There are those who say that the most important element in a successful meeting is having the right speaker
We wholeheartedly agree! And from our perspective, the right speaker is a professional speaker. While putting celebrities or dignitaries on the agenda can certainly generate attention, it can just as quickly generate disappointment if their platform skills are subpar.
It’s important that meeting planners hire speakers who have the training and the experience to captivate a crowd. When considering a professional speaker, you can be assured of their qualifications, as they will provide you:
Details on the subjects they speak on
List of the types of presentations they give (seminar, keynote, etc.)
Audition video or audio tape
Outline of a presentation customised to your audience
How do you find a great speaker? Personal referrals are a good way, as you know the referrer and their standards. A speakers bureau is another excellent source of information. Bureaus can connect you with the right person and also help you quickly find a replacement if a booked speaker has to cancel on short notice.
Of course, the right speaker is only “right” if their fees fit within your budget. To negotiate the best deal, keep in mind:
Speakers have preferences (locations, days of the week, etc.) that affect their fees
Having multiple engagements back-to-back in the same geographic area is appealing to them
Offering multiple slots (keynote and breakout, for example) can help your bargaining position
If your event is a great “showcase” for the speaker, they may charge less
Allowing the speaker to sell their products at your event can affect fees
Ultimately the effort you put into finding not just a speaker, but the right speaker, will pay off in the success of your event and the positive reflection on you