Before investigating potential speakers for your next conference, review the following information.
- Establish a clear theme for the meeting so that all speakers can relate to it in their preparation.
- Know the exact goals of not only the overall conference but for each presentation as well (i.e. the “Change Management” seminar should demonstrate a clear understanding of the process of going from the old to the new, emphasizing the management skills necessary, with about a 20% mix of levity woven into an interactive environment with approximately 85 to 100 mid-level managers present.) This is not only extremely helpful to the bureaus in doing their search, but is also a great aid to speakers who will be deciding whether or not it is within the realm of their expertise. It will also cut down on some speakers doing another “canned presentation.”
- Have available the exact date, time, location, length of presentation, desired experience level of speaker, budget range, and other pertinent information that might be presented to the speaker or bureau.
- Consider whether the key function of the speaker is to be a keynote presenter or a seminarist. The presentation styles can be very distinct. Some speakers are great 40 – 60 minute sprinters; while others are long-distance runners. Keynote people are usually more presentation and entertainment minded while seminar speakers are usually more dry and content minded. Knowing the dominant style will give you a better picture of the speaker and what to expect.
- Keep records of past programs to assure variety or continuance, depending on your needs and goals. You might even save past programs to share as background material for the speaker to peruse.