Avoid the Eyelid Abyss
You have your venue sorted out. Agenda is ready, but you need the right kind of speakers to make your event successful. You don’t want to bring people from various works of life just to have them sit under a boring speaker. This is about the most critical part of your event. It doesn’t matter if your speaker is a storyteller, comedian, content speaker, or entertainer – you don’t have to put your audience to sleep.
Here are some tips to help you when choosing facilitators for your event:
It is very important to verify the speaker’s background. Check if they are credible enough to speak on the topics they have chosen. Are they members of any professional organization like the National Speakers Association, the American Society for Training and Development, or speaking organizations in their region? While this is not compulsory or criteria to identify a good speaker, any speaker who wants to grow in their career would belong to one of these organizations. If the speaker is a Certified Professional Speaker (CSP), that would mean he/she has worked with not less than 100 clients and has delivered at least 250 presentations. This, being the highest recognition from the NSA certainly comes with plenty of reviews.
Are they asking about your audience?
Pay attention to red flags. Be suspicious of speakers who do not ask about your audience. A good speaker would want to know about your audience – their educational background, ages, roles, and expected outcomes. You don’t want someone who will recycle quotes and the same talk all over.
Not every event is aimed at motivational speaking. You need to evaluate the purpose of the event before hiring a speaker. Establish the kind of information the participants should be expecting, and hire facilitators that are strictly tailored to provide that information. You don’t want your participants falling out of the frenzy of motivation right after they get back to work.
It’s the digital age. Everyone is preoccupied with so many things on the internet. Even good speakers can lose their audience attention to this. In effect, a good speaker shouldn’t just speak to the audience, but speak with them. The session should be engaging and interactive. It is cool to sometimes let go of the script and be real with the people.
Successful track record
Content is king – remember that! The very reason why you’re hiring a speaker is that you know they can deliver great content to your audience. Ensure that they have a track record of providing quality content that is reflective in their blogs, social media updates, podcasts, and customer testimonials.
Engage other event planners
Talk to people who have previously held events. They’d probably know some exceptional speakers who will deliver exactly what you need. You could draw up a “fancied” list from the options available.
Talking to speakers from previous years will also help as they’d be willing to recommend the best-suited speakers for your needs. Giving you the best will further strengthen their ties with you, so why not?
Regardless of what the speaker’s content is on the day, the audience needs to leave with lots of positive energy.
How do you avoid the eyelid abyss? Do you have some great strategies of your own when searching for the ideal talent – how do you implement them?
Let us know in the comments.
~Connie Pheiff, Founder & Chair, TalentConcierge.co