How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Keynote speakers can make or break an event. An effective keynote or conference speaker will not only meet the objectives of your event, but they will successfully engage your audience and provide valuable information that can be easily applied. A poor keynote speaker will fail to connect with your business’s objectives and leave the audience feeling as though their time has been wasted. If you are in charge of securing a keynote speaker for a specific event, the performance and outcomes of your decision can reflect positively or poorly on you. So, how do you choose the right presenter?

Planning and Considerations

There are several things to consider before booking a keynote speaker for your next event.

  • Consult with the executives. Communicate with the executives in your company to be sure that you have a clear picture of what they are looking to gain from utilizing a presenter.

  • Figure out your meeting objective(s) and benchmarks for success. What do you want to accomplish for your employees? What will the focus be? Some examples of popular topics for keynote speakers are time management, team building (to build, rebuild, or strengthen relationships), motivation, personal productivity, employee retention, leadership development and management development.

  • Consider your logistics. It’s all in the details! Where will you hold the event? How big is your audience? What technologies will be needed to ensure things go smoothly and without embarrassing interruption?

  • Consider the needs of your audience. What could your audience benefit from? Is morale low due to restructuring or downsizing? Are your employees having difficulty managing an increased workload? Is there a general “disconnect” between management and staff? Are your staff members communicating effectively? Could your company improve its productivity? Ask yourself what information would be most valuable to improve your company in both the immediate and long term future.

  • Outline the expectations and objectives for your speaker. Now that you have a clear picture of objectives, management expectations, logistics and audience needs, you can easily communicate these to keynote speaker of your choice.

Finding a Great Keynote Speaker

So how do you get the most bang for your buck? You’ll want to find a keynote speaker or presenter that knows what they are talking about and can deliver information in an entertaining way. There are several ways to do this.  

One way to find a qualified speaker is to check out industry-related websites. For example, if your event is focused on leadership development or management development topics, type in “leadership development keynote speaker” or “management development keynote speaker” into your browser. Once you pull up some sites, you can check out speaker bios, the type of information they offer, and even access snippets of presentations that they have given in the past. This is also a great way to get a sense of their speaking style. Are they engaging or as stale as day old toast? Do they speak as if they have a command of the information they are presenting or do they seem sterile and notes-driven? Do they offer applicable personal examples to connect with the audience?

Another way to find a speaker is to contact a speakers bureau. They will take a look at your objectives and industry to connect you with a speaker that matches those requirements.

A third way to find a good keynote speaker is through word of mouth. Getting a first- hand account of the positive (or negative) experience others have had with a speaker is a great way to ensure the success of your event. Asking other team members or business contacts who they have had good experiences with can save a great deal of hassle and eliminate uncertainty.

By following the tips above, you can be confident that your event will run smoothly and that your keynote speaker will align perfectly with your business objectives and audience.

Experienced Cleveland Keynote Speaker

Are you looking for a dynamic keynote speaker that can present relevant, applicable information infused with humor? Leadership Excellence can provide you with an experienced keynote speaker and presenter specializing in personal and organizational leadership development, management development, time management, personal productivity, and more! Contact us today for more information on Greg L. Thomas, professional conference speaker.