However, the video calls allow you to see if the speaker looks and speaks the same as they did in the video. Always watch the video, but the video calls are often more effective as you can ask about other topics, personal interest, and if he or she is willing to go above and beyond to make the event a once in a lifetime experience.
- A Back-Up Plan:
“Everybody’s got a plan, until you get punched right in the face.”
– Mike Tyson, Heavy Weight Champ
Finally, every event planner’s biggest fear is;“what if my speaker gets hit by a car or becomes sick and can’t make it.”
This is why it’s important to always book your speaker through a professional speakers bureau with a booking agent. Your booking agent will likely have a backup plan complete with travel, accommodations, and another amazing speaker.