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Keynote Speaker Evaluation Tool
When Hiring a Keynote Speaker, Use This Evaluation Tool
Hiring a great keynote speaker can work wonders for your company’s morale, but choosing the right one requires strategy. This keynote speaker evaluation tool has five questions to help you make the right decision. Keep these evaluation criteria in mind as you scope out candidates, and you’ll find a speaker who delivers exactly what you need.
1. Does the speaker have powerful stage presence?
Ask yourself, does the speaker make strong eye contact, get a strong reaction from the audience, and really connect with people? You obviously won’t want to choose anyone whose performance falls flat. Pay attention to the speaker’s pacing, too—is it fast and hard to absorb, or sluggish? If a speaker is good, you should be able to find their speaking videos of her performances on her website or YouTube channel. Watching speakers’ videos will help you narrow down your pool of candidates.
2. What organizations has the speaker worked with?
Hiring a renowned speaker makes a statement about your company, giving you credibility that may bring in new business. It also shows your employees that you want them to have the best. On the speaker’s website, look for testimonials from past clients, particularly well-known corporations, industry associations, and academic institutions.
3. What is the speaker’s repertoire of topics and approaches?
Interview your top keynote speakers to get a better sense of who they are and what they will bring to your event. Ask detailed questions to determine if they fit your needs. Watch their videos to find out if they have experience speaking to an audience similar to yours. Additionally, ask yourself if their approach meets your organization’s needs. Do they fire up an audience to get a specific job done, and leave them with practical tools for success? Or do they leave them with a more general sense of inspiration? Know your goal for the speech before you start your search, and then identify who can meet it.
4. Will the speaker do the legwork to truly understand your needs?
A personal interview is a critical step in this evaluation tool. A keynote speaker must be willing to do the legwork to understand what the audience needs to hear, especially if you want the speaker to take on a highly specific topic. Will the speaker conduct informal interviews with key players in your organization in order to learn its culture? In your conversation with the speaker, does he seem adaptable and eager to customize a speech to your needs? Does he ask good questions that show he’s working to understand your company’s culture? Your interview will help you determine the level of research the speaker will put into the talk.
5. Does the speaker provide follow-up?
If you’re interested in a speaker who provides follow-up executive coaching after the event, look for a speaker who offers this service. Ask potential speakers if they provide leadership trainings to employees or one-on-one coaching to executives.
From my extensive experience as a keynote speaker, I know that meeting these criteria will leave the audience feeling energized, purposeful, and capable. They’ll leave the talk feeling understood and supported, knowing the concrete steps they need to take to reach the next level of success. By using this evaluation tool, you’ll find a keynote speaker who will prime your entire company to succeed.
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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