Are you considering booking a keynote speaker for conferences? Booking one can be much easier said than done. A motivational keynote speaker should be able to capture the essence of your meeting and be able to highlight it to your audience in a short period of time. In order to capture this essence, the speaker should be willing to spend the time researching your industry, your issues, and your audience. Below, we will go over the benefits of booking a motivational keynote speaker and how to narrow down you choice when looking to hire one.
Reasons to Use a Keynote Speaker for Conferences
Decrease Risk with a Practiced Professional:
Avoid the blunders of novices, errors of the under-experienced, ‘platform-selling’ of the under-paid, stayed narratives of ‘same-old’ company insiders, after all, the stakes are high: people’s time and attention are at a premium these days, when either is wasted your event fails. A professional motivational keynote speaker is usually defined as ‘experts who speak’. Hiring an expert in their field who is practiced and experienced at keynoting audiences decreases these risks while adding a higher level of credibility and integrity to your organization and to the overall event.
Purpose-Driven Messaging, Customization:
Because they make their living this way, and because their reputations, careers, and social capital are on the line, professional motivational keynote speakers are as eager to please you and your audience as you are. Most will bend over backwards to ensure their message and delivery resonates with your specific event, audience, theme, purpose, and/or goals for the event. You can be sure that with a professional motivational keynote speaker you will get practiced narratives that are informed, researched, rehearsed, and curated to meet the purpose and goal of your event.
Increase Your Draw, Registrations, Interest:
Often professional speakers are their own name, established their own ‘tribe’, have a well-known expertise or niche, have developed marketing channels that can help with event promotion or boosting your registration numbers, and increase the interest of potential attendees because of their involvement. More people will want to attend your event if they themselves have assurance the event will be exciting, inspirational, and stimulating
Group Bonding, Team Building:
A customized message from an expert in their field that is well-delivered will inspire and energize your team as well as give them a common experience to bond over. A keynote that ‘hits the right note’ provides an experience, creates an energy, drives excitement, and establishes an atmosphere in the room for greater in-group identification, ice-breaking, and bonding for those in attendance just by virtue of their having been there and witnessed the session together.
Increased Overall Employee Engagement:
Investing in the experiential services of a motivational keynote speaker can change the way audience members perceive their world for a day, a week, sometimes forever – and therefore certainly your event, lasting into their return to work. While there are no guarantees in life, research shows that curating a well-designed, professional program for your next event is a leg-up toward increasing employee performance, engagement, productivity and retention – invest in your people, honor their time, reward their attention, and you quickly develop more loyal, more valuable, more engaged human resources.
Things to Ask Yourself When Hiring a Keynote Speaker for Conferences
Conference organizers often spend a lot of money on high-profile speakers thinking it will draw crowds to match. In reality, a good event that offers value and that’s marketed well is what brings the crowds. To put on an event your audience will love, ask yourself these six questions as you’re booking speakers:
Are they able to mold to your audience?
When you book a motivational keynote speaker, make sure they’re able to deliver targeted, unique content for your attendees.
Are they easy to work with?
The first thing to note about a potential motivational keynote speaker is how they interact with you and your team during the process of getting to know each other. How are their communication skills? Do they respond quickly and thoroughly? Are they helpful? Do they ask what you need and keep your priorities on their radar, too? These aren’t difficult things to uncover, so don’t allow yourself to get starstruck and make a decision without getting a read on these things first.
Do they have content that can engage audiences before and after the event?
Find out if your potential motivational keynote speaker has (or can produce) engaging content that you can share to warm up your audience before the event. Do they have consistent content they’ve published that you can pull from, or have they written a book you can have for sale at your event? Speakers can provide value to your event audience before and after they take the stage, and content marketing is one of the best ways to do that.
Are they available to interact with attendees outside the traditional speaker stage?
Sometimes, schedules just don’t work. While you probably don’t want to rest your entire decision on whether someone’s available for extra activities, but it never hurts to ask. Consider asking whether a motivational keynote speaker can attend a dinner with valuable partners or clients of yours or whether they mind sticking around for a group happy hour. The look on attendees’ faces when they see a speaker they admire and respect in a more normal environment is priceless. Making the ask can give your audience that opportunity.
