A keynote speaker is somebody who addresses his/her audience with a speech that sets the central them of the conference. At some political or industrial conventions or even at educational conferences, the keynote address or the keynote speech is delivered to set the underlying tone and summarize. The right speaker will not let the conference feel flat and dry but will keep it interesting throughout. There are many variables to consider, and the last thing you want is a speaker who is not a good fit for your event.
Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind:
Discussing what the outcome of the conference needs to be. Keynote speakers are different in their own right. No two speakers have the same way of communicating or keeping the audiences hooked to their words. Some may be plain and believe in speaking the same way to their audience while some have qualities and strengths that make them a better choice for a different type of events. You can take a pick between both these types: a simple, straightforward speaker or an entertaining, inspirational or informative speaker?
Check for the number of references for the speaker. If a speaker is well known to the public, there will be many that would want to hire him again for their event. Speak around and check for references for the speaker you have in mind to see how many are out there who would want to hire him again. There are several websites now like Thinking Heads that provide you with well-accomplished speakers with their previous work and references mentioned, all under one roof! This also helps to bring in light his past behaviour and any other information that may not be known to you.
Beware of ego-centric speakers. The event you’ve put up is for your purpose and not for the purpose of the speaker. It is nice to have someone who can share relatable stories, but it is of utmost importance that the speaker keeps in mind the audience before narrating his stories to them. A few of the speakers can be ego-centric if they are well recommended or high in demand, so be aware of such speakers before you hire one.
Invest in someone that will be worth the money paid. It is a given that you get the quality that you paid for. This does not imply that the highest-paid speaker would prove to be the best in business. But it is essential that you pay well for a good quality speaker. Determine how much can you pay to have a great keynote speaker address your audience and take it from there. Usually, professional speakers with hefty fees will often be willing to go the extra mile for your event.
Co-ordination with your speaker. Many a times, what happens is that the speaker is decided usually at the end of finalizing things for the event. By then, it becomes too late to hire an excellent speaker at a reasonable price. The speaker cannot be an afterthought but needs to be tackled right in the beginning to get their dates. Once this is done, make sure you are coordinating with your event organizers and the speakers so that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes you may not be able to get the best speaker on board, or may not know whom to hire for the kind of event you are organizing. Organizations like Thinking Heads and others help you find and position the right speaker for you.
Create a follow-up plan if you intend on creating an event that should leave a lasting impact on the audience, it’s essential that the speaker speaks of a follow-up plan. Only speaking of a single experience will not have the desired effect on the audience, it is required that you go ahead and tell them of what happened next and how did you as the speaker follow up with it. A good speaker will always give you ways to follow up with them. He/she may also provide you with ways to reach out to them or may recommend specific reading material. On some cases, a speaker might also offer one-on-one consulting to discuss more on the topic.
Check if you need a speaker. Sometimes, it so happens that we feel that a conference or an event would prove to be more successful if there is a speaker present at the event. You could be wrong in this. At times, you could swap the speaker for entertainment with a live video or virtual reality. This has, on many occasions, proven to be a better solution than hiring a speaker.