How do you find the right speaker for your event? Here are 10 ideas that will help you find the right expert who can start a conversation from the stage – and on social.
- Start your search on YouTube (rather than Google). Watch speakers in action beforehand. They are auditioning online – for a new gig, including yours.
- Speakers are there to entertain as well as educate. Are you clear in your requirements? Have you written a brief? What are your objectives? Who will be there?
- Following on from the brief, can you get a call with the speaker and the main decision maker for the event? It always helps if there is a discussion about exactly what you want. The last thing you want is a “pitch”.
- Don’t think that reducing the time of the speaking slot will reduce the fee. Speakers will take a day out to visit your event. Have you thought about having one-to-one time with the speaker or using lunch with the speaker for customers? Take advantage of the opportunity of “Speaker stretch”.
- When you hire a speaker, you are hiring them for their many years’ experience and depth of knowledge. If you were hiring a lawyer, a top lawyer will cost you £500 an hour an upwards. I’ll leave that there!
- While you may get people to speak for free, at the end of the day they will give you a “pitch” or it will be an “advert” for their products or services. On the other hand, if you are hiring somebody they should take time to write something fresh and entertaining based on your brief. It’s worth stating that people who work for “corporates” will often speak for free as they get a salary each month. Whereas professional speakers, get paid to speak. It’s the way they put food on the table at home. It’s a different “price” and you only get what you pay for.
- You may find that “third party validation” helps you get a point over better. That is, while you might be able to get a point over, having somebody external to deliver that point often comes across better. A hired speaker will work with you to make that message.
- Check out the speaker’s social profile. I’ve seen “social media experts” hired and they only have 200 followers on Twitter, or a “Facebook Expert” for a B2B audience. Check out their profile on Twitter and LinkedIn. Are they who they say they are. Also check out their company profile. Does the company live by what you are hiring them for?
- Do you need to get anything like a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place? What is the commercial arrangement? How will you raise a purchase order (PO)? What happens with expenses?
- Decide if you want “something that has been delivered before” or if you want something created for the event. For example, you may hire somebody to deliver their “TedTalk”. Often speakers will advertise themselves as having “standard” talks. Make sure you know the difference.
One bonus tip
Speakers with large, engaged audiences on social media can communicate your message way beyond the event. They’ll be posting about their schedule beforehand, during the day itself – and after as they continue the conversation with on and offline audiences. Make sure you work with them to take advantage of this “before-during-after” model in advance of their appearance.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.