How to Tell if the Speaker You are Hiring is Motivational

Planning a conference or business event is not a task to be taken lightly. Whether you are working as a freelancer or independent business owner to plan the event, or you are part of an in-house corporate event planning team, you may have a lot of pressure from your client or company to choose the perfect speaker from amongst an ever growing number of motivational keynote speakers to head up an important event or meeting. The speaker you choose can make or break the event you are planning, from small educational workshops to huge multi-national conferences. But there is a method to hiring a motivational speaker, and there are certain aspects you can reliably evaluate to ensure the speaker that you pick will be a good fit for the audience who will be attending. Learn how to tell if the speaker you are hiring is the right kind of “motivational” for your crowd and be on your way to planning a successful event with a speaker your audience will remember and talk about for years afterwards.

Interview the Speaker and Ask for References
One of the best ways to evaluate a speaker’s potential is to interview the speaker ahead of time. Does he or she engage you as a speaker? Does the speaker appear to show a clear grasp of the audience as you describe it, and the topic you have requested? Whether you have a good feeling or you are not sure, asking for references can make the difference between hiring the perfect speaker and making a mistake. Any credible speaker will be ready with a list of testimonials, and references if asked for them. You can describe the event and ask for references from similar events the speaker has keynoted.

Watch a Speaker Video
It is standard industry practice today for speakers to have video snapshots of themselves “in action” to share with prospective clients. Many speakers post these on their speaker websites. If you are booking a speaker through a speaker’s bureau such as, often the agent in charge of your event can simply send you a weblink to the video for the speaker you are considering. Watching a speaker video can give you a much better sense for the speaker’s style and flow so you can decide if that speaker is the right match for your event.

Attend an Event the Speaker is Keynoting
Many busy keynote speakers publish their events calendar on their webpage. If the event you are booking a speaker for is big enough, it may even be worth it for you to book a flight and see the speaker in person before you decide to retain them for your keynote event. There is simply no substitute for seeing a speaker in person. References and a speaker video can help, but seeing a live presentation and feeling how you react to the speaker will give you the best indication of whether that speaker is the right fit for your audience.


This article was provided by Jonathan Mortenson, Jonathan has been working as a corporate event planner for over five years.

Posted by: Jon, , , United States (09-Aug-2012)
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