Find a speaker for an event: the 5 qualities of the ideal profile

02 November 2018 | Temps de lecture : 6 min.
Quatre personnes sont tournées vers un homme qui tient un stylo

Your next event is fast approaching and yet, you are still missing the main element that will make it memorable (in a good or bad way): a speaker! Whether you are planning a gala, a seminar or a scientific convention, the moment when the speaker takes the floor is the most important. The thing you want to avoid? That the lucky chosen one cannot speak correctly and does not captivate his audience. To avoid cold sweats and find a speaker for your event, Eventdrive tells you about the 5 qualities that a good candidate must have. Read carefully and then get started, your speaker shouldn’t hide far away!

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Define your needs to find a speaker for your event

Before you even start looking for your speaker, you have to define what you need. What is the theme of your conference? It is important to target precisely what you will talk about. If your conference is about shrimps (why not?), you need to define if you want to talk about how they are caught, the different varieties or the benefits it can have on the body.

Of course, the speaker must keep a certain freedom of expression, but you should frame the speech in order to be in line with the expectations of your target audience. Speaking of that, do you know what your participants expect? As you listen carefully to our pieces of advice, you have certainly already established your personas. If not (no one will blame you), it’s time to do it! Finally, remember that all work deserves a salary. Your speaker will need to be paid for his performance, so take the time to set a budget.
It would be a shame to cut on the petits fours because you didn’t anticipate the costs of the speaker’s performance.

Once you have established this base, all you have to do is get to the heart of the matter: find the one. To help you, here is what you should look for.

Choose an expert in his field

There’s nothing more boring than listening to people who don’t seem sure of what they’re saying. Worse still, listening to a speaker knowing that you know more than he does. As an event planner, you must avoid this situation, which would have a very negative impact on your company. Before you hire your speaker, make sure you check his CV a little bit. Has he written any books about his field? Has it been published in well-known journals? Without going as far as that, you can also look at his background: the diplomas he got, the subject of his thesis or the first companies in which he worked.

If your speaker is a frequent lecturer, feel free to view his previous performances and read the comments about him on stage, that’s where you’ll learn the most. Remain professional and be critical: just because a candidate has worked in a company that you don’t like or studied in a school competing with yours doesn’t mean that you should cross them off the list.

Choose a motivated speaker

When you attend a conference, you want to be seduced by the speaker’s words. A monotonous tone, a voice without passion, a bored attitude? No, thank you! Your speaker must be able to express emotions and motivate his audience.

Take the example of TED speakers: they can get their message across by engaging the audience, telling riddles or solving enigmas. The speaker must be willing to share his knowledge and this must be reflected in his words. If they are not generous, your participants will not be able to take any interest in your event.

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Look at his style

Be careful, we’re not talking about discrimination in look! But it is essential that the speaker you choose has a good presentation. It’s true that wearing sandals with socks is back in fashion and yet, we don’t really want to see it on stage.

However, the opposite is not necessary either, so do not impose the suit and tie on your speakers. Simply use your judgment to determine if your candidate’s look will easily match the theme of your event. Also, originality can prove its worth. If we come back to our shrimps conference, why not invite your speaker to come dressed as a fisherman? The public will be seduced by his level of involvement.

A touch of humour, please?

We won’t teach anyone, time flies while having fun! And as an event planner, you should make this motto your main objective. If you hear your participants leave the conference saying that it went so fast, then you can tell yourself that it’s a done deal! So choose a speaker who will combine humour, self-derision and knowledge to perfection. Be careful, however, to set limits and take into account the context of the event. Laughter is good, but you have to know how to measure it and use it sparingly.

The bonus? Choose a well-known personality

The qualities mentioned above are essential, but if you really want to make a difference, we recommend that you use a celebrity. Quite simply because a Thierry Marx in the cooking industry, a Bruce Benamran in science or a Xavier Niel in technology will be able to bring people together much more easily. The participation of someone famous in your conference makes the difference in many ways. You will attract more participants, who will better remember the content of the seminar. The emotion and credibility of the message will bring the crowds together. Finally, as a non-negotiable reward, your employees will be delighted to be able to attend this type of conference.

This list, which is not exhaustive of course, should be the foundation of your research. You can respect it (we recommend it) or just be inspired by it. The key to finding the ideal speaker is, of course, to take into account all your parameters and know how to handle them brilliantly. Finally, don’t forget to use your network to find a speaker who will meet your criteria. You may not know it yet, but your assistant’s cousin may be the right person for you! So, speak with your teams right away 🙂

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