Booking and Managing a Keynote Speaker

It is no secret that organizing a big event often entails a great deal of preparation. You need to book the venue, come up with the guest list, send out invitations, prepare a program, and so on. If you also happen to be in a charge of a big convention or talk, then you probably need to book a keynote speaker as well.

Having a good keynote speaker is often crucial to the success of an event and this involves making sure that nothing goes wrong during the hiring process. You will also need to have a reliable set of logistics in place to ensure that your chosen keynote speaker runs into no trouble during the event so that s/he can focus solely on the speech at hand.

And how exactly does one manage to accomplish all of that? With the aid of the following guidelines, such a feat would not only appear doable but perhaps even relatively easy:

1Speaker)    Choose the right keynote speaker or motivational speaker for the event. Speakers are like performers. They all have distinct personalities. Some like to deliver their messages through humorous stories, others leverage on their celebrity statues, and quite a few specialize in using powerful stories to uplift or inspire their audience. Consider the sort of message that you would want your speaker to deliver and then pick the most appropriate approach.

2)    Book your chosen keynote speaker in advance and be sure to provide him or her with as many specifics when you do so. Many keynote speakers or motivational speakers are very busy people and often travel all over the country (sometimes all over the world), so it’s very important that you have at least a confirmed date for the event when you approach them. The more in-demand your speaker of choice is, the earlier you should approach them to book their services.

3)    Provide the speaker with a contract that specifies the time and date of the event, the duties expected of the speaker, along with any accommodations for the latter that both of you may have agreed upon. This may seem like a formality, but it actually serves to protect both parties in the event of a disparity from either end.

4)    Have a realistic budget prepared. If you want the best speaker in the industry to show up at your event, you may have to vouch for their travel expenses and lodgings.
Otherwise, it would be best to discuss your budget with your chosen speaker so you two can figure out the financial aspects of the engagement. For instance, your speaker may opt to arrange for their own plane fare or transportation and lodgings in favor a bigger paycheck or vice versa.

5)    Brief your speaker on the significance of the event as well as on the type of audience it will attract. Have a clearly-defined purpose for the keynote speech and a simple and significant message for the entire event and communicate these well to your speaker so that s/he can prepare the material. If you have a preference for how your speaker would deliver the speech (e.g., with more humor, in a somber manner, etc.), you may also bring that into the discussion.

Do not forget to describe the event’s audience for your speaker’s benefit as well. A briefing on their demographics (age, gender, etc.), areas of concern, strengths and weaknesses would be immensely helpful towards creating an effective and powerful speech.

6)    Check back with your speaker a few days before the actual event to go over some last-minute concerns or questions. If there have been any changes to the program, it would also be wise to inform the speaker of such.

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