7 Tips for Picking the Right Conference Speaker for Your Event

November 30, 2022 Jessica Stewart

As we move into winter and events need to be contained inside, it's more important than ever to put together the best event possible. And as every event planner knows, one of the most important aspects is the conference speaker.

Many people think the content of a speech is the most important thing. But, while it is important, research shows that content is only a small piece of what makes a presentation effective.

So if the content of a speech or presentation is not actually as significant as many people think it is, then that means finding the right person to deliver the speech is even more critical. 

In this post, we'll go over 7 things you can do to make sure you pick the right person to give a conference speech at your next event.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Event Goals

No matter what industry you're in, there will be many speakers to choose from. When deciding, it's essential for you to find the speaker that is going to be able to help you achieve the goals you've set during your event planning.

If you don't know what those goals are then you need to identify them now. They should be considered when designing every part of the event, including the speaker.

Different speakers will bring different things to the table. Whether you're looking for something motivational, educational, or just a big headline name to draw in attendees.

2. Timing

During any event, the energy levels of your crowd will naturally fluctuate. Because of this, you'll need to consider at what point during the event a speech will occur when looking for the right speaker.

Someone speaking at the beginning of an event will need to be able to wake up your audience and get them excited for the day. For a speaker during a natural lull, such as right after lunch, they'll need to be able to refocus people and get things back on track. And at the end of an event, a speaker will need to be able to summarise the themes of the day while acting as a verbal call to action for attendees.

Different people will be better suited to speaking at different times.

3. Budget/ Costs

Of course, your budget for the event will need to be a factor when choosing a speaker. When calculating your budget and what you can afford, be sure to take the potential return on investment of a speaker into consideration.

Will this person bring in more attendees and therefore more money? Or are they particularly effective and are likely to raise more donations, or sell more people on your idea?

Being clear on your budget will help you be realistic about the type of speaker you can afford.

Many things will impact the cost of an event speaker. From their level of notoriety to the length and timing of their event speech. When you meet and ask your questions, be sure to get a full breakdown of costs from them before signing a contract to avoid being blindsided by extra fees later.

4. Their Reputation

When you've developed a list of potential speakers, you'll need to evaluate them all to see which is the best fit. One of the most important things you'll need to look into is their reputation.

If they're a well-known personality, how are they viewed by the public? Are they someone who is universally respected and trusted, or are they more polarizing?

Whether you mean to or not, promoting someone as a speaker at your event can attach them and their public image to that of your business or organization.

5. Their Speaking Experience

Sometimes, people who are brilliant and know an industry or subject inside out don't make the best public speakers. For an event, you'll need to find a speaker that not only knows what they're talking about but also knows how to work a room.

They'll need to know how to make their topic understandable to people who don't always know much about it while also keeping people engaged and entertained.

Speaking in front of a large group is often much harder than it's given credit for. Look for any previous speeches they have given that were recorded and are available to watch online. See how they handle the crowd and if they're an engaging speaker.

6. Check Social Media and Testimonials

Before officially choosing a speaker, check out their social media accounts. See how many followers they have and how they interact with those followers.

If they're someone with more speaking experience, look to see if they have done promotion for the previous events they've spoken at. If they have, this can be very beneficial for you and your event.

You should also look at any testimonials from their past speaking events. These come from people just like you that needed a speaker for their event and chose this person. They can give you important insights into how the speech went and how it helped to improve an event.

7. Crowd Interaction

Sometimes the most important part of a speaker's time at an event is when they allow questions, comments, or other participation from the crowd. Allowing attendees to ask questions and get involved can help make the event that much more memorable and effective.

Before choosing a speaker, be sure to find out if they allow this kind of interaction from the crowd. If they don't, you'll have to decide if it's still worth it to hire them to speak at the event.

Choose the Right Conference Speaker for Your Event

It's no easy feat to plan and execute a large-scale conference. Finding the right conference speaker to fit your event is one way you can help to set yourself up for success.

If you're looking for even more great information like this, attend next year's Event Planner Expo. Make connections, expand your knowledge, and have a great time. Join the waitlist today.

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