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Articles - 10 Points to Consider When Selecting a Professional Speaker

Booking a professional Speaker for your conference or seminar is not only a time consuming exercise, as you investigate your options, but in most cases a substantial monetary investment.

Marie Grey gives 10 points that will assist you in selecting the right Speaker for your company's event and will ensure that you get what you hoped for and paid for.

  1. When sourcing your Speaker ask for background sheets as opposed to Curriculum Vitae. Background information should provide a much more extensive insight into a Speaker's past. It should include his area of interest and expertise, what his topics include and who he has spoken to in the past.

  3. The Speaker's fee rarely reveals what true value you can expect or will receive. Don't be over impressed or taken in by a Speaker's high fee. Sometimes the more established Speakers increase their fees annually regardless of what the market is offering for a Speaker of comparable ability, quality and presenting skills.

  5. Be prepared to provide an in-depth written brief for your Speaker. Although most Speakers are willing to attend briefing meetings, a written brief will act as added support to ensure that the Speaker can revisit your objectives and expectations before they address your audience.

  7. Ask colleagues in similar industries or businesses to recommend professional Speakers to you. Over-the-top and gushing promotional brochures will never replace a client's personal experience.

  9. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Marketing Management, Professional Sales Association and other professional associations, not only for the networking opportunity but to have regular exposure to great Speakers. Most have monthly functions which include a presentation from a top professional Speaker or an up and coming one!

  11. Established Speaker's Bureaus tend to represent a consistent calibre and type of Speaker. Should you have had a good experience with a Bureau in the past, it is a good idea to start building an ongoing relationship with that Bureau. They can gain a deeper insight into your needs and better recommend Speakers who will meet your objectives and fulfil your expectations.

  13. Booking all your Speakers for a conference from one bureau may enable you to negotiate special rates. Most Bureaus are willing to reduce fees when more than one Speaker is booked from their company.

  15. Authors of best-selling books are not necessarily good conference Speakers. Although they may command respect in their field of expertise it is not guaranteed that they will be comfortable in front of a live audience and will be equipped to both "inform and entertain".

  17. Experienced Speaker Bureaus will be able to advise you on popular trends, topics and subjects that your team should be hearing. They are also equipped to locate "specialist" Speakers on topics which are not often requested.

  19. Although the Speaker may be a pro at self-promotion, tread softly. Empty barrels make the most noise. Ensure that there are equal amounts of substance and razzmatazz in your chosen Speaker's presentation.


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