Finding the right conference speaker for your event could mean the difference between its success and its downfall. What makes your keynote speaker one of the most vital, if not the most vital part of your event is that it’s most likely the main event – it’s the reason why most of the people attended the conference; it’s most likely why people traveled from afar; it’s the reason why they’re missing some other event – to be right where you invited them to be.
If this is for your business and you made this conference to start some sort of buzz or talk about your brand to hopefully get some people interested, then finding the right conference speaker should be your top priority. The result of your advertising campaign mostly lies in whoever it is that you choose to have as your speaker. The speaker sets the tone, the pace, the message, and the potential impact of the event on your business.
Jerome Joseph is here to share some tips and guidelines about finding the right conference speaker for your next event.
What to do before choosing a conference speaker
One thing most people dismiss is the planning phase of an event. Always keep this in mind: you can’t organize an event over one weekend. At least not one that’s going to be good. When planning for an event, give yourself a lot of time. The typical time that most people allot for the planning phase is about 6 to 12 months. Plus, if you’re thinking about inviting someone big to be your keynote speaker, you’re going to have to book them months in advance.
But before looking for the perfect conference speaker for your event, here’s a checklist of things that you need to determine beforehand:
1. Determine a definite date for the event – if you want to have your event somewhere special, you might have to check that venue’s availability, too. You can’t book a speaker if you don’t have a date for the event.
2. Know your audience – who’s going to your event? What kind of people are they? What are their interests, and why would they be at your event? If you have a young audience, it might be a good idea to get an energetic speaker to easily attract the attention of your audience.
3. Know your budget for the conference – make sure that you won’t fall short when it comes to budgeting. Determine your budget for the venue, aesthetics, staff, and your speaker so you won’t have to compromise unexpectedly.
4. Know the objective of the conference – what is the conference for? Are you trying to educate people about something? Are you there to promote a product or a business? Are you there to give rewards, perhaps? Knowing the goal of the event will narrow down potential speakers who will fit the event.
5. Determine the expectations – what should your keynote speaker expect from this event? Most speakers, including Jerome Joseph, find this information useful as it would also help them prepare and provide an appropriate piece for the event.
6. Define what a successful event would look like – what do you want to happen in this event? List the things that you want and devise a plan to make it happen.
Going through this checklist before picking the right speaker should help narrow down your choices, making it easier for you to choose your speaker later on.
What characteristics should you be looking for?
1. Speaker’s relevance – if you’re organizing an event about social media presence and expertise, you wouldn’t invite an astronaut to come and talk to your event. If you’re looking for someone to educate about branding strategies, Jerome Joseph might be the one you’re looking for. Make sure that your speaker is relevant to the event that you are trying to host.
2. Speaker’s role – are you looking for a conference speaker or someone to get the people reenergized after lunch? Know what your speaker needs to do and pick accordingly. Some speakers specialize in entertainment while others specialize in inspiring people.
3. Speaker’s influence – a great conference speaker is one that has great speaking skills, a great sense of timing, and the ability to build a strong relationship with their listeners for a short amount of time. Seek speakers who can build trust and develop a strong influence on listeners.
What to do when you have a shortlist of speakers?
So now that you have a shortlist of speakers, Jerome Joseph suggests that you do these to find the right conference speaker for you:
● Watch the speaker – if you’re able to attend one of the speaker’s events, go and observe the way they deliver their piece. If they have videos of their previous events, watch them. See if it suits the event that you are planning to do.
● Watch their social media presence – you can often see people’s comments and reviews about speakers on their social media accounts. This might give you an insight as to how people receive the speaker’s material. Keynote speakers such as Jerome Joseph have websites that you can check.
● Speak with them – if you are able to give your prospect speaker a call, do so. Having an actual conversation with them is a great way to get to know them. You’ll be able to ask questions and they’ll be able to answer with no delay whatsoever.