Does their speech content have actual takeaways?
Some speakers are great performers. Almost like actors or musicians on stage, they’re able to deliver a performance that captivates audiences. But when the content isn’t there, it doesn’t really matter how fun it was to watch. These types of speeches can be enjoyable in the moment, but when your attendees leave, they should leave with something actionable and helpful.
Do they understand your goals and how they’re going to help you accomplish them?
A lot of speeches are based more on what the speaker thinks is most valuable than what the organizer says is most valuable. Event organizers know their audience better than anybody, so if potential speakers aren’t willing to hear you out and help you meet your goals, then there’s a good chance they aren’t going to put in the work to deliver a presentation that resonates with your audience.
Tips for Choosing a Keynote Speaker for Conferences
By exploring top speakers first, before knowing exactly what you are looking for, you could fall into the trap of choosing someone well-reputed and then revolving your event around your speaker, rather than the other way around. This identification process is just as important as it is to understand other aspects of your marketing like your buyer personas and your brand story. Take the time to flesh out what you are looking for in a motivational keynote speaker and what qualities are important for finding someone who can best express the theme and messaging of your live event. Use this checklist to help you clarify what you want, aside from speaking skill and industry knowledge:
What is the primary objective of the event?
Reveal your intentions. The same goes for your conference. The goal and intent defines what the event is and will help you narrow down who may be a good fit as your motivational keynote speaker. For example, if the intent is to provoke conversation or innovation in your industry, then your keynote should be a provocative innovator, ideally someone who has already pushed boundaries with some degree of success.
What personality will align with your event?
The character of your speaker matters. Do you want engaging but professional, or someone who may have a very personal, even edgy style – ‘telling it like it is’ to get people’s attention. You want the personality of your motivational keynote speaker to be able to mesh well with your audience. Think about who will be listening and what energy will they resonate with the most?
What is the goal of the keynote speech?
Are you looking for someone to start off the event entertaining your audience? Should they break the ice with lighthearted energy or captivate with a revolutionary idea or a new perspective? Do you want them to set the tone with inspirational content? A good story?
What presentation style are you looking for?
This is something you want to figure out before you start vetting and interviewing speakers. A common mistake event marketers make is to choose a motivational keynote speaker and then later determine their schedule and layout, which is when they find out their ‘perfect’ speaker’s 90 plus minute presentation style isn’t going to work for your 20-minute keynote time limit. How much time should your keynote speaker take up? Are you expecting them to use screens, props and other visual aids?
What is your budget?
Speakers can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000, sometimes more, depending on how much clout they have. Major industry players, celebrities, and political figures for example, may cost well over $50,000.
How much budget your organization has set aside for your keynote speaker will, of course, impact your potential pool of candidates. When looking at the ROI of your speaker, think about who would attract more people to want to attend your event and who will leave your attendees feeling like your event was worth it and they want to come back next year.
If you have a small budget, don’t feel like you can’t still land a great keynote. In order to grow their own brand as a thought leader, some people may be willing to present at your event, especially if your audience is perfect for their personal brand, for a negotiated fee.
Looking for an Excellent Keynote Speaker for Conferences?
With over 40 years of “boots on the ground” leadership experience, Rocky Romanella creates excitement through his energy, passion and knowledge. He will connect with your audience, regardless of size, in a one to one conversational style. Rocky will paint a picture through his unique storytelling as he delivers his Keynote Speech. We will work with your team to create a world class event and inspire your audience. Rocky’s Keynotes will help your audiences to stabilize, lead, and grow their businesses through his unique Balanced Leadership approach. His breakout sessions will provide an Education Platform tailored to your audience needs. Call us today to discuss your event, Keynote and Breakout Sessions. Speak with Ed Pyke at 678-438-1837, speak Directly with Rocky at 610-322-0720, or visit the website.