The Checklist You Need to Use Before Booking a Keynote Speaker

planner, coffee, table

Written by Tim Grable

February 14, 2018

Booking the perfect keynote speaker can often feel like a process that’s driven more by a gut feeling than by thorough event planning. Also, while an event planner’s instinct is not to be discredited, it’s best if you don’t base your decision solely on that.

After all, that “good feeling” comes with no guarantees. So, instead of choosing blindly and hoping for the best, follow this 4-step guide and book with confidence.

 4 Steps to Booking the Perfect Speaker for Your Next Event

1. Start with the Goals of the Event

Booking the perfect speaker starts with a clear definition of what the aims of the event are. If you know what the specific goals are, then you can pick a speaker whose style and type of content will align with them perfectly.

For instance, let’s take an event that is intended to inspire guests to work to the best of their abilities.  This type of event would most likely benefit from a motivational keynote speaker who can generate enthusiasm and motivate employees while positively enforcing company values.

2. Continue by Researching What Your Audience Wants

As the person in charge of planning an event and picking the entertainment, you surely have your interests and preferences when it comes to speakers and their programs.

However, it’s important not to allow your personal opinion trump what guests want and expect. What gets you excited is not necessarily the same as what sparks the enthusiasm of those attending the event.

This is why it’s imperative to have a good understanding of what guests would like to see and hear on stage. You can do so by asking some of the guests directly or draw some conclusions based on their age, position in the company, their industry and previous events they’ve attended.

3. Narrow Down the List Based on Speakers’ Prior Engagements

Once you’ve put together a list of audience requirements and possible expectations, it’s time to use that as a filter and pick a speaker who can check the boxes.

Narrow down your speaker candidates by looking into whether they have spoken to audiences similar to yours in the past or not.  If they did, they are more likely to find common ground with your audience and deliver relatable arguments in their presentations.

This step does require some additional research, but it will take you closer to booking the perfect speaker.

4. Pick Someone Whom Will Go the Extra Mile

Of course, as an event planner, you hope to work with a speaker who goes out of his way to make your job easier and turn the event into a success. Well, instead of wishful thinking, you could try one of the tactics below:

  • Look into testimonials from past clients. In this case; it’s all in the details. So, look for mentions of the speaker showing up early on the day of the event or him being extra dynamic on stage to engage the audience.
  • Ask for letters of recommendations. If the speaker you are planning to book has a track record of making a special effort to ensure audience satisfaction, it means you’re on to something good.
  • Have a one-on-one conversation with the speaker. Note whether the speaker you are considering asks questions and showcases a genuine interest for your event and those attending. This is especially important if the speaker offers the option to customize the material. After all, a customized presentation involves a detailed understanding of the audience and the industry associated with the event.

mic, microphone, speaker

The Checklist You Need to Use Before Booking a Keynote Speaker

Research is fundamental before you choose a keynote speaker for your event. The success of the event will partly be determined by picking the right speaker who can meet your goals and needs.

We consider it is essential to start the research early to avoid booking the first speaker you can find because you are out of time.

The more time you dedicate yourself to this portion of the event planning, the higher chances you will find the right keynote speaker.

Here’s the checklist we recommend using before making the final decision.

1. Create the Initial List of Speakers

Having a potential list is the first step towards getting closer to finding the one for your event.

All of the speakers who make it to your list need to be in your price range, be available on the day on your event and be able to travel to your location or live in the area.

Thanks to the database from our site, you can do your research by merely accessing this link.

As you can see, there are many filtering options to use so you can narrow down the results. We have over 1000 keynote speakers on the site, so the filters are handy in this case.

The Checklist You Need to Use Before Booking a Keynote Speaker

2. Read About Their Expertise

Will your event be focused on a particular topic? Then you want to make sure the speaker has the necessary expertise for it.

If you decide to research our site, then it is easy to find out the background for every speaker because each one has a description of their previous experience.

3. Watch Videos with the Speakers

Images may be worth a thousand words, but in the case of speakers, videos are the norm.

It is important to watch some of the speakers’ videos so you can get a feel for their energy and presence on stage.

From the videos, you will be able to tell if they can control the stage and if they can communicate and convey the message in a clear manner.

If you click on any speaker on the site, you will notice that in the Materials tab, you will find videos from actual events they have attended.

4. Read Reviews About the Speakers

It is important to read these because, even though you will see how the speakers act when they are in front of the audience, you cannot really tell what the audience is feeling and what they are thinking.

Reviews will reveal this aspect, and it can guide you towards choosing a particular person because they were able to make the audience feel in a certain way you want your guests to explore, as well.

planner, ipad

Time to Book Your Keynote Speaker

All of these steps are necessary before booking the speaker for your event, and they are essential in the event planning process.

By now, you should have made the final decision. However, if you did not, don’t despair.

We can help you out.

Booking the Perfect Speaker Just Got a Lot Easier

Access our portfolio of top speakers, filter your results based on budget, location and more to save time and find the right speaker a lot easier. You can contact us at (615) 283-0039, tell us more about your event, goals, and needs, and we will help you find or choose the right keynote speaker who will make your event special.

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