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Choosing The Right Speaker: A Guide To Ensuring The Right Fit For Your Audience

You may be an event planner or maybe you have been tasked with finding a speaker for your corporate event.  For those in the event planning industry, you have a plethora of tools at your convenience.  But what if this is your first time going out to find a speaker?  Where do you start?  

In either case, think back to the last conference you attended. Did the speaker resonate with you? How about with the rest of the audience?

A great speaker can leave your audience with eye-opening moments, motivated to transform an area of their lives, and inspire them with new ideas.

As speakers, we hope to connect to the audience, leaving individuals with a perspective they didn’t have before. 

Before I became a speaker, I attended many conferences. Some speakers fueled my purpose and rekindled my motivation. And some speakers have left me confused and discouraged. The difference between each experience was having a speaker that was the right fit with the audience.

A speaker who is the right fit captivates the audience and inspires creativity. They interact with and challenge the audience into new ways of thinking. A mismatched speaker, on the other hand, can stifle the audience with irrelevance. 

When you  find a speaker that resonates with your organization, team members have a great experience. The speaker provides helpful insights and leaves them with takeaways that they can directly apply to their own lives. 

Here are 3 tips for choosing the right speaker for your audience. 

  1. Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is yoursuperpower. You know your organization’s demographics and individual strengths and interests. You also know where your organization may need extra support and motivation to reach its goals. Keeping this in mind is important when selecting a speaker that is going to be the right fit.

You have the keys to selecting a speaker who can tailor their message to your audience's specific needs. The University of Pittsburgh shares that demographic factors shape audience identities. These factors also influence their experiences, allowing speakers to engage with them. Understanding audience attitudes helps speakers achieve their communication goals.

Consider conducting surveys or interviews with your audience members beforehand. Ask about their interests, pain points, and what they hope to gain from the event. This valuable information will not only guide your speaker selection process but will also enable the chosen speaker to connect on a deeper level with the audience.

  1. Align with Your Speaker

Your ultimate aim is to orchestrate an event that not only meets organizational objectives but surpasses them. Your event goals serve as the compass guiding every decision you make, and selecting the right speaker is a pivotal aspect of this journey. When you articulate your event goals to a potential speaker, you're not just sharing information; you're creating a partnership aimed at achieving mutual success.

Effective communication with your chosen speaker ensures that they comprehend the specific outcomes you're striving for. This alignment between your event goals and the speaker's expertise creates a powerful synergy. The speaker becomes not just a presenter but a strategic collaborator invested in the success of your event and, consequently, your organization.

  1. Research Potential Speakers 

Just as you carefully plan every aspect of your event, selecting the right speaker demands a thoughtful and strategic approach, too. Armed with your defined goals, you're now ready to research potential speakers who align with your vision. This process is not just about finding a speaker; it's about curating an experience that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impact.

Forbes provides insightful tools to aid in your quest for the perfect fit:

  • Personal Experiences: Leverage your own encounters with speakers who have left a lasting impression on you. Draw from events you've attended or participated in, and reflect on the speakers who captivated the audience and delivered a message that aligns with your goals.

  • Referrals: Trust in the power of recommendations. Seek referrals from trusted colleagues, industry partners, or fellow event planners who have had positive experiences with certain speakers. Personal endorsements can be invaluable in identifying speakers with a proven track record of engagement and effectiveness.

  • Research Previous Presenters: Explore the history of speakers at similar events and conferences. Examine their presentation styles, the resonance of their messages, and audience feedback. This not only provides insights into a speaker's expertise but also helps you gauge how well they connect with diverse audiences.

  • Connect with Industry Organizations: Forge connections with organizations or clubs within your industry or field. These networks can be a goldmine of recommendations and insights. Engaging with like-minded professionals allows you to tap into a collective knowledge base, increasing the likelihood of discovering speakers who align with your event goals.

  • Explore Non-Profit Resources: Don't overlook non-profit platforms like TED Talks. These platforms showcase speakers with a profound ability to convey impactful messages. While TED Talks may not always align directly with your industry, they serve as a resource for identifying speakers who possess the art of storytelling and connecting with diverse audiences.

Finding the Right Speaker for Your Event   

It's not just about finding a speaker; it's about curating an experience that aligns with your event goals, engages your audience, and contributes to the overall success of your event. The speakers you choose are integral contributors to the narrative of your event, and investing time in strategic research ensures that your choices align with the transformative impact you aim to achieve.

You’ll know you’ve found the right fit when the connection feels mutual. A great speaker will work with you to meet the needs of your organization and your audience.

As a speaker, I know the value that is added when those who are planning the event and I are in sync and operating in good communication. I genuinely want to understand the audience and their needs, and it’s the partnership with you that allows me to do that.

When the speaker is a good fit for the audience, you can feel it. And your audience deserves someone who gets them.

If you’d like to see if I’d be a good fit for your next organizational event, reach out to me! 


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