If you’re organising an event, then a keynote speaker is an important way to bring the theme, message and motivation together in a captivating way. But choosing a keynote speaker can be a daunting task if you haven’t had any experience in it before. Not to worry, here’s a look at what you should consider before choosing the right keynote speaker for your event.
What are the types of keynote speakers?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when choosing a keynote speaker, it really depends what your particular event calls for. Here are the main categories of keynote speakers:
Celebrities: If you have a big budget, then celebrity speakers are always a big pull. This cuts across the range of topics, with personal stories often on the agenda.
Industry thought leaders: Those B2B events often call for industry leaders who can provide insight into your particular field.
Professional speakers: Motivational speakers and others who have experience in talking at big events. They are often in high demand and more expensive.
Journalists, authors and professors: Having an academic and intellectual background, these speakers offer great insights into politics and socioeconomic topics that impact every sector.
Questions to ask when choosing a keynote speaker
With the categories in mind, you can now start to ask the right questions to whittle down which speaker will meet the requirements of your event.
1. What is the intention of your event?
Why is this particular event being hosted? Once you know the intention of your event, everything should work around this – including the person you choose as keynote speaker. If your event is about provoking conversation around a particular topic, then a thought leader would be best. If it’s to bring some deeper insight into current affairs, then a journalist is a good option.
2. How will the keynote speech help your event?
If the keynote speaker is intended as a source of entertainment, to uplift and engage the audience, then you might want to consider a celebrity. But if they’re being booked to set the tone of your event, then you will need someone with more hard-hitting content.
3. What personality are you looking for?
Every keynote speaker comes with their own unique material – and their own unique personality. If you’re looking to ignite a fire, then you might want someone a bit edgier. But if you’re looking to win the audience over and get them aligned with your vision, then you may well need more of a people’s person.
4. What is the presentation style?
The setup and setting of your event will also impact which speaker you get, as each one has their own presentation style and requirements. If your speaker is going to be virtually available, then you’ll need the right equipment and an indoor arena.
5. What is the budget?
The cost of keynote speakers varies significantly, depending on the person, their experience, and the quality of their presentation. Obviously, more high-profile people will be able to ask for more money than those who are new to the speaking scene. But if you have the budget, then it could be worth paying more for someone impactful or high profile, especially if you’re looking to attract a big crowd.
What else to consider when choosing a keynote speaker?
Here are a few other things you could do when choosing the best keynote speaker for your event.
– Watch the speaker
Most speakers will have recordings of their presentations, or you could even opt to see them at a live event if time and costs allow. This is the best way to gauge if they’re a good fit for your event.
– Check their experience
Have a look online to see how long they’ve been giving keynote addresses, and in which particular industry. Also consider which events they’ve been booked at to determine if it aligns with your event.
– Ask about marketing opportunities
The speaker might even offer the opportunity to create more marketing for your event through interviews, pre-event social media posts, podcasts, webinars or more.
– Ask about references
You can also ask for references to get more insight into how others have received the speaker, whether they’re easy to work with, if they’re prepared, and the audience response.
For an impactful keynote speaker at your event, renowned South African journalist and in-demand speaker, Bruce Whitfield is a top booking. Bruce Whitfield has been a keynote speaker at several global events including talks in London, Dubai and America.
Get in touch today to find out his availability for your event.
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