How to Hire the Best Keynote Speaker if You’ve Never Done This Before

Michael O'Brien

Written by Tim Grable

May 22, 2018

Finding the best keynote speaker for your event is frequently easier said than done. There are so many factors you need to keep into account that it’s easy to get lost into details.

Not to mention that picking a speaker without any prior research can potentially have negative consequences for your event.

It’s not the venue; it’s not the food; it’s not even whether there’s an open bar or not. The one thing most people are more likely to remember in regards to a live event is how it made them feel and what was the overall value they got in return for their time and energy.

That’s what makes the choice to hire the best keynote speaker for your event critical to its success.  A speaker is the one who sets the tone for an event, engage guests and ultimately ensure your organization leaves a favorable impression on them.

That said, here are a few unshakable tips for choosing the right speaker for your next conference, corporate gathering or business seminar.

How to Hire the Best Keynote Speaker if You've Never Done This Before

1. Educate Yourself on the Main Types of Keynote Speakers

Not all keynote speakers are created equal. Also, one of the secrets to booking the best keynote speaker for your event is to make sure their strengths align with the primary goals you’ve set for the event.

In a nutshell, here is a breakdown of your main options and when to consider them.

  • Motivational/Inspirational.  Presented ideas are meant to guide the perception of guests towards positive change. This is done by leveraging the power of personal examples and a persuasive style. Perfect for when you want to offer something unique to attendees, something that’s a part of a bigger vision and makes them feel inspired and empowered.
  • HumorousOne of the best ways to jazz up your event is by booking a speaker who adds a comic touch to their speeches. If you want to make sure your event stands out, this might be the way to go.
  • Expert. These are professionals who have specific knowledge in their line of work, and thus can provide detailed insights to drive up the value of your event.  The content is mainly intended to inform and introduce guests to new concepts and strategies in their niche. Great for business workshops, business conventions, and training sessions.

2. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Meticulous Research

In case you don’t have much experience with booking speakers, research is your best friend.

Booking an event speaker without seeing them perform means unnecessary tempting faith. There is no reason why you should do it, especially considering that these days you have plenty of methods to learn more about speakers you’re considering.

So more often than not, the information you need is just a few clicks away. For instance, look over:

  • Testimonials from past clients
  • Presentation videos
  • Prior appearances on TV shows
  • TEDx presentations speakers may have included in their portfolio
  • Their websites (if they have them) or sites that feature them (such as talent booking agencies)

The more thorough you are with this, the more likely you are to hire the best keynote speaker for your event. That’s because you’ll get a genuine sense of whether a speaker is relevant to the theme, style, and purpose of the event.

What’s more, you’ll figure out if they’ve collaborated with organizations like yours in the past and whether they are good enough at professional speaking to keep an audience engaged.

Also, it will help you form an overview of what’s out there regarding keynote speakers, which means it will be a lot easier to book a speaker the next time around.

people, women, female, computer, desk, searching

3. Browse for Speakers Online

There are many speakers on the market, and many of them work with booking agencies. These agencies take away the speaker’s tedium of having to be on the lookout for clients and, instead, give them the time and freedom to focus on their expertise.

To hire the best keynote speaker for your needs, you will have to do a bit of research. The first thing you will want to do is to check the online catalog of a booking agency.

Once there, you can browse the wide assortment of talents that are listed. And here are some factors you should be mindful of:

  • Expertise. This is the category that contains the fields in which the speaker is most knowledgeable. Some popular topics can include Motivation, Change, and Leadership.
  • Reviews. You can check the reviews from previous clients with whom the speaker has worked with. They can serve as a good indicator of how well a speaker has fared in the past and if their performance is as good as they advertise it to be.
  • Awards. While they may not be a guarantee that a speaker will suit your preferences, they are a good indicator the speaker is experienced and can objectively deliver a solid performance.

For example, Michael O’Brien is a corporate speaker with 5 verified reviews and numerous awards to testify that he is an excellent choice for any corporate event.

Michael O'Brien, How to Hire the Best Keynote Speaker if You've Never Done This Before

4. What the Audience Wants

If you are organizing a corporate event or even something less formal, it’s always a good idea to anticipate the audience’s demand or even surprise them with something which will exceed their expectations.

Some of the best keynote speakers out there are more than a one-hit-wonder, meaning they can also be incredible performers or comedians.

To better illustrate our point, we suggest checking out Howard Fero. He is an excellent performer, having the ability to inspire people while also giving them a good reason to laugh out loud.

Howard Fero

5. Work with a Reliable Agency to Hire the Best Keynote Speaker Faster

A lot is riding on this, so don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own when browsing for someone to speak at your event. Sometimes, the best way to go is to find talent for your event through a reputable entertainment agency.

With the tips learned from this article, you can now make a more educated pick when trying to hire the speaker that’s best suited for your event.

Remember the talent agencies we have mentioned earlier? Well, why not work with one? At the Grable Group, we offer speakers who stand up to the highest standards of quality. We manage a wide selection of top speakers whose expertise ranges from technology to productivity, team building – and everything in between.

To get in touch with us, all you have to do is to give us a call at 615 283 0039, and we will gladly assist you!

Also, we put together a simple, straightforward process to narrow down your search and, ultimately, find the perfect fit. Feel free to put our system to the test, and filter based on budget, language, topic and more.

Ready to start your search?

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