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What to Ask Before You Book: A Fast and Awesome Guide to Hiring the Right Speaker

If you’re getting ready to start the sometimes daunting process of selecting a speaker for your stage, you’re undoubtedly aware of the tidal wave of details that need to be addressed to get the right person for the job. If you don’t have experience in this field, you’re more than likely enjoying the thrill of building anxiety as you throw yourself into the selection process. Not to fear, the @revenue team is here.

If you have a cool 50-100k, you can easily fix your eyes on a public figure and google yourself into a hot name for your upcoming event, but more often than not that will buy you a ‘basic’ sports star, reality TV show or celebrity personality. Just don’t call them basic to their face…they hate that. If you don’t have a budget that hits those marks, then you’re reading the right blog. We can help you get some vision for what you need beyond the big bucks.

First, you need to understand what the purpose of this speaker is for your event. Is this person setting the emotional setting for your event? Do you want people on their feet? Laughing? Crying? Throwing cash in the air?!? Are you looking for an expert, an entertainer… or both?

Here’s a fantastic checklist that will help you ask the questions that need to be asked to get the best speaker for your event.

How to Prep for Hiring a Speaker: What to know and what to ask before the big show

Fees & Expenses

  1. What fee does this speaker charge for the length and type of engagement that you’re looking for?
  2. Does the speaker’s fee match your budget?
  3. If not, are there other places that you can pull funds from? Can you give them advertising, a booth, additional exposure in any way that will assist them with their goals?
  4. Does the speaker require travel fees? If so, what are their requirements and who does the booking?
  5. Is a deposit needed to hold your date?
  6. Are there ANY other fees? Bureau? Per diem? Personal cabana boy?
  7. Can they fill more than one spot on your roster (and save you on the cost of another speaker’s travel)?

Experience & Expertise

  1. Is the speaker a professional speaker or an expert who speaks?
  2. Does the speaker have multiple formats? Keynote? Workshop? Interactive?
  3. Do they have a livelihood that depends on them doing what they are speaking about, or do they just train?
  4. Can they custom craft an event for you?
  5. Do they have any certifications or accreditations in their field? Have they won any awards?
  6. How do they typically prepare for a speaking gig?
  7. Do their speaker reels (videos) appear engaging? Entertaining? Exciting?
  8. What materials will they bring? Are they going to bring educational or supportive materials or only just their selling tools?
  9. Can they use ‘clean jokes’ or do they only get laughs when eyebrows are raised?
  10. Are they published? Do they have books, articles, youtube shows or the like?

Environment & Temperament

  1. How easy was the speaker, or their team, to connect with? Get answers from? Talk to?
  2. How will they make your organization look good?
  3. Do they seem to speak at the same level that your audience is at?
  4. Are they going to just be on stage, or are they going to engage with the folks at your event?
  5. Do they use the tech tools that are going to make it a fit for your audience?
  6. If they are going to sell from the stage, what does that look like and can they do it with class?
  7. Can they help you drive home your message from the stage? Do you want them to drive people to take the next step? Purchase a product or something else?
  8. Will they be easy to work with?
  9. When will they arrive at the event? Leave?
  10. Can they be flexible to last-minute changes?
  11. What impact will this speaker have on the audience once the chairs have been put away?

Well, there you have it. The exhaustive, every-question-answered speaker booking checklist. I hope this helps you on your journey. We are here to help you find your next (or first) ‘perfect’ speaker, and just for the record, we have already asked most of these questions for you!

@revenue offers sales coaching and marketing strategy and implementation all under one roof. Crafting your sales and marketing strategy as a team ensures that all systems work together effectively, and that saves time and money. www.atrevenue.com | Marie Hale, CEO & Co-founder | 312.720.1399 Ext 1

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