An event speaker’s role is no longer confined to his or her time on stage. Speakers are expected to make a genuine connection with the audience through interaction and engagement. This can take the form of interactive Q&A sessions, one-on-one discussions and social media engagement. Whatever platforms they choose, an awesome event speaker will engage with attendees before, during and after the event.
Here’s how you know you’ve found an awesome event speaker:
They Have A Positive Profile
Your potential speaker will have an active and positive profile across social media and relevant industry platforms. As an active social media user they will have a decent sized following. This doesn’t need to amount to millions, but a healthy and engaged audience is important.
Take a quick look at who follows them and who they engage with. Credible thinkers and respected peers? Enthusiastic fans and advocates? Important media outlets? Great! Your speaker is an influencer and important voice for a key audience.
They’ll Advocate and Engage
Talking of advocates, a great audience reach is only useful to you if your event speaker is prepared to talk about you (positively, of course!).
An awesome speaker will ensure he or she promotes their attendance at your (equally) awesome event. They will encourage followers to spread the word via their own networks too.
Your speaker will be fully engaged with the event’s themes and objectives. Their posts won’t be limited to self-promotion, but give thoughtful consideration to posts that prompt discussion and an exchange of ideas. They’ll hook into hash tags, respond to attendees’ posts and participate in Q&A sessions.
They’ll Do Their Research
While session speakers will invariably have a background and expertise in the topic of choice, keynote speakers can come from a different industry or sector. They may be a well-known celebrity or global industry figure (e.g. Richard Branson).
It’s vital that your keynote speaker knows why they’re there and who they’re talking to. Are they across key industry issues? Can they apply their experience in a relevant way to the challenges your audience face? Will they deliver a meaningful address that the audience cares about?
An irrelevant keynote address delivered by somebody who looks like they’re there to merely collect a cheque is definitely not what you’re looking for in your speaker.
They’ll Happily Give You More
There’s a chance your speaker will participate in your event as part of a tour. They may be promoting a book, further speaking gigs or business venture and your event is an opportunity to get in front of a fresh untapped audience of potential buyers.
While you’re happy to support this of course, it’s not unreasonable to expect your event speaker to provide you with additional content as part of the arrangement. A guest blog post, interview or any additional relevant material will go a long way to help promote your event and stoke interest.
Of course any additional content provided by your speaker also gives them valuable additional promotional opportunities!