When people attend a conference, one of the aspects that leaves a lasting impression in their minds is the speaker. The success of your event relies heavily on the speakers present, among other factors. Choosing excellent keynote and session speakers can be tasking. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you along.
Characteristics of a good speaker.
When selecting a good keynote/session speaker for your conference, ensure they have the following characteristics:
Ask your prospective speakers how much experience they have in speaking at conferences. Seek to understand whether they do it part-time or full-time. Their experience level matters a great deal because it could be the determining factor in your event’s success.
- Professional affiliations.
While having an affiliation with a professional association does not necessarily determine the quality of a speaker’s skills, it does show their commitment to their business. It shows a level of seriousness that only a person serious about their work would have.
Some awards denote high significance in the speaker’s world. For example:
- The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) awards indicate that the speaker has a substantial amount of professional experience.
- The Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) shows that one has achieved the highest attainable level of professional speaking.
- The Accredited Speaker (AS) which is awarded by Toastmasters International indicates that one has attained a professional degree of platform expertise.
Both the CSP and the CPAE are National Speakers Association (NSA) awards.
- Good performance.
While interviewing speakers for your conference, it would be a good idea to sit in on some of their performances to personally assess their skills and ability. Doing this will help you determine whether they’re a good fit for your event and pour audience. After all, seeing is believing, right?
Any speaker worth their salt should have a list of people who can vouch for them through referrals. This acts as evidence that they have successfully spoken at previous events to the satisfaction of their clients.
Other factors to consider when choosing a keynote speaker for our conference.
Other than the prospective speakers’ personalities, there are several other factors which you should consider while selecting a keynote speaker for your conference.
- Your budget.
You should try as much as possible to hire speakers who are a fit for your budget. Do not go over budget, but you should also compensate them fairly. So find someone whose rates agree with yours.
- Their level of preparation.
Seek speakers who take your event seriously. They should prepare thoroughly and even include you in their preparation. They should consult with you what your event is about and what kind of content/message you’d like them to pass on to your audience. This will help them determine whether to keep it purely entertainment, professional or to strike a balance between the two.
- Your audience’s needs.
This is the most crucial factor. You could get the most professional, most qualified, most experienced speaker, but if you don’t understand what your audience needs, they’ll still leave dissatisfied. Know whether your audience needs motivation, inspiration, practical knowledge or just a good laugh. Then get a speaker who is best suited to meet those needs.
Finding and hiring a professional keynote speaker for your conference could be what sets your conference apart from all the rest.