Font size

Booking a guest speaker for your event is not the beginning or  the end of your work. 

Finding the right speaker for your event is an important task. Your speaker will spend time preparing, but it’s up to you and your organization to support that preparation. 

After all, you are inviting a speaker because of their expertise, but that person is not part of your team. The role of your speaker is to bring a fresh perspective to your organization. To encourage thoughtful consideration of new ideas, datapoints and supporting stories that could enhance business and foster deeper engagement. To do that, the speaker needs to understand the culture and needs of your company and the timing of your event.

Finding A Guest Speaker

A quality guest speaker will ask the objective of your event, and how the speaker fits with that objective. 

Consider these questions when you’re looking for a speaker:

  • What is the purpose of the guest speaker? 
  • Will the speaker inform, entertain and inspire the audience?
  • Or will the speaker disrupt and challenge status quo?  
  • Do you want one large session or will you include breakout sessions?
  • What degree of attendee participation are you seeking?
  • How versatile is the speaker on related subject matter?

I take the time to fully understand the event and audience. This type of interaction follows the consultant’s approach to contracting, and it requires upfront dialogue and research. 

I want to make sure I have a clear sense of intent and purpose behind the event, its attendees and the chosen topic. I want to fully understand the scope of the topic. I take the time to understand the organization’s business focus and current culture – including its values, and the desired outcomes of my presentation.

Guest Speakers Are Coaching

Guest speaking can be similar to coaching. A Speaker is facilitating or training your audience or readying a group or team for a change activity.

Here’s how:

  • guest speaking requires authentic engagement and connection that goes beyond the data, research or recommendations
  • human stories are the connections between the speaker and the audience
  • stories must reach the minds and touch the hearts of the audience
  • great guest speakers offer personal moments of vulnerability and truth, challenges and celebrations, demonstrating learned experience.

This is an example of connection with an audience. I was speaking at a large in-person and virtual event with the health care sector. Someone asked a question from within the crowd.  

My response came from my own personal experience—that of a family scenario dealing with multiple layers of the healthcare system over a number of years. The room went silent, the virtual breakout rooms were still and then the acknowledging applause began; I had connected deeply with the collective audience. No stats were involved, I simply shared my own story.

Guest speakers working from content cards or scripting miss the opportunity to connect with the audience – pausing, take a slow breath, providing space for authentic connection. Authentic and seasoned speakers work with you as a client to ensure connection with the audience, provide value and bring the key ideas of the topic back to the organization.

As one of my clients shared: 

“Thanks a lot, Carol. It was an amazing opportunity to learn from you and also from my peers. I loved how the event was organized in the way that it was a great mix of both the presentation and the real-life interactions and examples. So well done!”

Choosing The Right Guest Speaker

When selecting the perfect speaker for your event, it’s crucial to consider not just the type of speaker, but also their expertise in a specific topic. A thought leader in a particular field can bring a depth of knowledge and insight that enriches your event’s theme, aligning closely with your organization’s current interests and future aspirations.

Identifying the Type of Speaker

The type of speaker you choose – whether a motivational speaker, a public speaker with a broad range of expertise, or a specialist in a specific topic – can significantly influence the tone and impact of your event. A motivational speaker, for instance, excels in energizing and inspiring your audience, often through personal anecdotes and uplifting messages. In contrast, a thought leader or a speaker specializing in a specific topic can offer in-depth analysis and unique perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding among your attendees.

Aligning with a Specific Topic

Understanding the specific topic or theme of your event is paramount in selecting the perfect speaker. This alignment ensures that the speaker’s expertise resonates with your audience, making the event more impactful and memorable. A speaker whose experience and knowledge dovetail with your event’s theme can provide tailored insights, making the occasion not just informative but transformative.

Thought Leader or Motivational Speaker?

Choosing between a thought leader and a motivational speaker depends on your event’s objectives. If your goal is to inspire change, challenge existing mindsets, or introduce new concepts, a thought leader, renowned for their expertise and innovative thinking, would be an ideal choice. On the other hand, if your aim is to motivate, uplift, and energize your audience, a motivational speaker, known for their compelling storytelling and charismatic delivery, would be more suitable.

The Perfect Speaker: A Blend of Expertise and Eloquence

The perfect speaker is someone who combines expertise in their field with the eloquence and charisma of a seasoned public speaker. This combination ensures that the message is not only informative but also engaging, making a lasting impression on your audience. The right speaker knows how to weave their knowledge into stories that captivate, educate, and resonate with every attendee.

Are you ready for a speaker at your event who can connect with your audience and meet your objective? Connect with me today to learn how I bring my coaching and consulting expertise to your event as a guest speaker.

See all blog articles

Website by The Social Circle