Monday, August 31, 2009

Top tips for selecting great speakers

Have an upcoming event and you need a speaker? Use these tips to help ensure success!

  1. Know the objective of your meeting event: what do you want to accomplish?

  2. Understand your audience. What does your audience want/need? Will your speaker be able to relate to them?

  3. See a demo. Go watch them... live and on stage!!!!

  4. Put fresh batteries in your Malarkey Detector and turn it on full blast. Be skeptical of big claims or of charismatic, but "fluffy" speakers whose presentations have no substance. Make sure their message is practical and solid.

  5. Ask for handouts or promotional materials. What does the speaker furnish that can help you promote your event?

  6. Get maximum bang for your buck. Can your speaker also serve as MC? Hold a press conference? Have lunch with a select group for an additional fee? Lead a special panel discussion or training session?

  7. Trust your instincts. Make sure that you have a good feeling about working with the speaker from the onset.

  8. Check, please! Ask for references and then call them. Really! Please!

  9. Provide great information. Make sure that you provide the speaker with:
    • Your goals/purpose of the event/meeting.
    • If you want Q & A.
    • If you need the material to be rated G or PG, and any off-limits/taboo material.
    • Directions, map and your cell number.
    • The names of any VIPs and media in attendance.
  10. Ask for great information. Request:
    • A bio sheet/introduction in advance of the event.
    • To know how/when the speaker would like to be paid (check, invoice, cash, etc.).
    • Phonetic pronunciation of the speaker's name.

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