When selecting a speaker for the financial industry or for an audience who watches every move of the Dow Jones industrial average, Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite index, selecting an expert can be a challenge. Finding a woman who can competently address these topics may seem to be a difficult task. That speaker must be an expert; she has to understand what a drop in consumer confidence may mean to the economy, including the impact on housing starts, and gas prices. She must also be knowledgeable and able to articulate how the public sector and private sector are interdependent as well as what that interdependence entails when forming public policy.
As gas prices continue to rise, having an insightful keynote speaker who can intelligently address the political spectrum of challenges regarding oil and energy is a draw for a high powered event. Regardless of political affiliation, the discussion of energy can become quite lively, with pros and cons of utilizing national resources and the cost of renewable energy sources intermingling with world events and politics. It’s a story of natural disasters, warring nations and economic forces that rises deeply from the foundation of our government with far reaching consequences. Especially because this is a topic that everyone can relate to, whether it’s due to pain at the pump or the rising cost of doing business due to increased energy expense, this is a topic of conversation that has many CEO’s and financial C-level executive’s attention.
When selecting a keynote speaker on energy policy, some criteria may be whether the individual held key offices and/or is considered an authority on the subject matter. Keynote speakers who are presenting at industry functions should share factual and informed information, which may be colored or presented from their perspective. After all, the audience is yearning for some great information that may not yet be public, or which represents the perspective of the speaker.
One excellent choice is Daniel Yergin, easily one of the most influential and knowledgeable energy experts. Whether the topic is the implications of war in the mideast or renewable energy solutions, Daniel Yergin has authored seminal books about a wide range of energy issues. His Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power became a PBS mini-series. World events including the disastrous earthquake and nuclear contamination in Japan, the killing of Osama bin Laden and political upheaval in Egypt, Libya, Iran and Iraq are all filtered into Daniel Yergin’s scholarly understanding of energy and oil, and are captured in his latest book, The Quest.
With decades of ground-breaking research and exceptional experience in the energy industry, Dr. Yergin has impeccable credentials, and is a respected lecturer and authority on the international issues of energy and foreign affairs.
Another notable speaker on topics of energy and oil is Governor Dirk Kempthorne. As US Secretary of the Interior under George W. Bush administration, Kepthorne is known for his conservative views and strong understanding of the issues. Organizational change occurs at all levels, including the Federal government and managing that change through practical solutions is one of Dirk Kempthorne’s most adept skills. Drawing on his unique perspective as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, two-time governor, U.S. senator, and mayor, Dirk Kempthorne shares how to use diplomacy and insight when tackling the complex issues involved in industry and public policy. Kempthorne understands the challenges of renewable energy and the need to balance reliable energy sources with environmental protection.
- Determine the type of keynote speaker you are interested in hiring. For example, you may be interested in hiring someone who will educate the attendees about a certain topic or issue. Or perhaps you wish to entertain the audience. There may be a reason you want to promote a cause, raise funds or even create a shift in behavior. Depending on your goals for the event, the keynote speaker will reflect your strategy. If there is a core group of decision makers or a board who must approve the choice of keynote speaker, ask them for suggestions or their vision.
- Parameters that affect the availability of speakers include location, date and budget. This will narrow the pool of keynote speakers who are available. If you have a particular speaker in mind and are flexible about the other parameters, you can start with speaker selection, then build your event from there. If you have a longstanding date and location, then the speaker selection is the variable.
- The type of presentation and the time of day of the presentation also enters into your selection process. Whether this will be a morning speaker with a rousing and energizing presentation or a midday workshop, some speakers are skilled at one type of presentation more than another. If you are looking for an after-dinner keynote, you may want someone who is more entertaining and humorous. Not all topics and speakers are flexible for all situations.
- If you have had successful keynote presentations in the past, you may be able to catalog what made those speakers more successful than others. If there is a common theme, there may be other speakers who would complement that messaging.
