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Choosing the wrong speaker is scary. Here are four ways to find the right one.

Choosing the wrong speaker is scary. Here are four ways to find the right one. 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Speakers set the tone for your event and are responsible for a significant part of your audience experience. There’s nothing like the thrill of booking someone who really connects with your audience and leaves a positive impression. But when they don’t? Yeah, that’s a scary thought.

Follow these four guidelines when choosing speakers for your next event:

  1. Start early. Consider the expertise and personality of the ideal speaker for your audience and occasion. Know what you want.
  2. When you’ve narrowed your choices, visit speakers’ websites and social media accounts. Watch any of the speakers’ videos you may find. By reviewing their online presence, you’ll get a good feel for their presentation style.
  3. Speak with your top choices to discuss your event goals, audience characteristics, and expectations. Determine if the speakers you’re considering are a good fit with your vision.
  4. Check references before booking anyone. Ask questions about the reference’s experience with the speaker during the planning stage, their thoughts on the effectiveness of the speaker, and feedback from the audience.

See? Not so scary anymore.

Happy Halloween!

When one area of expertise becomes two (Part 2 of 2)

When one area of expertise becomes two (Part 2 of 2) 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

In the last blog post, we talked about the benefits of identifying yourself as a subject matter expert in one particular area. Today, let’s talk about what happens when that topic becomes a “been there, done that” topic for you and your audiences.

By the time this occurs, you’ll have established yourself as a reputable source for information. A good way to maintain that reputation is to select a related topic and let your audiences, clients, and contacts know that you’ve got something new to offer.

While the two areas of expertise don’t have to be related, it makes sense to stay on a similar track, because you already know the public or client interest is there. Consider examples like this: a real estate development expert adds a talk on investing, a leadership expert creates presentations or programs on employee engagement, or an artist talks about selling his or her products online.

You have a lot to share, and so many topics to explore! Our best advice: start with one.

How one topic may lead to several bookings (Part 1 of 2)

How one topic may lead to several bookings (Part 1 of 2) 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

When completing your directory profile on I Need A Speaker, you have hundreds of choices in terms of subject matter expertise. We offer this many choices for a reason – we want to create a way for event organizers to find speakers on a very broad range of topics. But that doesn’t mean each speaker should offer talks on a broad range of topics.

Say you’re a marine biologist who has enjoyed developing unique, successful fundraisers for years. You’re definitely qualified to speak on both marine biology and fundraising. Or you’re a museum curator who has a strong following as a yoga teacher … a judge with a compelling personal story. You get the idea.

Today we’re offering a suggestion to the speaker who selects multiple, related topics in the hopes of being booked more often. This may be someone who has been in a managerial role for some time, and he or she selects marketing, management, employee relations, leadership, strategy, and sales. While you may be very competent in all of those areas, event planners are typically seeking someone who stands out as a subject matter expert on one particular subject.

When you specialize in one area, people associate you with that topic, and your reputation builds. By choosing fewer areas of expertise – ideally, one – you may be requested for more events. As a benefit, you’ll likely need less preparation time and can continue to deeply study that one topic.

In the next post, we’ll talk about what to do when you (and your audiences) are hungry for fresh content.

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