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How to Choose the Right Guest Speaker for Your Event

Every business event you plan, no matter the occasion, deserves to be special and impactful for those who attend. Hence, you have to choose the right guest speaker who’ll influence your attendees.

I’m sure you can remember some of the events you’ve ever attended, and what the speaker said that made you take action.

So, here’s how to choose a speaker who will make your event memorable and impactful.


Choose the Right Guest Speaker

Attributes to Look for in a Guest Speaker

The right keynote speaker has certain attributes that you should look out for when inviting guests. The person needs to be:

  • Entertaining and captivating to keep your audience engaged and interested.

  • Influential to help boost the attendance rate

  • Experienced, familiar, and comfortable with public speaking, no matter the crowd size.

  • Relevant to the field of your event’s theme.

  • Adaptability to the needs of your target audience

  • Interested in your theme

Now that you know what you are looking for, let's discuss the steps to pick the right keynote speaker.

1. Define Your Event's Objectives

Whether to educate, celebrate, promote, motivate, or create awareness, your event must have specific goals you hope to accomplish. Define the specific objectives for the event.

Remember you are setting aside a budget for your event. Therefore, there has to be a return on your investment.

Your guest speaker being the star of your show should ideally get you closer to achieving your event's objectives. That's how they contribute to adding value to your event.

For example, if you hope to educate your target audience, an industry expert will help you achieve these goals more effectively than a motivational speaker.

2. Define Your Target Audience and Their Interests

Your target audience has as much influence on who you choose as your guest speaker as your event's objectives. Select a speaker who is relatable to your attendees so they can connect authentically.

Define these characteristics of your target audience:

  • Their age, social-economic group, and occupation

  • Preferences and interests

  • Stage in the buyer cycle

  • Needs and wants

  • Education level

Then confirm that your speaker is comfortable addressing an audience with the identified profile.

3. Determine the Speaker's Expertise and Relevance


Choose the Right Guest Speaker

Your real target audience comes with certain expectations for your event. Choosing a guest speaker with expertise and relevance will enable you to meet these expectations.

But choosing a guest speaker based on relevance and experience requires knowledge of the various types of speakers. You can choose the following types of speakers depending on the objectives of your event:

  • Industry experts: An industry expert is ideal for a target audience who requires in-depth insights, intellectual stimulation, and discussions on the latest industry trends.

  • Motivational speakers: These individuals inspire and energize people to take action or believe in something. They use storytelling and personal experiences to motivate and call your target audience to action.

  • Educational speakers: This group is ideal if your goal is to educate and train your target audience on specific or numerous subjects. Educational speakers must not be industry experts. But they must be fully informed of the subjects they will discuss at your event.

  • Celebrity speakers: they are a good choice if your objective is to create brand awareness and enough buzz for your event. A celebrity speaker will attract a large audience to your event and entertain them. Remember to select a celebrity who is relevant to your target audience or audience.

4. Consider Your Budget

"Shoot for the moon; if you miss, you'll land among the stars." It is good to be ambitious but maybe not too much.

In an ideal world, you may dream of having top keynote speakers like Oprah, Elon Musk, or Daymond John grace your event. However, such keynote speakers require a huge facilitation budget even if they were not to charge you for the speaking services.

Remember, they also have a brand image to maintain and may not be open to making a lot of compromises.

So, if you can’t afford someone, go for an individual who fits your budget. It will enable you distribute the budget to all essential items such as the venue and gifts. Besides, sticking with your budget will also enable you to improve your ROI.

The speaker will attract an audience that’ll make it easy to promote your products and services. Hence, you’ll recoup your investment.

5. Confirm Speaker's Reputation, Credibility, and Experience

Your target audience may not be familiar with your guest speaker, but that can change swiftly with a simple internet search. That's why the credibility and reputation of the person you choose matters.

On the other hand, a guest speaker with experience in their field and public speaking will be more confident in front of your audience. It will only take a short time for the audience to see the potential you saw in the keynote speaker and become interested in the content the person is delivering.

6. Attend an Event Where the Person is a Keynote Speaker


Choose the Right Guest Speaker

There is a simple rule when buying a car; you have to take it for a test drive. The principle also applies to your quest for a guest speaker.

Sometimes you just have to go out there and scout the talent yourself. Watch the guest speaker in action and assess their performance. Determine whether the speaker will be a right fit for your event. Settle for the person if they engage the audience with stories, their understanding of the subject, and whether they’re confident.

Invite Marie to Speak at Your Next Event

Are you planning a business event related to business process efficiency and automation? Book Marie today for a presentation on system efficiency and entrepreneurial balance.


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