HOW TO RESEARCH A GUEST SPEAKER OR MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER FOR AN EVENT OR CONFERENCE?

Finding a motivational speaker or a virtual speaker can be a difficult process. Trusting that the speaker will be able to meet and exceed the audience’s expectations and align with the organization’s goals can bring a lot of pressure on each organizer and planning team before each event. No matter what your approach to arranging the speaker to attend the meeting, it is important for you to outline and explore the options and processes available to you and your team before hiring or selecting the speaker.

WHO CAN ASSIST ME IN MY DECISION BEFORE SELECTING A SPEAKER?

Have you been directed by one of you leaders to find the speaker? Do they have any experience in previous events or do they know anyone in the organization who held a successful event with a speaker? At an early stage, establish who the core decision makers are regarding the choice of virtual speaker or motivational keynote speaker. Ask a lot of questions on the topic themes, and organizational challenges related to the topics and align with their vision of what they hope to achieve at the event. Often, those who approve speakers have the desired result that they wish to achieve. Once you have a general direction for the topic or knowledge about previous events, it is also beneficial to meet with leadership teams and department heads to get a full understanding of how the topic or speaker may resonate with the employees.  Collecting this data is important and involves multiple people in sourcing out information that will measure the success of the speaker’s presentation, it will assist organizers in researching and understanding the benefits of different types of speakers or different topic themes that are related to the topics identified for the session. Through this process, you will be able to include multiple team members to be involved in your conversations, meetings, proposals and ultimately the selection of the speaker that will be the right speaker for the audience.

WHAT WENT WELL AT THE LAST EVENT?

What did you learn from the last event? Do you have access to any feedback from the audience? What are you wanting to learn this time, and can you build off the successes and failures of the previous events? By assessing and comparing the last event to your upcoming event you can better learn if a speaker will be similar to a previous event that was recognized as a success or failure. If you can interview or have a conversation with any attendee from events in the past, it will also give you personal insight as to the employee vs leader viewpoint of the speaker’s presentation. You will be able to understand if the audience is more about learning or being inspired and if the topic was something the audience felt needed to be addressed. Finding the right speaker is important and knowing any data or statistics from the previous events, will help guide your perspective and approach to researching and finding the speaker.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE NEEDS OF YOUR AUDIENCE & ATTENDEES AT THE EVENT AND DO THEY ALIGN WITH THE AUDIENCE, WORKPLACE AND TOPIC THEMES?

Who is in the audience and how many attendees in the speaker’s session? Do you have a small group or is it a large membership event? Are your guests attending a fundraising gala? An annual general meeting or shareholder meeting? A motivational sales conference?

Anticipate the wants, needs, mood and expectations of your audience to be able to inform the speaker of any insider information that the speaker can emphasize creating an internal connection to each audience member. Leaders and teams all have a different perspective of what will motivate them and how to motivate others, and it is important for organizers to try to get to know the attendees and their state of mind before the presentation. If there is a lot of change going on in the organization, having a speaker to directly speak about people being cut or a large transition may not be the best approach, however in finding a speaker that can speak to how to manage transitions effectively may be the ticket to the success of the event and the speaker’s presentation.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE EVENT AND WILL THE SPEAKER BE A GOOD FIT FOR MY AUDIENCE?

If the purpose of the event is business, and the audience is within the organization, your audience will want a speaker that delivers business presentations that include insight into their own business practices or business strategy to motivate and inspire your teams. Blue collar audiences will have a different learning style or bias to specific types of speakers’ vs corporate audiences. Women audiences will have different needs and understandings than a sales audience. Each audience and attendee participating in the event will have their own way to measure the speakers’ success and it is important you find out internal information so that you can gauge your research and the direction of the speaker selection.

SHOULD I HIRE A KEYNOTE SPEAKER OR WORKSHOP FACILITATOR?

A smaller group will give more flexibility on the presentation format as you may be able to hire an interactive workshop speaker or training facilitator. If you are working with a larger audience over 100, depending on the speaker you select, we suggest hiring a keynote speaker to entertain, motivate & educate the audience.

Speakers Canada’s speakers have the same fee for a one-hour keynote as they do for a two-hour workshop and by understanding the benefits that each session format can bring different sizes of audiences, it will help shape the format for the speakers session, and help you focus your research on the right speaker for the session.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT SPEAKER?

Ask colleagues, team members, corporate partners, clients, previous speakers, and speakers bureaus for recommendations. There are many resources to search and find a speaker in Canada for events. You may turn online as a first option and if you do, we recommend contact a Canadian speakers bureau that will have a list of qualified presenters that can address your topics. Other great ways to find speakers are to as previous event planning team members and colleagues for any speakers they may know about or if they have worked with a specific speakers’ bureau in the past for a successful event.

Corporate partners and clients have also held events with motivational keynote speakers or virtual speakers and having them offer you a couple of speaker names that they know can meet your needs is also a great way to know if the speaker will be successful with you group and aligned with the outcomes of the event. If you had a speaker that the audience loved at a previous event, you may also want to contact that speaker to know if they have any speakers in their network that can address the topics. Some speakers may refer you to a bureau partner which is a great introduction to making a connecting to an agent that can find you the perfect speaker.

