A keynote speaker can make or break an event, so how can you make sure you find the right speaker for your event? H&E North talks to experts to find out.
A keynote speaker is the main attraction of your event, and something you want to be able to brag about in the build-up to attract people to attend. It makes sense, then, that finding a charismatic and interesting speaker who fits well with your event is one of the most important parts of the organising process. Paul J. Abbott – Author of Events Are Easy… and Motivational Speaker Penny Haslam know a thing or two about how to find a speaker to wow your delegates.
Paul pointed out that knowledge and charisma are the cornerstones on which a speaker relies to hold an audience’s attention: “They don’t have to be famous or the big shot, but I look for someone concise and articulate, who can hold a room. Most importantly, a good keynote is able to focus the knowledge and ideas they share in a way that starts the conversation, setting out relevant key points and context for the event. Perhaps, posing the big questions. Everything else hangs from this. “
With these requirements met, the next thing to ensure it that your speaker is able to add something memorable to your event, which will stay with delegates event after they leave, as Penny points out: “Your speaker will only be memorable if they offer lasting impact and value. A memorable keynote speaker is someone with the ability to add lasting value. Although it’s very pleasing and enjoyable
for them to come along and wow your audience, they must add something more. So what does value mean? Well, regardless of whether your attendees are businesspeople, employees or just a collection of individuals.
Everyone should leave the event knowing how to do something differently, find a new approach to a problem, or think in a different way.”
Understanding how to find someone to provide this kind of content comes for understanding your own event and what you want to achieve from it, according to Paul: “Make sure you understand the purpose of your event and you can articulate it to prospective speakers. It needs to be a good fit. Think about the tone of voice your event needs and you are off to a good start.”
So, when you’re initially searching out speakers for your events, what should you be looking out for in their profiles? Penny has the answer: “Look for testimonials from similar businesses. Does that speaker work in your market and speak to audiences like yours? It’s all very well having a raving fan on a speaker’s website saying how brilliant they are, but if that fan is from a completely different sector or strata of employees, then that testimonial may not be relevant. If a speaker doesn’t have any video on their website showcasing their work then walk away. Looking for a showreel with content that is useful for your audience. Remember, it’s very easy to make a razzamatazz showreel with amazing music and editing, but what value will you get from that speaker’s content? Ask yourself: Is their message coherent? Is it confidently delivered? Do you like the way they speak? Do you like their energy on stage? Would all of the above go down well with the audience you have in mind?”