There are thousands of motivational speakers around the world who speak on an overwhelming amount of topics. So, how can you identify quality keynote motivational speakers? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all keynote speaker, but there are simple steps professional meeting planners can take to make the most appropriate choice.
Step 1: Background check. Before any tourist can visit the White House, you need to wait 90 days, and during that time, a background check will be performed to make sure you are who you say you are (safety first!). Why should selecting a professional speaker be any different (albeit, you don’t need to hire the secret service)? Plain and simple, do your due diligence loa toa 10w . Use the Internet to learn about their credentials and experiences. Especially if you aren’t familiar with the speaker, make sure that there story is legit. My cousin’s sister’s brother’s friend says he speaks at the church and will do it for free. Sounds suspicious to me-be careful because he might have spoken to a group of preschoolers-an extreme difference in clientele from a conference full of fortune 100 bankers.
Also, if the motivational speaker penned books, take the time to read the book, check the reviews (and sales) of the books. Are they on the best-seller list? What’s the buzz? Are they doing interviews on the morning talk shows? You can further determine how big of a following they have.
Step 2: Video is key. Motivational speakers can have all the life experience, book sales, and credentials in the world-but (cliché time) ‘at the end of the day,’ the person must still be a charismatic speaker who can inspire and provide real content to put your group into positive action. A video is the best glimpse (next to seeing the speaker in person) of their style, energy, and language.
A video also shows how the speaker comes across to their audience. Remember, it’s important that the speaker’s genuine (today’s audience can see right through a line of bull). Does the speaker truly believe their message? If so, how does their presentation support their beliefs? The video helps to prevent surprises. By the time you view a sample presentation, you should determine if this motivational speaker is appropriate for your group. After all, if a motivational speaker (who claims she’s funny) doesn’t make the audience on the video laugh… will your audience be any different?
Step 3: Testimonials and word of mouth. There is no better way to find a great keynote speaker than hearing from other organizations that have already benefited. You can often find testimonials on the speaker’s website page.
Speakers Bureaus are also a great resource for both testimonials and word-of-mouth research. A Speakers Bureau representative can paint a clearer picture of what kind of category the particular motivational speaker falls into, if they have worked with the speaker before, and, if they are right for your event. Speaker bureaus can even broaden your knowledge of speakers who are unknown to you-freeing up your time to other conference tasks.
In addition, speaker bureaus can supply you with testimonials, client reviews and feedback-to further help you select the most appropriate speaker. The bonus of working with a speakers bureau is they do all the work (including: negotiations, travel arrangements, contracts, etc.), taking the pressure off your already busy schedule.