Hiring Keynote Speakers? Avoid These Mistakes

Many people find it a daunting task to get the ideal keynote speaker for their event. There are many factors that need to be considered – budget, location, and whether or not the speaker will fit in with the event. The last thing an organizer wants is to hire a speaker whose background and strategy does not align with the event’s objectives.

Here is a list of the common mistakes organizers make when getting keynote speakers. It is best that you are aware of them so you can avoid them in the future.

Keynote Speakers

1.    You fail to define the purpose of your event.

When the objectives of the event are not clearly stated, then you will most likely have no idea what success will look like. To give you an idea of the goals you want to accomplish, you need to answer the following questions:

–    What do you desire your attendees to know?
–    What do you like them to feel?
–    What do you like them to do?

When you get the answers to these questions, you will be able to identify what kind of keynote speaker you need to hire. It will also help you measure the success of your event.

2.    You plan the event without thinking of the speaker’s role.

Keep in mind that great keynote speakers don’t have their own agenda in your event. They are there to work with you and attain your objectives.

3.    You don’t fit the presentation style with the time of event.

Keynote speakers have different areas of expertise and strengths. Some of them can be inspirational while others are entertaining. Some are very organized. You should know which type of presentation will best fit your event schedule. For example, you have a morning event, you want someone who is inspirational. If it is an after-dinner meeting, get someone who is entertaining. Mismatching the kind of presentation with the time of the event can prove disastrous.

4.    You hire the cheapest keynote speaker.

Keep in mind that you will receive what you pay for. On the other hand, some good  speakers can offer their services for free or you will just have to pay for their travel expenses. Make sure they have a good background. And if you have the budget for it, hire the best keynote speaker you can. The returns are worth the investment.

5.    You focus on getting discounts or lower fees.

Some organizes think that it is good to ask the speaker to lower their fees. Before you are tempted to do this, just consider what other things he can do for you and increase his value. You can arrange for additional one-on-one meetings in addition to the main event, for instance.

6.    You don’t plan a follow-up strategy.

While keynote speakers can inspire people to respond to a call to action, it is up to you to follow-up. Usually, one-time events are not as successful.

7.    You hire a speaker without asking references.

It is important to do a background check and ask other people who have previously hired the speaker you want to get. They can give you important feedback that will help you with your decision. If they say that they wouldn’t hire the speaker again, you should think twice about hiring him in the first place.

8.    You hire a keynote speaker that is self-centered.

Watch out for speakers who always want to talk about themselves. There are some keynote speakers who always find a way to inject their story in the talk. While this may sometimes prove helpful, especially if he is inspiring others with his success, it sometimes is detrimental to the event objectives or is totally out of theme. Find a good keynote speaker who will think about the audience first and weave your theme in the talks to inspire the people and make the event a great experience.

You want your event to be memorable. Make sure you get the right man to do the job – get the best keynote speakers to add value to the event.