Booking the perfect speaker can often feel like a process that’s driven more by a gut feeling than by thorough event planning. Also, while an event planner’s instinct is not to be discredited, it’s best if you don’t base your decision solely on that.
After all, that “good feeling” comes with no guarantees. So, instead of choosing blindly and hoping for the best, follow this 4-step guide and book with confidence.
- Start with the Goals of the Event
Booking the perfect speaker starts with a clear definition of what the aims of the event are. If you know what the specific goals are, then you can pick a speaker whose style and type of content will align with them perfectly.
For instance, let’s take an event that is intended to inspire guests to work to the best of their abilities. This type of event would most likely benefit from a motivational keynote speaker who can generate enthusiasm and motivate employees while positively enforcing company values.
- Continue by Researching What Your Audience Wants
As the person in charge of planning an event and picking the entertainment, you surely have your interests and preferences when it comes to speakers and their programs.
However, it’s important not to allow your personal opinion trump what guests want and expect. What gets you excited is not necessarily the same as what sparks the enthusiasm of those attending the event.
This is why it’s imperative to have a good understanding of what guests would like to see and hear on stage. You can do so by asking some of the guests directly or draw some conclusions based on their age, position in the company, their industry and previous events they’ve attended.
- Narrow Down the List Based on Speakers’ Prior Engagements
Once you’ve put together a list of audience requirements and possible expectations, it’s time to use that as a filter and pick a speaker who can check the boxes.
Narrow down your speaker candidates by looking into whether they have spoken to audiences similar to yours in the past or not. If they did, they are more likely to find common ground with your audience and deliver relatable arguments in their presentations.
This step does require some additional research, but it will take you closer to booking the perfect speaker.
- Pick Someone Whom Will Go the Extra Mile
Of course, as an event planner, you hope to work with a speaker who goes out of his way to make your job easier and turn the event into a success. Well, instead of wishful thinking, you could try one of the tactics below:
- Look into testimonials from past clients. In this case; it’s all in the details. So, look for mentions of the speaker showing up early on the day of the event or him being extra dynamic on stage to engage the audience.
- Ask for letters of recommendations. If the speaker you are planning to book has a track record of making a special effort to ensure audience satisfaction, it means you’re on to something good.
- Have a one-on-one conversation with the speaker. Note whether the speaker you are considering asks questions and showcases a genuine interest for your event and those attending. This is especially important if the speaker offers the option to customize the material. After all, a customized presentation involves a detailed understanding of the audience and the industry associated with the event.