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    Sourcing an inspirational speaker

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    They often say that a keynote speaker can have a large impact on an event; in some cases they are pivotal to the proceedings, especially when there is an important message to deliver or staff to be motivated. Choosing the right person is a potential minefield where sometimes even the simplest factor can be overlooked amongst the multiple considerations of running an event. Here are Nick Gold’s top tips to ensure that you source the right speaker for your event.

    Ask for advice
    The success of an event and potentially significant expenditure often hinges on the speaker quality; as such independent advice should be seen as a necessity rather than a burden.

    Define success
    It’s really important to single out what you hope to achieve from the speaker you book. Is it to motivate attendees to get behind a key company message, or is it to spark debate over thought-provoking content? Different speakers have different talents; having a clear understanding of your own objectives and goals will help secure a person who really communicates your company’s message to the audience.

    Audience awareness
    Take stock of the audience demographic. This ranges from audience numbers, gender splits, age ranges, job roles, even seniority and other nuanced factors such as attention span and energy levels. These discussions will help define how upbeat or reflective the speaker should be and potentially the type of speech that needs to be delivered.

    Contextualise the event
    An event should not revolve around the prestige of the speaker, they need to fit seamlessly into the flow and above all be relevant to the occasion. Sometimes it can be all too easy to become star struck and lose sight of the main reason for booking a speaker. What is happening overall should be a critical part of the type of speaker sourced.

    Full details required
    Go into as much detail as possible. It’s not just about telling the speaker a time and expecting them to turn up. Bookers also need to consider whether the speaker is to socialise with the delegates and if there will be a Q&A session, as well as if it will be recorded. It sounds so simple but it’s easy to overlook even the most obvious factors. Providing a detailed brief will maximise value by seeing how to use the speaker to their best advantage in relation to your event.

    Nick Gold is managing director of Speakers Corner. He will be delving further into this topic at clic+ 2015 on 1 October at Robinson College, Cambridge. For more information click HERE

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    AUTHOR

    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson