Seven top mistakes when choosing a speaker

Try to avoid the common traps we see every day


1. I heard they were good ! 

Yes they may have been "good" but who was the audience ? Are all conditions the same ? 


2. The best speaker for us will be the most expensive/well known speaker !

Ask yourself "what is the expectation/needs of my audience" ? If your audience have not been exposed to many speakers, you can sometimes use a lower fee speaker to do the job. More isn't always better !


3. Let's ask the most junior member of staff to do the preliminary work in finding a speaker ! 

Speakers can cost anywhere from $3,000.00 up to $20,000.00. That's a sizeable investment and the impact can affect the company for a long time. Delegate to a senior person. Preferably the CEO.


4. The CEO knows the speaker !

Always a tough one and sometimes better to go with the flow . But not always wise.


5. A sponsor/supplier wants to present !

Another tough one but suppliers - supply ! Sponsors - sponsor. Try to keep it at. We have seen a number of conferences/events suffer from non speakers speaking, who want their money's worth. Give it to them in another way !


The "other way"

Instead of potentially boring and alienating an audience give sponsors/suppliers recognition. Have them sponsor a speaker. Speakers are happy to acknowledge this. Signage, slides, handouts. All these are better than a sponsor/supplier becoming a speaker.


6. Limited budget plus travel.

Incredibly as it may sound we have seen conferences with low speaker budgets but high expense budgets. If you can get a speaker locally, put the money you would have spent on travel/accommodation into the fee.


7. The more speakers the better !

No, no, no ! Give the audience time to process what the keynote speaker has had to say. Where possible workshop the content of the speaker. "What did they get out of it" ? "What will they now do differently" ? Leverage your speakers wherever possible.