10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Speaker
Hiring a speaker is a lot like hiring anyone for any position you might have. You can look at their application (website), see their resume (videos and previous speaking engagements), and you can see how they interact with you and your team (discovery call). Deciding on a speaker can be difficult, mainly if you invest time and money in your team. You can ask yourself the following ten questions to inspire your audiences before booking them!
1. Are you looking for a motivator, a teacher, or a catalyst?
A motivator energizes the crowd with inspiration. A teacher gives tangible tools the audience can use right away. A catalyst facilitates difficult discussions for a problem-solving outcome. All speakers have elements of all three, but which one are you mainly hoping to find?
2. Does your speaker have a clear message? Do they have a menu of talks proven in the marketplace?
If a speaker does not have signature talks already created, they will likely be creating a talk from scratch. If so, do they have the time and resources to be able to craft an impactful experience for their audience?
3. What have others said about their experience of the speaker? Does the speaker have testimonials that you can reference?
4. Is the speaker a thought leader in their field? Do they produce consistent content, and do they produce it consistently with their message?
5. What is your budget for hiring a speaker?
Having a budget is essential to a speaker’s success. Suppose you feel you might not be able to meet the speaker’s fees. In that case, there are other ways to provide value to the speaker, including providing written and video testimonials, promoting the speaker on social media, having the speaker create content for your media publications, or referring the speaker to people in your network.
CAUTION: While some speakers might speak at a complimentary rate, remember that these individuals may not have spoken as their profession or primary source of income. Professional speakers carefully craft their message to create an experience for their audience.
Think of it this way – if you hire a band for your wedding – they might do it for free! And they might be great! But you might also get what you pay for!
6. What are the main pain points and obstacles for your audience? Can the speaker address these pain points and obstacles and give tangible tools to support them?
7. Can you find videos of the speaker speaking on their topic?
Qualified speakers will share clips of their performances as much as possible. They want you to see their work! Videos are auditions to see if they would be a good fit for your audience.
8. Do you have a theme/focus for your event or conference? How can the signature talks the speaker has added value to your goals?
9. Are there additional resources that the speaker can provide after they have spoken? What impact can they have after they have left the stage?
10. Does the speaker communicate well? Is the speaker someone you enjoy working with?
Speakers are great communicators on the stage but must also be great communicators off the stage. Does the speaker have a clear process to book them for your event? Are they accommodating? Are they friendly?