Whether you’re still hosting virtual corporate events or getting ready for in-person gatherings again, booking the right speaker is a vital part of the event planning process.
But how do you begin to choose the right speaker for your event? In the United States alone, there are 40,000 public speakers––and the industry is expected to grow by 4.1% every year until 2025.
So we understand if you need some help navigating the process of choosing the right speaker. It’s a big decision that can make or break your next corporate event.
Keep reading to find out:
- Some top benefits of booking a speaker for your next corporate event
- Types of speakers you can book, depending on your meeting goals
- Where to find the right speakers
- Questions to ask potential speakers during the evaluation process
► 3 reasons to book a speaker for your next corporate event
Public speakers can really draw a crowd and set the tone for your corporate events.
Think about the last event you attended: What was your favorite part? If it was the food, the event planner either hired an excellent caterer or missed the mark a little with their chosen speakers.
We attend events for some key reasons:
- To learn something new
- To get inspired
- To be entertained
Public speakers are part of what brings these elements together to make for a memorable event. Here are three of the main benefits of hiring a motivational speaker:
1. Bring a new perspective to your organization
No offense to your leadership, but people may be craving some variety in perspective.
While leadership presence is crucial for steering your organizational ship in the right direction, people learn more when they’re exposed to outside perspectives. If you’ve chosen the right speaker and educated them about your organization, they’ll be well equipped to complement your internal and external key messaging with new information.
We now know that diversity of perspective leads to better outcomes. According to a study by Deloitte, with information from author Juliet Bourke, cognitive diversity can enhance team innovation by up to 20%.
We recently helped an event planner in the Philippines bring Simon Sinek to their virtual conference with more than 8,000 attendees. He’s one of the top experts out there on bringing a new perspective to leadership: empathy. Check out this video, where Simon talks about empathy.
2. Teach audiences something new
If we get more specific about what it means to bring a new perspective to your organization, we’re really talking about teaching your audience something new.
Subject matter experts within your organization are likely great at their jobs and (hopefully) good at imparting their knowledge. But outside public speakers have dedicated their lives to uncovering new information and teaching large groups of people what they know.
When you hire a speaker for your corporate events, what you’re really getting is the benefit of deep, focused expertise communicated in a way that’s easy to understand for a large group of people.
Check out this example by Sam Silverstein, a leadership and accountability expert who has mastered the art of educating while entertaining.
3. Boost morale for better performance
It’s been a tough year––we’ve never needed a morale booster quite like we do right now.
More than sharing knowledge, public speakers offer novelty when the day-to-day starts to feel bland and predictable. Especially if your team has been working from home for a long time, a break in routine for some inspiration or motivation could be exactly what they need to do their best work.
We know that people are more productive when they feel good about their workplace. Companies that see high employee engagement outperform organizations with low employee engagement by 202%.
Check out this example by Warren McDonald, as he inspires audiences by sharing the importance of building resilience through times of extraordinary change and how it shaped his life.
► Types of speakers
Not every speaker will be right for your event. The type of speaker you choose will depend on your goals:
- Do you want to motivate your audience to think differently?
- Do you want to educate your audience in a fun way?
- Do you want to entertain your audience with some needed levity?
- Do you want to inspire change within the hearts and minds of your audience?
- Do you want to wow audiences with a celebrity speaker?
Odds are you’ll see some overlap in your goals, but it’s essential to choose a primary goal and select a speaker who can help you fulfill it. Here are some of your options:
◉ Motivational speaker
Motivational speakers teach by stirring up passion.
Good motivational speakers strike a balance between powerful storytelling, and knowledge drops that spur action. The difference between a motivational speaker and an educator is the desire to do something after you’ve heard them speak.
Here are a few of the top motivational speakers today!
◉ Educational speaker
Great educational speakers are experts in their field. While they should also inspire audiences, they do so more through awe at having learned something new.
After your audience has engaged with an educational speaker, they should feel ready to apply what they learned.
Here are a few of the top motivational speakers today!
Women in business
◉ Activist speaker
Activist speakers are motivational speakers with a specific end goal–making the world a better place.
Whether it’s climate change or social justice, activist speakers want to spur action by raising awareness of important problems that need solving. Hire an activist speaker if you want your organization to mobilize around a big, hairy goal for the world.
Here are a few of the top activist speakers today!
Alcoholism & drug abuse
Women in business
◉ Humorous speaker
Some folks were put on Earth to make people laugh. Humorous speakers are the icebreakers of the public speaking world, bringing fun to what may be a potentially serious event.
If you know some of your other speakers will be on the serious side, consider hiring a comedian to break the ice between the business talk.
Here are a few of the top humorous speakers today!
◉ Celebrity speaker
Celebrity speakers may also be motivational, educational, activists, and comedians––but they’ve reached a level of name recognition that draws a crowd.
If you can afford it, booking a celebrity speaker can have more impact simply because more people will show up to hear them speak. And the truth is, your audience may remember their message simply because they were the ones who delivered it.
Here are a few of the top celebrity speakers today!
RAY LEONARD JR.
Women in business
◉ Keynote speaker
A keynote speaker is someone you book to set the tone for your entire event.
Keynote speakers usually fall into the motivational category simply because their job is to pump up your audience for the day(s) ahead. People with general knowledge of your industry and excellent storytelling skills make for great keynote speakers who will need to know more about your overall agenda than some of the other speakers on your roster.
Here are a few of the top keynote speakers today!
MERIDITH ELLIOTT POWELL
► Where to find the right public speaker
After you’ve clearly defined your goals and the type of speaker you need, it’s time to choose one.
But where do you find professional public speakers? Finding the right one can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Here are some options:
- Ask other event planners in your field for referrals
- Ask your network on social media (LinkedIn and Twitter work best)
- Work with a company that represents a wide variety of public speakers for hire
We recommend using a speaker search and booking platform like eSpeakers Marketplace for a more focused approach.
Good online speaker search tools have:
- Extensive search filters that help you find the right speaker with ease
- Collaborative tools to share speaker options with your team
- Verified reviews and videos to help you select your speaker
- Digital contracts and secure payment processing
Hiring a public speaker isn’t just about selection––it’s about communication and negotiation with the speaker, preparation for the event, and payment after the event is over. When you can do this from one place, you’ll be making your life a lot easier.
◉ Questions to ask potential speakers
Finally, once you’ve selected a shortlist of potential speakers, you’ll want to narrow down your choices by asking speakers the following questions:
- How do you prepare for a successful presentation?
- How will you tailor your presentation to fit this particular audience?
- How will you interact with the audience?
- What is the audience going to take away from your speech?
- What do you want audiences to do after they’ve heard you speak?
- Do you have any special requests for your appearance?
Booking your next motivational keynote speaker is an exciting milestone in your event planning process. Start your journey toward a successful event by booking your next motivational keynote speaker with eSpeakers Marketplace today.