HOW MANY SPEAKERS SHOULD I SOURCE OUT FOR MY EVENT BEFORE MAKING A DECISION WHEN I ONLY NEED ONE SPEAKER?

When researching speakers, it is important to have two or three candidates shortlisted for one session in case a speaker is not available and since speakers charge different amounts. You may want to start off by pooling 8-10 candidates that can be a good fit, then having a meeting with your organizing team to narrow it down to 2 or 3 speakers. During these meetings you can present all the information including videos, website, topics, and the speaker’s image to each decision maker, so that they can all vote on which speakers they feel will best suit the needs of the audience and organizations.

This approach will also enable you to get to know each speaker and their content in case you need a speaker for a future event or if a speaker cancels after your booked them. Having 2 or 3 speakers as potential candidates will also support you as you move through the decision process by having back up speaker options in place that your team is excited about or that may surprise your colleagues as you move to the next stage of selecting the speaker. This strategy will give you the opportunity to explore multiple speaker options with other decision makers before selecting your speaker. Professional motivational speakers may have slightly higher fees or may not be available due to their travel.

Speakers Bureau Canada can offer services that allows you to focus on the meetings and have us contact the speaker on your behalf. We also can present you with all the options and help you shortlist your candidates at any stage of your planning process. We can perform these services so that you do not have to let the speaker know who you are shortlisting or selecting, without ever having to disappoint a speaker. We can also put you in touch with ease to any speaker quickly in case of cancellations or a new direction for the topic.

HOW TO KNOW IF THE SPEAKER WILL BE SUCCESSFUL WITH MY AUDIENCE?

Connecting with any potential guest speakers at an early stage before spending any money is an important step in shortlisting potential speakers for the event. Learn more about their ability to address specific topics, see if they have presented to similar audiences, have them check their availability on your date, provide you with additional information regarding their speaking. You can also go to their YouTube channel and look over their videos or go to their website, or speakers bureau profile page to check their testimonials of previous organizations they have worked with. You can also request the speaker or the speaker bureau agent to elaborate on the topic knowledge, areas of expertise and previous experience in presenting to similar groups in the past.

See if any of the testimonials are from organizations like the one you are representing. Check for videos online and save them for future consideration. Try to observe the presenter’s connection to the audience, if they use humour in their presentations and if they have relative information that appeals to the desired learning outcomes of your audience. A Canadian speaker bureau can provide all this information to you with ease as well as connect you with any potential speaker you are interested in before making a decision. If requested, we can also advise on the speakers’ previous events, topic knowledge, presentation ability and if they will be a good fit for the event, audience, and organization.

CAN I HOLD MORE THAN ONE SPEAKER FOR AN EVENT?

Yes. Talent agencies like the Speakers Bureau of Canada can contact multiple speakers about an event and request a temporary hold on the date for each organization. Instead of contacting multiple speakers, have our talent agents contact the speakers on your behalf so that you can stay focused on your research and your upcoming meetings. We report back quickly and will be able to confirm or release the date on your behalf without you ever having to contact a speaker directly and mange each conversation.

HOW TO DECIDE WHICH SPEAKER TO WORK WITH FOR MY EVENT?

Having a committee meeting to debrief the conversations with each speaker candidate and to review all the speaker options is the first step in making your decision. Each team member involved in the planning will have their own notes and opinions in weighing the return on investment and the value the speaker can offer the audience when comparing the shortlisted speakers with their teams. Team members can also do some extra research on the speaker by checking references or looking online which, they can bring to the meeting which can often shape a decision quickly.

If you have shortlisted a couple of speaker options to choose from and have not spoken to the directly, it is critical that you connect with a speaker before making the investment unless you are working with a trusted speaker bureau agent that can advise and confirm the right decision. If you have already connected with potential speakers, you may request a second meeting with the speakers bureau agent to determine which speaker will be successful with your group. Having a virtual meeting or conference call with each speaker or your bureau representative will give you an understanding of the advantages each speaker can offer your audience and give you the confidence in the speakers’ ability to address your audience.

CONTACT THE SPEAKERS BUREAU OF CANADA TALENT AGENTS

All of these services are available to you free of charge and have no hidden costs if you are contact a speaker directly or working through a bureau. We find Canada’s top motivational keynote speakers and virtual speakers that are proven experts and leaders within the speaking industry. Speaker fees through the Speakers Bureau of Canada are the same as though you contracted directly with the speaker, and we take the work out of your research and guarantee that you are prepared for each meeting with the organizing team to present qualified speaker options with a broad base of knowledge, insights, and resources before making any decision.

Just give the theme of the event that you are organizing and let us present you with several speaker recommendations for annual general meetings, conferences, and all sorts of events. We will promptly provide you with Canada’s proven expert presenters with various speaker fees on relevant topics. Our keynote speakers are Canada’s most reliable experts that are set out to activate your audience to inspire the results your organizations hope to achieve at the event.