How to Hire the Right Keynote Speaker for Your Next Event

A great keynote address stirs an audience, taking attendees from disinterested to engaged. Just as importantly, the right keynote address adds unity and cohesion to your event. Hiring the wrong speaker can leave your audience flat or even confused.

Hiring the right motivational speaker for your corporate or fundraising event is critical to overall event success. While every portion of the day will be remembered, the perfect keynote address can tie everything together into a single and inspiring message. A lot rides on finding the right person. How do you go about hiring a speaker who will make your event both memorable and successful?

Start with the theme of your event.

Event planning can be complicated, and it’s easy to get lost in details. You need to plan everything from breakout sessions to catering. Finding the right keynote speaker means taking a step back from those planning details and asking yourself simple questions:

  • What is this event about thematically?
  • What do I want my audience to come away with in both the long and short term?
  • Are there gaps in my event plan that need to be addressed?

Hiring the best motivational speaker provides an opportunity to refocus energy and enthusiasm while providing a clear theme for your company event.

Keep your audience in mind.

Examine your invited audience. Will board members be in attendance? Are IT professionals part of the group who will listen? Is the public invited? Because even if you want to impress the CEO, they will be looking to the reactions of your general staff in attendance to gauge success.

Crowd dynamics are far different than normal workplace dynamics. Hierarchies of rank break down. If a particular message gets your work crew or marketing staff laughing or on its feet, others of all ranks will follow. Consider who can speak broadly enough to your entire audience and relate best to them. Demographics such as age and ethnicity can play roles, too. Find someone who will appeal to your audience universally.

Research the best motivational speakers available.

Resources such as the SUCCESS Speakers Bureau and SpeakInc make finding the right motivational keynote speaker easier. Rather than searching the entire internet from scratch, these sites have assembled the top professional speakers and provide biographical data. With simple searches by interest and industry, you can find speakers who will motivate your audience and make your event come to life. Best of all, they filter out the nonprofessionals and no-shows who can throw your event off track.

From here, your job is not only easier but fun, too! Investigate your top few choices. Visit their websites. Learn not only what they say to their audiences, but how they say it. Do you want humor, or a more solemn event? Watch a few of their TEDx Talks or listen to their podcasts to ensure they hit not only the right content but tone.

Once confident in your short list, simply return to the SUCCESS Speakers Bureau or other resource and check for the availability of your desired keynote speaker. Their booking agents will make the arrangements easy. More importantly, you’ll hire a qualified speaker you can depend on for your corporate, fundraising or public event.

Photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock 

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