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How to Find a Keynote Speaker for Your Next Corporate Event
By Joel Garfinkle
Are you looking for the perfect keynote speaker for your next corporate event or conference?
Finding the right keynote or seminar speaker is critical to ensuring your company event is a raving success. Whether you want to motivate your employees or teach them time management skills, finding a qualified speaker who can give you real results is essential.
Keynote speakers stimulate, energize, and challenge their audience. They should not only rev up their audience to make big changes, but leave them with a clear plan of action that keeps them motivated in the weeks and months to come.
Here are five steps you can follow to learn how to find a keynote speaker who will engage your audience and deliver results:
- Know what you want. Before you worry about how to find a keynote speaker, identify what you want to achieve. What’s the main theme of your event or conference? What tone do you want to set at the start to make sure the rest of the event flows smoothly? Do you want someone to motivate the audience or do you need to teach a particular skill? Once you’ve identified the theme of your speech it becomes much easier to find a qualified keynote speaker to deliver just what you need.
- Plan for the event. The best keynote speakers are often high in demand and have hectic schedules as they travel around the nation doing what they do best. Before you start making calls or sending out emails, set a date and time for your event. This way, if a speaker is booked you can move on without wasting their time or yours. Narrow down your search by making a list of speakers based on availability, speakers’ fees, and the tools and resources they offer that best meet your expectations.
- Set up an interview. Once you’ve made a list of potential candidates, it is highly recommended to set up a detailed interview session with them. If they’re not in the same city as you, a phone interview is critical to gauge whether they have a strong understanding of what you want to achieve. Ask questions, including: Do you have verifiable references? Do you offer customization, and to what level? Do you conduct research prior to the speech? Be sure to ask if travelling expenses, car rentals, etc. will be included in their flat fee or will be an additional expense. Pick the person who meets your top requirements.
- Secure the speaker. Once you’ve chosen the right person for the job, contact them and offer a deposit to hold them for your event. It’s important to stay in touch with the motivational keynote speaker until the day of the speech arrives. During this time, make sure they have everything they need from your end to ensure the absolute success of your event.
- Follow up after the event. Your role as an organizer does not end with the event. If you discover that the speaker you chose had massive impact on your employees and you received positive feedback, now’s not the time to sit back and be satisfied but to take things to another level. Continue to network with the speaker and ask if he or she can offer help in other areas that need improving. For example, an effective motivational speaker who also offers leadership skills coaching or management training for your top executives can work with you to create stronger leadership skills in star employees throughout your firm.
Following the above steps to find an exceptional speaker will result in a memorable event that will be remembered long after the keynote speaker hits the road and heads back home.
Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"
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