Do’s of Choosing a Speaker

1. Decide on the purpose of your event and set the objectives you wish to achieve which will enable you to monitor your progress and to assess the success of your event later. It is important to identify precisely what you are hoping to achieve from having a speaker at your event.

2. Decide how many guests you wish to attend, how they will be wined, dined and entertained. Will your event be casual or formal? Women like Formal events as it gives them a chance to dress-up.

3. Identify the type of speaker who will best match the needs of your audience. The right speaker is not necessarily someone who the audience will all have heard off. A speaker’s expertise in a given field may be the big draw, but a well-known name does not always guarantee a professional presentation. High prices don’t always mean high quality. Will your audience and the overall program benefit most from a celebrity; an expert in the field; a popular sport’s personality, or a professional after dinner comedian that will add some humour to your event.

4. Establish a realistic budget when booking a speaker. Your search for a speaker can be narrowed or broadened based upon your budget. A good tip though, is to work on the basis of you-get-what-you-pay-for.

5. However, if the purpose of the event is to attract existing or potential customers so that you can promote your company to them before, during or after the meal, then you must take extra care over whom you choose to speak and will almost certainly have to establish a generous budget. Wealthy business people, like your clients, are hardly likely to fall over themselves to attend an event where the speaker is someone they’ve never heard of. If you intend to use the speakers name on invitations to attract your best customers, you’ll need to use an impressive name and will need the budget to achieve this.

6. If you are organising a fund-raiser or benefit for some worthwhile cause or charity, do not be frightened to charge a good price for the tickets so that you can afford a decent speaker, and hopefully make a reasonable profit on the event. Speakers are generally not interested in speaking for a nominal sum, or expenses’ just to help you raise money, unless they are also personally involved with the same cause.

7. Be prepared to be flexible. Your first choice of speaker may be unavailable or may simply not be interested in appearing at your event. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance.