Before Selecting a Keynote Speaker: 5 Tips To Help Identify Your Objectives

Posted by Sheldon Senek

If you’re a beginning meeting planner, we know you have an overwhelming checklist of items to accomplish. Your list may include how to select the right venue for your convention, or special requirements the hotel must have for your attendees. We recommend the same type of planning before selecting your conference keynote speaker. Here are 5 tips to help you identify your objectives before you start your speaker search.

1. Identify Why You Are Holding This Event.
Is this event for fundraising thousands of dollars? Is it for a sales team to network and share techniques? Is it for continuing education of association members? Know the big picture first, then you can drill down to specifics.

2. Identify the Program Slots.
Is this keynote speaker being used to kick your conference off or are you looking for an after-lunchtime speech—maybe you need a banquet speaker or perhaps a general session speaker. Knowing when and the kind of slot your looking to fill is a huge step to zeroing in on your guest speaker search.

3. The Appropriate Professional Speaker for the Right Program Slot.
Imagine a breakout session speaker who is filled with detailed content kicking off your conference. While the content may contain brilliant ideas to get the minds thinking, your attendees want to be energized at the conference opening—they want to smile, laugh, clap, and yell. Finding the appropriate speaker is key.

When it comes to banquet speakers or luncheon speakers, bringing a humorous and energized speaker is a must. It’s no secret that a good meal makes us a little sleepier than usual, so getting a motivational speaker with high energy is just what’s needed to keep those sleepy eyes alert and focused. Celebrity speakers can also be a great choice when you want your audience to be excited about attending the keynote speech. There’s nothing quite like an inside story that only a famous person can tell. It’s about getting the right person for the job. Would you call a plumber to build your wood deck?

4. Drilling Down.

Is purpose of your event to provide tools, content, ideas to increase sales? Do you want to give your managers better team building skills? Do you want to inspire your attendees to be more productive, or build membership? Be just as clear on what you hope the speaker will accomplish at the conference.

If you want this event to help your sales team increase their sales by 10%, what business speaker is most likely to help provide the tools, content, and/or motivation to get them there?

Be realistic with your measurable objectives—not only in regards to an increased sales percentage, but with the guest speaker. Are you set on a speaker who is really going to help you achieve your goals?

You may have an award winning humorous speaker in mind that is the funniest person on the planet. However, your objective is to increase sales and the best way to do that is to bring a speaker in who can provide extremely useful tips while sharing their success story. Ask yourself if the speaker is relevant to your event or program slot. What you actually might be looking for is a business speaker who’s a top CEO of a leading corporation with experience and proven success (and can deliver the right amount of humor to reach your attendees).

5. Presenting to the Event Committee.

As a meeting planner, your board or event committee is counting on you to present only the best and most appropriate speakers. That’s why it’s so important that everyone is on the same page with the event’s objectives. In turn, the speakers you recommend should also meet the event’s objectives. Be sure to ask:

  • How will this speaker help us meet our event’s objectives?
  • How will our attendees react to us booking the speaker? Will there be excitement or a negative response?
  • What do we hope our attendees will leave with after they listen to the keynote speech?
  • Is the guest speaker in line with our organization’s policies and beliefs?
  • How are we going to measure success of the event and speaker(s)?


For more help to select and book the best and most appropriate keynote speakers for your event, call us at 1-800-345-5607 or visit us here.

Posted by Sheldon Senek
Sheldon Senek is the President of Eagles Talent Speakers Bureau and writes about expert keynote speakers and Motivational Speakers, as well as tips for corporate meeting planners.

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