Marquis Athletes

December 21, 2006

How To Hire The Right Corporate Speaker

Filed under: Agricultural and Dairy Events,Corporate Events,Event Planning Ideas — marquisathletes @ 6:48 pm

Hiring corporate speakers can be a gamble—it’s expensive, and you don’t always know whether it will work. But, the right speaker combined with the right corporate program is a powerful combination. Choose wisely and your employees will leave the speech inspired, not scratching their heads, wondering what you were thinking wasting their valuable time. Here are some tips to make sure you choose the right corporate speaker:

 

1.      Open the lines of communication between your audience (i.e., staff, management, consumers, etc.) and your event planner, as well as between your event planner and your corporate speaker. Often an audience will feel a speaker missed the mark when the speaker was simply a poor fit for the audience. This is an internal branding issue that can be avoided by listening to what your audience wants and what your speaker delivers.

a.       Does your audience need a motivational speaker to give a pep talk or a technical speaker to explain your latest product’s niche in the marketplace?

2.      Don’t work backwards from the date of the company’s annual meeting to find the first speaker within your budget who is available. Instead, plan ahead. Figure out what your company is doing right, what it’s doing wrong and what you want to improve on going into your function. Then, find an expert on your topic that meets those goals.

3.      Once you’ve identified your goals and found a speaker who can work within them, do your due diligence. Talk with the speaker (or their representative), ask whatever questions you have, request marketing materials and a sample speech DVD, ask for references and talk with them. Ask the speaker what their strong point is (they will know and they will tell you! If you look at any past customer testimonials, they will probably repeat the same things over and over as well.) As with any major purchase, this due diligence should separate the true professionals from the folks you will waste money on.

4.      Don’t dismiss a speaker simply because they don’t have a ton of experience! Everyone has to start somewhere, and speakers who are relatively new to the circuit often have discounted prices. As long as the speaker checks out when you do your due diligence, you should have nothing to worry about.

5.      Once you’ve selected a speaker, figure out approximately what their total cost will be. This may not be possible with all speakers, especially if your event is far in advance, but most should be able to give you a rough estimate. Do they require first class travel or coach? For one person or two? Where do they live? What happens if they’re going from your event to another? Do you split travel expenses with the other group?

6.      During your event, carefully monitor the reactions and impressions of the audience. Is the speaker engaging and including the audience? How is the audience reacting to the speaker? Are members of the audience nodding, giving responses to questions, laughing? Does the speaker span the audience and make eye contact with the group? Is the audience fully alert and attentive to the speaker? What do you personally think of the speaker? Is the speaker meeting the criteria you established? Is the discussion easy to follow and effective?

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