- Asking industry experts for references or recommendation is also a helpful way to narrow the keynote speaker search. If your event is in an industry where there are other similar venues, you may want to see which keynote speakers have been popular for other organizations or trade events.
- The demographics of your audience will be key to determining the best keynote speaker. Do you need a generalist, or someone who can address a particular current issue? Is this a presentation to an audience that is a specific demographic? Having an appealing keynote speaker who can connect with the attendees is obviously an important consideration. The ability of the speaker to identify with the audience makes a keynote presentation much more effective at conveying a message.
- Ask WWSG for assistance and help. Asking a speakers group for their ideas may ultimately be the easiest and least expensive route. With an understanding of the popularity and expertise of each speaker as well as the ability to understand who may be available within an area, time or price range, the advantage of asking the professionals for their ideas is evident.
Whether you agree that healthcare should cover the cost of contraception or not, there is no question that this week, healthcare reform made headline news. A student by the name of Sandra Fluke was criticized by radio host, Rush Limbaugh, for openly discussing her support of having contraception covered by healthcare insurance. Although Mr. Limbaugh issued an apology over his choice of words, which included “slut” and “prostitute”, the sting of his criticism caused a public outcry.
Women leaders come in many shapes and sizes and when hiring a woman speaker for a keynote presentation, the hope is that the message is inspiring and motivating. Few women speakers have the background or depth of life experiences to turn a negative into a positive as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a relentless champion of free speech, defender of women’s rights and outspoken controversial public figure. She has been the target of death threats, victimized publicly, and yet she is a voice that won’t be silenced.
In 2012, it is estimated there will be over 225,000 newly reported incidents of women diagnosed with breast cancer within the US -- and that nearly 40,000 of those women diagnosed will not survive.
Nancy Brinker took the initiative after losing her sister to establish the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The foundation pioneered cause-related marketing initiatives that led to new legislation, greater government research funding and billions of dollars spent on awareness and research. Today, Susan G. Komen foundation is the largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists in the world.
From an inauspicious beginning at a kitchen table to one of Biography Magazine’s “25 Most Powerful Women in America” and Ladies Home Journal’s “100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century”, Nancy Brinker shares an empowering journey which resonates with women executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders. We all have the power, as an individual, to make a difference in our workplace, our community and in our home.
Turning adversity into positive change for the greater good is an important aspect of today’s challenging economy. By motivating and empowering our associates, we create the opportunity for them to add more value to the team, thereby gaining greater confidence and job satisfaction for them and increased productivity and organizational strength for the firm.
Selecting a speaker with a story that transcends the status quo and resonates with an audience is important. Whether your event is related to health care initiatives or business motivation, having a powerful woman leader such as Nancy Brinker will make a lasting impression on your audience.
There are many ways to select a speaker and many categories of speakers from which to choose. For example, you can have a business keynote speaker who is a sports celebrity who focuses on motivation and the importance of training. Or you could have a newscaster who discusses the tenacity needed to get the scoop under pressure and relates that to sales motivation, organizational inspiration or team performance.
The trick to having the best keynote speaker is to take a comprehensive approach to your event and examine all the factors that will create a successful meeting. Here are the 5 steps to setting an effective tone with a speaker’s keynote:
Keynote speaker presentations set the tone for any event. A rousing keynote speaker will leave the audience energized and enthused to attend the sessions. This is important for sponsors as well as attendees because a motivated attendee will be more engaged with the exhibitors, additional sessions, and will encourage their associates to be more engaged. This dynamic places an onus on the meeting planner to creatively procure a keynote speaker who will set the stage for success.
When selecting a motivational keynote speaker, the goal is to hire the best speaker, who will meet your meeting objectives and inspire an audience-- all within the budget.
Certainly there are many speakers to choose from. Some will draw due to their celebrity status, and some because of their situation.
Here are 5 questions you should ask when selecting a Keynote Speaker: