Hiring a keynote speaker for your event can add a valuable and necessary component to the overall success and experience for your audience. Finding the right keynote speaker for your audience is crucial, but takes time and effort to seek the right fit for your unique event.
Don’t let opportunities to engage with your speaker pass by, it’s time to squeeze every last drop of experience from what the keynote speaker has to offer. Worldwide Speakers Group has some insightful tips on how to get the most out of your keynote speaker:
- Book early: Typically, keynote speakers are booked at least 6 months out, so make sure you are booking a keynote within this time-frame for optimal scheduling. Whether booking your college graduation commencement speaker or a motivational speaker for your company, it’s never too soon to get in touch and start the booking process. Start your search on our keynote speaker page.
- Assign a point-person for the speaker: General rule of thumb is that one or two people should be solely in charge of communicating with the speaker and guiding him or her around the event from start to finish. This makes it much easier for the speaker to ask questions or voice concerns, and vice-versa. The point person should be in contact with the speaker well ahead of time and should remain a constant figure throughout the event. From booking to Q&A post speech, having one or two contact people will help ensure a more aligned campaign.
- Keep the speaker in the loop: Keynotes are getting paid for their time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they will show interest in the topic your event is addressing in order to leave that lasting impression you are looking for. Make sure your speaker has the full event schedule well ahead of time so that s/he can plan accordingly, possibly giving them time to sit in on other sessions your event may have. In addition, make sure that the keynote has the chance to connect with any professionals in attendance that piques their interest. When you go out of the way to make the event valuable and relevant to the keynote (not just the speech they are giving), they will go out of the way to make sure his/her talk is valuable to your attendees.
- Make introductions: A key component to getting the most out of your keynote is introducing them to attendees that are present, more specifically people the speaker may want to meet. In addition to introducing the keynote to anyone s/he specifically asks to meet as noted above, make sure to introduce the keynote to lead members of the organization or company that is hosting the event before the keynote. This gives the speaker a chance to grasp a little more knowledge and feel for the organization first-hand, which can make for a better and more meaningful presentation.
- Schedule the keynote address accordingly: In general, avoid hosting the keynote during a mealtime. Eating and listening more often than not do not go hand-in-hand for attendees, and you don't want your keynote to be playing second fiddle to a full buffet. As professional keynote speaker, professional speaking coach, and author, Dr. Nick Morgan states,
"If you’re paying for a keynote, don’t make it compete with food! (Or digestion)."
A better solution is to host a cocktail hour immediately following the keynote to generate discussion and keep enthusiasm going.
- Create buzz: According to Dr. Morgan, sending video clips in advance "helps with internal and external promotion." Encourage your keynote speaker to submit a short video (30-60 seconds) ahead of time for you to distribute to generate enthusiasm and buzz around his/her address. It should be provocative, leaving the viewer wanting to attend the talk to hear more. The buzz can be generated by posting this video to social media, email, even promotion on your own page, every bit helps towards a memorable keynote.
- Give the speaker some wiggle room: Literally. Many speakers prefer to move around on a stage or even in the crowd as they give their talk. Find out well ahead of time what type of format your speaker uses to address a crowd, and if necessary, figure out a way to let him/her move around. If your event is podium-only, make sure the speaker knows that ahead of time so they can plan accordingly. In the long run, the more you can go out of your way to make the speaker comfortable, the better the potential for the desired outcome from all parties.
It’s never easy nailing down every point to making your keynote speech perfect, but implementing these tips will certainly help foster the ideal speech from beginning-to-end. For more insight on how to benefit the most from your keynote speaker, please contact us, or check out our resources page.